Sunday, 20 July 2014

REVIEW: Cove Bar & Dining

Cassie Cakes Cove Bar & Dining Review - Beautiful sunshine
What a lovely day with some gorgeous sunshine.

Yesterday, we had two birthdays to celebrate! Mr Cakes parents birthdays are two days apart! Which I think is pretty cool. I asked them what they thought when they found out their birthdays were so close together but neither could recall the conversation. I reckon it went like this: “You’re born on the 18th? Oh em gee, I’m born on the 20th! THIS IS AMAZING! WHAT ARE THE CHANCES! No…seriously, I want to know. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES!?!”…that would have been my reaction any way. Both Mr Cakes and I are born on the 9th of different months and that blew my mind. I don’t think I could handle a greater coincidence. I’m way too excitable.

Cassie Cakes Cove Bar & Dining Review - River Quay
The walk up to Cove, which is on the end there. I ride my bike down this path most mornings - zoom!

Anyway, we went to Cove Bar and Dining to dine and drink and cheer. It just so happens that I celebrated my birthday here for dinner earlier in the year, and from what I can remember, had a wonderful time. I was curious to see if my blurred recollection was correct or if my exuberant, intoxicated birthday self just had beer goggles on.

Cassie Cakes Cove Bar & Dining Review - Many glasses of wine were had
Many glasses of wine were had, and they went down a treat! Like my arty photo?

Cove is part of the new dining section in South Bank, River Quay. Now when I say new, I think it’s actually been there for 2 or 3 years! Time flies. I ride my bike to and from work through this precinct and it really is a lovely part of Brisbane. The restaurants here have a lovely aspect and there would be few others with views as nice as those in River Quay. We were also treated to live music from a band playing for the Regional Flavours festival so most of our senses were delighted – the taste buds awaited their turn!

Cassie Cakes Cove Bar & Dining Review  - The River Quay Green
The festivities on the River Quay Green where the live band was playing.

The wait staff were very attentive and we were offered water and drinks soon after being seated. They do offer only still or sparkling, for which you will be charged for so if you want tap water, you need to specify that. Mr Cakes ordered a ‘Big Head’ beer which just tickled me. His head is rather large, in my opinion, so that was appropriate.

Cassie Cakes Cove Bar & Dining Review - Big head beer
The resemblance to Mr Cakes is uncanny. 

While pondering over our meal choices, we spied delicious looking prawns coming out of the kitchen and I knew that’s what I would be getting! So did the majority of the table! The Grilled Chilli Prawns ($18) were served with coconut risotto and an award winning chilli paste, the menu informed that the paste was a 2014 chilli cook off winner! I’m always partial to a little heat so for me, this was a success. The prawns were nice and big, the serving overall was very generous. The combination of coconut and prawns is a classic and didn’t let us down.

Cassie Cakes Cove Bar & Dining Review - Grilled Chilli Prawns
The delicious Grilled Chilli Prawns...there's a third prawn hiding in the back there but I found him...I found him.

The only other two choices made for entrees in the group were the Peking Duck Wraps ($19) and the Szechuan Salt and Pepper Calamari ($18). The calamari was really tender and not stringy at all. The pieces were crisp on the outside and I couldn’t detect any oiliness at all. Stringy and oily calamari is just the worst and always a real and present danger. Cove certainly avoided those all too common pitfalls. I think there may have been some saffron or turmeric in the calamari batter as it had a lovely yellow colouring.
Cassie Cakes Cove Bar & Dining Review - Szechuan Salt & Pepper Calamari
See that crunchy texture? Very moreish!

The duck wraps were by reports a delight too, with a number of large wraps coming out. The Asian flavours were wonderfully balanced and the hoisin sauce was delicious as well! So far, Cove hadn’t put a foot wrong.
Cassie Cakes Cove Bar & Dining Review - Peking Duck Wraps
For main, I was really tempted by the Chilli Prawn Linguine ($29) but I didn’t want to double up on seafood so I went with Whiskey Roasted Lamb rump ($35), which comes with eggplant puree and I have a thing about eggplant. Love it! I wasn’t disappointed. Again, the serving was sizeable and the lamb was cooked skilfully. I would have liked it a touch pinker but I think that’s just me. The roasted beets were delightful and so was the eggplant puree. How come eggplant is so damn good! I don’t have all the answers, maybe they’re the eggs of unicorns. Who says unicorns wouldn’t lay eggplants! Hmm…moving on. Anyway, I did think the cherry tomatoes could have been roasted as well, they were served whole and raw which I didn’t like, and neither did the other diner who ordered the lamb. It was a minor complaint though and on the whole I was very satisfied.

