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New Year's Resolution

The neglected, grimy, outdoor service alley that ran down the side of the Paddock Restaurant was originally used by motel employees for sneaky cigarette breaks and waste disposal. When Ron brought me on board in late 2015 he showed me the space and explained his vision to transform it into a garden laneway with relaxed atmosphere and a more casual approach to food (compared to The Paddock). The first thing I said was "It sounds like the kind of place I’d find myself getting liquored, hanging out with mates and talking to women" to which Ron eagerly agreed. So, we did it!

We painted walls, planted gardens, rolled out turf, built furniture and Sarah created the food. We didn’t know for certain how this type of venue would be received in Cairns or if it was going to be economical in Westcourt. So we dipped our toes in and opened as a pop-up in Mid-2016. The response we received from Cairns locals that flocked to discover the city’s first laneway bar was phenomenal! After a few months of solid trade, we began hypothetical discussions of what we’d do if we were to do it again. Now, I’m here to announce to you that we’re diving in and Harvest is here to stay! However, we are making some adjustments to elevate Harvest.

Firstly, from next week (Mon 23rd Jan) we'll be opening Monday - Saturday from 5pm til late. These trading hours will also apply to The Paddock.

Secondly, we started with disposable cutlery and drinkware (as a lot of pop-ups do) so that if when we shut up shop we wouldn’t be left with boxes of used glasses and crockery that would go into storage to collect dust until our next endeavour. Now that we’ll be remaining open we’re getting rid of the disposables and upgrading to standard glassware for all of our spirits, beer and cocktails. The booze will taste better and you’ll feel like you’re at a bar drinking booze instead of feeling like you’re getting your morning takeaway coffee. While we’re on the subject of coffee; go check out Blackbird’s new wholesale warehouse at 205 Newell Street! Furthermore, duck across the road to Tattooed Sailor Coffee Roasters at 176 Newell Street! Thank us later. Now where was I? In addition to the glassware; I’ve sourced new spirits from distilleries from all corners of the country. The team will be mixing my new menu of boozy vintage and classic cocktails!

Thirdly, the wet season is here. While it’s great for all of the plants in our vertical garden, it’s bad for the majority of people who want to join us to wet their whistle and eat our mouth-watering food. To counter this issue we are refurbishing the foyer in The Paddock Bar. Harvest patrons will be able to access the currently underutilised and air-conditioned small bar space as well as the sheltered veranda along the front of the restaurant. Fresh coats of paint will be applied, small plants scattered throughout, lighting adjusted and furnished with high bars & stools. The atmosphere of the room will be similar to an intimate and cosy small bar. For the laneway, industrial fans will be in place to counter the evening humidity.

Finally, while we think we’ve made some pretty delicious burgers that are easy to make, we’ve also come to the realisation that we just don’t get a lot of joy out of making them. So, we’re going to leave them up to the dedicated burger joints around town. Ron and Sarah decided that they wanted to move our food in a different direction with a new style of cuisine that still utilises our sustainable and ethical Australian produce with a focus on quality meat. Mexican food has fresh flavours, citrus, spice and textures. It’s wholesome, hearty and tasty finger food that you can enjoy with family, friends and beers. Sarah and her team will be cooking up her interpretation of tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas and more with smaller accompaniments. This food menu will also be available to take away! You’ll be able to place an order, collect it from the laneway and head on home to Netflix and chill.

There you have it! The pop-up is settling in as a Mexican eatery with sustainable and ethical Australian produce. Craft beer, wine and liquor will be served in glassware. Boozy and vintage cocktails will be mixed up. Rain can’t shut us down. Come on down and enjoy the Harvest Barbeque this final weekend until we change to the new Harvest Mexican on Monday. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for further details on food & drink menus and much more!

Happy days,
Matthew Bonasia

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Year in review

Welcome to our first blog of 2017. We haven’t written to you for some time now because our team has been focused on the operations of our pop-up garden laneway Harvest Barbeque and our provincial produce-rooted restaurant The Paddock.

We’ve been occupied taking care of the astonishing number of guests that have come through our doors. Frequently, The Paddock has been fully booked as well as hosting more of our Farmers Table Experience menus exclusively for large groups than in years past. Our team expanded. Our head chef Sarah brought in a couple of chefs to support her with kitchen operation and in continuing to creating wholesome and rustic food for Cairns. I established a dedicated front-of-house team who provide exceptional service and share our message of quality Australian food and drinks with our guests.

We faced some challenges too. Some of our suppliers for both fresh produce and liquor struggled to keep up with the demands of our growing restaurant. The quality expected by our team was not being met by some suppliers who we’ve had to break up with. This meant we went on the hunt for younger, hotter and more satisfying suppliers to jump into bed with. All jokes aside, we’ve had to adapt and alter our plans but have managed to stay true to what Ron, Sarah and I want to achieve.

