The Frog & Turtle Cafe
Another guest post from my new favorite foodie, Simon. The Frog & Turtle, at the Gold Coast, very nicely invited Simon to check out their new menu.
Take it away Simes!
I must admit, this is the second time that I have been to the Frog & Turtle Cafe. The first time was a couple of months ago when we had friends from Brisbane visiting us and we dropped into the cafe for a late-ish (2pm) lunch. At the time, the service was good, and the food delicious, but the menu a bit sparse in its offerings. I was going to do a review back then but time got away from me… thanks to life/work/etc.
Since then, the Frog & Turtle Cafe (or the FnT as they like to abbreviate it) have re-designed their menus, and gone online with a new website in an effort to share their cafe’s concept of “Your home away from home“. Thus, I decided that maybe I should go back and make another attempt at writing a review.
This time, my visit was just before midday on a Saturday, where I was greeted by a friendly waitress quite promptly, in spite of the cafe being rather busy. I was guided to a table in the outside area and informed that, even though the breakfast menu was closing in a matter of minutes (breakfast is from 7am-12pm), I was free to choose from either menu (the lunchtime menu runs from 12pm-3pm, but includes a smaller selection of breakfast dishes for the “all day breakfast” diner). After ordering a flat white, I spent some time perusing both menus, and generally absorbing the atmosphere.
The FnT sits just off the busy Gold Coast Highway in Burleigh Heads, with plenty of nearby street parking (unusual in this part of the coast). The noise from the passing traffic fades into the background of the outside area (thanks to the clear cafe blinds), and is further masked by the sound of people talking and generally enjoying their food.
The inside area is very cosy and unpretentious, with a couple of couches that seem to beg for you to sit down and relax. The front counter is dominated by a glass cabinet that has an additional selection of tasty looking treats – definitely check these out before placing your final order.
The new menus are a big step up from their predecessors. Breakfast options were extensive, with a definite emphasis that dishes can be modified to meet individual tastes, with prices ranging from $7 to $18. I was immediately drawn to their “specialty” of Eggs Benedict, especially when it was described as “2 poach eggs, served atop sautéed mushroom and onion, on turkish, with creamy homemade hollandaise, with bacon, spinach or salmon“. I mentioned to my waitress that it was a curious offering to have it served on “sautéed mushroom and onion”, and was quickly told that if I would prefer it differently, the chef would be happy to oblige. As I sometimes attempt to be a bit adventurous and try new things, I ordered the Eggs Benedict with Spinach ($13.50), as it was suggested on the menu.
The Vivo coffee blend that FnT uses has quite a creamy finish, but is not as strong or full-bodied as I normally prefer my coffee. However, it was a well made coffee and still made for a good cup, which inevitably led me to ordering a second one when my meal came out.
My Eggs Benedict arrived, looking almost identical to how they were pictured on the menu. The eggs were beautifully poached, with clean intact whites around soft golden yokes. The sautéed mushroom and onion, with the spinach mixed in, was tasty and well cooked, with all of this being positioned on top of a generous serving of turkish bread. Unfortunately, the hollandaise sauce turned out to be quite bland, leaving the mushrooms to be the defining flavour of the dish. This was a little disappointing as the presentation was great, and the other elements of the dish were definitely there. I suspect that the issue with the sauce was not enough lemon juice in its preparation, but this may have just been the chef’s own interpretation of hollandaise sauce.
FnT may have missed me with their Eggs Benedict this time, but during my previous visit, my friends and I all enjoyed our selections from the lunch menu. Here’s the tasty burger we ordered last time:
The service at the FnT is sincere and enthusiastic, with the staff making every effort to cater to their customers’ needs, while the surroundings itself are laid back, comfortable, and inviting. There is a lot of potential here, especially with their upcoming Nights@FnT, which look to include a curry night and a pasta night.
The Frog & Turtle Cafe is somewhere that I would definitely recommend trying – you may even find it’s a good home away from home.
The Frog and Turtle Cafe
1863 Gold Coast Highway
Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast
(07) 5576 3933