Taking pictures of food is more popular than ever, it seems the #foodie culture is at an all time high.
Self-proclaimed foodies are setting trends by ‘gramming’ the wild combinations and beautiful classics served at top restaurants. So we took a guided tour with Gold Coast local and culinary adventurist Karen Inglis-Turner of Gold Coast Food and Wine Tours to get in on the action.
There were a few more questions we wanted answered besides figuring out the #foodie craze: What is a food tour exactly? Is it worth the money? Is it weird to be forced to spend an entire afternoon dining with strangers? Is it only for foodies? Can I drag my partner along to this and what age range is this for?
Let the question answering begin.
We joined Karen on the first Broadbeach by Twilight tour. After introductions, checking in on Facebook and an informative history of Broadbeach, we were on our way. Not to spoil the history lesson on the tour, but did you know Broadbeach is one of the largest Aboriginal burial grounds in Australia? Me either, but cool!
What I found to be the most interesting part of the tour was the air of mystery. Until we arrived at our destination we didn't have a clue where we were going (and I’m not telling you either).
Our first stop was a coffee shop that proudly is part of the 3rd Wave Speciality Coffee Movement (sounds cool) in Australia. We all took our seats at our reserved table and were immediately greeted by award winning coffee roaster Timothy Sweet. Tim went though the science of coffee and roasting and put particular emphasis on the Geisha 12 hour cold drip coffee we were sampling. Not only was it a type of coffee I had never tasted, I also learned something new.
One stop in and I already understood the difference in joining a food tour vs. going to the restaurants on my own.
Stop two was at Broadbeach’s newest Gelato shop, run by a Carpigiani Gelato University Alum. For those of you who has no idea what that is, its run by someone who has a degree in Gelato making (mind blown, I cant believe that’s a thing!). Our group got a sneaky peak of the Gelato making process. We were the first to taste the fresher than fresh batch.
Want unlimited sampling of flavours? Yep we did that too and then took a scoop for the road. #jealousyet
Moving on, we walked into one of the most charming restaurants in Broadbeach where there was a gorgeous spread waiting for us. As the group approached the table, everyone’s phones came out to snap a shot of the well-presented dishes.
Our first ‘proper’ meal of the tour, we sampled two types of salad, calzones, kofta balls, and tomato gravy. Although there were still another four stops to go and were supposed to pace ourselves, I don't think that happened. We all washed down the delicious vegetarian meal with a mojito mocktail and a glass of wine. So far, three for three venues I had never visited in Broadbeach. As a local, I'm ashamed!
Already full and happy we moved on to the next restaurant.
This restaurant has a top rating on Tripadvisor. After an introduction by the manager, we were seamlessly given plates with samples of sticky pork belly and mandarin duck, which were accompanied by their award winning pizza and two types of wine.
A few glasses of wine in, the laughs got louder and the conversations flowed. Although we started as a group of strangers, by this point in the night we were barely strangers anymore. It seemed we all enjoyed getting to know each other and the uncertainty of eating with strangers was no where to be found.
Karen wrangled up her tipsy foodies and took us to the next restaurant. A newbie on the Broadbeach strip, this corner restaurant was our spot to try a little Greek seafood. Calamari and octopus served with Greek salad made for a nice end to the ‘main meal’ part of the tour. I had two types of wine and some tour guests also had the signature cocktail. The table was a buzz with samplings of the food and drink as well as alive with conversations. I think everyone enjoyed themselves very much here, but alas, it was time to move on.
The grand finale!
Nestled inside one of Broadbeach’s finest resorts, this two Chef Hat award recipient restaurant known for their incredible degustation menu, had a cocktail in mind for us that from start to completion was perhaps one of the most elaborate drinks I’ve ever had; the Porn Star Martini.
I don't want to give too much away, but the drink had a base of sand and a gold nugget, it smoked, one was lit on fire, and it tasted like passionfruit heaven (maybe I gave too much away). We were all thoroughly impressed, but Karen had one more surprise for us up her sleeve; a lemon, lime and bitters dessert. It was light and refreshing while still being decadent and rich. How that’s possible I’m not sure, but it was (I guess that’s why they have two Chef Hat awards).
That was the official end of the tour, but Karen had secured a special Gold Coast Food Tour cocktail discount for anyone wanting to continue their night.
Now, what did I learn?
The #foodie culture is popular because it’s fun. Who doesn't like showing off the fantastic things they are enjoying?
1. A food tour is a fantastic way to get to know an area of town while trying foods and restaurants you may not usually try.
2. It’s an absolute steal! Getting that much food, drink and fun for under $100 is practically unheard of. There is no way you could have tried so many things on your own and come out with such an impressive price tag.
3. Eating with strangers is the best! You barely stay strangers for long, and before you know it, you have networked and made new friends.
4. You don't need to be a foodie to go on a tour, but you may be a foodie when it’s over.
5. It’s good for anyone old enough to appreciate good food and good company.
If you are looking for a great reasonably priced evening out, I suggest taking the tour. You never know who you are going to meet, where you are going to end up, and what foods you will fall in love with.
Contact Karen Inglis- Turner to book your tour today!
0432 456 102
By Marleigh Kelly