Top 10 Restaurants on the Sunshine Coast, QLD

Top 10 Restaurants on the Sunshine Coast, QLD

The Sunshine Coast‘s culinary scene has grown rapidly with the region’s popularity and population, and from north to south this warm and welcoming part of South East QLD now boasts an impressive array of restaurants on both the high and low ends of the budgetary scale. Its coastal location and proximity to a verdant hinterland means the Sunshine Coast’s expert food craftsmen have access to plenty of top-notch fresh local produce with which to ply their trade, and as a result a number of new and upcoming restaurants have carved their name out alongside some of the coast’s more long-running dining establishments.

While the majority of the Sunshine Coast’s eateries reside in and around tourist hub Noosa, many of its elite dining offerings can be found dotted around various other suburbs to the point that travellers will be able to choose at least one excellent go-to destination for a memorable meal. But which Sunshine Coast restaurants rank the best of the best?

Here’s our list of the Sunshine Coast’s Top 10 restaurants for 2015, covering a variety of cuisines and budget levels, that each will ensure both your tastebuds and your stomach come away delighted.

10. Blue Orchid Thai

Location: 22 Bulcock Street, Caloundra

Cuisine: Thai

Thai is a cuisine that sometimes carries with it a somewhat generic, takeaway-oriented image due to its increasing prominence across the Australian dining scene; as a result, those Thai restaurants that do the food authentically and well truly stand out. One such restaurant is Caloundra’s Blue Orchid Thai, a long-running establishment that sits upstairs in a nice locale right on the esplanade.

There’s a reason this award-winning restaurant has stayed in business for so long and has satisfied diners for many years, all of which starts with the authenticity of its food. While the menu is fairly conventional as far as Thai offerings go, all of the staples such as green curry, coconut and black sticky rices, massaman beef and various others are prepared using wholly organic ingredients which when combined with the talents of the experienced chef leads to meals that seldom disappoint.

Curries in particular are packed with flavour without being overly spiced, and the signature Blue Orchid Duck dish is a standout that incorporates a wonderfully flavoured sauce that’s enjoyable without being overpowering. Regular chef specials on the menu are available to help keep the costs down at what is already a very reasonably-priced venue to dine at, and it’s rounded out by a number of well-priced wines and a great assortment of exotic beers. Dishes are served in huge portions too, which adds even more value for your money; you’ll never go away from Blue Orchid with a grumbling stomach.

This rates as one of the Sunshine Coast’s best restaurants as far as the balance between price and quality goes.

The atmosphere in the restaurant is subdued and fairly dim, with mood-style lighting in the evenings which can be a little dark. Decorations and decor in general is quite well done and appropriately Thai-themed without being over done, while the waitstaff are decked out in traditional outfits for an additional sense of atmosphere. Service here is also extremely prompt; it’s obvious they have their operations running smoothly from years of practice and as a result wait times are almost never a negative factor.

Due to Blue Orchid’s popularity, if you’re planning on dining in reservations made in advance are essential, and as a result of its reputation amongst locals the restaurant can be noisy as it’s always packed with loyal customers. In all, however, this rates as one of the Sunshine Coast’s best restaurants as far as the balance between price vs. quality goes, and if you’re looking for an enjoyable meal all for a very modest price – whether you’re eating in or simply picking up a takeaway – Blue Orchid Thai comes out with full marks in the “budget dining” category of this list.

9. Amici Cafe

Location: 80 Lower Gay Terrace, Caloundra

Cuisine: Italian

Image: Amici Café
Image: Amici Café

Don’t let the name fool you – Caloundra’s Amici Cafe is more than just a nice location to grab a coffee. This is a full-blown Italian restaurant that brings along with it friendly service and a quality menu from what is one of dining’s staple cuisines. Located in the Aspect Caloundra resort, this is another value-packed entry on this list that’s based around a casual, relaxed and familial atmosphere as opposed to fine dining. Add to the value of the regular menu the ability to get even more value for money on Amici’s Wednesday discount “Pasta Nights”, and it’s a great go-to dining spot on the Sunshine Coast.

