When you want deluxe, special occasion dining, there’s little that beats the real thing.
And when you’re talking the real thing, then Spicers Tamarind Retreat is king of the jungle… actually nestled in the jungle. Okay, it’s in the heart of Maleny’s rainforest, but that’s close enough!
Exotic and more than worth the short drive up the coast, Spicers Tamarind Retreat is all about luxe with a relaxing, down-to-earth vibe. And although the luxury villas are shut-the-front-door amazing, we almost forgot about them completely when we headed to the award-winning, on-site restaurant The Tamarind to try one of the most beautiful menus we’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.
Now, depending on how hungry you are (we’re guessing very after your pamper session at their beautiful day spa, Spa Anise), there are a few excellent menu options; the degustation, the banquet, or the a la carte. If you can’t choose which to go for, well, you’ll just have to visit more often…
Taking inspiration from numerous Asian cuisine styles, the dishes are created to highlight both the culinary mastery of The Tamarind’s chefs but also the amazing range of local produce on the Sunshine Coast.
We couldn’t go past the beef tartare (pictured) with a serious Asian twist thanks to the ginger and red kampot pepper to start with, for obvious reasons. The egg was perfectly cooked and the fresh beef had been oh-so delicately handled—delicacy that was completely undone once it was placed in front of us.
For mains, we shared the green curry with salmon dumplings, eggplant and roe, and the chicken with black sesame, tea-stained egg and spring onion. We ordered a side of the wok tossed greens with black bean vinaigrette but could have easily chosen the green papaya som tom instead.
Even if you aren’t a ‘dessert person’, you’ll want to leave room for the sweets at The Tamarind: pineapple with coconut, lime and rum is like an island holiday pina colada on a plate, and the chocolate with peanut and banana brings back memories of Thai banana pancakes fresh from the street stall grill.
An extensive list of wines, spirits and beers rounds out the menu, and there’s more than enough choice to keep the most discerning tippler happy.
Open seven days a week Spicers Tamarind Retreat and The Tamarind restaurant are an exotic Oriental refuge worth the drive north!
Image credit: Ariana Gillrie
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