PIER 33 MOOLOOLABA

VIEW IS JUST THE BE­GIN­NING AT STEL­LAR RIVER VENUE

Life & Style Weekend - - FOOD & WINE -

Among the chic and ca­sual venues the Sunshine Coast hosts, Pier 33 would cer­tainly be up there as one of the lead­ers.

Mod­ern, fresh and over­whelm­ingly fab­u­lous, the river­side venue offers more than just the per­fect af­ter­noon sun­set, with value for money in­com­pa­ra­ble to other venues.

Am­bi­ence and ap­peal

By day, Pier 33 en­joys an en­vi­able out­look across the Mooloolah River in a wa­ter­scape punc­tu­ated by mast­heads, fishing boats and the oc­ca­sional kayak.

On a clear day, it’s a panorama that is as pleas­ant as the Coast has to of­fer – es­pe­cially for those din­ers for­tu­nate enough to be able to en­joy a visit at lunchtime dur­ing our no­to­ri­ously mild win­ter months.

Inside, the venue has been ren­o­vated with class in an amal­gam of Hamp­tons and nau­ti­cal themes.

Few venues are blessed with such a large open space and a glo­ri­ous panoramic out­look, and such an active vista of mov­ing boats, kayaks, pel­i­cans and wa­ter­craft.

Clean­li­ness

Thanks to a re­cent ren­o­va­tion, the venue is im­mac­u­late.

The bar area and ta­bles were fas­tid­i­ously main­tained and the floors had ob­vi­ously been the sub­ject of care­ful mon­i­tor­ing and clean­ing as they were un­tar­nished and in pris­tine condition. Even the wash­rooms were in great condition.

Pre­sen­ta­tion

The room it­self is bright and airy and makes the most of its unique po­si­tion on the river­front.

While there are crisp, linen nap­kins on the side plates, there are no linen table­cloths or much by way of trim­mings.

The staff were neat, though not uni­formly at­tired. But the rel­a­tively sim­ple dé­cor ex­presses the ca­sual na­ture of the venue and is in keep­ing with its genre and theme.

Ser­vice

From the mo­ment of our ar­rival, the Pier 33 team was en­thu­si­as­tic, at­ten­tive and per­son­able.

We were quickly asked “sparkling or still?” and of­fered a wine list.

There was a bit of a de­lay in our ini­tial drink or­ders be­ing taken but from then on, our glasses were re­freshed quickly and the wait staff were very knowl­edge­able on the of­fer­ings on both their menu and wine list.

Ap­pro­pri­ate in­quiries were made as to how our meals were and whether ev­ery­thing was to our sat­is­fac­tion.

I’d de­scribe the ser­vice as Goldilocks-like – not too much at­ten­tion to im­pede ta­ble con­ver­sa­tion, but enough to make us feel as though we were im­por­tant to their busi­ness.

Food

The meals at Pier 33 are clearly de­signed to be ca­pa­ble of shar­ing be­tween all din­ers at the ta­ble and are de­liv­ered with serv­ing cut­lery and tongs in­tended for that pur­pose.

We en­joyed the slow-roasted Milly Hill lamb shoul­der, pesto crust and rata­touille and the mar­ket fish fil­lets and crushed kipfler potatoes with sauce vierge.

The lamb was so ten­der that it al­most fell off the fork and the pesto crust in­fused its basil char­ac­ter through the uber suc­cu­lent protein. The fish was snap­per and came gen­er­ously pro­por­tioned in three rec­tan­gu­lar fil­lets. Given it had been sourced from the fishing boats moored only a few 100 me­tres away, its fresh­ness was un­sur­pris­ing.

The fish worked really well with the Vin­teloper PG-18 pinot gris which had just enough acid to com­ple­ment the fish, but was bal­anced by a hint of peach and pear fruits.

I’d prob­a­bly pre­fer to part­ner it with a pork roast but it worked OK.

On the other hand, a glass of the 2010 Castagna Gen­e­sis Syrah worked won­der­fully well with the lamb main.

The brood­ing dark berries and cedar oak of the Beech­worth shi­raz brought out the very juici­ness of the Milly Hill lamb and still had just enough tan­nin and acid to bal­ance out the resid­ual fat of the lamb shoul­der.

Wine list

The list at Pier 33 isn’t ex­ten­sive but does of­fer a de­gree of di­ver­sity of re­gions and styles (though isn’t what I’d de­scribe as com­pre­hen­sive).

I would have pre­ferred to see a few Hunter and Mar­garet River wines and at least a few caber­net rather than just one.

But the wines were not ex­pen­sive and the mark-up was not sig­nif­i­cant. The wines were very rea­son­ably priced for the qual­ity on of­fer.

Value

The very best thing about Pier 33 is the in­cred­i­ble value it offers.

The meals are very gen­er­ous in size, of good qual­ity, yet the ask is only mod­er­ate, and the same can be said for the wine list – all of this in a venue which en­joys an en­vi­able lo­ca­tion and mod­ern fit-out.

Our Satur­day evening out­ing was one of the most en­joy­able in a while. The Pier 33 at­mos­phere was re­laxed and ca­sual, the fare was fab­u­lous and the ser­vice first-class.

Throw in the sur­pris­ingly good value on of­fer and it’s a venue that we’ll cer­tainly be re­turn­ing to soon.

PIER 33

Ad­dress: 33-45 Parkyn Pa­rade, Mooloolaba Phone: (07) 5294 5675

Web­site: www.pier33.com.au

Hours: Opens Wed­nes­day to Sun­day from 11. 30am

PHO­TOS: JOHN MCCUTCHEON, WAR­REN LY­NAM

SHIP SHAPE: Trevor Hohns ( main photo) at his new busi­ness venture in Mooloolaba, Pier 33; Franki Karim (top left) mix­ing up a drink at the bar; and chef Si­mon Campbell (left) work­ing in the kitchen.

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