It was the perfect mini vacation - sunshine, whale watching, the beach, bikinis and the tranquil sounds of the ocean. All of this relaxing sure can work up an appetite, so in search of the best beachside café we went, and find it we did!
We had just spent the long weekend in Hervey Bay and decided on having lunch at EAT@DAN & STEPH'S before the drive back to the big smoke. I’m not sure how many times I could say in one post how awesome this place is without sounding just a little ridiculous, however I'll give it a try.
First, let’s digress a little - Hervey Bay still has that vibe that I remember from my last visit over 20 years ago - 'small town, beautiful beach and we’ve got all the time in the world to relax and enjoy it'! It feels like the world has stood still and nothing has changed. If you come to Hervey Bay, you come here to throw on your swimwear and soak up the glorious sunshine at the beach, walk the almost 1km long Urangan Pier and of course watch the majestic beauty of whales as they migrate through this little piece of paradise each year – but that is for another post – and if I may say, doing all of those things is perfect! and it won't be another 20 years before we come back to visit!
Along the Esplanade just slightly out of the hustle and bustle you will find EAT@DAN & STEPH’S. We were welcomed at the door by warm, friendly staff (which is always a plus) and settled with some nice cold water overlooking the beauty that is the Bay. The café has a relaxed and slightly rustic/urban feel that makes you feel at home. It truly is a fresh and vibrant addition to the Hervey Bay café scene with menu choices that change with the seasons, "There is so much beautiful fresh produce available and we change our menu regularly so we can create with the freshest and best there is." (Steph).
The view from EAT across to the bay
Inside the café
The hubby decided on one of the daily specials – Zucchini Flowers stuffed with Chicken, Corn & Bacon nestled on a bed of Nasi Goreng and topped with Chilli & Baby Herb Salad. As is mandatory when eating with one’s husband, I of course had to try his Nasi Goreng – and can I just say, I could have eaten a bowl (or two) of that alone – the flavor was divine! He was pretty happy with the stuffed zucchini flowers too (and trust me, he would say otherwise if it was not up to par) - awesome.
Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
I choose the Lentil Salad with green puy lentils, sultanas, candied walnuts, beautiful fresh greens and a light scattering of thin candied lemon strips (which are made on the premises to make them even better!) Outside of all day breaky style items, there was not a vast choice on the menu if you are vegetarian, however having said that, with a dish like this one you don’t need extra choices because there was a serious vegetarian orgy going on in my mouth! Fresh, bursting with flavor and the protein in those lentils certainly didn’t leave me feeling unfulfilled - and according to my taste buds, it was pretty awesome.
It was lovely to meet Steph in person. Unfortunately Dan was AWOL, but he was out doing his bit at a charity golf day, so we think that’s ok. These guys do a bit for charity which is really great. They recently held a Chilli eating competition to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis which was a huge success and it sounds like the plans for the annual competition are going to be even bigger and better next year. So if you’re game to try eating a 'teeny' bit of chilli for a good cause, you know where to head!
Kezini and One half of the team that is Dan & Steph
So to wrap up - atmosphere was awesome, service was awesome, food was awesome, this place is simply awesome! So next time you are in Hervey Bay, do yourself a favour and
Dan & Steph Mulheron are the 2013 Winners of My Kitchen Rules and have since been living their dream of having their own little café in their hometown of Hervey Bay and starting a little family of what we think, just quietly, will be awesome little bakers and cooks too!
To catch up with everything going on at EAT AT DAN & STEPHS head to their website @ http://danandsteph.com.au
Don't keep it a secret, where's your favourite beachside café that we just have to know about?