We were pretty much starving when we touched down in Gold Coast Australia, after a long 13 hour flight to Melbourne and then transferring over to Gold Coast immediately (long story).
Hence, we looked for a restaurant near where we stayed on Broad Beach. I picked out an Italian restaurant called Alto, located a couple of blocks away at the Oasis Shopping Center.
This post is part of a series of casual travel reviews of my trip to Australia in 2016.
Finding a good restaurant is difficult when one is new to a city. One of the questions I kept asking myself was where and what to eat in Gold Coast. Meals are especially precious on a vacation, because there are only so few days, hence we want to make the most out of them. Hopefully, my findings will help you to choose or avoid these restaurants in Australia.
We picked the stuffed roasted bell peppers and roast pork belly for starters, and a seafood pasta, a truffle mushroom risotto and obligatory fish and chips for mains.
The stuffed bell peppers ($14.9) were filled with ricotta cheese, and were quite appetising. While the sweetness of the peppers paired nicely with the goat cheese flavours, I felt there was too much goat cheese, and that the filling could have been better balanced with another ingredient. The unbalance made the starter felt very heavy.
The crispy pork belly ($16.9) was very tender, with the skin lightly crisped. Actually, I thought they had removed the skin, and the crisp surface was actually the fat. Either that, or the pork belly had really thin skin. The dish had a predominantly sweet flavour due to the spiced date puree, but was pleasant overall.
Barramundi and chips was one of the lunch set offerings of the day, and I picked it. It was the breaded type of fish and chips, and was fried perfectly golden brown. While Barramundi can thrive in both fresh and saltwater, they typically spend more time in freshwater, giving their meat the distinctive muddy taste which I dislike. I would later in my trip find that Barramundi is one of, if not the most popular and common fish in Australia.
Hand cut chips were a welcome change to the mass produced chips I am used to.
The seafood linguine ($33.9) was tossed in a light tomato sauce, and came chock full of seafood, including half a slipper lobster or crayfish, as we call them in Singapore. The seafood, which included calamari, mussels, prawns, and scallops were bouncy and fresh. This was a very tasty seafood pasta.
The truffle mushroom and spinach risotto ($27.9) was more forgettable, with barely faint traces of truffle and soggy wet rice.
All in all, the food at Alto so so, but definitely felt a little pricey for us as travellers from Shanghai and Singapore.