A bit of this and that...with added frangipani.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Nice Break From Cooking Breakfast - Plus a Giveaway!

I was on Twitter the other day, and I saw a contest to win a meal at Mizuna Restaurant at the Novotel Oasis in Cairns. All I had to do was follow and retweet, and I was in it to win it. I  thought that was the end of it, but then I received a very kind personal invitation to join them for their breakfast buffet. 

I had to think long and hard about that one:
  1. Would I have to cook the breakfast? No.
  2. Would I have to take the kids? It was during the week after school drop-off. No.
  3. Would I have to clean up after breakfast? No.
  4. Could I bring another mum who would also appreciate a meal that met criteria 1, 2 and 3? Yes.
No further questions needed asking.

After a false start, with one of the kidlets ending up sick on the day we originally planned, we finally got there yesterday. I am glad, because it was a glorious morning in Cairns.

We enjoyed our breakfast of the usual fare that one finds at a breakfast buffet, but I have to make special mention of these three things:
  1. They offered French Toast, which if I had seen it before I loaded up with savoury food, I would have pounced on it in a second, as it is a childhood favourite. I don't see it very often since I moved to Australia.

  2. They had Organic Banana Bread. I don't know if Organic Banana Bread tastes any different than normal Banana Bread, but it does really sound like you're having something yummy.

  3. They had what I like to call 'yoghurt shots', but I kept getting it mixed up and I called them 'jelly shots'. You can see that I might have had a fair few of those in my pre-motherhood days. Anyway, these were shot glasses filled with Berry Infused Organic Greek yoghurt, or you could have it with passionfruit instead of berries. I adore Greek yoghurt. I had both.
The lady who served us was so very helpful and made us feel welcome from the moment we arrived. When the cappuccino machine didn't seem to be giving any milk, she organised two freshly made coffees, as quick as a wink.

Upon meeting our friendly host, Robert, I wanted to know more about my favourite meal of the day, the one that ends in dessert. Robert kindly let us peruse the dinner menu, which is offered buffet style also. This is because, for the benefit of the tourists, they offer the Aussie tastes such as crocodile and kangaroo. Most people like to sample these rather than order a whole main. There was a whole page of scrumptious sounding food and not just tourist fare, but these are the things that I would definitely be putting on my plate given the chance:

Asparagus and Parmesan Salad
Crab Cakes on Shaved Cucumber with Chilli
Pumpkin & Sage Gnocchi with Chorizo
Plum and Maple Syrup Cheesecake

and la pièce de résistance...

Rich Chocolate Fountain with Chunks of Fruit and Marshmallows.
 (Really, on a particularly harrowing day, I could skip all the other stuff and just sit down to this.)

After breakfast, we had a sticky beak at the pool area and had to drag ourselves away. The pool area and bar looked particularly inviting, and it is a good thing the bar was closed at the time of our tour, or we might have extended breakfast into lunch and a glass of vino. The hotel itself is quaint in that the floors only go so high, so it doesn't have that huge hotel feel.

So here are the facts that you might want to know:
Breakfast: The breakfast buffet that we had is priced at $28 pp
Locals: You get a discounted price of $19 pp.

The dinner buffet has a good range of choices, including some seafood, and they do live cooking of some of the dishes. During the week it is $49 pp, but on Fridays and Saturdays it is $60 pp, because the selection of seafood is greater.
There is an Early-Bird Special from 6 to 7 pm, with 20% off both food and drinks.

Locals Rates on Rooms:
Whilst I was there, I priced a double-double room for locals. It is $125 for room only and $140 if you want to have breakfast included.

The hotel is centrally located within walking distance from the Esplanade and Cairns Central Shopping Centre. Personally, I would consider it for a mini-break with or without the kids.
Thanks to the  Novotel Oasis Cairns for giving these two mums the chance to sit back and relax during breakfast--and it wasn't even Mothers' Day!

