On one of the days that K and I left our romantic honeymoon retreat to explore the local area, we drove up through Chillingham in Northern NSW, into the Numinbah Valley in Queensland, before heading on through to Advancetown and Mount Tamborine. It was quite a bit of a drive, and we spent quite a few hours in the car, stopping off for ten minutes here and there as we saw something interesting. K in particular liked spending time inspecting Hinze Dam as he’s a designer by trade, and engineer in training.
By 2pm though, I was getting quite hangry so we pulled into one of the first places we drove past on Mt Tamborine. It just happened to be the Polish Place on Mt Tamborine, a quaint looking little building with amazing views over the valley. Luckily, I’m always in the mood for pierogi!
We ducked our heads into the kitschy decorated restaurant itself, only to find it deserted as we had missed the main lunchtime rush. Anyone still lingering around at 2pm were taking advantage of the excellent weather and the view, and sitting outside on their many courtyard tables.
We did the same and well…the view is breathtaking. Honestly, it kind of speaks for itself, and we were happy to simply sit and relax after a long drive. There’s nothing quite like sipping on a cold drink with a great view in front you.
We ordered two dishes to share, and the first came out a bit earlier – a Polish Spring Salad. I loved the salad – equal parts sweet fruit and crunchy veggies, dressed with fresh dill, it was a really light and refreshing meal…though I was confused by the inclusion of the slices of Jarlsberg cheese and the Vienna sausage as it seemed quite out of place. Perhaps it would have made more sense if it had been cubed and mixed into the salad, rather than just served on the side?
The meat and herb pierogi came drenched in a layer of bacon and onion which completely hid the Polish dumplings underneath. Unfortunately, the pierogi weren’t quite to my taste – I found the dumpling skin too thick, and the pulled pork inside too dry. I also found it alarming that there was a thick layer of oil left at the bottom of the plate after we finished eating. Perhaps I’m just too used to Chinese style dumplings with their thin skins and juicy soup insides, and I can’t properly judge these pierogi on their own merits?
Still, though the food wasn’t quite to my own taste, it’s probably more a reflection of my unfamiliarity with Eastern European cuisine than anything else…especially as 85% of people on Urbanspoon seem to like Polish Place!
Rather than staying at the Polish Place for dessert, we decided to drive onto the main road on Mt Tamborine for dessert. There’s many dessert places there (a fudge place stands out in my mind), but we decided to stop into Le Chile Cafe for our dessert fix that day.
Marketed as a South American style cafe, it’s attached to a gift shop that sells lots of hand-made crafts both from Chile, and local artisans. I had a bit of a poke around, but as I’m currently in a decluttering phase, I decided not to make any purchases.
What I never say no to though, is dessert! K ordered a latte to help combat his mid-afternoon sleepy period, but found it too milky and wished that he’d ordered his usual cappuccino instead. I ordered a scoop of burnt caramel ice-cream, which was just delectable – an interesting mix of sweet and bitter at the same time. The orange cake was less impressive – though marketed as being home-made every day, a corner of the cake was actually covered with mould and we soon put it to one side.
I don’t think I’m a particularly discerning consumer – I like food in general, and don’t tend to get hung up on minor details. However, if there ever was going to be a deal breaker for me, it’s mould or bugs in my food. I just don’t deal well with it, and for that reason alone, we will probably never go back to Le Chile Cafe.