We’re very excited for 2017. We feel like our feet are firmly planted on the ground and we’re ready to take the next step. With that said, I’ll be writing a number of blogs for you that will expand on our fast approaching upcoming plans regarding The Paddock Restaurant and Harvest. Keep an eye out here on the website or on our Facebook pages for the exclusive goss.

 

I'll leave you with a few before and after snapshots of our laneway transformation during 2016

Happy days,

Matthew Bonasia

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HARVEST BAR-B-QUE

Welcome to another edition of ‘In The Paddock’! Life at The Paddock Restaurant and Bar has been exciting and we’ve enjoyed your company! Most nights of service are fully booked which makes us smile more than the smell of smoking meats and a craft beer being opened after a week of hard work. (hint hint). We’ve had a great response from you regarding our new desserts, especially the Starward single malt whisky & white chocolate cheesecake, which I mentioned in our previous blog ‘Sweet beginnings’! To avoid disappointment and to ensure that you and your guests get a table please go to our reservations tab and make a booking with our Open Table system. If you have any issues then please don’t hesitate to give our team a call on (07) 4031 0100 and we’ll make this easier for you. Now that the formalities are out of the way; let’s get stuck into the fun stuff!

Over the past few months Ron, Liam, Sarah and I have been working hard behind the scenes (brick wall) of Paddock Restaurant and Bar on an exciting new project. Thus far we have only mentioned it to a select few of our loyal guests, friends and family.

Now it’s finally time for us to let you in on our little secret!

Harvest Bar-B-Que is our new event. A seasonal weekend pop-up bar which is located in our garden laneway adjoining The Paddock Restaurant and Bar. Harvest will be open from 3pm on Friday afternoons; just in time for you to run away from work and let your hair down, or kick off your weekend vibes. On weekends we’ll open from 12pm for lunch through to dinner until around 10pm. Ping pong anyone?

The laneway has come a long way since we began the garden transformation. We’ve rolled our turf; hung the herb gardens along the styled brick walls; and filled the cosy space with daybeds, trendy décor and a tournament ping pong table.  Want to challenge your mates to a ping pong competition and gain ultimate bragging rights after a sneaky craft beer or five? As the evening progresses, the laneway is illuminated with dimly lit hanging lights making it a perfect spot for an intimate (tinder) date, a few post-work bevvies, or a session with friends. There is plenty of parking for our guests, so leave your car overnight and join us for a ‘day after’ hangover (feed) and an all-important regroup on previous nights adventures. An array of different styles of music will sound and we will welcome local talent to play their beats. Harvest will have a relaxed and vibrant atmosphere for you and your squad/fam to gather, socialise, drink and eat. Simple!

Harvest will serve casual eats and drinks from the hole-in-the-wall style service area. We’re taking a laidback approach to food and service compared to Paddock Restaurant and Bar. We will offer the same signature top quality, sustainable and ethical produce from Aussie farms that we have been renowned for offering. Smoked meat eats such as brisket, pork collar butt and beef short ribs will be available, along-side burgers and side options such as mac & cheese, slaw and refried beans. There are plenty of options to create larger meals or a selection of nibbles for a group to share. All napkins, cutlery and cups are sourced from a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved manufacturer, which continues to enforce our social responsibility to be as environmentally-friendly as possible. The disposable serving-ware is made in a factory that is carbon neutral and a % of their profit is donated to particular conservation groups that are decreasing deforestation – lets us help out where we can. Harvest will have hip hops (cool craft beer) served on tap (Thanks Mountain Goat!) with classic & vintage cocktails utilizing award-winning Australian liquor. All of the boozy cocktails will be served tall and over ice in unique art series cups designed by artists from across the country.

We’re close to opening the gates for the first time and our team can’t wait for you to join us for a bevy and a feed! Stay in the loop with our events and opening dates on our Harvest Facebook page! Share it with your friends and family and don’t be shy in giving me (Matty) or the guy with the ginger beard (Ron) a high five when you arrive. In the meantime, we hope to see you at Paddock Restaurant and Bar!

Happy days,

Matty Bonasia

P.S: If you want to challenge Ron and I to a round of ping pong doubles then send Harvest a message with your dope team name and a photo of your killer uniform and we’ll hook it up!

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A Sweet Beginning

Welcome to the latest edition of  'In The Paddock'. Hopefully you've been staying up-to-date with the series or via Facebook and/or Instagram. I've just provided y'all with the link to each so now you really have no excuse not to! For those of you who do follow us online #thanksfam you would have seen some of the new food and drink options available at The Paddock and hopefully you’ve been in to try them! On another note, Liam and Sarah are putting some of last season's delicious desserts to rest. The Dark Chocolate & Lime Ganache Tart, Strawberry Brûlée and Orange Syrup Polenta Cake have been enjoyed by many of our diners and we're sad to see them go. Fret not! Liam & Sarah have created some incredible new desserts which I have the pleasure of sharing with you right now!

