Protein, spice & all things nice
Walk down James St (Burleigh not New Farm) and you will be lured in with the fine sounds of the ukulele, serenading diners in a courtyard, almost hidden away from the main drag. If it weren’t for the Lionel Richie look-a-like’s voice spiraling down the walkway you would easily miss this superb restaurant.
When we discovered this place, we were desperate for a decent meal out and were overjoyed to find it – a jewel amongst the thorns (sushi and Cold Rock just weren’t doing it for us). A tiki bar sits prominently in this restaurant and an open serving counter allows for sneak peaks into the chef’s quarters. Indoor and courtyard dining lends itself to a relaxed atmosphere with the light set at the perfect dim.
The meals are an interesting mix from spice-orientated nations, from Jamaica through to India and Fiji. Both the fish wrapped with banana leaf and the lamb curry are excellent. The Polynesian fish is served in a light curry sauce with the usual vegetables plus some baked yam, which is surprisingly not too bad. I don’t come from a big yam eating family so I was a little hesitant at first, but my hesitation was completely unfounded. The Fijian styled lamb curry is described as having the right amount of spice and sauce, sufficient to keep dipping in with Indian Flaky Parathas (like a flatter, crispier naan bread).
I’ve only tried one dessert and it was an ice-cream stack doused in strawberry and chocolate syrup, with some cardamom and macerated pistachios sprinkled on top. The sweet rose water drizzling was what made this otherwise ordinary dish something more special.
One of the highlights of this joint is their entertainment which sometimes includes a have-a-joke musician. His upbeat, yet dinner-style, songs are all well known classics that always have us bopping in our seats and going ‘oh this song, remember this one?’ Last time I went, most of the restaurant enjoyed a laugh when the musician joked with some 20-somethings with big arms ‘Did you get enough protein tonight?’ It was all in good cheer though with the gym-junkies smiling and waving as they left for the evening.
View: zullazexoticcuisine.com.au; Visit: Big B Arcade 21-50 James St, Burleigh Heads; Call: +61 5535 3511; Open: Tues – Sat, 6 – 9:30pm; Wallet: Fish in banana leaf $27; Lamb curry $24.by