When Alfred dropped us back to the beautiful Baie Des Citrons (Lemon Bay) we certainly didn’t need lunch as we’d been to the patisserie and the milkshake shop and it seemed we’d been eating all day. However, across the road from the beach we saw a cafe in the very new retail complex, Le Mirage Plaza and unlike the other cafes we could see, this cafe was crowded with customers. I wondered what we were missing out on.
So with stomachs already distended we crossed the road and walked into the Beach Rock Cafe which just might be a copy of another well-known franchise except these cafes all have beach views and you can sit outside enjoying the fresh air instead of being in an air-conditioned box.
This certainly was a touch of 1950′s USA in French New Caledonia and sitting in a vinyl booth reminded me very much of Happy Days and Grease.
The prime seating position would have to be dining in the Chev Bel Air however, like I said, this cafe is popular and another family was enjoying that coveted position enormously so we sat instead in a turquoise-coloured vinyl booth.
As much as this is a toast to everything that has put America on the world map, that’s not to say the menus are in English. The waitress spoke to us in French and we tried to understand. Miss Arabella did four years of French at school and understood less French than I did. And they say she is intelligent. What went wrong?
I ordered the Santa Fe Burger (1,600CFP) which had salad, tomato, chicken (medallion de blanc de poulet, chilli sauce, swiss cheese and pureed avocado). Service is quick and it arrived in a deep-frying basket lined with artificial newspaper giving me the news in English from a Hawiian newspaper. It was from 1901 where it cost 1 cent to buy the newspaper in Honolulu and 2 cents to purchase it from any other Hawaiian island.
There were shoestring fries at the bottom of the basket and the burger was sitting on top. It was a substantial looking burger full of moist chicken and lots of sauce and flavour. Somehow I ate it all but not all the fries that were well-cooked (not blonde) and crunchy.
Miss Arabella ordered the Black N Blue Cheeseburger (1,500CFP) with salade verte, tomato, onions, a steak pattie, bacon and ‘sauce au bleu’. She only ate half of it as found the flavour very strong as wasn’t expecting a blue cheese sauce – should have paid attention in French class!
Alfie wanted a pizza and chose the Kurt Cobain (2,200CFP). It came with BBQ sauce, onions, capsicum, chicken, bacon and mozzarella. Had we known the size of it we would have suggested he share it as it arrived in the shape of an electric guitar and was almost as long as the table. It was in one piece and he was given a sharp knife to cut it and being able to wield a sharp knife (forbidden at home) totally lit up his face.
Now Carl, having eaten an enormous breakfast of a bowl of fruit, two poached eggs, a cheese omelette, an English muffin and a pastry, followed by a baguette from the famous patisserie in Noumea then followed by a mango milkshake from a famous milkbar in Noumea; said he wasn’t going to dine and instead just have a water. But he couldn’t let Arabella’s burger go to waste and certainly Alfie needed some assistance with that pizza.
Carl said it was the best pizza he’s ever eaten.
It would have been wonderful if we’d had room to try the desserts. There was an American Brownie, a New York Cheesecake, ‘The King’ Chocolate Mousse that apparently is an Elvis Presley recipe, a banana split, peach melba and a mini buffet of desserts. But we just couldn’t! It had been a day of definite over-indulging and I was feeling like I needed someone to roll me back onto the ship.
When in Noumea, the Beach Rock Café is definitely worth a visit.
Beach Rock Café
Le Mirage Plaza, Baie des Citrons
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