We’ve mentioned Chef Sarah in our blogs before but we’ve never gone into great detail. Sarah lived in New Zealand until moving to Australia a few years ago. She grew up cooking desserts and pastries in her grandmother’s kitchen after school and on weekends. Recently, Sarah had the pleasure of jetting off back to her roots in N.Z. for her sister’s nuptials where she spent a lot of time with close friends and family. After leaving her loved ones behind and returning to Cairns with a dessert menu change imminent she decided to bring a little slice of home to The Paddock.

Now available on our new menu is Liam and Sarah’s variation on Grandma Ngarie’s Apple & Blueberry Pie. This was Sarah’s favourite dish to make as a child. Chef Liam made some minor alterations to the pastry recipe to make it a bit softer #donttellgrandma. Nevertheless, Sarah says it tastes just like Grandma Ngarie’s! Let me tell you, I’m not usually a fan of desserts but when I close my eyes and take a bite I get homesick because I’m transported to my grandmother’s dining table in the middle of a cold winter in Perth! The sweetness of the blueberries partnered with the tang of the Granny Smith apples with just a hint of spice makes this dessert magical. I recommend trying it with a nip of Applewood Limoncello from South Australia. Some people believe Limoncello aids in digestion but I think it’s a great accompaniment as the bitterness of the sour lemon will cut through the sweetness of the filling.

You may recall a few menus ago that we used to bake our breads in terracotta pots before opting to serve them on our beautiful sustainably sourced Daintree wooden boards. We’ve brought the terracotta pots back but this time it’s for our second dessert. Chefs Liam and Sarah have incorporated one of our Australian whisky’s into a classic cheesecake. Taking it one step further – they’re serving the cheesecake in a toppled over terracotta pot with a dark chocolate cookie soil and garnished with fresh mint. This is visually spectacular dessert looks like a pot plant straight out of a garden and is totally edible (besides the pot and stone slate plate). It’s creamy and sweet with a subtle undertone of whisky. I recommend enjoying this with a dram of the very whisky the dessert is made with. Starward ‘New World’ single malt whisky from Melbourne, which was recently awarded double gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC). Just to turn it up even more; the team from Essendon Fields won ‘Best Single Malt Whisky’ at the World Whisky Awards. Fruity flavours such as banana, raisins and dried figs combined with sweeter notes of caramel, vanilla and marzipan make this whisky perfect to incorporate into a cheesecake.

Desserts are the perfect way to cap off an evening with friends and family. Hopefully I’ve enticed your sweet tooth and you’ll join us to for a few courses and a couple of drinks in the not-to-distant future. To make a reservation you can book online via Open Table here. It’s fast and simple!

Happy days,

Matty Bonasia

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Cocktail history

Welcome to 'In The Paddock'. As you may know having dined with us recently or by reading this blog page - we recently released our new season's menu. Not only did we make changes to our food but we created a brand new cocktail list. As the bar manager for The Paddock, Ron tasked me with designing our cocktail list which is something I always get way too over enthusiastic about! We sat down together and discussed what we liked and disliked with the old menu and what direction we wanted to take with the new menu. We agreed that we needed to use more of our Australian liquor in drinks that have more flavour and balance. The drinks on a menu needed to be nostalgic with more variety without physically making it bigger. It sounds like a lot but I believe we’ve achieved just that. The drinks that I chose encompass all of these factors and then some. These cocktails (and other booze in our bar) tell some cool stories which I'm going to share with you.

The original daiquiri is believed to have been created in the town of Daiquiri, Cuba around the turn of the 19th century. A bartender was mixing a cocktail similar to a Gibson (gin and lime) for a group of American mining engineers when suddenly the gin had been drunk dry and he had to improvise. Sounds like a Sunday at my place. The bartender grabbed a bottle of Cuban rum, added a healthy measure of lime, a small amount of sugar, gave the drink a short, sharp shake and served it straight up for the imbibing group. This delicious cocktail became their favourite drink. Long after the group left Cuba they continued to teach bartenders in different towns how to make the drink. One of the gentlemen decided it was finally time to create a name for it, and what better name than the beautiful city where the cocktail was first made!? Almost 120 years later - the daiquiri is now a staple cocktail known by bartenders all over the World. However, this story doesn’t end just yet. 

Enter Ernest Hemingway - The famous American writer who loved a drink. After his wife divorced him and took his children away (due to his infidelity) he decided “screw it!” and jumped in his boat and sailed from the U.S. to Havana in Cuba. He bought a massive farm and his mistress moved in. Play on, player! During this time he wrote his most famous novel ‘From Whom The Bells Toll’ which earned him the Pulitzer Prize for literature and re-established him as a pioneer in his field.

