Life & Style Weekend - - FOOD & WINE -

Care and at­ten­tion from hands-on own­ers, au­then­tic flavours and a del­i­cate touch in the kitchen made for a din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence be­yond what was ex­pected from this small-sized subur­ban eatery. Namory Eatery, owned by chef Van Nam Do, showed its class with an in­ter­est­ing menu full of depth and bal­ance, while still en­com­pass­ing the re­laxed feel of its Cot­ton Tree lo­ca­tion. The Asian fu­sion restau­rant was the lat­est to be mys­tery re­viewed in the Sunshine Coast Daily Restau­rant of the Year Awards and stood out as an au­then­tic venue with plenty to of­fer.

Am­bi­ence and ap­peal

A re­cent re­fur­bish­ment, in­clud­ing the new um­brella-cov­ered deck at the front, has given this space a new lease. In­side is a kind of eclec­tic, in­dus­trial feel with ex­posed walls, mixed with organic-feel tim­ber ta­bles and chairs. There are min­i­mal but per­sonal dec­o­ra­tions in­side – some new and some from the own­ers’ pre­vi­ous restau­rant they ran in Palm­woods for 14 years. The out­look is across the street to Cot­ton Tree Park. There are plenty of eat­ing op­tions in this precinct and the neigh­bour­hood has a re­laxed hol­i­day feel to it.


The newly fit­ted-out kitchen is open to the restau­rant and spot­lessly clean, as is the din­ing room and bar area. It was a lit­tle windy on this visit, so out­side there was an in­evitable few bits of dust on ta­bles, but the owner quickly gave the ta­ble a wipe as we sat down. Com­mu­nal toi­lets used by the other shops in the build­ing were neat and tidy on this visit.


Staff are dressed ca­su­ally, all in black – slightly stereo­typ­i­cal but at the same time ap­pro­pri­ate for the venue and the set­ting. Au­then­tic crock­ery and cut­lery add to the mod­ern Asian feel. The glass­ware is a bit basic but does the job. Over­all, this venue has a good feel in­side, with high ceil­ings and open shopfront and the out­door deck area is de­signed to take ad­van­tage of the Sunshine Coast’s great cli­mate. We sat against the wall in­side and there was quite a draught com­ing through the back door which was dis­tract­ing at first and was closed promptly when asked.


On this visit, my com­pan­ion and I had one of the own­ers look af­ter us and we were un­able to fault her ser­vice. We did ask for rec­om­men­da­tions and it was in­ter­est­ing that the most pop­u­lar dishes were sug­gested, not nec­es­sar­ily their per­sonal favourites or per­haps the chefs’ wildest cre­ations. Se­cretly, I was hop­ing for some­thing ad­ven­tur­ous and a bit whacky, but was happy to take any ad­vice on the good-look­ing menu.


Af­ter find­ing out that the the chef/owner had a long cook­ing ca­reer, it was no sur­prise that the menu was so in­ter­est­ing. The food lives up to the rep­u­ta­tion, no­tably for bal­ance and depth of flavours. Our en­trée was char cala­mari – ten­der scored cala­mari flashed on the char­grill, ten­der and well-sea­soned, served with “Namory Sauce” – the ab­so­lute high­light.

The sauce had an ex­plo­sion of kaf­fir lime, lime and lemon with a myr­iad of back­ground flavours that lin­gered on the palate. Duck spring rolls filled with juicy duck breast were very tasty and served with a tasty, if not a lit­tle thin, dip­ping sauce. The Pe­nang curry with duck was light on its feet, not too sweet and gen­er­ously pro­por­tioned. We or­dered co­conut rice to ac­com­pany this – a rich in­dul­gence and rec­om­mended. Crispy Humpty Doo bar­ra­mundi served with a light, fresh slaw of ap­ple and co­rian­der dressed with a zingy “Viet” dress­ing was moist and ten­der, with the rich­ness of the fish bal­anced per­fectly with the crunchy salad.

Wine list

It’s a small list of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional of­fer­ings here and a good mix of safe and ad­ven­tur­ous of­fer­ings which are well-suited to the cui­sine. Most are by the glass. Ex­tend­ing the list to cover a few more re­gions and styles wouldn’t go astray. BYO wine is of­fered on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day nights. The cock­tail list has three tra­di­tional cock­tails – all with their own house twist on them. It is hard to pass up a Ts­ing Tao or Tiger beer when eat­ing Asian food and there are a few other Asian-brewed beers to choose from here.


Value at the Namory Eatery is re­ally good. The con­cise menu is full of in­ter­est­ing meals. Good-qual­ity, lo­cally-sourced in­gre­di­ents are well-pre­pared and served with care and at­ten­tion. Prices are rea­son­able. Friendly staff and good food are a great start to a good din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.


FRIENDLY PLACE: Namory Eatery owner and head chef Van Nam Do..

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