Last time I visited Embassy XO, the newest upstairs Duke Street destination at Sunshine Beach on the Sunshine Coast I came away disappointed.
Not by the flavour of the food, but the total dining experience. The restaurant had been open a couple of weeks but they still had a lot of issues to sort. My blog on the occasion sparked much comment and plenty of defence by passionate locals.
Last Saturday I revisited to see what changes the past four months had brought to the restaurant. I was a little worried that a busy school holiday night might affect their service but the restaurant was quiet and there was even an opportunity to discover the upstairs bar which locals tell me is great for sunset drinks. Last time the restaurant was so over crowded with people it was hard to see much.
With only two diners this time we decided to try one dish we enjoyed before - Rice crusted coral trout with bean shoot salad, red nam jim and coconut rice $34 - and a new one - marinated sticky lamp rump, rolled garlic noodles and spicy fragrant broth $34. Both dishes were well presented with a complex flavour and texture range. I particularly liked the lamb rump but found the slices just a little large - a knife fixed that quickly.
The waiter suggested wine matches - a Firegully Cabernet Merlot and Cape Mentelle Semillion Sauvignon Blanc - which worked well. The service overall was friendly and efficient.
Although I loved the sound of some of the 'add ons' - Tomato, smoked tofu, mint and crispy shallots or warm iceberg salad with son-in-law egg - we were satisfied with the meals as they were.
Since the menu hasn't changed, I think next time we might pig out on the starters list and share the booty. I am partial to Vietnamese style ground prawns on sugar cane skewers.
Locals or Friday night visitors can join the Friday Night Flights at XO Bistro Wine Bar downstairs. From 4 to 6 pm they are offering $15 for five flights of wine plus finger food - good value. Then you can buy the presented wines at the Cellar on the night for 10 percent off.
Bottom line: Good to see this restaurant living up to its promise.
Cnr Duke & Bryan Street, Sunshine Beach +61 07 5455 4460