The population of Noosa are discerning about their food, demanding only the best, according to chef Peter Kuruvita, who runs the Beach House Restaurant in the Sunshine Coast hamlet. Within minutes of the town centre, there are some seriously decadent foodie institutions, which embrace the farm-to-fork philosophy. Here are five that are worth dragging your tastebuds away from the beach for.
1. See where it all begins, visit a grower: Tony Meijer, grower at Noosa Reds, proudly shows you around his macadamia-nut powered greenhouses. All the tomatoes are ripened on the vine and then supplied to many restaurants around the Sunshine Coast. Tony is a purist, never picking the tomatoes green – don’t even joke about putting his produce in the fridge either. Contact: Tony (07) 5449 1668 or firstname.lastname@example.org
2. The gourmet’s warehouse: If for nothing else, if you are in need of a quality coffee, head to Belmondos Whole Foods. The roasters use fine Arabica grounds and specialise in cold drip coffee. And the milk for your latte is sourced locally from the nearby Maleny Dairies. Oh, and it’s not just about the coffee, Belmondos is a virtual gourmet food warehouse with shelves and shelves of oils, cured meats, olives et al.
3. River-front dining: There are several quality restaurants on Noosa’s main strip, Hastings Street, but food in Noosa is certainly not all just about the beachfront. A short ferry ride up the river drops you off at Rickys, an elegant river-bank restaurant and bar with a view good enough to eat. Executive chef Glenn Bowman specialises in fresh; his delicate tuna sashimi just one example of his care and attention.
4. Buy your own from those who grow their own: If you are in Noosa on a Sunday, drag yourself out of bed for the best produce in the region at the Noosa Farmers’ Market. Obviously it’s not supermarket prices here, but it’s worth paying a little more for the wide range of produce (and gourmet fare), much of which ends up in Noosa’s eateries. They are held at The Noosa Australian Rules Football Club between 7am and 12pm.
5. Spoiled for choice on Hastings Street: There is a fine selection of restaurants on the main strip, but one of the best has to be Berardo’s. The Uber-white interior signals fine dining, giving it a ‘somewhere-else-besides-Noosa’ ambiance, but the atmosphere is as casual and no need for black tie here. French chef Geoffroy Marcq, who has cooked in two-Michelin-star kitchens, utterly embraces the fresh Noosa produce as well.