Westlake Chinese Restaurant: Popular with the locals
Photo 1 Westlake Chinese Restaurant
Photo 2 Tank full of friends? That’s fishy!
Photo 3 Scallops and Ginger
Photo 4 Mongolian Beef stir fry.
We both needed a good Chinese meal, so on the recommendation of the motel owner, we went to the Westlake. It is under one km away in Anzac Avenue, opposite the Clifford Gardens Shopping Centre. The setting was quite intriguing: an old Queenslander style house has been gutted and refurbished with arches and various Chinese style trimmings. Overall, though distinctly novel, the result worked quite well.
We were shown to a table near the entrance, where I watched a steady stream of patrons for both restaurant meals and take-aways. The amount of patronage suggested that this was a popular venue. Nearer to the door was a large tank of fish. A lady from the kitchen arrived with a net and, before I could raise my camera, scooped up a fish and returned from whence she had come. At the next table, a very small girl asked where the lady had taken the fish: the best her mother could say was “she took it to the kitchen to join its friends”. Well, I guess she was right! The service was good to the extent that our orders were taken promptly and the food arrived very soon after – unfortunately, after that, we saw no more of the serving staff!
Favorite Dish: So, to the food. We both ordered soups and both enjoyed them. As main courses, we had Scallops with Ginger (photo 3) and Mongolian Beef (photo 4). After some ‘interesting’ experiences in the past, we tend to be a little wary of Chinese meals in country towns, but all the food was quite acceptable indeed. To be a little picky, the scallops were slightly salty to our taste and the beef a little oily, but on the positive side the accompanying vegetables were suitably fresh and cooked well. The accompanying steamed rice was just about right.
Yes, we would be happy to endorse this restaurant should you be seeking a Chinese meal in Toowoomba. The price below is approximate for a typical main course.
- Food and Dining
Gips Restaurant: Dining Delight
Located in one of Toowoomba’s Historic Homes, Clifford House, Gips Restaurant is a top class dining establishment offering modern Australian cuisine using the best fresh local ingredients. “Modern Australian Cuisine” involves taking those products and treating them with the best elements of International Cuisine to produce taste and texture combinations above and beyond the mundane.
The dining area of the restaurant is divided into sections. What was originally the billiard room of the old house provides an indoor dining room. Off this room is a covered courtyard with outlook over the gardens and adjacent are umbrella covered areas in the garden itself. Next door in the main bulding is a large function room which was catering for a wedding on the night of our visit. We chose to dine in the courtyard adjacent to the gardens. With trees and rock features subtly lit it proved to be a romantic setting for dinner for two. Entertainment was provided by the band in the function room.
Open 7 days - Monday to Friday from 9am for breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee & cocktails anytime
Saturday: open at 11.30am for lunch - afternoon tea and dinner
Sunday: open at 11.30am for lunch
The dinner menu offers 4 starters including garlic bread($8) and bruschetta ($11); 5 entrees ranging in price from $13 to $22. The former being Chef’s soup of the day: the latter Tandoori spiced tiger prawns, pawpaw & coriander salsa.
Mains: 6 choices - $29 to $37.5. covering most food groups: sea food, beef, lamb, duck, pasta for vegetarians.
For big eaters mains can be supplemented with a choice of five side dishes ($8.5)
Some yummy sounding desserts $14 and cheese platters ($12-20) round out the menu.
The drinks list provides a good range of Australian and some imported wines.
I usually list the sparkling wines available in my reviews so readers can make a comparison. At Gips the sparklings listed are Sparkling Grandin Brut– 200 ml bottle N/V France $11, Taltarni ‘T’ Brut N/V Victoria $33, Jansz N/V Tasmania $44.5.
Champagne - Ayala Zero Dosage Brut N/V France $115, Ayala – 375 ml N/V France $62.
About two dozen choices of still white wine by the bottle are available cheapest just under $30 and approx. 3 dozen reds are available : cheapest bottle about $35. Nearly all varietals and wine styles are catered for. BYO is allowed with an $8.5 corkage fee.
The service staff were better than average: both attentive and knowledgeable.
There is plenty of parking on the street outside and at the rear of the extensive property.
Favorite Dish: We chose to share a starter of Duck liver pate, housemade with juniper & thyme cured duck breast & rocket dressed with orange & hazel nut on the side. ($22).
Before our starter arrived we were served a complementary amuse bouche of the chefs soup of the day - spiced cauliflower. It tasted delicious and I was tempted to try more.
Wine choice was a bottle of Taltarni ‘T’ Sparkling Brut Non Vintage Victoria $33. Taltani 'T' proved to be an excellent choice with starter and main meals.
For main course, Madam selected Pan seared barramundi with a green herb crust, saffron gnocchi, green asparagus & red pepper harissa ($35) and he chose Moreton Bay Bug ravioli with seared tiger prawns, asparagus & pancetta in a spicy vermouth cream sauce.
The bill came to 140 dollars which included 10% tip.
To say that we were satisfied with our meals is an understatement. The taste, presentation and size of meals were top notch. Actually, my wife judged the barra with green crust and the red pepper as, "Best ever!" We would not hesitate to recommend Gips.
