UPDATE September 2013: From Earth and Water named in The Courier-Mail‘s Top 100 restaurants in Queensland!
UPDATE December 2012:
Spring has brought expansion and renewal to From Earth and Water, with a move to sparkling new premises and some menu changes. No longer housed in a laneway and cramped dark space, the new white-washed walled restaurant highlights the freshness of Nicki Fulton’s food. Once tucked away, it now feels as though the curtained windows have been thrown open and the sunlight turned on to the vegan cuisine that Nicki cooks so well.
Nicki’s joined in the kitchen by Gareth and Jonas, allowing extended hours and an expansion to the menu. Old favourites (such as the tacos) are still there, but new dishes will delight the restaurant’s regulars.
Our salad of Fresh fig with romemsco sauce, crisp carta di musica crisps, shaved dr cow aged cashew cream (a 3-month aged non-dairy cheese sourced in the U.S.) and balsamic dressing imaginatively combines known and unknown ingredients, a balance of crisp and firm, light and shade with peppery greens, succulent figs and the complex rich depth of vegan cheese, leaving a satiated but fresh palate.
This is, in our opinion, the most exciting fine vegetarian food on the Gold Coast. Bravo!
STOP PRESS: Congratulations to From Earth and Water, Burleigh Heads, on their win of the Outstanding Vegan Restaurant Oceania, at the Vegan of the Year Awards.
Nicki Fulton, proprietor and chef of From Earth and Water in Burleigh Heads, knows the value of food which not only tastes great but is good for you. She’s a woman with a passion to awaken our senses to the multitude of tastes in fresh food, to break down the myths about vegetarian and vegan food, to build sustainability both for producers and consumers, and above all to raise the bar on fresh raw food taste and presentation.
Nicki’s tiny café is itself a natural haven. Fanned by cool breezes, we’re seated on timber planked furniture in a slate-lined arcade; a world away from the hustle of busy shops. A simple blackboard outlines main course dishes and the daily special. For desserts, Nicki’s specialty, you must gaze into the refrigerated display cabinet and try to choose!
A chef with 15 years experience, Nicki realised the market for 100 % plant based food of the highest quality, freshly sourced from the best local growers. Food in her restaurant is free of all gluten, dairy, refined sugars and processed ingredients, so it’s suitable for people with food intolerance.
Joining her in the kitchen is Mark, a chef trained under Dennis Cotter, the award winning owner of Ireland’s famous Café Paradiso. Together they look to find flavour combinations that work well, to enhance the taste of top quality ingredients, to refine raw food ‘cooking’ techniques and, importantly, to celebrate dining experience through exquisite presentation.
So, why am I surprised that this food is so flavoursome! I order the Tartlet of tomato and basil, a beautifully presented tart served with rocket pesto and a bouquet of perfectly dressed organic greens. After a conversation with the ladies seated beside me, I also taste a forkful of the Timbale of braised lentils, marinated tomato and cashew cream cheese wrapped in zucchini with sugar snaps and a saffron sauce. Both dishes are simply delicious, surprising in their complexity of flavours, and I feel so satisfied that there’s no room for dessert.
Nikki’s pleasure in food is also shared though education. With her raw food cooking classes booked out far in advance, the only way in is to join the waiting list. It’s not surprising that From Earth and Water boasts patronage from Byron to Noosa. Like Dennis Cotter, Nicki is trying to take vegetarian food to the next level, focusing not on what is missing on the plate, but on how much pleasure is there.
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