Life’s a beach

It’s the same every year.

The AFL season is over and I want to find a dark corner and assume the foetal position until March next year.

Other than that, I never know what to do with myself.

Thankfully the warmer weather has encouraged me to get outdoors and my family and I recently went to Coogee Beach, where we discovered Surfing Lizard Cafe.

This fabulous beachside eatery is the perfect place to bask in sunshine while enjoying a quality feed.

The menu is crammed with modern favourites that have an Asian twist, like arancini with lemongrass and ginger chicken ($16.80) and a lemon chicken burger with avocado, sweet chilli sauce and soya mayo ($19.90).

Duck fat fries ($9.80) peaked my curiosity.

The thin, golden-crunchy fries are mixed with bread crumbs soaked in duck fat.

They’re very moreish and I haven’t stopped thinking about them since.

Ten bucks is a lot to pay for chips, but the serve is massive.

My wife Kylie dived headfirst into her superfood salad ($17.80) with calamari ($5).

It’s a colourful medley of rice, quinoa, cauliflower, sweet currents, firm peas, corn and red cabbage, all dressed in an aromatic vinaigrette. The fresh salad had a lovely texture, and the deep-fried calamari rings were cooked to perfection, according to Kylie.

Aware of the restaurant’s Asian influence, I ordered the tom yum soup from the specials board ($17.90).

The comforting, wholesome broth is rich, spicy and fragrant with that trademark sour aftertaste. 

The rice noodles are accompanied with spinach leaves, chives, thick mushroom slices, chicken breast and red cabbage.

I wasn’t expecting such a large serving and I just managed to slurp up every last rice noodle. Delicious.

The kid’s menu is bigger than most cafes and includes toasted sandwiches, croissants, pancakes, waffles and the ubiquitous chicken nuggets. Both Ollie and Chloe settled on the ham and cheese toastie with a side of fries ($9.80).

Pretty average stuff, but the kids devoured it. 

With a fresh new menu, a fantastic alfresco and a recently installed cubby house for the kids, I imagine Surfing Lizard Cafe will be kicking goals all through summer.

Surfing Lizard Cafe
20 Poore Grove, Coogee
0415 604 496

by MATTHEW EELES

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