The Noosa Food & Wine Festival (16-20 May) is one of Australia’s most loved regional food festivals. Some of the country’s leading chefs, restaurateurs and wine professionals – as well as thousands of passionate food lovers - descend on the coastal resort town of Noosa Heads for masterclasses and live demonstrations, beachfront brunches, celebrity chef dinners and parties under the stars. If you’re still hungry, here are some more places to eat around the Sunshine Coast region.
Stephen Pulman, chef/owner of Bin 106, has come a long way. His CV includes stints in high profile restaurants in London, Paris and Milan where he’s cooked for celebrities including Bette Midler, Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond and Diana Ross as well as for the British Royal Family. Bin 106 is a little slice of France in Mooloolaba, with dishes such as Crevettes en Brioche (Mooloolaba prawns in a brioche loaf) and Soufflé Daiquiri à la Mangue (Twice cooked fresh mango daiquiri soufflé) incorporating local ingredients with classical technique.
Nestled in the heart of the revamped Mooloolaba Wharf, with views over the Mooloolaba Marina, the rustic-chic Il Vento is a popular addition to the local dining scene and a sister restaurant to Brisbane’s popular Il Verde in Bowen Hills. As the only restaurant in Mooloolaba with a wood-fired oven it’s hardly surprising that Il Vento’s pizzas are a major drawcard. Fresh handmade pasta is another highlight and a tasty kids’ menu will keep the bambini happy.
Unique in the Sunshine Coast (and probably in Australia) Indiyum describes itself as a “fair dinkum Indian with a warm Aussie welcome”. The menu combines traditional North Indian delicacies with Australian flavours and produce: Chimosa (samosa made with Mexican tortilla wraps and served with sweet chilli sauce); Naanorama (crispy garlic naan bread topped with sundried tomatoes, olives, sesame seed, spices and melted cheese); Calamari Pondicherry; and Madras garlic chilli prawns.
The showpiece restaurant of Spicers Clovelly Estate boutique hotel, The Long Apron is a microcosm of French-inspired fine dining in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Technique and flavour play equal roles in a menu, by chef Chris Hagan, that is both grounded and experimental and shines a light on the area's bountiful produce. A la carte dishes include fig-leaf infused curd, fried oyster mushrooms and hazelnuts, and dry-aged merino hogget charred eggplant, smoked yoghurt, baby kale. For the ultimate shared menu bring a group for the French Table Menu.
Many people know the Noosa Reef Hotel simply as the Pub, perched on the hill between the beach and the shopping hub of Noosa Junction. The well-priced menu has something for everyone with sections devoted to Asian bites, schnittys, pub faves and vegan dishes. Families are highly valued at the Noosa Reef with a dedicated play room to keep the little ones happy.
Under the direction of chef Andrea Ravezzani, Noosa Waterfront brings a distinctively Italian flavour to the Sunshine Coast. Raised in Milan, Andrea was trained in one of Europe’s most exclusive culinary schools. He creates modern dishes inspired by Italy’s numerous culinary regions, using as many locally grown ingredients as possible. Think Fraser Island spanner crab hash brown with avocado and spring onions, Noosa Earth mushroom paté with quail terrine, and Buffalo ricotta gnocchi with prawns, saffron and zucchini flowers.
In the heart of Peregian Beach, Periwinkle offers a unique taste of the Mediterranean, bringing a French touch to locally grown Sunshine Coast produce in dishes such as Mooloolaba Tuna Salad and Spanner Crab Linguine. It’s open year round for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
With a spectacular location at the Noosa Marina overlooking the Noosa River, Pier 11 is the ideal venue for everyone from couples looking for a relaxed lunch or dinner to families or large groups having a celebratory feast. Start with the seafood tasting plate, then fire up the taste buds with Shredded confit duck rolls or Hervey Bay scallops on the half shell with pork belly, apple, celery, radish and walnut.
With a team led by chef Dan Jarrett, The Tamarind has earned an enviable reputation on the Sunshine Coast for Asian cuisine. The menu spans traditional and more modern Asian dishes, combining sweet, sour and spicy flavours with fresh local produce. Think Cambodian-style barramundi salad with spiced palm sugar caramel, green mango, bean sprouts and Thai basil or Black pepper stir fry of venison and Mooloolaba prawns, Thai eggplant, Asian celery and nam adjard. Make a short break of it and check in to Spicers Tamarind Retreat for the last word in rainforest fringed luxury.
With its stunning riverside location and exquisite Japanese aesthetic, Wasabi is a truly unique regional dining experience. Like so many restaurants in Japan, Wasabi specialises in a local cuisine using ingredients that can only be sourced from the immediate area, and much of what ends up the plate at this riverside eatery is grown from their own Honeysuckle Hill Farm.