Wollongong Series- Gigi’s

——-10/12/11——-

We were taking a risk when showing up to Gigi’s, the newest hot spot in town without a booking, but we figured it was 9pm and hopefully some tables had cleared out. When we got there we were informed that the restaurant had been fully booked out but they were able to squeeze us in- yay!

When I was browsing through the menu, I was torn between my love of seafood and my love of home made pasta but when my friend asked if I wanted to go halves in a seafood platter for two, I couldn’t say no, after all, it was her birthday weekend .

I agree! That would explain why I’m happy most of the time 

Very busy, even though we were seated at 9pm, there were still people coming in.

Table all prepped for our seafood platter for two! 

With almost an hour long wait for our food, we were offered complimentary warm bread with balsamic and olive oil from the kitchen. 

Finally! Our Seafood platter for two arrives!

Venetian Hot and Cold Seafood Fritto Mistosalt and pepper squid, Spanish mussels cooked in a bianco sauce, rosemary grilled Australian king prawns, fish of the day (local John Dory), Crystal bay king prawns, Tasmanian smoked salmon on a celeriac remoulade and Balmain bugs in a citrus dressing ($78.00).

Where to begin? Clockwise from the top left hand corner maybe. Salt and pepper squid was very tasty with a ‘not too over the top’ batter and non chewy squid, you can’t go wrong. The John Dory was a nice light fresh fish. The rosemary grilled Australian king prawns was so fresh, sweet and delicious! Crystal bay king prawns– I’m pretty sure I ate most of these but I was “helping” my friend because she was getting full. Balmain bugs- very fresh and truely delicious. Tasmanian smoked salmon on a celeriac remoulade- probably my least favourite thing on the platter only because I didn’t find the salmon salty enough. Spanish mussels cooked in a bianco sauce- I’m not the biggest fan of mussels so I was hesitant to try one, but oh my! They fast became my favourite thing on the platter, they were well cooked and I even dipped my bread into the sauce to savour the flavour.

Chicken breast involtini saltimboccawith polenta parmesan and sage mash, served with muscatel butter and sage sauce ($19.50). Nice, lots of flavour but a bit too rich, my friend had to order some extra bread.

Fettuccinewith red wine slowly braised beef ragu, shaved parmesan and orange gremolata ($18.90). With fresh home made pasta this was definitely better than your average Italian restaurant! The beef was very tender and melted in your mouth.

Dark chocolate & hazelnut tortinawith warm ganache, vanilla ice-cream & pistachio nut praline ($8.50) When 3 out of 4 people order one type of dessert (they weren’t going to share     ), you better hope that it was good. Luckily the chefs did no disappoint, one my friends said ‘that it was to die for’. For me personally, it was too rich, one bite had me on a sugar high for a while but I did appreciate the warm soft moist cake.

Vanilla bean white chocolate panna cottawith peach liquor & blueberry compote & biscotti  ($8.50) Not an overly sweet dessert, this suited me to a ‘T’. The blueberry compote was delicious and was sweet enough to compliment the panna cotta. I couldn’t taste the white chocolate but it had a nice wobbly texture.

When we went, Gigi’s had only been open for a month. Since following them on FaceBook it looks like they have a lot planned for this venue including live music on Sundays and updating their menu. I have high hopes for this restaurant and can’t wait to go back and eat more fresh seafood.

Venue: Gigi’s restaurant and bar

Address: 22 Market Street, Wollongong, NSW, 2500

Opening hours: The restaurant is open from 7am till late, seven days a week.

Gigi's on Urbanspoon

Wollongong Series- Diggin it @ Diggies

——-10/12/2011——-

We made a quick trip to the ‘Gong’ to visit a friend for her birthday. The night before she made us a delicious roast with all the trimmings (yes she cooked for us even though it was her  birthday weekend – she loves us that much!). The next morning we thought we’d try our luck at our favourite (and often busy) brunch place by the beach, lucky for us there was only a short wait!

Welcome to Diggies, a favourite cafe for the locals with a gorgeous view of North beach!

I thought even their chalkboard signs were really cute!

A lot of cyclists come by to get their morning coffee hit, but now with the upgrade of the surf club it’s harder to cycle through the area with all the construction.

Although it’s spacious on the inside and out, there still never seems to be enough room and therefore always a line up for Diggies.

Diggies– prime location, right by the beach!

For those who weren’t ordering coffee to kick start their motor indulged in a ‘sunkissed’ juiceorange, pineapple and strawberry ($6.50). So delicious and worth ordering!

Ricotta hotcakeswith fresh strawberries and sweet ricotta ($18.00)  I tried some as this was my (very close) second choice and I could have easily finished the whole thing , it was incredible! My friend ordered it without maple syrup but the ricotta is sweet enough that you don’t need it. 

 

Bennipoached eggs set on sourdough with smoked ham, spinach and hollandaise ($17.00) My local friend said that the serving sizes had shrunk a bit but the quality of food is still the same. 

Big one (sorry, no alterations) bacon, two eggs, diggies house sausage, spiced chats and grilled mushrooms on turkish bread. ($20.00) When this was placed in front of me, I thought to myself- ‘how am I going to finish this?’, apparently I had no trouble at all  I asked for tomato sauce for my egg and sausages- yum!

 

Despite the shrunken menu and increased prices since I’ve last been, this will always be one of my favourite places to dine for brunch on a weekend morning while I’m in Wollongong, although I’m always open to new places! My friend said she’ll take me somewhere with awesome mango smoothies next time- I can’t wait!

Venue: Diggies

Address: 1 Cliff Road, Wollongong, NSW 2500

Phone: (02) 4226 2688

Websitehttp://www.diggies.com.au/

Diggies on Urbanspoon