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Of Beer, Barra and Blokes

Down Under is no longer down under. The Aussies are a boisterous lot: guzzling beer by the mugful and forking char-grilled barramundi with gusto.

The most treasured part of the Continent is the Gold Coast, the Aztec stretch along the sea in the Sunshine State of Queensland. Throbbing with tourist activity, it is packed with unparalleled beach resorts and kerbside cafes, Surfer’s Paradise is the focal point of Gold Coast and is pulsating till the wee hours of morning owing to the spate of nightclubs and adult shops in the area. A fantastic surfer’s getaway, Surfer’s Paradise offers all: from sprawling beaches bushwalking, hiking, absailing, feasting on barra (aka barramundi) and four wheel drives to surfing, swimming or just sunbathing on the beach.

Down Under is no longer down under. The Aussies are a boisterous lot: guzzling beer by the mugful and forking char-grilled barra with gusto

Here Hungry Jack’s, the Oz avtaar of America’s Burger King, is the ‘Home of The Whopper and the Double Whopper’. It offers the most succulent Aussie burgers. A must-have for all beef-lovers. A generously thick fresh beef patty, with a slice of bacon, ham, cheese, lettuce, beet, onion rings and juicy tomato: hot off the electric plate, with crisp golden fries is a mouthwatering combination. (Mackers nee McDonalds, and KFC come nowhere close) At Surfer’s you can lick the best smoothies scooped out at New Zealand and Copenhagen ice cream bars. A sinful caramel chocolate and banana freeze with crushed almonds or grated Macadamia is your coolest bet. The Macadamia nut is the only native Australian bushfood which has gained international recognition, with plantations across the world.

A popular alternative to burgers are the Spuds. This curious culinary delight prepared using potatoes is available only at Australia Fair, one of the largest malls along Gold Coast. A huge boiled potato (minus its jacket) is punched in the centre to create a groove. Dollops of mayonnaise, diced sausages, chunks of bacon and ham, croutons and crunchy salad is tossed up and added. You can choose your own dressing: from ranch salad to barbeque sauce. The result is mouthwatering. So much for Aussie snacks.

Conrad Jupiters, Broadbeach Island along Gold Coast is the swankiest entertainment complex in this part of the country. Its Chinese Restaurant ‘Zen’ employs the finest Cantonese, Schezwan and Peking flavours to serve up the most authentic Chinese cuisine in Queensland. Highly recommended is the tangy sweet corn soup with crab meat. Zen’s specialty is the Peking duck rolled in maida batter, the finest barra and Schezwan chicken and chicken fried rice with tomato. Venison in plum sauce is slightly chewy though. Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay blends well as an accompaniment. Diced watermelon is served after dinner to egg your digestive enzymes, whether or not you are able to make space for dessert. And an after-dinner exploration lets you discover Jupiters Casino, which offers two floors of gaming action with over 80 table games and 1100 gaming machines. With a wide range of other eateries, nine bars and Shows at Jupiters Theatre, this hotspot is a must-visit. You will need formal attire, though.

Shilpi Madan for Upper Crust

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