SPIRIT HOUSE RESTAU­RANT

SET­TLE IN FOR A WORLD-CLASS DIN­ING EX­PE­RI­ENCE OUT OF CBD

Life & Style Weekend - - FOOD & WINE -

Ades­ti­na­tion din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence serv­ing up world-class dishes may be a jour­ney to get to, but prom­ises it’s worth the drive. Set in lush trop­i­cal gar­dens nes­tled around a tran­quil pond, Spirit House at sun­set is a per­fect recipe for din­ing.

The multi-award-win­ning menu changes sea­son­ally, and im­pressed the lat­est re­viewer for the Sun­shine Coast Daily Restau­rant of the Year Awards.

AM­BI­ENCE AND AP­PEAL

Sim­ply a stun­ning set­ting. It feels like you are sit­ting in the mid­dle of an en­chanted gar­den, and that’s be­cause you are.

Make a night of it.

The bar for pre-din­ner drinks is a must with a great list of cock­tails and my favourite: an ice cold Singha in a chilled glass.

CLEAN­LI­NESS

The venue is spot­less. With a mostly out­door restau­rant, it would be al­most im­pos­si­ble to score a 10, but they came very close.

PRE­SEN­TA­TION

Per­haps some would mark them down for their de­ci­sion to aban­don table­cloths but I think the qual­ity of the ta­bles and the na­ture of the set­ting makes it all work nicely.

SER­VICE

Our server was very at­ten­tive, and did ev­ery­thing right.

Our head wait­ress had been with the restau­rant for more than 10 years, so it was like be­ing waited on by the owner.

We had a trainee also wait­ing on us, who ex­em­pli­fied how good this venue’s hir­ing poli­cies and train­ing must be.

She was friendly and at­ten­tive and had a great at­ti­tude to­wards cus­tomer ser­vice.

FOOD

Judg­ing the food at this multi-award-win­ning restau­rant is no more ap­pro­pri­ate than me try­ing to tell Greg Nor­man about his golf swing.

I am just not wor­thy. For en­trees, we had the soft-shell crab with yel­low egg curry and the More­ton Bay bugs on be­tel leaf. We ab­so­lutely loved both of them. The mains were the duck with red curry sauce and the sig­na­ture dish of whole crispy fish.

Again, they were both fault­less. The sig­na­ture dish is a must for any­one vis­it­ing for the first time. It is an ex­pe­ri­ence just to look at.

While se­lect­ing our dessert, we asked our­selves: “How of­ten have we or­dered four dishes and lit­er­ally can­not split them for a favourite?”.

The sticky rice pana­cotta with mango sor­bet made it five from five.

WINELIST

The walls of the restau­rant were lined with plaques for a va­ri­ety of ac­co­lades. This re­viewer would not dare say any dif­fer­ent. In my opin­ion, the range of re­gions, va­ri­ety and price range was spot on.

VALUE

It is never go­ing to be the cheap­est meal on the Coast, but it is priced fairly. Just su­perb.

I hadn’t been to this restau­rant for a few years and had for­got­ten just how good it is.

It is truly world-class and I will be back again very soon.

It is a des­ti­na­tion restau­rant, but hav­ing said that, prob­a­bly not as long a drive as you may think.

There’s no doubt the Spirit House has been set­ting the bench­mark for des­ti­na­tion din­ing for many years.

It’s more than a touch out of the way.

But the venue is al­ways packed, thanks to the ap­peal of the set­ting, ser­vice and epi­curean of­fer­ings.

PHO­TOS: PA­TRICK WOODS

LEFT: Head chef Aaron Tucker at the Spirit House (main photo); and bar man­ager Yann Au­dran.

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