On the Saturday, of this year’s Australia Day long weekend, I went to Alfie’s Mooo Char & Bar with my daughters and my eldest daughter’s boyfriend. We had planned this lunch since before Christmas 2017.
Who is Alfie?
If you’re not from Queensland or New South Wales (NSW) you may not know Alfie. Alfie is Allan Langer, and in my opinion the greatest rugby league halfback ever. Alfie played for the Brisbane Broncos, the XXXX Queensland Maroons, and the Australian Kangaroos. While small in stature for a modern elite athlete, his tenacity, skill, game intelligence and ability to read the field of play made him both exciting and dangerous if you were an opposing cockroach.
After Alfie retired from the National Rugby League (NRL) competition, he went on to play in the English super league. While he was there, Mr Wayne Bennett) was coaching the mighty XXXX Queensland Maroons and in 2001 during the State of Origin series, for the third and deciding match he called Alfie back to wear the Maroon jersey. Despite criticism and laughs of derision from cockroaches and cockroach lovers, Alfie set up two tries and scored one of the most brilliant tries of Origin history. While critics south of the border said he was too old and unfit to play Origin, Alfie inspired the team and Queensland won the series that year.
Watch this YouTube video from about the 6 minutes 25 seconds mark through to 7 minutes 20 seconds to see THAT try.
The restaurant is located on the corner of The Esplanade and Otranto Avenue, Bulcock Beach, Caloundra QLD 4551. Its website is simply http://www.alfies.net.au/ You can call to make a booking on +61 7 5492 8155.
For more information, you can go to Google maps. This site also has reviews and photographs.
My parents and brothers have eaten at Alfie’s many times and Dad has told me how he has even met Alfie who is often there and serving drinks at the bar. Apparently, he’ll walk around and chat with diners. Alfie wasn’t there on the day that we enjoyed our meal, I’m hoping to visit again for an opportunity to meet the man.
The menu was as expected a food lovers paradise ranging from light and easy through to substantial meaty monuments to magnificent muscle.
My youngest daughter chose an Alfie Burger which she said was delicious and being in Queensland, it had beetroot and pineapple. These two elements are the sine qua non for a Queensland burger. In my mind, the only thing that could make it better would be a fried egg.
It looked like they both enjoyed their fish and chips.
My middle daughter and I agreed we would share a hot and cold seafood platter. This particular daughter and I have a very strong bond with food. She is a talented cake maker and cake decorator and she’s working in the food industry at the moment.
This platter was pretty good and it didn’t take us long to polish it off. The only thing that could have been improved would have been the crab. I think I’ve been spoilt with experiences with Top End mud crabs and imported King crab. The humble spanner crab isn’t quite the same. In some ways, a sand crab would be been nice. We agreed, the next time we might go for a cold platter with a side of the oysters Kilpatrick.
Everything tasted fresh and the oysters were plump and the prawns were firm. The deep-fried treats were very tasty and not over seasoned. The accompanying dipping sauces were also very good. The house tartare was great and next time I might ask for an extra dish of that.
My daughter and I were very satisfied with our choice and we felt like we had eaten well.
If you’re interested in what the damage was, check out the online menu for all the details.
Fish and fat chips, summer salad, house tartare, lemon.
Alfie’s hot and cold seafood platter
1 spanner crab, 6 fresh Mooloolaba king prawns, 1 Moreton Bay bug, 6 natural oysters, 6 pieces of crumbed fish, 6 tempura king prawns, 6 Kilpatrick oysters, salt and pepper calamari and served with a Queensland nut and toasted coconut salad, tartare sauce, seafood sauce, fat chips, and lemon.
I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch with my daughters. The restaurant is well positioned so you can see the water. The sea breeze keeps everything cool. The wait staff are friendly and attentive to diners. Gratefully they didn’t clear plates before everyone was finished.
Once ordered, the food came out in a good amount of time, not too soon and we didn’t feel like we were left waiting too long. The food itself is well presented, fresh and delicious.
