I was driving home to Brisbane from yet another wonderful weekend at Sunshine Beach on the Sunshine Coast and what was I day dreaming about?
Not the outstanding coastal scenery on the walk to Alexandra Bay, the beautiful autumn swim (which is brave because I'm a Queenslander) or the smooth, well rounded coffee I'd had that morning. Instead it was a small pat of house-made butter and a freshly baked baguette from the previous night. It's evidence that sometimes the smallest things are the best.
The house baked bread of the day at Coconut Grove Bar and Bistro, upstairs in Duke Street, Sunshine Beach, varies but it's always served with Joseph EVO and house made butter churned from Eumundi cream and salted with Murray River Salt. The sweetness of the butter combined with the crisp, golden bread was an unexpected pleasure that lingered.
This was my second visit to Coconut Grove with way too many years in between. I first darkened their door just after Leonie Palmer Fisher and Steve Fisher opened the restaurant in June 2008 (more ). Those were the days before Wasabi moved to Noosa.
I enjoyed the food then and that hasn't changed. On Saturday night the welcome was warm and the table service attentive but not intrusive.
Our choices were simple, bread and two pizzas - classic margarita with vine tomato base, basil and buffalo mozzarella and confit duck with Meredith goats cheese mushrooms and basil. The pizzas were just how they should be - a light crispy base well covered with ingredients full of flavour. They both worked.
My mains choice was the pan seared fish of the day which was Moolababah caught Red Emperor and served with sauteed spinach, Noosa reds tomato, caper, lemon and spring onion dressing. There were some great crispy bits on the fish that really accentuated the soft, white flesh. Just wonderful in the mouth.
A hungrier version of me would have gone for an entree of char grilled asparagus, poached organic Bendele Farm duck egg, capers, lemon and white anchovy dressing with crispy bread and vincotto. Yum.
I also was tempted by the 'Classic bombe Alaska'. It's years since I had one of these and it promised honeycomb ice cream. It will have to wait till next time.
The restaurant is now owned by Geoff and Charmain Hall and the chef is Damon Porter.
Bottom line: A pleasant night out with well priced food, a place to enjoy more than once.
Coconut Grove at 8/46 Duke Street, Sunshine Beach. +61 7 5449 2333
Where to stay on the Sunshine Coast? Here's my favourite spot. more