Cassie Cakes Cove Bar & Dining Review - Whiskey Roasted Lamb Rump
Those beets were so good and the eggplant puree...heavenly.

Mr. Cakes got the Graziers Plate, a 200g Black Angus Rump ($35) because he almost ALWAYS gets a steak. Getting a very lengthy critique can be a little difficult but he stated it was very nice. He ordered medium rare though and it was most definitely medium. Perhaps there was a slight mistiming for the meats in the kitchen? Still, the whole dish was quickly devoured and he says  he would get it again.

Cassie Cakes Cove Bar & Dining Review - Graziers Plate
Look at that onion! That's a nice onion. It knows it too.
The vegetarians at the table both ordered the only vegetarian main, the Honey Baked Pumpkin Risotto ($25). Sometimes I feel sorry for vegetarians, they tend to not get many options, it would be nice to see more than one choice. However, if this was the only option for them, it was a stellar option. The pieces of pumpkin were large and visible and as a pumpkin lover, I would love to give it a go! The texture was very pleasing, not gluey as risotto can tend to be. Both diners were most pleased with it!

Cassie Cakes Cove Bar & Dining Review - Honey Roasted Pumpkin Risotto
That looks like a vegetarian delight! Tell me that is doesn't! I won't believe you!

A lunchtime only option is the burgers. At $23, the Rib Fillet Steak Burger is on the more pricey side for a burger, but again, I really do think Cove provides a good size serving so I wouldn’t shy away.  The staff were very accommodating and provided the steak on the burger well done at the request of my dining friend. The toppings for the burger were well matched with fresh salad and caramelised onions and bacon. A classic combination!

Cassie Cakes Cove Bar & Dining Review - Rib Fillet Burger
A slightly unfocused photo of the rib fillet burger. Trust me, it was not blurry in person. Oh look at that chip at the back there. I bet I stole that. Nothing stands between me and a crunchy chip.

Finally, the last main order was the Massaman Lamb Shank ($32). It comes in either hot or medium so you can control the heat factor. In what I’m beginning to believe is typical Cove fashion, the serving while only one shank, was pretty big. There were plenty of potatoes accompanying the shank too and I would highly recommend this our gorgeous winter weather.
Look at all that potato! Cove has potatoes down.
Honestly, if I could tell you one thing about Cove it would be this: Get some chips. In fact, get two servings of chips. The chips here are double fried and just so good. I love a good chip and if you’re at all human, you will too. Trust me. Get the chips.

Cassie Cakes Cove Bar & Dining Review - Amazing chips
Shut. The. Front. Door.

Overall, we had an absolutely superb time at Cove. The staff were attentive, helpful and well humoured, the view is stunning and I find the prices to be reasonable for the ample servings. We drank and ate our fill and then some and per head, the bill was very affordable .
Cassie Cakes Cove Bar & Dining Review - The draw bar at Cove
We made good use of the bar! Be sure to check out the cocktail names on the menu too! Pretty amusing.
I’m glad to say it was not just my birthday love goggles which gave me such a pleasant experience last time and for the upper level of casual dining, it offers an elegant experience.

Look at this beautiful tree! And there's our cab, patiently waiting.

Food: 4/5
Service: 5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Atmosphere: 4.5/5

Cove Bar & Dining on Urbanspoon

Oh by the way, here are a few photos of the buttermilk vanilla cake with strawberry compote and whipped vanilla cream that I made for the birthday lady and gent's birthday! I promise to post the recipe  next time I make it! Soon!

Cassie Cakes Cove Bar & Dining Review - Buttermilk cake
Cassie Cakes Cove Bar & Dining Review - Buttermilk cake elephant
Cassie Cakes Cove Bar & Dining Review - Buttermilk cake cut

Cassie Cakes Cove Bar & Dining Review - Buttermilk cake close up


  1. Love the review but loved the scrumptious cake as well

    1. Yay! Thanks Julie! It was a lot more pink than in the photos.


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