I’d happily return for another meal and I have no hesitation to recommend Alfie’s Mooo Bar & Char to others.
I reckon after a lunch, it’s worth going for a walk and enjoying an ice cream by the beach.
Anchor note For those not familiar with the finer points of rugby league, a cockroach is a player from NSW. So named by Barry Muir. Barry was one of Australia’s greatest 100 players of the greatest game of all.
The Australian lamb industry over many years has endeavoured to socially engineer Australians into thinking the best meat element of a meal to serve on Australia is lamb. I love lamb, and I’ve certainly indulged in the heady heights of commercial supplication in years gone by. This year was different. Not because I was protesting the idea of lamb on Australia Day, no, it just didn’t happen. True story.
Where the bloody hell was I on Australia Day?
Yea, I know, when a sentence starts, “Where the bloody hell…?” You’re thinking Lara Bingle, and let’s face it, my face and body are just about as far removed from an image of Lara’s as you can imagine. I mean, who’d want to look like Lara, when you could look like me 😂🤣
For readers who aren’t Australian, this is what we call, “taking the piss”. You may find this post is a little more strine that normal. No apologies cobber, Straya day comes but once a year, which for every one else, means annually. 💚💛🇦🇺
Rather than baking in the hot dry heat of Canberra, I was lapping up the warmth and humidity of Brisbane. My vulgar ichthyoid skin was drinking in the sweet sultry nectar of balmy Brisbane. I was like a lizard sunning itself on a rock next to a hot misty billabong. I was happier than a pig in mud.
I was visiting my parents and children. In my other blog, viz., My Thoughts and Stuff, you may have read how I’ve had a sick relative who was diagnosed with bowel carcinoma and then had quite awful post-operative complications involving intensive care. I’m happy to report that my formerly sick relative is well on the road to recovery now.
So what did Yummy Lummy eat on Australia Day 2018?
I promise we’ll get to a recipe, but this post needs a little padding.
I enjoyed the breakfast of champions, or at least the breakfast of those wishing to shed some kilograms.
Scrambled eggs made with butter and seasoned with iodised salt and dried mixed herbs
My cousin and her husband were also visiting Brisvegas and they joined me, my parents and my children for lunch at Kinn + Derm Chermside. I like this particular cousin. She’s a fairly direct person and says what she thinks. No mucking around with her.
There were seven of us so we looked through the menu and asked for enough dishes to feed us all. A regular theme when I’m out with family at restaurants, is just how well Lums can eat. This meal was no exception. We asked for chicken pad Thai, basil beef and chilli with an egg, massaman beef, red duck curry, crispy pork belly, green paw paw salad, soft shelled crab with sweet chilli jam and extra soft shelled crab in a curry sauce. There was also another chicken dish but I can’t remember what it was. See what happened there? Beef, pork, chicken, duck, and crab but no lamb. It wasn’t intentional. It just happened. As far as I’m concerned, eating Thai on a Australia Day is a great thing to do, especially for dinkum Australians like the Lum family.
My first of many plates, yea, it’s all brown but the plate contained a heap of different flavours. We were in the back in the dark, so the lighting isn’t great.
Fair shake of the sauce bottle, stop yer whingin’ about the poor photography…
I rarely cook for anyone else and truth be told, I am very shy and nervous about cooking for others. I know it seems odd, but no one will ever get invited to the one bedroom flat I rent for a meal. It’s just too stressful. I’m also messy and I’m embarrassed by my mess.
Cooking for family though is different. I feel relaxed in the kitchen when I’m with family and it’s a good feeling when I have one of my children standing next to me and we’re chatting and doing knife work together.
For Australia Day dinner, I originally thought I’d do something simple like baked salmon and salad, but then on Friday morning, I noticed the fish shop at Westfield Chermside was open for business so I asked about their Moreton Bay bugs (Thenus orientalis). I bought four small bugs for $20. That meant I didn’t need to buy as much salmon.
