Last week John and I were invited to lunch with our good friends Jan and David at Daisy’s Place restaurant. Daisy’s Place is on Steve Irwin Way off the beaten track in Glenview (the Crocodile Hunter’s Australia Zoo is just down the road) and none of us had been there before but we’d heard about it.
Daisy’s Place was originally built in 1923 by ‘Daisy’ Emma Johnson who called it The Rustic Cabin. Daisy made homemade pies and Devonshire Teas and people from all walks of life were made to feel welcome there.
Fast forward to 2010 and the entrepreneurial Sue Joseph took over where Daisy left off. Sue paid homage to that wonderful hard-working woman and called her new restaurant Daisy’s Place. Sue has created a tropical oasis that you only see once you’re inside. Towering trees, native birds and clear country air is what we found when we stepped out onto the back verandah to find our table. There were two babbling water features close by and all I could think of was getting into a hammock and falling asleep to the sound of that water.
The menu changes frequently and is based upon the freshest local produce that’s available. The restaurant also has its own herb garden just out of view. There is an impressive wine list with Australian and international wines on offer.
After placing our drink order and catching up on David and Jan’s travel plans and their daughter’s upcoming wedding plans, it was time to order. When we go out together we usually stick to two courses. Jan and I can’t eat 3 courses so it’s wasteful. The decision today was an appetiser and a main – no dessert. Shocking for me, I know.
John chose the house bread with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and homemade dips of labneh and pesto. I sneaked a piece of bread and smeared some labneh on it and covered that with some pesto and I was in heaven.
Have you ever ordered from the specials menu delivered by the waitperson and then couldn’t remember the name of the dish? No? It happened to me when David had this lovely spanner crab cocktail. The top we decided was akin to avocado foam, then a soft gelatine layer which covered the crab. I didn’t taste this one as they shared it and I had my own appetiser.
When I read the menu and saw ‘Crumbed Camembert with grapes and a spicy plum sauce,’ I knew it was going to be mine. When the dish arrived, it reminded me of something my mother would have made to serve at card party nights. I loved it back then and biting into the softly melting cheese that had been dipped in the spicy plum sauce – well I’m ready to go back and have it again.
We enjoyed a few sips of wine while we waited for our main courses to arrive. It really was the most wonderful afternoon. The weather was perfect, the food was good and the friendship delightful. I didn’t feel guilty for not working one single bit.
David selected Daisy’s Famous Chicken and Mooloolaba Prawns in garlic cream sauce with mashed potatoes and greens. I looked at the dish and the sauce was glistening on top of those prawns and the chicken was well cooked without a hint of dryness.
Jan ordered the Fish of the Day which turned out to be ‘reef fish’ with nam jam sauce, scallops and rice and an Asian salad. Her plate looked the prettiest of them all but we all commented on how nice the food looked. Food always tastes better when it looks good, don’t you think?
John ordered the Trio of Lamb which was a rack of lamb, rolled shoulder of lam and lamb croquettes along with peas and baby vegetables. I knew when I saw the menu what John would order. After 20 years you just know. He patted his stomach when his plate was clean and said he could order that dish again.
I was craving a steak as I hadn’t had any beef in a while and I really enjoy it. I was mildly disappointed in my steak as I ordered medium rare and it was more medium than I like it. I couldn’t do anything about it as nobody came to the table to see if everything was okay. That was my only issue, however. The potato croquettes were outstanding.
My ‘dessert’ was this lovely dish of baked pumpkin with a yoghurt and garam masala sauce. I wish I’d had room to eat the whole thing. I’ll definitely try this one at home.
All four of us would be happy dining at Daisy’s Place again.
2859 Steve Irwin Way
Breakfast and lunch, Wednesday to Sunday 8-3
Dinner, Thursday to Saturday
Reservations: 07 5494 5192