Had a planned catch-up with a group of friends while one of them was on the Gold Coast for a conference. Any excuse is a good excuse for a get together, and after some informal pre dinner drinking and nibbling we headed off on foot to find “the Place” to continue our catch-up over a meal.
Bugzies looked promising, but, we wandered around a bit looking at the many other options in the area. There were a few factors that influenced our final decision….
- too many kids in a place
- we love kids but not for this night
- people packed in like sardines
- busy is good, cramped is not
- location location location
- we were back at Bugzies, so we went in
The ladies of our group were seated promptly, at the table of our choice, while the guys continued to muck about outside for a bit before joining us. Menus, water and a wine list appeared as soon as we were seated and the hard work of the night began,
There were several contenders for our attention and I found it extremely difficult to make a decision – as did the others in the group. The arrival of drinks assisted with the deliberations. Some of the contenders that missed selection on this occasion included-
- NZ Whitebait cakes
- Served with a rocket & Parmesan Salad with aioli
- Grilled barramundi
- Asparagus, poached prawns, hollandaise, jasmine rice, garden salad (GF)
- Crispy skinned NZ King salmon
- Fragrant wild rice, rocket, mango & pineapple salsa (GF)
The Seafood Chowder with Tiger prawn, mussels, scallops, reef fish did get on the top of the list….and made dining history in the process. Our companion selected the Chowder and asked the waitress if it contained any Celery (not a fan of cooked celery) to which the waitress responded that she didnt think there was any in it…Chowder ordered.
We all made our selections and the waitress went off to get it underway only to return and advise that there is actially a small amount of very fine celery in the Chowder and would that be OK or would an alternative be preferred. Hats off to our waitress – she did this calmly, quietly, respectfully, professionally and without making anyone feel like it was a bother at all. This level of service has been really hard to find and left be speechless, in a really fantastic way.
Our final selections for the table were-
- In shell Australian Scallops
- Grilled, with tomato, basil, & sauce vierge (GF)
- Angus eye fillet Carpaccio
- Fried capers, parmesan, Radish, rocket, & extra virgin olive oil
- Crumbed Calamari
- Served with a garden salad, black pepper aioli
- Carbonara classic style
- Bacon and egg with creamy sauce, garlic and spring onion
- you get to choose what pasta you would like!!!
- Classic seafood Mornay
- Mussels, prawns, scallops, reef fish, parmesan, mozzarella
- Bugzies avocado salad
- King prawns, smoked salmon, natural oysters (GF)
Oh, and two loaves of Fresh Oven-baked Garlic Loaf because we had it on good authority that it was going to be worth it.
Entrees and garlic bread arrived in what seemed like the blink of an eye and lived up to our expectations. Scallops vanished among Ohhs and Ahhs, the Carpaccio melted moorishly in the mouth and the Garlic Bread….WOW, as we had been informed, was crisp on the crust, soft in the middle, oozing with butter and plenty of garlic.
Then along came the mains- complete with finger bowls and bowls for our discarded shells!!!!
This is the small serve of the Bugzies Avocado Salad which can also be ordered as a large. Beautiful fresh seafood, creamy avocado, enough salad veggies to call it a salad and a beautiful seafood sauce. Looked like the pink stuff you can buy in bottles…but this was 100 times better and tasted totally homemade – perhaps if I had had a spoon I may have naughtily eaten it all!! Big plus to the kitchen if this is homemade…and if not there is a commercial producer out there who has the recipe right.
The photo does not do this dish justice for two reasons-
- It came with sun-dried tomatoes on the salad and we had already started table swaps before the photo was taken
- Rob was itching to get started and the photo was taken in a rush
The presentation with the Mussels in the shell was great, the mornay was full of large chunks of assorted seafood held together in a modest amount of tasty sauce. The ratio of seafood to sauce was the best I have seen in a while. Rob would have preferred a bit more salad on the side, so I generously shared some of mine with him.
Our other mains were the Carbonarra which vanished quickly and quietly and the Crumbed Calamari which was a bit oily for the diners preference but was quickly gobbled up by the table.
Extra drinks, desserts and coffees were offered and declined then, with a polite enough pause for digestion, the bill was presented. We were all pleasantly surprised by the bill which, while totally accurate, seemed a bit light compared to the amount of delicious food, drinks and great service we had enjoyed.
So, just to recap, the venue was nothing spectacular, the food was better than great, the service was AMAZING!!!!
Thanks Bugzies – your are on our “we will return” list.
Shop 50, 52 Victoria Ave Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia 4218 (07) 5527 5702 http://www.bugzies.com.au