Time­less tastes travel well

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - WEEKENDER | RESTAURANT - LIZZIE LOEL

For decades in and around Noosa the mod-Oz dining genre has been well and truly stitched up, from ca­sual hotspots such as Thomas Cor­ner to the sub­trop­i­cal el­e­gance of Ber­ardo's, Sails and Rickys. Another stal­wart is Hu­mid (now Lit­tle Hu­mid). About a year ago, own­ers Mary Mor­ri­son and Michelle Gor­don-Smith swapped their Weyba Road lo­ca­tion (which also used to house Paul Blain's much-loved Chilli Jam Thai) to the river­front in Noosav­ille. The decor is sim­i­lar to the pre­vi­ous in­car­na­tion – dark wood ta­bles and chairs, leather ban­quettes and a clas­sic bistro seat­ing plan for the long, nar­row room that mush­rooms out to a cov­ered court­yard with wa­ter views. The menu is sim­i­lar as well.

It's been a few years be­tween vis­its but my mem­ory of the rab­bit, leek and macadamia pie, made with suet pas­try and sit­ting in a lu­mi­nous ver­juice glaze, is still vivid. To our sur­prise, and prob­a­bly by pop­u­lar de­mand, it's still on the menu, as are tem­pura-bat­tered wasabi prawns with a tangy lemon aioli. There are no dud en­trées – sticky pork belly with seared trout gravlax and breaded cala­mari on an in­ter­est­ing-sound­ing salad of goat's cheese, tomato, cu­cum­ber and chilli. I'm sold on two – baked French onion and goat's shanks and gnoc­chi with peas and mint.

There's more win­ter bistro fare on the roasted beets, egg-dipped baked snap­per, veal loin escalopes and roasted mush­rooms, and a juicy spatch­cock with a caramelised

es­chal­lot and crème fraîche tart tatin. My onions and a punchy stil­ton cream dial up the rich­ness. Half a quail, de­li­ciously roasted to crisp dark golden, sits over baby cos leaves. There's a gen­er­ous coat­ing of soft egg, and parme­san dress­ing and some

soubise along­side ten­der, medium-rare veal and oven-roasted mush­rooms. There's also soft potato and leek ravi­oli, which is gor­geous and takes the dish up a notch.

My lamb shank gnoc­chi ( left) fea­tures a slightly sticky, meaty jus that pulls all the el­e­ments to­gether – pil­lowy gnoc­chi, fresh fried gar­lic chips. Ital­ian meringue piled on in­di­vid­ual lemon cheesecake is another crack­ing dish – the sweet/salty bal­ance makes for a per­fect end to a lovely meal.

There's noth­ing fad­dish about Lit­tle Hu­mid – it's all about pro­duce and of us want to eat. There's no need for change when noth­ing's bro­ken.

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