Jamaica Blue

Eating Out : Jamaica Blue, Casuarina NT

We were due for another café breakfast and chose to visit some place close to home so we ventured to Casuarina Shopping Centre to break our fast at Jamaica Blue.  This franchise is run by an Australian company and has been around for about 20 years.  They take pride in serving great coffee and food made from locally sourced ingredients.  We hadn’t visited a Jamaica Blue outlet on our travels before and we thought this was the perfect time to do so.

 

We found a table that overlooked the food court below and ordered our coffee and breakfast.

 

 

Our first round of coffee was made with the signature blend.  It was smooth and easy to drink.  Juz was especially happy with her soy latte because Jamaica Blue now uses Australian Grown organic soy and to celebrate, they don’t charge for soy anymore!  Dave thoroughly enjoyed his macchiato.  It was nice and strong, with an acidic tang that was subdued with a sprinkle of sugar.

 

We both ended up ordering the same thing for breakfast – it just sounded too good.  A croissant topped with egg and bacon, and served with a side of hollandaise sauce.  Dave went with scrambled eggs while Juz got her eggs poached.  Everything was just divine, especially the hollandaise sauce, which was smooth and creamy with just enough tang.  The croissant was a bit decadent but the buttery flavour went well with everything.

 

The second round of coffee was two macchiatos made with Wallenford Estate Single Origin Mountain coffee.  This full-bodied coffee had an earthy smell and an intense and pungent flavour.  If you are a coffee connoisseur, then this brew will keep you busy.

 

This breakfast was probably one of the best we’ve had in a long time and we will definitely go back for another round.  The coffee is great and that hollandaise sauce – wow!

 

Jamaica Blue

 

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Ducks Nuts

Eating Out : Ducks Nuts Bar & Grill

If the breakfast at Ducks Nuts was anything like the name, it could potentially be our regular breakfast spot so we had to give it a go. When we arrived, it was so busy on the outdoor veranda that we were seated at a table deep inside and the blue-eyed waiter took our order for coffee.

 

Dave’s macchiato didn’t last long while Juz savoured her soy latte. Even though it had a thin head of foam, it was creamy and smooth with just the right amount of nuttiness and caramel flavours. One of the best coffees in Darwin.

 

Ducks Nuts

 

We ordered our food soon after and waited for it to arrive. We watched as the plethora of waiters and waitresses bustled about, collecting plates and delivering coffees, but we didn’t see many meals coming out. We ended up waiting about 20 minutes before a plate of food came out, and it was another 15 minutes before our breakfast arrived.

 

Dave’s Big Breakfast looked fairly standard. Two poached eggs with grilled tomato, sautéed mushrooms, hash browns and beans with some bacon and two slices of sourdough toast. While everything was fairly satisfactory, the beans tasted like they were fresh out of a can.

 

Ducks Nuts

 

Juz got the Eggs Benedict on a slice of sourdough toast instead of the typical muffin. It sat quite pretty on the plate with a decorative zig-zag of balsamic glaze to fill up the rest of the plate. The tangy hollandaise sauce and gooey poached eggs sat on bacon instead of ham and added even more richness to the plate. The balsamic glaze was a nice touch aesthetically and was also great to mop up with the bread.

 

Ducks Nuts

 

While the experience overall was good, the beans and long wait were quite disappointing. It would have also been nice to sit outside and people-watch instead of sitting inside next to the bar with the rows of spirits and liquors visible. There are some things you shouldn’t be exposed to at breakfast time. We’ll definitely be back for more coffee though!

 

Ducks Nuts Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

 

 

Fiddler's Green - the big breakfast!

Eating Out : Fiddler’s Green, Darwin NT

Juz had covertly planned a big weekend to celebrate five years together.  It included accommodation in the city, drinking craft beer and dinner at Fiddler’s Green.

 

When we arrived at the Waterfront, it was clear to see that the Irish pub was super busy.  Most of the tables inside and out were occupied but the hospitable host showed us to a table inside at the back.  As we considered the menu, Juz went to the bar for the first round of drinks.

 

She chose the Coopers Sparkling Ale for Dave because she remembered that he liked it a lot when we were at the brewery in Adelaide, while Juz settled for a bottle of mango beer from the Matso’s Brewery in Broome.  These went down a treat while we picked what we wanted.  Dave went with the scotch fillet cooked medium and topped with béarnaise while Juz got the chicken schnitzel special.

 

 

By the time our meals came out, it was time for another round.  Dave went up this time and got Juz a glass of refreshing pinot gris while he got a 500ml stubbie of Hobgoblin from the Wychwood Brewery in England.  This full-bodied ruby ale is rich with toffee and chocolate flavours with some mild bitterness and a gentle fizz.

 

Dave’s scotch fillet looked incredible, especially with the generous serving of béarnaise over the top.  He had asked for a medium steak and got a medium steak, which was immediately impressive.  It had a smoky, flame-grilled flavour, and the delicate béarnaise provided additional moisture and a little tang.  The chips were crisp but needed seasoning, and the salad was fresh and flavoursome with a creamy balsamic dressing.

 

Juz’s chicken schnitzel special was topped with tomato chipotle sauce, mushroom, bacon and cheese, served with a side of chips and salad.  While the tomato sauce tasted a little like BBQ sauce, everything else was thoroughly tasty.  The chicken schnitzel was a good size, cooked fresh, and the mushroom, bacon and cheese went really well together.

 

We were really impressed with the friendly, jolly atmosphere and the casual but proud staff.  When Juz asked the manager about the quality of the steaks, she received a response that was quite a surprise – that he trusted his cooks and the quality of the meat they used.  Dave’s steak proved this to be true.  We were convinced that this place had more to offer than average food and drink.

 

Two days later, we went back for breakfast.  Once again, a friendly host showed us to a table and we quickly chose to share an Irish Breakfast and an Eggs O’Benedict.  In the time it took for Juz to go to the bar for a bottle of water, our breakfast was on the table.

 

The Eggs O’Benedict was the typical muffin slices topped with poached egg, cooked ham and hollandaise sauce.  They nailed everything – freshly toasted muffin with gooey egg, savoury ham and subtly tangy hollandaise – and the microgreen garnish provided the perfect touch of alkalinity to break through everything.

 

 

The Irish Breakfast included bacon, fried egg, Texan toast, baked beans, black pudding, potato pancakes and a cooked tomato.  It looked like a typical big breakfast, except for the black pudding – which just looked like really dark sausage slices.  It tasted good, considering it’s made from blood, and the potato pancakes were just little hash browns flavoured with chives.

 

Despite all the good things about Fiddlers Green, the only disappointment was our coffee – Juz’s soy latte was weak and the milk was badly frothed, and Dave’s macchiato was watery and weak.  Other than that, the service, the décor and the food were all fantastic.

 

 

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