I spend a lot of time eating out, and every now and then I come across a nice little surprise. Cartwright’s Restaurant & Bar was one such surprise and a most unexpected one at that. Cartwright’s is the dining venue at Sunshine Coast TAFE featuring the gourmet creations of fledgling chefs making their entry into the restaurant world.
As a finalisation to their Certificate III in Hospitality, Cartwright’s hosts set dining experiences at an exceptional price, and trust me; these dining experiences are quite a treat. On the evening I dined, it was as a guest of budding chefs Luke and Josh – a five course meal priced at $35pp. I must admit, at $35, my expectations were not great, but I was set straight once I saw the menu, and even more so once we actually ate the food. And choosing from the incredibly enticing menu was no easy feat either!
As appetisers we received a combination of sample morsels; beetroot, mint and feta salad with balsamic dressing, figs wrapped in prosciutto and gorgonzola cheese, avocado and salsa bruschetta and a petite Caesar salad. Visually it was appealing and a nice introduction of what was to come. My entrée was the coconut prawns with mango aioli and mixed greens, while my dining buddy’s was the seafood ravioli with basil oil and prawn bisque. Both dishes were sensational.
We both went with the grilled barramundi as a main and the barramundi could not have been more perfectly cooked. It came on a neat stack of potato mash, broccoli with a lovely lime beurre blanc sauce. By the time we got to dessert there was not much room left, but I made an honest attempt at my almond tuiles with fresh strawberries, and while I didn’t quite finish my dish, it certainly was not for lack of trying, or enjoyment. Our grand finale were petit fours – yum!
I might add that the beverage list was incredible value as well and overall you would be hard pressed finding a dining experience that paralleled for the price anywhere on the coast. A big thanks to the wait staff for the evening too. A little uncertain at times, they took pleasure in their learning and offered cheery and helpful service.
As a visitor or a resident on the Sunshine Coast I encourage you to look out for these dining experiences… the chefs change, as do the menus and themes, but value for money and the opportunity to support our chefs in the making does not. What a great find! View the dinner and lunch services available.