Today was a day too busy to cook. John had to check in with his GP to get reminded that he’s tired because he had a heart attack and to rest and reduce stress. For some reason he thinks he should be able to hop right back in the chair and get back to work.
John’s dad had to get a cancer cut out today of whatever the side bit of the ear is called. They ended up freezing it off and a few other spots. He said it didn’t hurt but I’m sure if it happened to me, I’d complain.
We left the last appointment and I said, “I’m starving,” which is something I usually say just after noon every day. I doubt I’m starving; in fact I think I could probably live quite well without eating for oh, maybe a month. Still, I was hungry and so was Rob. John had a big breakfast this morning of porridge, fresh squeezed orange juice, a bowl of fruit and some wholewheat grain toast. Still, he thought he could eat a little something.
We don’t have a lot of restaurants to choose from in Minyama where we live on the Sunshine Coast. There’s an Indian place, a few fish n chips places, a fancy hamburger restaurant and a brand new place called The Groove Train at the new enlarged Kawana Shopping Center. It was decided that we’d try there.
The Groove Train is one of a chain of restaurants started in Melbourne and is growing rapidly. The food is good, the decor is modern with a bit of retro and the service is delightful. The ceiling is covered in wooden pallets and the walls with corrugated iron and brick.
I went in first while John took his dad to see a man about a horse (doesn’t everyone call it that?) and I was met at the door by the manager and part-owner, Nathan Skipper – he’s the one behind the bar. He brought me to a table and within a minute or so, a server had taken my order for dips. Remember I was STARVING.
The dips arrived and I was sure the menu had said trio of dips but no, it was duo. Hummus and something else that was quite hot and spicy. Points off for not telling us what was in the dips.
John and Rob arrived and in spite of hinting, they both went with the barramundi and chips. I know, I can hear you. I said it too. He reminded me how good he’d been with porridge and fruit for breakfast. Definite eyeroll.
Barramundi is an Aboriginal word for this fish. Outside Australia it’s called sea bass and this was crunchy on the outside and soft and flaky on the inside. Both men were happy.
My chicken arrived at the same time and one look told me I could never eat all that for lunch. I ate about half and the chicken was moist and tender. It looks saucy in the photo but there wasn’t much at all and I’d have liked the cheese melted a bit on top. Otherwise, it was a brilliant meal.
The restaurant has only been open a few weeks but the service couldn’t have been better. No waiting to be seated, no waiting to order and when John’s glass was nearly empty, a new one was offered. We didn’t have dessert because well, it WAS lunch and we’re trying to behave ourselves.
The verdict was that we’ll go back to try one of their wood fired pizzas. The bread with the dips looked like pizza bases and it was delicious. They have some really good starters, salads, pasta and risotto as well as a big list of mains.
I asked Nathan why he and his partners chose the Sunshine Coast and he tried to be nice when he explained that there wasn’t a lot of competition in Sunshine Coast restaurants and the area was starved for some good food. We agree.
I brought my leftover chicken home for the dog. He was grateful.
The Groove Train
Shop 565 Kawana Shopping World
Buddina, QLD 4575
(07) 5477 5685
This meal was independently paid for.
Helene D'Souza says
This is a place where I would find food satisfaction, the chicken makes me want to exchange my dinner. I can see myself having lunch there and meet up with friends.
Every time I see Charlie I want to pinch his hairy cheeks. =D
This place looks amazing ! Like all the food. And I love you can go out with the rest of your food ! Here in France some places are starting to do it but not everyone ! Love the idea, you can bring home the end of your dinner and also your wine 🙂
Barramundi is my FAVORITE FISH in the whole wide world, and I like barramundi better than sea bass. Can I move in with you, then?
Charlie’s eyes are almost too expressive…. he is like a soft-hearted human being with four legs
You can! If you like flathead or mud crabs you can have those too but you have to go out back and catch or trap them first. We have two fishing kayaks, you won’t even have to stay on the pontoon to fish. 🙂
Marissa | Pinch and Swirl says
Yum! Looks like some pretty decadent delicious food… I love that John was bargaining with his “porridge and fruit for breakfast”. 😉
He never bargains. He is the baby of the family and does as he pleases. 🙂
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) says
You have got to admit the barra and chips do look good and there is a little bit of green on the plate:)
Nagi@RecipeTin Eats says
When I saw the name of this post I jumped on it straight away, thinking it was going to be some funky story about – oh, I don’t know, a dance you choreographed and taught the olds or something!! Ha ha!! OK, so a restaurant post was not what I was expecting but, as usual, and even though this restaurant is not even in Sydney, I still read it because once I started, you had me hooked!!
It was a busy day and I knew that once we did the doctors and had lunch and went for the medical tests, I’d be pooped. It’s also really hot and humid up here. I’ll cook today. Or tomorrow. 🙂
This place sounds amazing Maureen!
