The Courier-Mail - QWeekend
Smooth start to the day
From arrival to departure, the experience is one to remember at this genial Gold Coast cafe
There’s nothing like a cheery “hello” to set the mood for a great cafe experience. While it should be hospitality 101, it’s often sadly missing at many casual eateries, but at the recently opened Espresso Moto at Mermaid Waters on the Gold Coast, warm and genuine salutations are a priority.
In fact, the convivial staff is eager to interact with diners, taking care of their pets with bowls of water and welcoming pats, and providing advice in navigating the diverse menu accessed via a QR code on the table.
The genial spirit is no doubt influenced by experience, with the new Mermaid Waters venture a sister operation to the cafe’s hugely successful Palm Beach location.
Both venues share the same contemporary all-day breakfast offering, with a couple of burgers and a salad added at lunchtime.
For those in a hurry, there’s the easy bacon and egg roll or an acai bowl, with more interesting items like banoffee pancakes, a breakfast bao and their version of avo on toast – a mash of avocado, edamame and peas alongside pumpkin hummus, spinach, beetroot and wasabi peas on sourdough – for patrons keen to make it a dine-in experience.
And it’s worth lingering a while. Despite the industrial-themed cafe’s location in a small suburban shopping centre surrounded by a carpark and busy intersection, there’s a jovial and spirited vibe to the place led by a pumping soundtrack that switches from the likes of Dionne Warwick’s
Walk On By to Mariah Carey’s
With its distinct sweet-sour flavour, tamarind works wonders to give pork a punch of flavour. The best thing about it is you can now find tamarind at all supermarkets. This wonder ingredient combined with honey and soy sauce is all you need to make finger-licking ribs.
Preheat the oven to 160C.
In a bowl, combine the honey, tamarind puree, soy sauce and 250ml (1 cup) of water.
Place the ribs in a single layer in a large baking dish and pour the tamarind mixture over the top. Cover the dish with a piece of baking paper, then tightly cover with two sheets of foil. Roast the ribs for 2 hours, or until the meat is almost falling away from the bones. Ideally, you want the ribs to still hold their shape so they can be easily portioned.
Remove the ribs from the cooking liquid and carefully transfer to a tray. Cool for 10-15 minutes.
Pour the cooking liquid into a large saucepan, place over medium-low heat and cook for 8-10 minutes until just starting to thicken and become slightly sticky.
Preheat the oven grill on high. Using a
spoon or brush, baste and turn the ribs to glaze all over, then grill for 10-15 minutes, carefully turning halfway, until sticky and glistening.
Meanwhile, place the shallot, juice of half a lime and a pinch of salt in a bowl, roughly stir to macerate, then stand to pickle for 5 mins.
Place the ribs on a platter, sprinkle over the pickled shallot and toasted coconut and scatter on the herbs. Cut the remaining lime half into wedges and serve alongside.
Slow cooker method
Follow step 2.
Cut the ribs in half to fit into the slow cooker; they will overlap but this is fine. Pour the tamarind mixture over the ribs. Place a cartouche (a piece of baking paper cut to fit the dish) on top, then cover with the lid. Cook on high for 4-5 hours until the meat is almost falling away from the bones.
Follow steps 4-8.