NOOSA WATER­FRONT RESTAU­RANT& BAR

LESS IS MORE FOR ‘NEAR-PER­FECT’ DIN­ING EX­PE­RI­ENCE

Life & Style Weekend - - FOOD & WINE -

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.

CLEAN­LI­NESS

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.

PRE­SEN­TA­TION

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.

SER­VICE

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.

FOOD

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.

WINE LIST

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.

VALUE

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.

PHOTO: JOHN MCCUTCHEON

ABOVE RIGHT: Noosa Water­front Restau­rant and Bar owner and chef An­drea Ravez­zani.

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