And the food look delicious!
Lizzy (Good Things) says
The fish and chips do look good, but I’m tsk tsking at John… no more needs to be said on that one, I’m sure he won’t like me any more if I nag him. Shame about the trio/duo mixup… and delighted that Charlie had a piece of the action too! And, more importantly, you got some time off!
It had fish in it. Fish is good for you. Nuff said!
Yes, John, fish IS good for you: grilled, steamed or baked, never battered or crumbed and fried! [worse than meat then!] And never, ever with chips – steamed potatoes if you really have to have an essentially bad carb! And how much salt and sugar [the worst culprit of all] did those sauces have? Stents can ‘cover over’ remarkably quickly!! Sorry – but DO mean well!!!!!!
I know and I did tell him. He said he didn’t eat it all. :eyeroll: The doctor gave him a serve when he visited and I think that helped. He hasn’t done anything bad since then.
Chineka @ Savor The Baking says
The fish looks really good and I’m sure your dog was very appreciative of that delicious looking chicken.
Chineka @ Savor The Baking says
The fish looks really good and I’m sure your dog was happy to get that delicious looking chicken. 🙂
Melissa @ My Recent Favorite books says
The food looks delicious! I’m glad you had a great time!
They never listen to sensible menu suggestions even after ‘the event’, do they?
The bread and dips made my tummy rumble. I would have had the fish and chips as well though I would have liked another strip of fish and not missed some of the chips. The furry one looks like he’s saying … “well, the appetizer was nice, I’m ready for the main course, mommy.”
I only gave him half of the leftovers. Now he knows the box and when I went to get the milk for breakfast I got the look at the box, look at me, look at the box, look at me. Maybe I should give it to him. 🙂
Mary Frances says
Wow the food there looks great! I wonder if we’ll ever get a Groove Train here in New York.
If I ever get to Australia I am definitely checking this place out. Can’t wait till you have pizza there and hope you share same with us.
Glad to hear John is getting on so well.
Anna @ shenANNAgans says
Wow, I am surprised that the Sunshine Coast is starved for some decent eats. Would have thought you guys were at saturation point with people moving north for a warmer life. Looks like a great place, glad you’ve got access to a place that does good tukka now too. 🙂
No, that’s the short answer. Maroochydore has revamped Ocean Drive with several new restaurants but the city has no ‘downtown’ so eateries are all over the place. The Kawana Waters area where I live, just south of the river in Mooloolaba has had next to nothing. There are some restaurants in Mooloolaba but frankly they are so touristy that the food quality has been disappointing. It’s like an ‘they’re only tourists and we won’t see them again’ attitude.
Nancy | Plus Ate Six says
So errrrmmm….I’ve only just discovered barra is sea bass……..feeling like a right chump at the moment 🙂 I’d have ordered the fish and chips too I have to admit. Looks like a great place to have on your doorstop.
I read it on SBS in an article where the Aborigines are trying to put barramundi like champagne and unless it’s Australian caught, it’s gotta be sea bass. I’m assuming the SBS was right.
Fish is good for health 😉 I also ate a healthy fish AND chips for lunch. Some days are like that. And this was a good place for that kind of a day.
John@Kitchen Riffs says
Yup, I’d say Charlie’s eyes definitely say “more.” Never knew barramundi was an Aboriginal word. ;Or that it was sea bass. Always like to learn new things. Fun post — thanks.
The food sure looks terrific! Even Charlie agrees 🙂 Glad you have this new spot nearby—I’d be visiting again for sure!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Hehe I think I could totally live for a month without eating. But my mouth gets bored you see (is that an excuse?). It demands amusement 😛
That’s as good an excuse as any. May I borrow it?
This is seriously good food. I love the chips and those dips are divine. Your dog is so gorgeous. Lucky you are healthy Maureen, to keep everyone else in check and up to their appointments 😀
Gourmet Getaways says
Modern retro, gotta love this place!!
Julie & Alesah
Gourmet Getaways xx
Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen says
I’m glad John is on the mend, Maureen. It must be quite worrying all the same. Charlie is looking lovely as usual and seems to back up your review of The Groove Train – there isn’t a scrap of that chicken left!
I didn’t know that barramundi was sea bass. Next time I serve it up to friends and family I’ll use the aborriginal name – it sounds much more exotic!
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
I never knew that about Barramundi. Hope all the doctor appointments went well.
Lucky Charlie. It looks like pizza bianca with the dip, was it? Sure looks good.
It was just a pizza base brushed with garlic infused olive oil and dusted with salt – I think. I couldn’t taste anything else. 🙂
Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says
When I read the title I started singing “Groove is in the heart!”. What a cool place and it looked delicious! I bet your pup was very happy when you got home. 🙂
Dedy@Dentist Chef says
Nice and lovely comforting food!!!
lovin their generous portion too….