My plan was to crust the salmon with poppy and sesame seeds to make it look like a Lamington which is an iconic Australian cake. I’d stir-fry a whole heap of kale slaw and flavour it with horseradish cream. I’d refrain from adding bird’s eye chillies because my mother isn’t too keen on very spicy food at the moment, so I got some hot chilli flakes so I could garnish individual dishes at the end.
Mum suggested for dessert we have some Cornettos. I chose the flavour. What could be more Australia Day than Golden Gaytime Gaynettos?
Australia Day Poppy and Sesame seed crusted salmon and Moreton Bay bug salad
Australia Day Poppy and Sesame seed crusted (Lammy) salmon and Moreton Bay bug salad was a winning combination for a sultry evening in balmy Brisbane on Friday night.
Author: Gary Lum
4Cooked Moreton Bay bugsThenus orientalis aka slipper lobster
3Tasmanian Atlantic salmon fillets each cut in half
Dried hot chilli flakes
2packetsKale slaw with sesame and pumpkin seeds
1tablespoonSour creamto cut the bite of the horseradish cream
1splash Olive oil
Remove the shell from the tail of the Moreton Bay bugs, slice them sagittally and the make transverse cuts to give you large dices of tail muscle.
Put the Moreton Bay bug meat into a bowl with the quartered lime in the refrigerator.
Slice the salmon fillets in half so from the three original pieces you end up with six.
Place them in a plastic bag and add the splash of olive oil. Then gently massage the oil onto all the out surfaces of the salmon.
On a sheet of baking paper, pour half a cup of sesame seeds and half a cup of poppy seeds. Stick your finger into it and mix so you get a good mix of the two seed types on the paper.
Remove one piece of salmon and carefully coat the outer surface with the poppy and sesame seeds and then place the coated salmon onto a piece of baking paper which is on a baking tray. Repeat the process for all the pieces of salmon.
Bake the salmon at 250 °C for 15 minutes.
While the salmon is cooking, get a large frying pan hot and them melt the butter.
When the butter begins to foam and turn brown, add the kale slaw and with chop sticks stir-fry until the kale has wilted. Remove the frying pan from the heat and transfer the slaw into a large salad bowl and stir in the horseradish cream and sour cream.
After the salmon has baked, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
As the salmon is resting, stir in the avocado through the stir-fried kale slaw. Add the juice from half a lime.
At this stage, you could also fold in the pieces of Moreton Bay bug to give your guests some nice flavour bombs in the salad. I elected to add my bug meat on top of the salad for the visual appeal.
Serve the salad onto a plate. Garnish it with dried hot chilli flakes if you know it’s safe for that person.
Place the bug meat on top of the salad.
Alongside the salad place a piece of poppy and sesame seed crusted salmon.
Shoot a photograph and then eat, savour and enjoy your 2018 Australia Day dinner.
I do not take the time or make the effort to work out the energy content of the food I cook. I default all my recipes to 500 Calories (that is, 500,000 calories). In my mind counting calories is not how I want to live.
Moreton Bay bugs
Dinner is served
Dessert is a Golden Gaytime Gaynetto
Questions and answers
It’s bloody Australia Day, where the bloody hell is the lamb?
Struth mate, just because some Aussie Rules buffoon of yesteryear gets on the bloody box and makes a few jokes at the expense of the less well off, that is, Australians not blessed to have been born in the greatest nation on earth, there’s no reason to get ya knickers in a knot.
I love lamb, I love mutton flaps, I like lambs fry and crumbed lamb’s brains in a delicate white sauce with onions, but just because it’s Australia Day doesn’t mean I have to bend to some commercial pressure to eat a baby sheep.
Will you ever cook for someone who isn’t in the Yummy Lummy family?
Nup, never. It’s not happening. I’m too shy to have people around. I get nervous just thinking about cooking for someone else. What if she doesn’t like what I cook? What if she spits it out? Too much pressure.
Sure I love to cook. Cooking is therapeutic for me. I prefer to enjoy my therapy alone and share it later online.
When will you have lamb?
Dunno mate. I might try those Vegemite lamb snags that Coles is spruiking. They look interesting and I mean mate, Vegemite is tops.