Hemingway frequently visited the La Floridita Bar. However, after learning that he suffered from a diabetic condition he had to be mindful of his sugar intake.  On his latest visit he asked the barman to produce him a daiquiri without sugar and headed to the toilet. By the time Hemingway had returned the bartender had produced a daiquiri with maraschino and grapefruit. The theory goes that after the barmen tried Hemingway's drink he wasn’t very fond of it and added the extra ingredients to make it better. Regardless, Hemingway approved! After more than 70 years and a 15,000-kilometre journey from Havana, the Hemingway Daiquiri (or Papa Doble it is often known) has made its way to tropical Far North Queensland at The Paddock Restaurant and Bar! I like to think that on a humid evening in Cairns (weather similar to Havana) this cocktail is what Hemingway would be enjoying while devouring some of delicious grass-fed natural beef!

 

The Margarita has a myriad of different origin stories ranging from experimenting bartenders that dedicated their drink after the singers and/or actresses that first tried their creation, to American socialites who arrogantly gave their own name to something they made for their guests at their own house party. One thing is for certain though – tequila, curacao, lime, sugar and salt are all ingredients in the classic cocktail regardless of when or who made it.

Now, the modern classic Tommy’s Margarita was first made by Julio Bermejo in the 1990s and is a dedication to his family’s restaurant. Since the drink was conceived more recently (unlike the daiquiri) it’s categorised as a modern classic, for now. However, it has made its way into bars all over the World in such a short period of time. We probably have modern technology to thank for this one (Unlike those dumb cat video or that new Rihanna song no one knows the words to). Julio made a twist on a Margarita that used 100% agave tequila rather than inferior 51% agave tequila, fresh Parisian lime juice and agave nectar in place of orange curacao. The drink is served over ice with a slice of lime and does not have salt rim! This means it takes less time to make and you have more time to drink this cocktail that tastes just as good, if not, better than it’s Daddy! Julio’s choice of 100% agave tequila stemmed from his restaurant’s claim-to-fame. Tommy’s Restaurant in San Francisco has the largest range of 100% agave tequila in the U.S. and arguably the World. It’s a tequila lover’s paradise! Side bar - Tequila that is 51% only just meets the minimum requirement to be tequila whereas 100% agave tequila is the best that you can get!

These are just some of the stories from a couple of the drinks on our list at The Paddock Restaurant and Bar! We’re open Tuesday to Saturday from 5:30pm so stop by and enjoy our Australian liquor and tight cocktails.

Happy days,

Matthew Bonasia

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The beef between grain-fed vs grass-fed beef

Welcome to the latest edition of ‘In The Paddock’. If this is your first time reading our blog or you’ve read a few chapters then we’d just like to say ‘thanks’. We really appreciate it and hope you’ll continue to stay up-to-date with the inner workings of The Paddock Restaurant and Bar.

 

Here at The Paddock we have a focus on quality produce with an Australian province. I source all of our liquor from boutique breweries, distilleries and vineyards – and chefs Liam and Sarah use ingredients that are grown and harvested on sustainable Aussie farms. Our famous Cape Grim beef is the best in the country! We’re always asking our guests to share their wise words with us. One sentiment that we’re told frequently is that we have the best steak in Cairns. A sentiment our team has worked hard to achieve and maintain. However, we also have a stigma for being a restaurant with expensive steak. I’m going to explain some of the factors that differentiate our unique grass-fed natural beef from common grain-fed beef.

 

The common grain fed beef you may have experienced at other restaurants for a lower price can usually have a higher cost to your health. Farms that feed their cows with grains have a diet that is high in Omega-6 and only small a portion of alpha-linoleic (Omega-3). Consuming too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 can result in an imbalance that results in serious health complications for cattle and humans. Artificial stimulant and hormone injections are used to make the cattle bigger faster (than they naturally would). Cattle are kept in enclosed feedlots and often live in unsanitary and substandard conditions. They don’t get nearly enough exercise, which results in poor quality intramuscular fat content, which changes the way the beef should taste. The likelihood of the cattle becoming ill and/or suffering from bovine diseases is high. Once the common grain-fed beef is served to you in a restaurant it lacks natural flavour. Most importantly, is doesn’t contain nearly enough of the vital omega-3, vitamins and minerals that our bodies require to function properly.

