04 December 2009

ba8 Lounge Bar - No lounges to be had, but fabulous Spring Rolls!

There are some great perks to being a Sales Rep - I get to travel a lot, (usually) stay in nice Hotels and eat out at Restaurants I couldn't afford normally.

One of the downsides, however, is that I usually travel alone. That in itself isn't so bad, being on my own reminds me that I'm a big girl that can look after herself - it reasserts my independance - but I absolutely hate eating by myself. I feel like such an idiot, sitting alone in a Restaurant, so self concious that I honestly can't enjoy my meal.

So, that being said, I almost always have Room Service. I looooove Room Service. There is something so luxurious about eating dinner in bed, getting crumbs everywhere and knowing you'll have fresh sheets tomorrow! (Through no effort of my own either!)

But today - well today was a shocker, I had such a bad day that all I wanted was to go to the bar, have a few drinks to unwind and hopefully wash away the disaster that was Friday.

I checked into the Shangri La, dumped my bags in my room and hightailed it to the Bar. It was barely 5pm but Ba8 was already pumping. It's a gorgeous Bar, right on the water with a stunning outlook onto the Cairns Marina as well as into the way the other half live.

I was a bit nervous, seeing the crowd at the bar and wondering if there were any tables left but I could see all the way out to the deck and the place seemed deserted - thank you God - I thought silently, I can enjoy my drink in peace.

I ordered a Vodka, Lime and Lemonade as well as a tapas plate - Crocodile and Pork Spring Rolls $10. My drink was made promptly and with a genuine smile, and the Bartender invited me to "grab a table and enjoy the view". Nice. I was excited.

However, when I wandered onto the deck with drink in hand- every single table was reserved. Not exactly sure which table he had in mind... or maybe it was just the robotic welcome, I went back to the bar and tried my best to look cool - like I wasn't so pathetic no one would drink with me, that I was possibly waiting for a friend, and like: no, thank you - I don't want you to join me... urgh. (The Xmas Party people had obviously been there since lunch time...)

Fastforwarding through the awkwardness, the Spring rolls, when they arrived, were surprisingly good - quite obviously home made and with super crisp pastry. It wasn't the first time I have had crocodile - but it was easily the most enjoyable. Each spring roll was generously stuffed with a mixture of shredded pork and crocodile along with spiced vermicelli noodles.

On an odd note, out of the 3 spring rolls - 2 were exactly the same but the third had julienne red and yellow capsicum and some kind of mustard fruit... definately different to the other 2 but still nice... just different... The sauces - a sweet chilli and a plum were commercially made and nothing special - but they did give it a nice little kick.
2 more vodkas later and I was feeling much more at peace with my crap day, and not feeling nearly as self concious about drinking alone like a alcoholic Sales Rep... :)

The Verdict: Great bar, gorgeous views and all dished up with great service.

Recommendations: The Spring Rolls were great, and as an added observation - the Aioli here is the best I have had anywhere - so you can't go wrong with the Chips and Aioli. Get in early to secure a table on the deck - but good luck over Xmas - they are pretty heavily booked.

Contact: Ba8 Lounge Bar

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