I’ve recently been to Noosa and was overwhelmed by how much this hip, buzzy little town has grown over the last 10 years.
I was in Noosa to play golf with friends and loved the Noosa Springs Resort. The golf course is surrounded by resort homes, manicured grounds and stunning waterways.
In between our golf we ate at a number of excellent restaurants. Here are my five top picks. Bookings are essential.
Locale – Great for dinner (or a long lunch if you have no plans for the rest of the day)
This well-oiled establishment in the Hasting Street precinct and is known for its superb Italian food and excellent service.
They use the best seasonal produce on the Sunshine Coast, creating uplifting Italian cuisine. The menu offers a range of handmade pasta including fazzoletti. The squid ink ‘handkerchief’ pasta was blended beautifully with rich, succulent Mooloolaba king prawns, calamari, lemon butter, basil, pistachio and was divine.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of this very busy restaurant, the skilled staff gave us their undivided attention.
The interior is contemporary with a great bar.
Wasabi Restaurant and Bar – A great dinner option
As the name would indicate, Wasabi is a Japanese restaurant. We were warmly welcomed and asked to take off our shoes. Gingerly, we slithered into our seats on the floor, a task that takes agility and flexibility!
We were offered a choice of a five or nine-course degustation menu by the restaurateur, Danielle Gjestland. She’s well experienced having worked at Claridge’s in London. Returning to the Sunshine Coast she first set up Wasabi at Sunshine Beach and has subsequently moved the restaurant to Noosa.
Like many of the restaurants in Japan, the emphasis is on local produce. So, the menu is based around the seasonal vegetables grown at their Honeysuckle Hill farm. Other regional ingredients included seafood caught daily from the local fishing fleet.
Co-owner and executive chef, Zeb Gilbert provided a very different dining experience. We started with an ensemble of six amuse-bouche, then four courses including a pea flower, a herb dish on smooth tonburi (land caviar), wild venison and dark chocolate sorbet.
If you are looking for a uniquely Japanese experience, Wasabi is it.
Rickys River Bar and Restaurant – Great for lunch or dinner
Rickys is another restaurant that took us by surprise with the quality and presentation of the food. Tucked away in a low-rise shopping precinct it was hard to find. However, once through the door we discovered we were on the Noosa River and right next door to Wasabi.
We arrived for a mid-afternoon lunch after golf. The service was impeccable and we were offered a tasting menu or a selection from the al a carte menu.
I feasted on two generous entrees; roasted Mooloolaba king prawns with coriander, chilli and nori butter. This was followed by seared yellow fin tuna with spring onion puree, pickled cucumber and charred green chilli oil.
Season Restaurant and Bar – Great for lunch
Walking along the Hastings Street beach boardwalk, we stumbled across Seasons. While it was busy we got a table, however, to secure an up-close view of the sea, book in advance.
The ambience was casual, but the food is excellent.
Their description of themselves is accurate, ‘Modern Australian cuisine and locally caught fish, in a serene spot with stylish decor and terrace.’
My king prawns with kombu butter and black barley were scrumptious.
Little Humid Restaurant and Bar – Good for dinner a casual dinner
Humid started in 2004 in Noosaville then and moved to smaller premises in 2013 to in quirky Gympie Terrace, changing its’ name to ‘Little Humid.’ The indoor, outdoor eatery serves delicious, honest food with plenty of fresh and local seafood.