MAROOCHY RSL CLUB
A NEW APPROACH TO THE TRADITIONAL PUB FEED
Gone are the days when an RSL club served bangers and mash or a well-done steak. A Maroochydore favourite is keeping the pace with an exceptional selection of food in an up-market atmosphere.
The Maroochy RSL, led by head chef Gareth Collins, is leading the charge with more than just the average counter meal and cheap specials – all within a family-friendly environment.
Ambience and appeal
The Maroochy RSL is not your average club – the whole club was refurbished quite recently and the foyer is very light, open and has great design features including a huge wall of poppies and poetry in honour of fallen diggers. The first impression is very positive and it looks like a modern, welcoming club. It is a very attractive club and has lots of glass, wood and muted tones, unlike many clubs with neon, loud carpets and noisy gambling or bar areas. This club is understated, ambient and on arrival, it feels more like you’ve entered an upmarket hotel foyer.
The bathrooms were well-lit and easy to find with colourful touches and clever automated taps and dryers. Spotless, too.
Staff are smartly dressed in uniforms and name tags, and smile as you approach, giving the whole club a friendly vibe. There was low-piped music throughout and plenty of table seating and booths in the café. It’s more casual with a big case of pre-made food but was closing as we arrived early for dinner which gave us no option for the family to have coffee or food. Cutlery and paper napkins are self-serve and they use an interesting buzzer that tells the staff which table you chose, so they deliver food to you – a nice step up from the buzzers or systems most clubs use.
We moved into the bistro early to get a family-sized booth table and the smiling staff did not speak to us at all, walking by. I had to go back over to the bar to order drinks and stood a while before being served as the staff cleaned at one end. Our drinks were then brought to our table but took some time and I almost went back to check if we had been forgotten. We definitely felt we were “too early” and staff were prioritising their prep for dinner rush over service. The bistro area is well-designed and appointed, with room to move and smart tables, comfortable seats and earth tones.
Meals came out to the table quickly. We got our own water from the bar, but a waiter did bring us extra cutlery without us having to get up.
The menu is quite large with many options and some very interesting changing specials as well. We were tempted by the local seafood. There are different specials every night of the week, as well as a changing value meal option of roasted pork, beef or chicken. There were several options for vegetarians or dietary needs and other clever touches – such as nacho sauce with the huge onion rings, pearl barley risotto, and the cauliflower and fetta salad was a big serving and delicious with flaked almonds and a honey and lemon dressing. Simple fare yet so tasty.
We tried the slow-cooked beef pappardelle with red wine jus, edamame, mint and marinated fetta. Every mouthful was tantalising, and it was so filling. Fantastic value for $23. We also had Pesce Bianco: white fish with penne, capers, garlic, chilli
and an array of herbs. It was spicier than we expected and also a big portion. I chose the Moreton Bay bug and tiger prawn curry with steamed rice and pickled vegetables. It was delightful with very balanced flavours and more-ish.
Executive chef Collins is very experienced, with a long resume of cooking for major resorts, world leaders and alongside celebrity chefs.
He caught our eye and came out from the kitchen to ask how we were enjoying the meals and pointed out the local produce in the dish and shared how the club has a 100 per cent community focus, giving back to local causes and using only local produce whenever possible.
The range is good for an RSL club and suitably matched to the wide-ranging menu, with a few higher-priced options by the glass and bottle than most clubs. Wine knowledge was not a strength of the staff that evening, and our bartender later told us she was new and better at cocktails, which was true.
The club’s excellent food quality, large portions and clear commitment to local produce represents great value and proved a wonderful dining out experience. I’d highly recommend it for families of all ages, and then the express dish, changing specials and bistro roast dishes are all extremely good value. As we left, the café was open again, so we bought a brownie slice to try and it was moist, obviously made that day and probably on the premises. The service again was prompt and friendly.
Maroochy RSL is consistent across all areas of the club for genuine service, appealing presentation and a strong commitment to supporting local farmers and producers as well as offering value for money.
Address: 105 Memorial Ave, Maroochydore Phone: 5443 2211
Hours: Open from 8am, seven days
2019 RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR AWARDS
TOP NOSH: Maroochy RSL Club rated highly with the Daily’s mystery judge, particularly when it came to value for money.