Take a journey around the world through your local restaurants as Queensland comes alive in the heart of winter. With cuisines ranging from Mediterranean to modern Australian, and classic high tea to contemporary Indian, you’re guaranteed to find a spot for all occasions. And with TheFork Festival giving 50 per cent off food (until August 11) you can enjoy each of these eateries while spending less. Or go out to eat twice.
If Europe’s out of reach right now, you can still treat yourself to staycation lunch or dinner at Peppers Soul’s restaurant, Hyde Paradiso. Located on the oceanfront in the heart of Surfers Paradise, you’ll be transported to the Mediteranean with flavours of Italy, Greece and Portugal. Feast on the Taste of Paradiso menu for only $55 per person (or half that throughout TheFork Festival), which includes a selection of the restaurant’s signature dishes. Or snack on a selection of tapas with appropriately themed Meter Maid or Cavill Cobbler cocktails.
Serving dishes made with traditional Indian cooking techniques combined with handpicked local Australian ingredients, Kokum will take you on an exotic culinary journey by Michelin-starred chef, Munjunath Mural. The contemporary Indian restaurant opened earlier this year in Palazzo Versace – a luxury waterfront setting. Kokum’s menu features unexpected delights such as fresh oysters with mango and coconut foam, Indian street nachos, Pippali chicken with cheddar, Mongalorean bugs, and Murg Mussalam served with gunpowder potatoes. Complete the evening with Saffron cheesecake log or Saffron, chai and macadamia ice cream. Kokum’s wine menu is jam-packed with a truly international offering, including Australian favourites such as Shaw + Smith’s Shiraz and D’Arenberg Sauvignon Blanc.
Overlooking the Noosa Marina at Tewantin, Pier 11 is equally fitting for a casual waterside lunch or a romantic dinner, with food by local chef Matthew Tracey. For lunch, you can’t go past the classic fish and chips with chunky tartare, or the pork belly and hokkien noodle salad. Or, tuck into dinner favourites including chilli and garlic prawns, pan-seared Coral Coast barramundi and BBQ pork ribs that are fall-off-the-bone good. For a truly seasonal experience, why not go for the chef’s seafood tasting plate, which changes daily. Pier 11’s after-dinner drinks list features a range of cocktails, liqueur coffees, ports, cognac and dessert wine. You’ll struggle to find a more romantic spot for date night, looking over the Noosa River.
Mooloolaba’s Ton Khao Bistro serves modern Thai cuisine. The restaurant specialises in authentic Thai dishes alongside contemporary twists like Beach to Bush - a whole deep fried barramundi with lime dressing and crispy herbs. Warm up with winter favourites like Tom Yum soup, Massaman lamb shanks or a spicy Thai green curry. It’s the perfect spot to bring the family to tuck into a Thai feast.
Briny Restaurant & Bar is unlike any other venue in Fortitude Valley. The converted bunker is a family favourite with plenty of homemade dishes - from battered fresh cut calamari, to scallops carbonara, to stir-fried fresh pipis. Sip on local beers in the covered courtyard, or for the adventurous type, there’s an alcoholic oyster shot to really test your taste buds!
Maroochydore’s plant-based restaurant Elixiba’s mission is to reduce waste and harm to the planet and animals. The menu features healthy, organic, ethical produce, and includes vegan, gluten-free and allergen-free options, with dishes made from scratch using whole foods. Top picks are the ‘butter’ jackfruit curry, epic tacos, hemp burger and the keto bowl. Quench your thirst with herbal elixirs, super smoothies or Elixiba’s signature turmeric and ginger beer.
Inspired by the romance and traditions of French tea gardens, this spectacular venue is set amidst emerald meadows and manicured gardens in Tallebudgera Valley. Teavine House offers a variety of spots to enjoy high tea, including the vintage-style tea room and private patios, beautiful garden courtyard and exclusive meadow chapel and pavillion. Indulge in a selection of 12 housemade petite sweet treats and savoury delights plus Teavine House’s signature scones with housemade strawberry preserve and fresh cream. Gluten-free and vegan options are available so everyone can enjoy the experience.
The philosophy of Boo’s kitchen is to bring people together for a shared northern Thai meal. The restaurant is named after co-owner Boo, who tells the story of her family and her Thai village, Puvieng, through her food. There’s an extensive selection of fragrant Thai curries and stir fries, along with traditional soups and salads, which are classic accompaniments to north-eastern Thai, Laos or Vietnamese shared meals. Treat yourself to a delicious dessert of caramelized banana with ice cream.