Fireworks Cafe & Austi Beach Cafe, Austinmer

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fireowrks cafe austi beach austinmer

fireowrks cafe austi beach austinmer

Fireworks Cafe is on a side street away from the main street and the minute you walk into the converted butcher shop the first word that you think of is quirky. The menu is written on the walls and there are mismatched, colourful lampshades that hang from the ceiling as well as woollen knitted pink balls that look like furry lanterns that trail the front window.

fireowrks cafe austi beach austinmer

Orange, watermelon and ginger juice $6

We start with some refreshments after the  drive. I start off with an Earl Grey tea and Mr NQN starts with a juice with orange, watermelon and ginger which is refreshing and warm with ginger.

fireowrks cafe austi beach austinmer

Earl Grey tea $4

I didn't want to stare too long at the menu-there was a table of people right next to it that perhaps thought that I was busy staring at them so I honed in on the words "pork belly" and "ocean trout"  and ordered these at the table.

fireowrks cafe austi beach austinmer

Pork belly salad $16.50

The pork belly salad arrives and it is a jumble of green rocket, pink jeweled pomegranate seeds, white labneh (yogurt cheese) and cubes of incredibly good pork belly. I know how hard it is to get it right. Sometimes the crackling isn't quite right and it isn't crunchy enough and sometimes the meat is too dry but these little cubes of spice rubbed pork belly are perfectly cooked and despite our initial thought that there might be too much salad for the pork belly we find some pieces hiding underneath. Ratio concern abated.

fireowrks cafe austi beach austinmer

Ocean trout salad $16

The ocean trout salad with chopped boiled eggs, rocket and is also a tidy serving. It's not a huge surfer sized serve and neither is the pork belly so if you're ferociously hungry you might need to rethink the salads and choose something more substantial but it's just what we want considering that I've been eyeing off the fresh fig crostata like a cougar eyes off her prey in a bar.

fireowrks cafe austi beach austinmer

Fresh fig crostata $8.50

The fresh fig crostata is gorgeously simple. A buttery, crumbly crostata crust is topped with cinnamon spiced fresh fig segments and it is served with whipped cream. The pastry in particularly good and I love the crumbly butteriness of it. After polishing off the last crumb I do a little shopping at the shops next door. Kashmiri sells Balinese, Turkish and other goodies and I buy some tea plates for friends.

fireowrks cafe austi beach austinmer

We take the brief trip down to the main drag for some gelato at Austi Beach cafe. The atmosphere here is very different from the Fireworks Cafe. This is large yet still friendly and busy with families and kids a plenty. We take a seat after doing some reconnaissance work with the gelato up front.

fireowrks cafe austi beach austinmer

Donatella and panna cotta gelato

The donatella (and the first thing I thug of was the blonde tanned fashion designer Donatella Versace) is a mix of hazelnut and chocolate and is a lovely balanced mixture of both. The panna cotta is also good but I only have eyes for Donatella (the gelato I mean).

fireowrks cafe austi beach austinmer

Blood Orange and berry gelato

The blood orange gelato is very odd, tasting more like orange and it is more sherbetty Fanta than blood orange. The berry gelato is good although I am happy to pass this back to Mr NQN in favour of the other gelato cup.

So tell me Dear Reader, do you look back on bad meals with anguish?

fireowrks cafe austi beach austinmer

Fireworks Cafe

40 Moore Street, Austinmer

Tel: +61 (02) 4268 1139

Open Wed 9:30am-3:30pm; Thu-Sun 9:30am-3:30pm, 7pm-9:30pm

Austi Beach Cafe

104 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Austinmer

Tel: +61 (02) 4268 5680