DOWN BY THE WATER
A good view and a good time. We wrap up the country’s greatest places to eat and drink by the water.
The shores of Noosa, the clear blues of Bondi Beach, the Yarra’s bustle, the serenity of Lake Burley Griffin. A good view doesn’t guarantee a good time, but the places that marry the two demand attention. We wrap up the country’s greatest places to eat and drink by the water.
Rickys River Bar and Restaurant
Nowhere conjures riverside chic more effortlessly than Noosa stalwart, Rickys. Interiors channel an upscale houseboat vibe, with boards underfoot, a mix of louvres and floor-to-ceiling bi-folds angled to capture every riparian ripple, reflection and breeze. There’s a “source local” ethos here, and the menu leans Mediterranean with a focus on pristine seafood: spanner crab tossed through spaghettini, say, or pepper-cured swordfish with finger lime and cucumber salt. 2 Quamby Pl, Noosa
Heads, (07) 5447 2455, rickys.com.au
Opt for an icy glass and a chilli prawn sanga at the bar, or fish and triple-cooked chips with seaweed salt on the deck – either way those impressive widescreen panoramas of the Brisbane River and city’s skyline are omnipresent at Stokehouse Q. Like its Melbourne counterpart, this northern outpost is famous for its long lunches, but the slide from sunset into early evening is when the real magic happens. Sidon St, South Bank, Brisbane,
(07) 3020 0600, stokehouseq.com.au
Hellenika at The Calile
If your idea of poolside dining is more on the casual side, recalibrate here. The Brisbane sibling of the Gold Coast’s best Greek will see you settled in one of its seven glam waterfront cabanas forking lobster pasta like an Athenian before you can say pass the horiatiki. The cabanas fit eight to 10 – all the better, you’ll need friends to help tackle the salty pork belly, dolmades and everything else that comes in the banquet. The Calile, Level 1/48 James St, Fortitude Valley, (07) 3252 2060, hellenika.com.au
Rhythmic white-tipped breakers, the colourful clash of surfers – all the ocean action unfolds under your nose at Ricks, and, cleverly, there are views from each of its three levels. “Feed me” options from the pan-Asian menu are a chance to get an overview of the food – anything from coal-grilled Chinese black chicken with fermented chilli, to roasted cauliflower with pepita satay and cauliflower-leaf kimchi – without thinking about it too much, leaving ample opportunity to drink in the beach vistas. 43 Goodwin Tce, Burleigh Heads, (07) 5630 6611, rickshores.com.au
Nab a table by the floor-to-ceiling windows and relish the broad Noosa River views and a menu that brings local flair to Japanese dishes. Buckwheat soba paired with strands of Noosa sand crab and herbs from Wasabi’s Honeysuckle Hill farm and shot through with Sunshine Coast bunya nut, perhaps, or Mooloolaba prawns cured in house-made mirin. A Japanese dining experience like no other.
2 Quamby Pl, Noosa, (07) 5449 2443, wasabisb.com
From top: Rick Shores; painted crayfish with head-coral miso and tempura lime verbena at Wasabi; Noosa River views from Wasabi. PREVIOUS PAGE View of Port Willunga Beach from Star of Greece (background); saganaki, taramasalata, Greek salad, grilled octopus with broad beans, and zucchini chips at Hellenika.