Refreshing post.. I liked all the plates specially the dipping duo. Your Charlie looks so cute. My kids would love to have one like him 🙂
Hotly Spiced says
Good to see the dining scene in your part of the world is improving. I wonder what happened to that third dip. I do love the interior fit-out with the lean lines mixed with a bit of rustic. I love it when I have enough left over to take home to my dogs xx
Barb Bamber says
So many restaurants to try that are out of my reach here in Canada. I am with John.. if I’ve been “good” at breakfast, it’s hard to eat healthy all day, after all! xx
InTolerant Chef says
This place does look good indeed Maureen. I hope John continues to improve- it certainly sounds like he’s getting cheeky 🙂
I would love to dine with you there, alas, we are a world apart!! Lucky doggie that he literally gets the doggie bag!!
Gingi Freeman says
Great review! I had some amazing food during my time in Australia (though I was primarily in the Sydney area..)
Anyhoo, I found your blog through a fellow blogger, and just thought I would stop by and say hi! It would totally make my day if you did the same… or better yet, keep in touch!! <3 – http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com
Gingi, it’s SO nice to meet you and I’d be thrilled to make your day. 🙂
lizzie @ strayedtable says
Groove Train looks great. I have not been to Kawana for a while now as they were still doing reno work last I was there. Might just have to go and check it out now – finally some real food on the coast hey. Also Ocean street looks a bit fancy now too, i drove through the other week and was pleasantly surprised. Roy and I are going to check out one of the places there for soup next time he is home. Glad to hear John is home safe and sound. Oh, I haven’t forgotten about our dump date either. I really want to go scavenger hunting with you.
There are several new restaurants and even a sushi train at Kawana now. Ocean Street is lovely if you don’t go on Friday and Saturday nights. LOTS of new restaurants.
Chris Scheuer says
I think you could make money from that dog’s face!
I wish 🙂
Veronica (Roni) says
Your photos are stunning Maureen…okay, alright, I must get better at producing gorgeous shots :)) lol, love your work xx
LOL I took these with my phone and my tablet! We were planning on coming home for lunch but then decided to go out. It’s all about focus and lighting, Roni. 🙂
Emma @ Bake Then Eat says
Oh that fish and chips look good, that says a lot coming from a Brit where fish and chips are taken very seriously 😀 Charlie also looked like he enjoyed it!
Belated happy new year to you and yours Maureen. Glad to know that the three of you are doing well and had a delicious lunch at The Groove Train. The pizza base bread does look excellent. And Charlie, dear Charlie! 🙂
Glamorous Glutton says
Love the look of those Pizza pieces and dips. I’ve often wondered what Barramundi is, sea bass makes it seem possible to make those Masterchef Australia fish dishes now. Thanks Maureen. So glad John is up and about and enjoying things. GG
Shashi at Runninsrilankan says
I love the atmosphere at this place – that ceiling with wooden pallets and walls with corrugated iron and brick have me so intrigued! And the food sounds wonderful!
Hope John’s dad heals well!
Kitchen Belleicious says
oh my goodness look at that batter on the fish and the chips. plus that dipping sauce. Yum! Only wish I lived close enough to visit
Well, I just finished my lunch but I’m telling you, that fish/chips looks so good I’m ready to jump into the groovy, Groove Train and gobble that up. Your doggie is so cute 🙂
Bam's Kitchen says
It is sometimes nice to take a little holiday away from the kitchen. This looks like a fun place and plots of delicious dishes. i love the flat breads and dips.
Choc Chip Uru says
I was literally JUST there with my friends, when we visited GC recently! When we went to the Groove Train unfortunately, they weren’t open at 10 despite opening for breakfast? Haha but I definitely know to go for lunch when we go back 😀
Choc Chip Uru
I heard there was on on the Gold Coast. This one is on the Sunshine Coast. Same distance from Brisbane but I’m on the north side. 🙂
Sugar et al. says
Looks like a great place indeed…I love that orange decor! It’s not easy to refuse Barra and chips…it’s just one of those dishes you can never have enough of! I can live without eating a few months too.
Helen | Grab Your Fork says
Awwww a doggy bag that actually went to the dog! What a lucky boy!
He’s definitely a lucky dog. 🙂
I love pizza bread, sometime I over indulge on it and when the mains got served I am full to have it.
Nice dishes 🙂
Tandy | Lavender and Lime says
I am often starving! and that applies to right now, looking at your photos. Great review and for the first time ever I know what barramundi means. I have eaten it and the fish is delicious 🙂
what a gorgeous doggy you have, hope john is all better~