You know those nights where you want to dress up, get your swagger on, and put your hard-earned cash on the table for some damn fine food?
Well, we’ve put together a list of our fave go-to places for those nights. Yep, we’re getting all fancy pants with the best of the best fine dining restaurants on the Sunshine Coast. The ultimate foodies bucket list.
If you’re a local (or even if you’re not) these are the restaurants worth at least one trip to in your Sunny Coast lifetime.
RICKYS RIVER BAR + RESTAURANT
Tables dressed in white linen, super attentive waitstaff, and a river view that will take your breath away. Rickys is a Noosa institution for a reason. If you really want to step it up you can even arrive in style via ferry. Snazzy extras aside, it’s all about the food—and the food is most certainly fine. Their faultless modern Australian menu is thick with seafood options (we’re by the sea, after all) and warrants going all out; entree, main, sides, AND dessert. Some of our favourites include the entree of Cured Petuna Ocean Trout, it’s served with preserved watermelon rind, horseradish, crème fraiche, rye, and celery. And yes, it’s as amazing as it sounds. The Coral Coast Barramundi is also next-level, with cauliflower and macadamia skordalia, preserved lemon, rhubarb, and couscous. Oh, and for dessert, don’t go past their dessert cocktails—the Tequila Espresso Martini packs a real punch.
Where: 2 Quamby Place, Noosa Heads
Many are unaware that despite Noosa’s abundance of fine dining restaurants, Wasabi is the only one which has been awarded an impressive two hats. The balance of conserving an entirely Japanese aesthetic whilst sourcing predominantly locally grown ingredients is certainly no easy feat, however Wasabi execute it with finesse. Using produce from their own farm at Honeysuckle Hill and locally caught seafood, they create a menu abundant in both delicate and rich, traditional and contemporary Japanese flavours. With exquisite food presentation and a dazzling view of the river (try nab a table right on sunset for the best experience) be prepared to have your mind blown.
Where: 2 Quamby Place, Noosa Heads
THE LONG APRON
Rarely are resort restaurants worth raving about, The Long Apron however, completely defies that logic. Set amongst the lush hilltop gardens as part of Montville’s Spicers Clovelly Estate, this European-inspired restaurant has an inviting charm that welcomes you right on in. Lucky too, as with only two options of a $140 tasting menu or a $115 five-course a la carte menu, this is not a place you can just dip your toe in. Foodies, you must take the full dive… we promise it will be worth it. Presenting courses that are fresh and modern whilst drawing from classic techniques, the care and thought that has gone into creating each dish is obvious. A few of our favourites? Try the scallop with smoked avocado puree, leek, radish, and apple, followed by the suckling pig with orange and clove, fermented orange, lardo coleslaw, and roasted apple puree. Then top it all off with dessert… the malted potato ice cream should not be missed. Seriously!
Where: Spicers Clovelly Estate, 68 Balmoral Road, Montville
Dining at Spirit House is almost like being transported to a private Asian rainforest retreat, only without the airfare. It’s not just the aromas of incredible Thai and Vietnamese-inspired food, but the whole setting. A tropical garden walkway leads you to the restaurant; an ornate building perched over a private tranquil pond. The sound of bubbling waterfalls, rustling bamboo, and windchimes ring in the air. It’s a true sensory delight. As for the food… The menu boasts dish after dish of punchy flavour combinations, strong spice paired with rich tang, and hints of fresh sweetness. Based on the Asian concept of a shared table, each plate is perfect for sharing. Our suggestion: go crazy and taste a bit of everything—as long as it includes the whole crispy fish with tamarind chilli sauce. Delish!
Where: 20 Ninderry Road, Yandina
Hello, Italian fine-dining heaven. How a restaurant could blend ultra-cool and uber-swanky so well is beyond us. But, Locale on Hastings Street nails it. Many places rely on dazzling waterviews to get that wow-factor, not Locale, they’ve created it themselves. The all-black, low-lit interior contrasts against the overflowing green gardens surrounding the restaurant to create an environment that is nothing short of magical. Your passionate waitstaff know the carefully-curated menu inside-out (go for the Pappardelle Lamb Neck Ragu, it won’t disappoint) and the wine list… hot damn, it’s one of the most extensive Italian wine lists on the Coast. Don’t worry, if you don’t know your Italian vino, you’ll most certainly be guided in the right direction.
Where: 62 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads
This is fine-dining that oozes vibe. The design, the decor, the menu, the lighting, the tableware, the music. It helps that almost every table has fantastic ocean views, but even without them, Spice Bar is all about atmosphere. Well, that and the food, because their Asian-inspired menu is certainly something worth raving about, too. The large open kitchen buzzes with activity, concocting creative dishes that in equal proportions look and taste incredible.
They have incredible degustation options which is a great way to get a full Spice Bar experience, otherwise (read: insider’s tip) don’t go past the duck okonomiyaki… or the pork belly… or the beef cheek rendang… oh, hell—just get it all!
Where: 123 Mooloolaba Esplanade, Mooloolaba