 

The beef we serve at The Paddock Restaurant and Bar comes from Cape Grim in Tasmania - A region known Worldwide for its pristine air, earth and water. In facts, the air is so clean that scientists across the World measure air pollution against that of Tasmania. It also rains for an average of 187 days every year. These are perfect conditions to grow an abundance of green pastures. While blades of grass develop omega-3 is formed in the chloroplasts. Once the grass has fully matured a high percentage of the fat content in the leaves is made up of alpha-linoleic (Omega-3), then only a small portion of linoleic acid Omega-6s. The farmers then bring in Mother Nature’s natural lawn mower; a herd of cattle. They roam free and chow down all of the lush grass which keeps them lean, healthy and happy. The beef also has substantially higher percentages of magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, vitamins and minerals than common grain-fed beef. There is a downside. It takes the cattle longer for their bodies to fully develop naturally. Due to feeding off grass and not being locked away in feedlots for most of their lives the farms need to be managed on higher cattle/acreage ratios. These factors increase the costs of production considerably; however sustainable and ethical farming is invaluable to the environment and your tastebuds.

 

The human body isn’t capable of producing alpha-linoleic (Omega-3) or linoleic acid (Omega-6) on its own. We need to obtain them through our diet. We also need to have a balance between the two in a ratio in favour of Omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids have a multitude of benefits for us ranging from hormone production and inflammation regulation to protecting our cardiovascular system. They help our bodies grow and repair. Consuming a diet that has high levels of omega-6s and low levels of omega-3s can lead to a number of health complications. Obesity, stroke, type-2 diabetes and heart attack have been linked to diets that are high in omega-6s and lacking in omega-3s. The beef with the healthiest balance of omega fatty acids and higher percentages of vitamins and minerals is grass-fed natural beef.

  

To summarise; Grain-fed cattle are restricted in enclosed feedlots, fed an omega-6 rich diet while being injected with growth hormones and other chemicals to make them fat. This can lead to some adverse impacts on your health. Grass-fed cattle are able to roam free on green pastures with crisp, clean, fresh air and have a healthy balanced diet that allow them to develop naturally. The end result is a cut of natural beef that is juicier, tender, flavoursome and has a multitude of health benefits. So the next time you feel like taking your friends and family out for a steak we’re asking you to support sustainable and ethical Australian farms. Support a local business that’s looking out for your health. Support The Paddock Restaurant and Bar.

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A walk through the paddock!

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A walk through the paddock!

Welcome back to another edition of ‘In the Paddock’. We hope your Easter weekend was well spent; eating, drinking and relaxing. Our team were busy designing our new menu which we’ve been building for the past few months. Chefs Liam and Sarah have been eating experimenting with the new season’s produce and discovering unique ways to utilising them in some tasty recipes, Ron has been channelling his creativity from manicuring his majestic beard & moustache and into graphic design, and I have been drinking researching new cocktails for my extensive book collection written by some of the greatest bartenders in history. I thought I'd break things down and use this opportunity to give you the 411 on what to expect on your next visit to The Paddock.

Although the new menu has a lot of exciting additions to our meats, entrees, sauces and sides The Paddock still has the same principals as before. Our kitchen still uses choice seasonal produce from Aussie farms, and we've still got Cape Grim beef from Tasmania. However, we have decided to diversify and support a second producer. Gippsland in Victoria's South East is home to some of the best grass-fed, natural beef in Australia and it's now available at The Paddock!

In addition to the new food we've also got some new drinks. I added a couple of beers from the Newstead Brewery in Brisbane as well as a few other newbies from around the country. The previous cocktail menu has been scrapped and I started from scratch. Now, we're offering classics with a twist and using more of our Australian liquor. This menu has more balance, variety and flavour and their may be a couple of familiar favourites with some added character.

Our team are proud of what we've created and their has been a phenomenal reception to the new food and drinks from the locals that flock to The Paddock. The menu can be viewed on our website and you can make a reservation online or give us a call on 4031 0100. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Matthew Bonasia
Bar Manager
Paddock Restaurant and Bar

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Vlog

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Vlog

Thanks for joining me for the latest blog here at the Paddock Restaurant and Bar. As you may be aware having dined with us, scoping out our website or following us on social media (hashtag: thanks. Emoji: wink face) we have a clear focus on high quality Australian produce. Our bar is no different with our dynamic range of craft beer, wine and liquor. This time around I want to draw your attention to some of the neutral spirits on the back of our bar. Anything neutral can often be perceived as plain, boring and lacklustre but the spirit we’re about to discuss is quite the opposite. It’s versatile, dynamic and needs to be treated with more respect than it receives.  Let’s get stuck into some vodka! “Shots”! Settle down Chef Sarah!

Hippocampus Metropolitan Distillery is located in West Perth WA and is the brainchild of founders and former owners of the Little Creatures Brewery in Fremantle WA that was sold to Lion Nathan for $380 million. In case you didn’t pick up what I put down, I’ll say it like this; these guys know how to make awesome booze. Now, they’re creating distinct small batch vodka from domestically sourced quality ingredients in a custom copper still called “Kylie” which made the 15,000 kilometre hike from Germany. “Kylie” is quite flexible though and can be manipulated into many different positions to make different spirits. “Kylie” sounds like my kind of girl.

