Cruisers Cafe Bar and Grill, Portside Wharf, Hamilton, Brisbane - my name is Food.

Cruisers Cafe Bar and Grill, Portside Wharf, Hamilton, Brisbane

July 04, 2016

Cruisers Cafe, Bar and Grill is a family owned and run business committed to deliver great food with excellent value. Located in Portside Wharf, it surrounds itself with the bubbly environment as well as free parking is also available which is great. Though it does not have the waterfront view but this should not direct you away from the restaurant as it is a place where you can have a family dinner, dates or even catch ups at. I have been to Portside Wharf many times before but have not dined at Cruisers before hence when given the opportunity to try their food and dine there, I thought why not?

An alfresco dining covered by a white gazebo with wicker furniture table seating.

Having a modern Australian menu ranging from char grilled steaks to light meals and snacks or pasta and burgers, the menu will suit any taste buds. As well as a wide range of wine menu allows anyone to have a drink or two and even just stopping by for coffee and cake. You will not regret trying one of their cakes or sweets!

Meeting Michael,the host and owner of the restaurant was very welcoming and the friendly staff made the experience an enjoyable lunch. Michael gave me a brief insight on his journey and how both him and his wife are Chefs and the funny thing was that back in the days, when they were getting to know each other, they tried to not talk about work and ended up not knowing that they were both in the same industry. Having many years of professional experience, it is obvious that they are both well qualified in the industry. Cruisers also had a big renovation and grand opening previously allowing them to create new dishes and twists in your normal or typical cafe or grill restaurants.

We never really like to stuff ourself with a whole lot of food and then not finish it, so we thought we would start off with a light meal and then our two mains, and of course, we always have to try and leave some space in our tummy for some dessert. Especially when you see delicious sweets in their glass display. Starting off with 'Salt and Pepper Calamari' ($15.9) was served with chips and lemon aioli. This dish itself was presented beautifully, simple but yet elegant.

The calamari was served on a small fryer basket and crunchy chips was placed on the side as well as a lemon wedge and a little sauce bowl of lemon aioli. What lacked was the sauce, I really liked the hint of lemon in the aioli but we just wanted more of it. The chips were fried and seasoned well and was crispy throughout. The calamari was placed on top of mixed lettuce inside it which we didn't actually realise but it was good that they did that allowing the excess oil to drip out of the calamari. The only downside was when we wanted to eat the salad, it had the dripping oil on it. But overall, the salt and pepper calamari is definitely a great and delicious dish to have not only as a starter but also as a light meal if you aren't too hungry. The salt and pepper calamari was fried and seasoned well again and having hints of cracked pepper as well as parsley on top allows you to look forward to dig in. 

'Under and Over Shiraz, Heathcote Vic' ($8/glass) + 'Asahi'

One of the chargrilled dishes caught our eye and it was the 'Reef & Beef' ($27.9) was a 200g Rump steak with creamy garlic prawns. All chargrilled dishes were served with a choice of chunky chips & salad or creamy mash & vegetables. The dish was served with a garlic cream sauce so if you do like your steak to have your usual mushroom or peppercorn sauce, then do ask for extra or if not, just simply order a steak and add a creamy garlic prawn topper. 

Big portion of the dish was a definite, what was great was the amount of creamy garlic sauce was just enough for the steak as well as the garlic prawns. It is annoying when ordering steak sometimes and you have to look or scrape the sauce from the plate just because there's not much of it. The chips were cooked well, nice and crispy, having the steak with creamy garlic sauce made me realise that sometimes white sauces can be as good as your mushroom or peppercorn or red wine jus.

Having creamy garlic prawns on top of your steak allows you to have a bit of both worlds really, your meat and also seafood. The salad on the side was fresh and brightly colourful having a simple dressing of balsamic allowed it to calm your tastebud while eating the meaty steak and the creamy garlic sauce. The salad consisted ot red onions, tomato, carrots and a mixture of greens.

'Lamb Shanks' ($22.9) is slow cooked in tomato and red wine served with creamy mash. I don't usually go for Lamb shanks when dining out since it is usually quite a heavy and filling meal to have. However, I decided to have it today and it was not a wrong choice. I did not actually realise how big the portion would be, a whole shank full all for myself? Sometimes even if it was a full shank, it isn't quite as big as this.

The lamb shank meat was cooked to perfection, it had the right flavour as well as having the rich sauce and the creamy mash to finish it off. The sauce was quite rich but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

What the great thing is that all the meat was so off the bone so easily and by mixing it with the tomato and red wine sauce, it blended and combined well. The creamy mash was definitely creamy and was a good accompaniment of the sauce as well as the lamb shank. I did however feel that the tomato and red wine sauce was abit too oily to my liking as you could see the oil residue on top as well as the bottom. But when you do give the sauce a little mix, you don't really see as much of it.

Since we couldn't fit as much as we'd liked to, we did fit a 'Raspberry cheesecake' and 'Flat White'. Not wanting a heavy dessert, we decided to go for the cheesecake rather than the other options on the dessert menu even if they did sound delicious as well.

The cheesecake was definitely made with love. Sometimes when eating cheesecake, you tend to feel and taste the cheese particles but know that it isn't fully cheese.. if you know what I mean. When I make my cheesecake, I like to be able to taste the cheese even if I do know how much I had put in firstly. The raspberry was not just amongst the cheesecake here and there but throughout which made it really enjoyable. If there was a whole cake available for order, maybe I would want to order one full cake next time for an event or even just to enjoy at home. Having the raspberry coulis and whipped cream on the side as well as dusted icing sugar all over the dish made it pleasantly pretty to look at. Furthermore, the raspberry and the cheese within the cheesecake was quite strong and you could taste the raspberry without the cheesecake itself being too sweet. Some cheesecakes can be overly sweet or bland but this was definitely not.

Michael had told me that all the desserts and slices were all handmade by his wife, Diana herself which I felt was brilliant. It is great to see that both owners are very involved in the running and maintaining the food quality as it is hard to see sometimes in other restaurants. By having handmade desserts, you are able to experience and taste the real deal. Sometimes when having desserts and if it was pre-packaged or maybe just being heated up from being a store bought product, you can really taste the difference in terms of flavour, quality and as well as the experience you take away from your dining experience. May it be a brownie or an almond biscuit, even a cheesecake or a chocolate cake, they are all handmade. It takes me back to a true home made meal feeling rather actually..

*mynameisFood. was invited and dined as a guest of Cruisers Cafe Bar and Grill, as always, opinions are my own.

Cruisers Cafe Bar and Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

You Might Also Like


Featured Review of the Month

Fogata Latin Fusion Bar & Restaurant - Fortitude Valley, Brisbane


View my food journey on Zomato!