PIER 33 MOOLOOLABA
VIEW IS JUST THE BEGINNING AT STELLAR RIVER VENUE
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Address: 33-45 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba Phone: (07) 5294 5675
Hours: Opens Wednesday to Sunday from 11. 30am
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.