100% biodynamic soft wheat comes from the Southern Wheatbelt of WA. The wheat is then fermented with filtered water and then distilled twice in “Kylie” the copper pot still. Copper is highly regarded within the distilling community as it removes impurities without affecting the overall character and flavour of the spirit too much. Once distilled only the best segments of the batch are kept to be blended with purified water. The first and last parts of the batch get discarded because as Viper (Tom Skeritt) said in the 80’s classic Top Gun “there are no points for second place” and these sections usual have more impurities. Once hand bottled they receive a unique batch number and are ready to be sent to The Paddock. We’ve currently got the 21st batch (happy birthday).  Hippocampus Vodka isn’t filtered like a lot of vodkas on the market. Therefore, it retains maximum character and flavour. With a standard ABV (Alcohol by volume) of 40% it’s smooth and soft with notes of vanilla and fruits. Chef Sarah thinks it’s not as harsh as generic vodka and she could enjoy it over ice. As a dedicated barman I think its delicate and subtle nature would make a great base for mixing in cocktails while letting fresh ingredients becoming the star of the drink.

The second vodka we’re discussing is vastly different from the Hippocampus Vodka. Introducing 666 Pure Tasmanian Vodka from the Pure Distillery Company in Burnie, North West Tasmania. In 2010 (the first year the vodka was produced) it was awarded a gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirit Awards. This was the first time this accolade had been bestowed upon Australian vodka!

The family at 666 use locally harvested and fermented barley, as opposed to wheat. By using barley to make vodka you get more spice flavours. Furthermore, by purchasing and fermenting they’re own grain they have more control over the end product whereas other producers just buy a high-proof generic neutral spirit that they redistill to create a vodka (some may call this a shortcut or cheating). The fermented wash is then distilled three times to create a purer and smoother spirit. Slow charcoal filtration mellows out the harsh ethanol of the spirit while also aiding in removing impurities. Finally, the spirit is blended with the cleanest and purest rain water in the World from Cape Grim Tasmania. Once it’s bottled we’re left with vodka that has chocolate, pepper, hazelnut and lemon aroma and a similar velvety smooth taste. Chef Sarah said this vodka was harsh to start but mellows out and has a lot of flavour. I agree with Chef Sarah but I’ll add that this is definitely vodka I’d mix with other ingredients and couldn’t drink neat or over ice.

There you have it folks! Two Australian vodkas made with different grains, distillation processes, water and filtration. Hippocampus is definitely a vodka that aficionados will love while 666 is more approachable for the easy-to-please vodka, fresh lime & soda crowd. Both will make create cocktails if you use fresh Australian produce. Either way these amazing neutral spirits have a place in the Paddock’s bar and they’re here to stay! Come on in, bring your friends and try them for yourself. The bar is open every day from 5:30pm. See you then!

 

Until Next Time

Matty

The Paddock

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Beef + Beer Degustation

Degustation Events

 

It's time to start something new and fresh at the Paddock this year and without a doubt, there's no better way to get together with family and friends and enjoy a five-course Degustation event.

 

Here at The Paddock we always strive to bring not only the best quality produce to our diners but also a great dining experience.

 

With each Degustation event, we as chefs, get to work on creating a theme for the event and sourcing the best quality produce we can find. Our five-course Degustation is a great way for us to showcase this produce and give our diners a new experience to what we serve each week.

 

Typically a Degustation evening will start with an Appetiser followed by the Entrée, Palate Cleanser, Main and Dessert to finish. Our recent Degustation was also served with an Australian craft beer pairing for each course.

 

Below is our Beef + Beer Degustation Menu. It was a great way to start our first event, which gave our diners a great experience of Cape Grim Beef produce complimented with independent Australian craft beers. It was a great success and feedback was more than overwhelming.

We will be organising more of these Degustation nights over the coming months. So keep a watchful eye on our Webpage and Facebook page for the next upcoming event.

 

To finish things off, we've got a great recipe for you to try at home.

 

SASLA VERDE (herb sauce)

 

1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 cup basil leaves

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 teaspoons capers, drained

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

Pinch of sea salt

 

This is a general list of ingredients so don't be afraid to mix up your herbs to flare it up a bit.

 

1. Add the herbs, garlic, capers and salt into a blender

2. Blend and while it's still moving add your oil and lemon juice. 

3. Taste and season a bit more if need be. 

 

A great, fresh summer sauce for all types of meat. 

 

Enjoy.

