Although we live on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, it had been quite some time since our last visit to Café by the Beach, located very near the beach at Moffat Beach. Friends had been there for dinner recently and had given it quite a rap, so we thought it timely for a re-visit to check it out again.
Café by the Beach has indoor dining and as well, is very popular for its outdoor alfresco dining area. Because it had been very windy lately, we requested an indoor table when booking.
The outdoor area is screened, wonderful on balmy nights but occasionally can be a little breezy. On arrival we were warmly greeted and directed to our table - just inside – perfect for us. Menus arrived promptly, specials were announced and described and our BYO wine opened. The restaurant is also fully licensed.
Before arriving, we had decided to go for our favourite dessert again, so we sadly skipped the starters and entrees. However, we did check some of them out - Garlic or Herb Pizza Bread, Pizza Bread with dips, Tapas, Oysters, Calamari, Risotto, Beer and Coconut Battered Prawns and Chicken Laksa, plus there were four Pasta entrees. Maybe some of those for us next time. We then eyeballed the mains.
The Risotto, Battered Prawns and Laksa were also available as mains, as well as things like Slow Roast Pork Cutlet, Stuffed Chicken Breast, Moroccan Spiced Lamb Cutlets, Fish of the Day, Slow Roasted Duck, Caesar Salad and Beef Tenderloin. And there were five Pasta and seven Pizza dishes to peruse too - a nice selection for a café.
My partner chose a pasta dish – Premium Beef Mince Bolognaise Fettuccine with fresh tomato and basil. Being a bit of a pizza junkie, I found it very hard to go past their pizzas, (who seemed to be saying to me, pick me, pick me), but somehow I did go past the pizzas and chose the Chicken Laksa with broccolini, glass noodles, fried shallots and a side of spring rolls with soy and chilli dipping sauces.
We scoffed the lot – both very delicate, superb balance of flavours and perfectly presented. Our waitress was very attentive and friendly with a nice smile and she kept our glasses of water constantly topped-up. And the bottle of Sauvignon Blanc we had brought with us was going down very well too. So far our friends were spot-on with their recent rap of Café by the Beach.
Now, the time had come to order our favourite dessert here – Caramel and Banana Pancakes with whipped cream and ice cream. Because we knew what was coming, we decided to share. Sounds simple I know, but . . .
There are several other items, pancakes and gourmet cakes on the Dessert Menu which apparently changes from time to time. Being a dessert junkie too there are three that caught my eye when we were there that I must mention. Vanilla, lime and coconut panna cotta surrounded by carmelized passionfruit and strawberries; Dark chocolate mousse cake with vanilla tuille biscuits; Baked blueberry and white chocolate cheesecake with a honeycomb affogato. Tantalising stuff.
While waiting for our favourite mouth-watering delight to arrive we checked out the restaurant décor. A good selection of tables in the outdoor area, bright and airy inside, bar to one side, tables not too close together and it had been nicely refurbished since our last visit. Lots of surfing memorabilia framed prints everywhere and an unusual item was a framed display of miniature surfboards showing how the shapes had changed over the years. Very cute.
As well, a wonderful, quite large, black and white framed print was on the left wall as you walk in. It was from a Trade Exhibition in Milano, circa 1906, showing the first ever coffee machine. The manufacturer’s name was Bezzera. And many, many years later, Bezzera was the first coffee machine at Café by the Beach.
The dessert moment had arrived. This monumental creation was supposed to be for one, however it nearly stopped us, even though we were sharing. It had a generous serving of smooth, rich caramel sauce, a large scoop of ice cream, encased in a mountainous, and I mean mountainous swirl of whipped cream, plus large portions of perfect banana pieces, all sitting on a massive, thick, tender pancake. Heaven! We drooled, we stopped talking and we dug in.
I know our dessert seems to have taken over my review, but it was the highlight of a delightful dining experience for us. If you are ever on the Sunshine coast in Queensland and decide to give Cafe by the Beach at Moffat Beach a try, make sure to leave room for the pancakes. Trust me, I’m a local.
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