As summer puts down its empty glass, slowly slips out of the bar, and waves us goodbye as it winks over its Bronzalicious spraytanned shoulder, we’ve finally got the Sunshine Coast back to ourselves. The tourists have headed home, the beach carparks are (kinda) empty, and three of our favourite restaurants are rewarding us year-round locals with some amazing, creative specials this autumn.
Pitchfork | Trust the Chef
If you overlook the shouting, the sharp knives, and the slightly problematic alcohol consumption, chefs are TOTALLY trustworthy. We promise. So if you’re feeling a bit daring, and up for a mind-blowing evening of tastes and textures, head to Pitchfork on Thursday 10 May for their first Trust the Chef event of 2018. Just $55 for FOUR courses, the team at Pitchfork will comb the local markets to create a mystery menu based on the latest seasonal produce. The focus is on designing dishes that will complement each other perfectly in a balanced sequence, showcasing the best our growers, farmers and fishermen have to offer.
There won’t be any choices offered—as your mum says, "you’ll get what you’re given"—but this gives you an incredible chance to try some new things and open up your food horizons. Don’t worry, your waitstaff will talk you through the dishes, and we know you’ll love everything. Last year this event was a hit with the locals – and everyone lurved the element of surprise. We’ve got it on good authority that even the staff had a ball. If you can’t make it on 10 May, don’t worry, Pitchfork is holding these events every fortnight over autumn and winter. For more information check this and make sure you don’t miss out.
Spirit House | Hong Sa Bar
The Spanish have tapas, the Italians have antipasto, the Greeks have mezze—we know you can’t go past any amazing little plates of tasty morsels. And if they’re accompanied by a tasty beverage, so much the better!
We adore Spirit House, but unfortunately, so does everyone else. So if our less-than-organised asses don’t book early enough, we miss out. *sob* But no longer! Our friends at Spirit House have put together an amazing mini-menu of small plates at the uber-stylish Hong Sa Bar. You can experience the intense tastes of Spirit House in tiny bites of finger food—Hiramasa kingfish skewers with nahm jim sauce, “Thaicini” green curry rice balls, or if you don’t mind gettin’ messy, ginger and black pepper chicken wings.
“And what about us indecisive folk who just can’t choose?” I hear you ask. Well, you’re in luck. The Hong Sa bar isn’t nearly as formal as the main restaurant, so don’t feel like you’ve got to stick with a traditional ‘entrée/main/dessert’ structure. Just ask the staff for the ‘feed me’ option, and they’ll whip up a mini-banquet of fabulous flavours for you and your mates to enjoy while you sample the truly epic cocktail menu (can anyone say “barrel-aged Negroni”?)
Periwinkle | Raclette Night
We all know that adding cheese to any dish makes it immeasurably better. So what happens when your entire meal is ALL about the ooey gooey cheese? And not just any cheese—Australia's most awarded cheese, the Heidi Raclette—melted to a toasty, golden ooze, under a custom-designed Raclette grill, imported from Switzerland. Well… you get Periwinkle's all-you-can-eat Raclette night. The imported Raclette grill holds half a wheel of cheese, and the red hot grill is suspended over the top, melting the smooth, stretchy cheese which is then poured on to a plate of steamed kipfler potatoes and homemade bread, and served with a charcuterie plate of prosciutto, salami, cornichons and salad. We promise we won't tell your PT!
Raclette is a classic dish from the Alps, and is super-popular in the ski resorts of France and Switzerland. So as the Queensland nights start to cool down, channel your inner ski bunny and sign up for the ultimate cheese plate. Don't even try to argue with us! Periwinkle will be holding Raclette nights once a month over winter. Bookings are essential, and dates for the rest of winter will be announced soon. Keep your ear to the ground for Periwinkle's latest updates here.
Ok so now you've eaten everything you possibly could right? What about working those cals off? We've rounded up the best running tracks on the Sunshine Coast here for you to check out stat! What about the best hikes on the Sunshine Coast instead? More of a bike rider? We've also rounded up the best bikes rides on the Sunshine Coast here.