 

Until next time

 

Liam Elder

Co-Head Chef

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Support Local

Well rested after our holidays we are back open at the Paddock serving our fresh Australian produce

At The Paddock we source locally as much as possible without cutting out quality  

We are on contracts with our fruit and veggie supplier to provide FNQ sourced seasonal fruit and veg with the only the exception of weather taking us to Brisbane to keep our fridges stocked. We are all passionate about providing non processed food so you name it we make it from scratch, to our house made sauces, breads and dry rubs you can rest be assured its non-processed natural food here.

We feel it’s important to support locally produced fruit and veggies, doing so assures that the fruit is picked at its peak stage of ripening and doesn’t lose texture from being frozen or flavour from being picked to soon. Also keeping it local provides local families with an income to keep providing the prime produce we are spoilt with here in Cairns.

The season change is coming soon so keep a look out for our new menu and taste the produce at its finest.

Here at The Paddock we love having the opportunity to play with our sauces, jam and chutneys to create new and revamp the old family secrets. We would like to share a recipe for an onion jam. Great on antipastos, In mash, or just with the Sunday roast.

Onion Jam

50g of Butter

5 large onions

100g of brown sugar

100ml of balsamic vinegar

1 Table spoon of Worcestershire sauce

 

Finely slice the onions and sauté in the butter

When the onions are clear and fully cooked add the brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce

Reduce until bubbly and sticky and let cool in your fridge

Now ready to serve as you wish and remember to have fun with it.

 

Until next time

The Paddock Team

 

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Australian Whisky

Whisk(e)y

By Matthew Bonasia

Australian whisky is in its infancy having only been around for just over 20 years. The Lark Distillery in Tasmania is the oldest operating distillery which only opened in 1992. The Canadians, Americans, Japanese and Scottish have been mastering the art of creating different styles of whisky for centuries. For example the Old Bushmills Distillery in Northern Ireland is over 400 years old. So, you might think that we’re a bunch of inexperienced amateurs that couldn’t possibly compete with the big boys of the whisky world. Well you are wrong!

In 2014 the Sullivan’s Cove Distillery in Tasmania won ‘best single malt whisky in the World’ with their French oak single malt. On the nose it’s full of rich dark chocolate, cinnamon, orange peel, hazelnut and licorice mint. The palate is rich and sweet with flavors of pepper, toffee and fruit cake with a long-lingering finish of chocolate. It was the first time the accolade had been bestowed upon a producer who wasn’t Scottish or Japanese. Australia has captured the attention of whisky aficionados and earned their respect ever since.

It’s no coincidence that Lark, Sullivan’s Cove and several other distilleries are located in Tasmania. The cool climate, pristine water, clean air and rich soil are perfect for cultivating barley (as well as producing our delicious Cape Grim beef and Flinders Island lamb). Furthermore, it’s abundant with peat bogs due to thick vegetation and wet weather. But great whiskies aren’t just produced in cooler climates. Right here in hot and humid Far North Queensland nestled amongst the banana plantations of the Atherton Tableland is a hidden giant.

The Mount Uncle Distillery was founded by Mark Watkins in 2001. The distillery has produced a number of award-winning spirits and liqueurs. However, Ron and I think that Mount Uncle’s masterpiece is ‘The Big Black Cock’ single malt whisky. It’s aged for 5 years in a hybrid of American and French oak barrels to create a smoother and more rounded whisky. Orchard fruits with gentle sweetness and spice on the nose, Christmas fruits on the palate with a long vanilla finish. It’s incredible!

Stretching from the Great Southern Distillery in Albany Western Australia to the Archie Rose Distillery in Rosebery New South Wales; By 2016 there will be approximately 33 whisky producing distilleries all around Australia and infinite more whiskies! You may not have the opportunity to visit each and every one so here at The Paddock Restaurant & Bar we’ve acquired and are building a unique collection of Australian whiskies (and other Aussie liquors) which we want to share with you, your friends and family. See you at the bar!

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BEER BLOG

Thanks for taking the time to read the latest blog(s) from the Paddock Bar & Restaurant.  This week we’re going to discuss one of the three elements that our team (and hopefully you at home or work or wherever you’re reading this from) truly love. It’s not our delicious beef from Cape Grim, it’s not our tasty range of award-winning, domestically distilled liquor. We’re talking about refreshing, ice cold Aussie beer.

The short story of Australian beer began in our motherland England in the 1780s when James Squire was found guilty of thievery and sent to New South Wales on the first fleet. After serving his sentence Mr Squire began brewing his own beer which proved to be quite popular amongst the colony. Before the turn of the century James acquired over 30 acres of land and was the first person to cultivate Australian hops. In the early 1800s Mr Squire built a brewery. 20 years later the father of Australian beer passed away. 

Here at the Paddock Bar & Restaurant we honour James Squire’s legacy by serving up “The Constable” Copper Ale. A deep golden tradition English-style Pale Ale that gets its name from Mr Squire’s time spent working as a district constable, pretty ironic due to being convicted of multiple criminal acts earlier in his life. The bouquet is a balance of floral, citrus and earthy notes. Even though this brew only has an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 3.4% it still has a firm backbone of malts and a lingering hop-bitterness.

