Blue skies and sunshine – tick; long weekend – tick; chance to get a way – tick!
It all adds up to a short break at Noosa and Sunshine Beach for me!
Two hours driving time north of Brisbane in sunny Queensland, this destination is one of my faves anytime of the year. There’s surfing beaches for my partner, K2, to catch a wave; there’s swimming beaches, plenty of cafes and restaurants, and shops to browse for me; and dog friendly beaches for the new family addition, four-legged Bella. In addition, this is an area of outstanding natural beauty.
We stay at Sunshine Beach which is about a ten minute drive or scenic one hour walk from Noosa Heads. It’s peak season at the moment (Australia Day long weekend) and it can get a little crazy around Noosa Head’s Hastings Street with long car queues and parking spaces at a premium.
Since I’ve been working some big hours lately, my ambition was to not eat one meal at the apartment for the whole long weekend – another box ticked!
So here’s five places where we ate –
Fratellini’s, Sunshine BeachLocated within walking distance, this Italian-themed café/restaurant is a local institution. There’s plenty of dining space, and more importantly, quiet corners on the footpath where you can park a dog close by.
We worked our way through the breakfast menu on two mornings and found plenty to please. Prices and serving sizes rank in the higher end for breakfast with most between $14 to $19. The serves are substantial and sides unnecessary unless you are ravenous! Highlights were the grilled Western Australian sardines with salsa verde ($16.90) and the scrambled eggs with shaved pecorino and crisp pancetta ($17.90).
Smoked salmon avocado with pesto and poached eggs ($18.90) came to the table next door and it was such a showstopper I asked to photograph it, which is against my food blogging rules. (While observing other’s food and their reactions, I always try to be unobtrusive when blogging in a restaurant, so as not to impact on anyone else’s experience.)
Marble Bar, Sunshine BeachLocals love the open-air space of Marble Bar and there’s usually plenty of action here. We like the small tables which have plenty of space around them and the quick service. There’s also a spot for the dog.
Here we dined from the tapas menu with share plates that we didn’t actually share . Seared scallops in the shell, barbecue duck quesadilla and tempura snapper fingers with sweet potato chips which were the best meal on the night. Crisp, light sticks of moist white fish, they were well cooked and artfully presented.
Duke’s Deli, Sunshine Beach
I’ve long been a fan of Duke’s Deli for lunch and snacks but they have now expanded to open at night on Fridays and Saturdays. At night the tables gain cloths and the service becomes a little more attentive. It’s also BYO which is a standout in the Sunshine Beach dining strip.
The meals are all on display in the cabinet which makes choosing easy. They are priced around a very reasonable $15 to $16 for dishes that could be entrees, share plates or light meals. I chose a smoked salmon stack while K2 tucked into nachos with chilli con carne. The desserts are tempting as well.
We will be back for dinner here.
Aromas, Noosa HeadsI’m tempted to think no visit to Hastings Street is complete without a coffee at Aromas. It’s the place to see and be seen with plenty of opportunity to check out the passing parade.
However, unless I just want a light taste, I won’t be rushing back for their Raspberry coconut slice with white chocolate chips ($4.00), as the portion size was just too small for my appetite at the time. It was impossible to see the slice size as it was displayed in the cabinet and I was left wishing it was more than just a sliver when it arrived. Although it was full flavoured, it just seemed mingy to me. I would have been more than happy with a piece of caramel slice of the same size but coconut slice is a light to consume and so easy to make recipe.
Check Eat,drink&beKerry on Facebook for a discussion on this where those in the hospitality industry have been quick to point out that profit margins are slim at the moment and perhaps I should have been happy with what I received.
10 Hastings Street, Noosa HeadsFirst time I’ve eaten at this café/bar located down the Spit end of Hastings Street. It’s very shabby chic in style, with food served on brown paper squares positioned on wooden platters and juice offered in jam jars tricked-up with red striped straws and twine.
The health-conscious focused menu includes ‘super food’ ingredients (read Amazonian acai berries) but surprisingly, there’s not a lot of gluten free offerings included. There are plenty of on trend must-haves such as shaved coconut and organic almonds.
Breakfast bruschetta with Noosa Red tomatoes, grilled haloumi and balsamic reduction on sour dough ($14) was a perfect breakfast flavour fix, but the single slice of bread left me hungry and stealing from K2’s plate. He had a chicken baguette which arrived with a headdress of pale green baby cos lettuce leaves – striking table presentation. Great food but next time I will inquire about the size of the dish.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK paid for all these meals.