And now for the fun part! Robert at the Novotel Oasis Cairns has generously offered my readers a voucher for dinner for two people in Mizuna Restaurant valid 1 April 2011 – 30 June 2011. Here are the rules:
  1. The competition is open to Cairns residents, or if you plan to be in Cairns during 1 April to 30 June 2011, you are also most welcome to enter.
  2. The competition ends at 10 pm (Brisbane Time) on Thursday 31 March 2011.
  3. The winning entry (in the form of a comment left here on the blog) will be drawn by random number generator at random.org.
  4. The voucher is not redeemable for cash money, and if for some reason you can't make it to the restaurant in the period that the voucher is valid, give it to someone who can use it--they will love you  for it. ;-)
  5. If you want to comment on this post to let me know I need a new wrinkle cream or that you love Greek yoghurt as much as me, please do (OK, maybe you can keep the wrinkle cream comment to yourself), but just let me know that you aren't entering the competition. That way I can exclude your comment from the draw.
 How do you enter? 
  1. Make sure you are following this blog by your preferred means (e.g. Google Friend Connect or RSS Feed) and comment to let me know you have done so or that you are already a follower. 1 entry
  2. Follow @Troppomum on Twitter and leave a separate comment here. 1 entry
  3. Follow @NovotelCairns on Twitter and leave a separate comment here. 1 entry
  4. Retweet this post and leave a separate comment here. 1 entry
  5. Share a link to this post on Facebook and leave a separate comment here. 1 entry
Totally optional and doesn't get you an extra entry, but gives you a warm fuzzy glow that you made someone's day:
 Good Luck!

Edited: This competition is now closed. The lucky winner is Keithea Schaedler of Port Douglas.


  1. Well now I want to move to Cairnes!! Looks so yummy - Jealous muchly :-)

  2. I know @CairnsDining loved her meal there last week- she posted a photo of the chocolate fountain on FourSquare!

    I keep meaning to go myself and of course a free dinner for two would be the ideal excuse...

    Oh and you are already on my blogfeed...

  3. Hey! I follow @TroppoMum on twitter!

  4. And I follow @NovotelCairns on twitter!

  5. I have now retweeted the original link to this post (I'm on a roll!)

  6. And finally... I hope to see some of my facebook pals here commenting below after I posted a link there!

    Phew! I think I'm done :-)

  7. Hey! Great comp.

    We're in Perth April 2nd for a week before moving on up to Cairns.

    We now follow @TroppoMum on Twitter!

  8. Well, we now follow @NovotelCairns on Twitter!

  9. And to top it all off, we've just retweeted this link (http://twitter.com/#!/twofromwales/status/51137462629699584). I hope that makes it three entries :-)

  10. Yum, would love to try the chocolate fountain!!

  11. Yummy! I tweeted and facebooked.

  12. Yum, French Toast with Maple Syrup (I even have a bottle of Maple Syrup all the way from Canada).

    Have subscribed to your RSS feed

  13. I already follow @Troppomum

  14. I now follow @NovotelCairns

  15. Have this link with my friends on Facebook. I hope you get lots of entries

  16. Ooh! My mom and I are going to Cairns (from Calgary, Alberta, Canada) April 30 - May 22. Hope we win some noms, it'd be great to take her! :)

    Follow you on here via google.

  17. I follow @NovotelCairns on twitter as well.

  18. now following on Twitter! Thanks for the post, looks like a great spot :)

  19. From: Di Wilcocks on my FB Page

    Can I win the dinner
    As I to am a troppo mum
    I keep trying to get thinner
    But lets face it that's just dum.
    Clearly I need to get out more please help

  20. From Di Wilcocks on Twitter

    I'm following and tweeting in the hope of being fed. Please let us win the dinner as our social life is dead

  21. From Di Willcocks (sorry for the earlier spelling mistakes) on Twitter:


  22. Brekkie sounded great. Would love to try the dinner. I follow @Troppomum on Twitter. And I've liked Tropical Mum on fb too. AND I'm hoping that "Cairns residents" includes those of us from beautiful Port Douglas!(All part of Cairns Regional Council now.)

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