The Australian beer industry has flourished all around the country ever since. Over 150 years and 3000 kilometres away from where Aussie beer was born is my hometown of Perth in Western Australia. A short distance out of the city is the Swan Valley and The Feral Brewing Company. Since 2009 the family owned, operated and handcrafted micro-brewery has been producing a world class range of beers and my favourite frothy. The Feral “Hop Hog” India Pale Ale.

“Hop Hog” explodes with citrusy flavours and heavy hop aromas, rounded out with fruity notes and a solid malt backbone. A farm load of American hops makes this unique brew. With an ABV higher than most beers this golden beast sits at 5.8% and a few go a long way.

As much as I enjoy pulling an ice cold “Hop Hog” out of the fridge for a relaxing knock-off with the team, it also has a place in our busy kitchen. Liam, Sarah and Eamon use it to marinate our free range chicken, which is sourced from the Lilydale Farm, South West of Brisbane. The beer’s fruitiness adds great flavour that complement the herbs and spices, also the sugar caramelises when chargrilled and roasted. Absolutely delicious!

So there you have it! Great Aussie craft beers and beer-infused food available at The Paddock. Our menus change with the seasons so you never know what new and exciting beers we’ll have for you to try next time you have a meal in the restaurant or a casual drink at the bar. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Cheers,

Matty Bonasia

The Paddock

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New season, new sides

Hello to all from us here at the Paddock.

A new season is upon us and at this time of the year, there is plenty of great local produce for all of us to enjoy.

Here at the Paddock, we strive to source the best local fruit and vegetable so we can create delicious, mouth watering dishes. This week we have created four new market sides to go with this upcoming season and of course our Grass Fed Beef, Lamb and other free range meats.

Grilled stone fruit, Camembert, Toasted Walnut and Mustard Vinaigrette.

Maple, Butter glazed wild Carrots, Orange & Thyme.

Sautéed Medley of Mushrooms, Garlic & Almond Butter.

Roasted Pumpkin, Port Poached Pear & crumbled Feta.



And let's not forget that Christmas is almost upon us. There's no better time to get together with friends and family and come and try our Farmers Table Experience. It's a great way for groups of 4 or more people or even your work Christmas party, to try the great produce and dishes that we have to offer.

We are also welcoming our new team member and bar manager Matt this week. With great knowledge and skill, Matt will be creating some great cocktails and drinks to go along with the great range of craft beers and whiskeys we have on offer.

Here's a great Southern American dry rub recipe to go well with any type of meat  you want. Just combine all the ingredients and rub onto the meat. Preferably marinade over night, but a couple of hours before cooking is fine. You can even experiment with different flavours to go with your taste buds.  

 

Ingredients

 

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons crushed black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salt flakes
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon crushed coriander
  • 1 tablespoon dry dill
  • Half a tablespoon chilli flakes



Happy cooking and keep a close eye on our Website and Facebook page for this upcoming season.

Until next week

The Paddock

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Our Farmers Table Experience

Hello again

We are starting our In the Paddock blog back up with more exciting recipes and updates to get your meat taste buds going.

You might see that we have made some changes to the menu, but not to worry we still have our great grass fed beef, free range chicken and fresh local produce.

So this week we will be introducing our Farmers Table Experience that features on our new menu. This is a new experience that is ordered to share with a group of four or more. We start the experience with our Sharing platter that has nibbly bits for your group to share with our house made seeded loaf, prawn and watermelon salad, locally sourced vegetable ratatouille, and my personal favourite Byron bay pork belly with crispy crackling and a sticky caramel peanut glaze.

Next your group will get to choose between three options starting at 55 a head. We have packed this part with some Paddock favourites, the craft beer marinated whole chicken, our mighty 1kg Tomahawk cape grim steak ( cooked to your liking ) and our low and slow, dry rub beef short ribs. All with a selection of sides and sauces all made on the premises. You can have a choice of just one meat cut or maybe all three.

This is a great way to taste a wide range of our produce and what we offer also a chance to grab a group of family and friends together to share and enjoy a meal.

We have been playing around lately with some Dry Rub recipes and thought this would be one you could enjoy at home, great on any meat just apply 20mins before roasting, pan frying or baking.

 

Dry Rub

2 cups brown sugar

 1⁄2 cup dried mustard

 1 tablespoon garlic powder

 1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon cayenne

1 tablespoon onion powder

4 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon pepper

2 tablespoons of freshly cut thyme

This recipe is as easy as combining all together and rubbing over your meat of choice.

Have fun with this recipe, until next time The Paddock Team. 

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