I’m looking forward to returning on our next road trip to Toowoomba.
- Food and Dining
Veraison: Wine Lovers' Delight
' Veraison: "The Ripening of the Grape" ' the sign says. This plus the display of wine in the front of the restaurant will heighten your expectation of finding a vinous drop or two within.
Entrees: 6 choices ranging from Charcuterie Plate : terrine, cured & smoked meats, condiments, crusty bread - $24 for 2 persons. … to Barnyard Quail: partly deboned, wild rice, pickled beetroot, goats cheese, verjuice & grape dressing - $22.
Mains: 5 choices including Chicken, Lamb, Duck, Beef and Shi-take Mushroom Risotto $27 - $34. Gluten Free and vegetarian options available.
Best quality product is sourced from local areas if possible. For example the chicken and duck is organically grown on a farm at Kilkivan.
A degustation menu is available if everyone at your table wishes to partake of that option - Five courses $65 per person with matching wines $85 per person. (This option reduced to $55 per person with wines on Tuesday, Wed, Thursday). Also on those days a fixed priced menu is available – 2 courses $40; 3 courses $49.
The Friday lunch special is steak with a glass of Shiraz for $22.
This restaurant is a mecca for wine lovers. The wine list at Veraison is as good as you will see anywhere outside of a capital city. The choice is astounding. Each wine variety/style has an A4 page or more of choices. For example in the red wine section there are 6 pages of Shiraz/ Rhone blends & 4 of Cabernet/Bordeaux Blends.
Wines are available by bottle and glass including some the more up-market wines by the glass.
The restaurant holds regular “Winemakers Dinners” : details on the web page.
Opening hours:Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday Lunch from 11am & Dinner from 5pm : Saturday Lunch from 11am. Closed Sunday & Monday.
Favorite Dish: Chef set our taste buds tingling with a complementary amuse of roasted rolled pork belly.
For entrée Madam chose Pear and Gorgonzola Salad. Toasted sour dough rye, walnut oil, candied walnuts - $14. He tried the Buffalo Mozzarella smoked tomatoes, olive tapenade dressing, rocket, sour dough crostini - $18.
Choice of Mains included Rib Fillet. Potato dauphine, confit onions, beets, wilted spinach- $34 and Wild Rabbit saddle stuffed with confit rabbit leg on a bed of white bean, smoked tomato and pancetta risotto. Loved the smoked tomato in both my meals. Have to try making some at home!
We both enjoyed the pear & gorgonzola as well & will add that dish to our eat-at-home menu.
We chose to drink wines by the glass which included sparkling to start and several pinot noir from the extensive wine list.
- Wine Tasting
- Food and Dining
Oxygen Cafe: Organic and Fairtrade cafe
On a Sunday this was one of the few places that was open for trade. We had some great fairtrade coffees and slices of sourdough with strawberry and lime jam. Not too $$$ for this kind of wholesome stuff. I just loved the decor also, and the art on the walls that was for sale. Just such a touch of modern in such an antique town.
Favorite Dish: Well, I really only had some toasted sourdough... I was interested in the Agave Nectar tho, which is a honey replacement.
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The Bindi Spot: Hot Hot Curry!
My friend had butter chicken and I had lamb korma (the two mildest curries on the menu) but both curries were waaaaay hotter than we anticipated. It looked quite delicious and the serve was a good size. I really liked how they had decorated their restaurant. Service was a little relaxed. It took a while to get noticed for water, menus, and taking our order and we were starving.
Favorite Dish: The naan, because it was edible. I don't have much of a tongue for chilli.
- Food and Dining
Westlake Chinese seafood restaurant: awful Chinese restaurant
My homeatay family bought me to go to the Westlake Chinese restaurant, my homestay family said that they are one of the famous Chinese restaurant in Toowoomba. The decoration in there was so old n there were so quiet over there, it's like a ghost house that make me felt uncomfortable. We walked in n calling someone, then an old lady came out from the kitchen,. She gave us menu and we just read for one min, she told us to take an order. The service was really bad. Then, we ordered honey chicken, honey king prawns, fried rice, sweet and sour pork and Mongolian beef. The food came quickly at the same time. By the way, the food was so oily and salty. I don't really like the food. When we having dinner, there was a big cockroach on the wall. Very disappointed.
After fews day, I told to my friend abt the dinner in this restaurant. My friend told me that one of his friend worked in there before, he told my friend that they use the dirty water which is washing the dishes to wash the prawns and they will wash it again with the clean water. When the food drop on the floor, they will still give to customers, there were lots of cockroaches in the kitchen, they don't mind that. If they found any cockroach in the food, they just drop it in the bin and still give to customers.Also, they cook the duck with the dirty oil which cook for many times and turn it to the black colour. when I listened that, I wanna to vomit. I never go there again!
Favorite Dish: kitchenfloor
Encores at the Empire Theatre: Best in town
This restaurant is one of the best in town. Great chef and a variety of fresh, local produce in delicious recipes.
Great ambiance as its connected to the performing arts venue. In fact, they're building it a new wing to expand the restaurant capacity.
Favorite Dish: Love the fish...
Especially love the berrys in contreau dessert with ice cream - yummy
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