You look like a Chinaman, what’s with the Strine?
Bloody oath. I’m fifth generation. On my Mum’s side (Dad’s family is Chinese too but they come from Fiji), the family came out from China looking for gold in God’s own, that is, Queensland. They found a bit I reckon and then they owned and worked on sugar cane farms around Bundy (aka Bundaberg). After that, they moved to Sydney for some import/export work but when the Japs got into Sydney Harbour they moved to Texas (no not Texas in the US you drongo, the great Queensland town of Texas near the Cockroach, erm, NSW border). After that they owned and cooked in Chinese restaurants cooking chop suey for all the unsuspecting gwai lo truckies at the Rocklea truck stop. The Golden Pagoda was the name, but it got destroyed by the 1974 Brisbane floods.
Okay, I’ve had a bit of fun with this post. Australia Day is an important food holiday and being an Australian, I’ve taken a few language liberties. Yummy Lummy will be back to normal next post.
Anchor Note for young readers, I didn’t write a “steamy billabong” because I’m also pedantic, and steam, is an invisible gas. It’s the gaseous phase of water when water is boiled to 100 °C (that’s Celsius and not Centrigrade) at STP. That’s standard temperature and pressure and not sticky toilet paper.
We had a booking for noon because basically the Lums don’t like to wait too long to eat. On the drive (we had a convoy of three cars), I had a niece with me and she said she was a real Lum because she preferred meat and fish and dessert over vegetables.
We get to the restaurant and Dr47 tells me I’ve been here before but I can’t remember. Not long after, Mr42 arrives with his kids and we’re all seated at a long table with a water view. I find myself at the end with all the kids which isn’t a bad thing since I’m a big kid 🙂
Because we had decided we were also going to go out for dinner we all elected to enjoy a main course. The menu doesn’t have a huge selection but every item looks like a winner to me.
It’s been nearly a decade since I enjoyed a seafood platter (my favourites being at Crustaceans and Christos in Darwin). I was so excited when Miss17 said she’d like to try a platter with me. It was the second most beautiful thing I’d heard all weekend. The most beautiful was when Miss19 told me that when I visit in October she wants me to cook for her a meal like I used to when we lived in Darwin. I nearly cried.
Even though I had a camera with me I didn’t want to annoy everyone by capturing images of their food so I took a couple of ninja snaps.
Miss17 and I chose the Moreton Bay platter because it was a combination hot and cold creation and focussed on the local crustacean, Thenus orientalis, which is a slipper lobster and known locally as the Moreton Bay bug. In Cockroach territory (aka New South Wales) it’s known as a Balmain bug. Fittingly Dr47 described it to his Miss8 as the cockroach of the sea (not that that description would put her off eating it). I loved her description of calamari. She calls them Japanese chips (fries for my North American friends).
The Moreton Bay platter consists of Chilled Moreton Bay bugs, Florida lobster, Pacific oysters, and ocean prawns, with Grilled Coconut crumbed prawns, Moreton Bay bugs, half shell Queensland scallops with macadamia nut and lime butter, salt and pepper calamari (aka Japanese chips), and crumbed fish fillets.
It’s meant to be a platter for two but the quantities are not served evenly, so there is an odd number of oysters, bug tails and only one lobster tail. This could create a little tension, fortunately, I’ve learnt to be less macrophagic in my eating habits and so Miss17 and I made very equitable decisions on the division of the spoils.
After the mains were devoured a spectacular cake was produced. A white chocolate mud cake for Mum and Dad.
We all had a great time at lunch. The kids loved their meals and the setting was perfect. Brisbane turned on a beautiful day for Mum and Dad. They shared that on their wedding day it was brighter and more blue but a little colder in Brisbane. On that day the Beatles were playing in Brisbane and the Wallabies were playing the All Blacks. An uncle from New Zealand asked if he could skip the wedding party and attend the test match. So fifty years on and my parents have a family they love and in Mum’s words they’ll just take each year as it comes now.