NOOSA WATERFRONT RESTAURANT& BAR
LESS IS MORE FOR ‘NEAR-PERFECT’ DINING EXPERIENCE
Years of European restaurant training shows the attention to detail in both service and meals at a Sunshine Coast restaurant labelled “near-perfect”.
Noosa Waterfront Restaurant and Bar was the latest venue to be reviewed for the Sunshine Coast Daily’s Restaurant of the Year Awards and stood out for challenging itself with such an expansive menu and wine list and the presentation of both venue and staff.
AMBIENCE AND APPEAL
For an evening visit, the restaurant is very attractively lit from the outside, situated on the canal, with a small park adjoining.
Fairy lights in the nearby trees add appeal to the setting, which I’d imagine to be just as attractive in a daytime situation. Inside is a large room with high ceilings. The walls are opened up to allow the gentle breeze through the restaurant.
This is the airiest of the Noosa fine diners yet once seated, the tables are the ideal distance and aspect to feel comfortably cosy.
Staff are immaculately presented in shortsleeve collared shirts and branded aprons.
They’re in shorts but it’s Noosa and it’s hot.
The bar, entry to kitchen, rest rooms and dining room are all spotless on this visit.
It is on the slightly minimal side but reflects old school fine dining service, which is always tailor-made to your order.
It also matches my belief that it is the waiter’s job to make sure there is everything on your table that you need, and nothing you don’t.
The handmade crockery was creative and appropriate for the detailed presentation of the dishes.
It’s all about the look, and it works. The restaurant, from a style point of view, is very much a black-and-white theme, which suits the nature of the Italian offering, and helps convey the contemporary theme.
We were greeted by a big smile on arrival and that set the scene for a welcoming and friendly night.
Very experienced staff were enthusiastic to explain and make recommendations on the extensive offering.
Drinks were offered as we sat down, and drink and food menus presented as our cloth serviettes were “lapped” – a nice touch.
Service was professional, especially in the respect that the staff were there when you wanted them and not there when you didn’t.
Our waiter had only been working at the restaurant a short time and was able to answer almost all of our questions.
With the menu as large as this, to get the best experience, you need recommendations.
The only blemish was the staff couldn’t translate all of the Italian item descriptions.
If they had been able to do this, it would have been full points here.
Firstly, it is a big offering at this restaurant.
There are a lot of choices, so there really is something for everyone.
The menu is set out in a contemporary Italian way, but only one olive offering?
The marinated olives were delicious, with a good range of varieties and textures- but maybe a warmed offering could be added.
The kingfish ceviche was just delicious in its citrus dressing. Kingfish is perfect for this type of dish as it has enough flavour to carry the citrus well.
Antipasti are always my favourite part of any menu, as there is licence to be adventurous.
My dining companion chose the char-grilled octopus: one largish tentacle, which had been braised until tender and then lightly flashed on the grill.
Main courses for me are boring by definition, but there were two dishes ordered that defy this assessment.
My guest ordered the Roviolo Carbonara – unlike any carbonara dish I have ever seen or tasted. Perfect little handmade pillows of ravioli stuffed with parmesan cheese, dressed with a decadent egg-yolk cream and topped with crispy pancetta. If there is one dish you have to try on this extensive menu, this is the one to order.
I enjoyed one of the night’s specials: a juicy, tender duck breast that had been lovingly slow-cooked and then served with grilled witlof, peaches and onions, with just enough rich demi glace to tie all the flavours together. Fans of desserts will be right at home here, with selections worthy of inclusion on the menus of any fine dining restaurant in the country.
We chose a modern take on the cherry ripe: rich and decadent (topped with gold leaf !).
You eat with your eyes first and your eyes are in for a treat here.
An extensive list covers local and international offerings with an appropriate Italian weighting.
Plenty of by-the-glass options and staff are willing to offer recommendations to match your meal and your mood.
Most notable here, though, is the gin list.
There are more than 20 options, all with their own infusions and served with a separate mixer. Ridiculously good and a must-do while you are dining here.
At $100/head for three courses plus a couple of drinks, this is not an every-week option for a lot of people but the value is outstanding.
If you were to eat in a comparable restaurant in Melbourne or Sydney, the price would be double. It is an ideal mix of a finedining offering and a casual setting – Noosa to at.
Professional and experienced front-of-house staff provide slick and unobtrusive service and are backed up by one of the best kitchen brigades on the Sunshine Coast.
ABOVE RIGHT: Noosa Waterfront Restaurant and Bar owner and chef Andrea Ravezzani.