The positives of what Amici offers are far more than simple price, however there’s a robust menu of Italian dishes that include some non-traditional twists. If you’ve got a tried and true favourite or are after something a little different, you’ll be sure to find it here and find it cooked exceptionally well and wonderfully presented. Main dishes are packed with their selected meats, as this isn’t a restaurant that serves a few meagre prawns in order to justify the price of the dish. Risottos in particular are very well done here; it’s a genre of dish that can sometimes tend to range between “bland” and “uninspired” at many establishments, but Amici has the formula for a thick and flavourful risotto down to a tee. The Fettucine Al Bacio was a personal standout for us, very flavourful as opposed to the sometimes overly minimalist aspect of the dish.

Main dishes (at Amici) are packed with their selected meats – this isn’t one of those restaurants where you receive a few meagre prawns in order to justify the price of the dish.

Amici Cafe’s pizzas are a favoured meal with locals and some of the best you’ll get on the Sunshine Coast, especially if you’re after takeaway. All pizzas are made from bases that walk the perfect line between thick and thin and come with characteristically generous toppings. This carries over to dessert as well (assuming you can fit one in), with their Bailey’s Creme Brulee being a wonderful spin in particular. These portions are reflective of meal sizes at the restaurant as a whole, as they’re typically large enough for the average diner to have some left over. If this does happen your food will not go to waste as the staff will always provide a neatly presented version of your leftovers to bring home.

Capping things off are the staff who manage to be exceptionally friendly and personable despite the almost eternally-busy nature of the restaurant, and they are always willing and accommodating when catering for various dietary requirements. Likewise, their timing between courses is impeccable and done with obvious practice, so even on the busiest of nights you’re never left waiting for a meal for overly long periods. Add in the welcoming and warm decor with nice “fairy light” decorations and you’ve got an unpretentious and down-to-earth dining option in Caloundra that’s an excellent all-rounder with its combined trifecta of price-quality-service.

8. Noosa Cruising Restaurant

Location: Noosa Marina, Noosa

Cuisine: A La Carte

Noosa Cruising Restaurant edited

Part restaurant, part entertainment experience, part sightseeing journey; the Noosa Cruising Restaurant is an excellent go-to dining option for first-time visitors to the region. Given that the Noosa River is one of the region’s most picturesque natural highlights, the marriage of eat-and-see is a logical one and the picturesque nature of the route the cruise takes makes it an obvious choice for special occasions. Couple the fact that the dining offered on board the Noosa Cruising Restaurant is on par with quality land-based restaurants and not simply a finger-food or a half-hearted buffet, and this smooth journey up and down the river becomes a wholesome evening out.

While there are a variety of cruise options the restaurant offers, the main standout is the dinner cruise. With its quality three-course a la carte menu, guests are offered choices between steak, seafood, chicken and vegetarian, all of which are prepared and cooked on board. Due to the intimate setting and limited number of tables, meals on offer are able to be properly hand-crafted rather than mass produced and generic. Eye fillet in particular is a standout for meat lovers due to its exceptionally tender nature and comes guaranteed to be cooked exactly how you order it. Tables on the vessel are well spaced out and the dining area is spacious enough to ensure that the dining experience never feels overly crowded and carries with it an enjoyable and luxurious atmosphere.

There are few experiences in the region that so succinctly sum up what visiting Noosa is all about, and as a result of booking here you’re in for a treat that delights both the eyes and tastebuds alike.

Being a cruise, the evening isn’t merely just about dining. Throughout the journey plenty of educational and entertaining information about Noosa that ranges everywhere between history and gossip is dispensed with wit and enthusiasm without being intrusive. The hosts go out of their way to make guests feel at home, interjecting friendly banter and insider knowledge about the Noosa region as a whole upon request. In addition, the timing of the cruise coincides with the added benefit of taking in a wonderful Noosa sunset, with the vessel’s spacious windows seemingly designed to capitalise upon this. The option also exists to ascend to the boat’s top deck to take in the sunset’s glow uninhibited while your meal is being prepared – a nice touch that makes the wait for food far more bearable than many other dining establishments.

Those prone to bouts of seasickness mostly need not fear, given the nature of the river, the cruise is gentle and calm so that motion sickness is rarely a problem. Reasonable wine prices round out the Noosa Cruising Restaurant’s overall offerings, with a selection that keeps costs down while still complimenting the dishes on offer. Given the relatively limited kitchen size and restricted space in which the kitchen staff and hosts have to operate, this is a highly impressive outing that’s ideal for groups who are gracing the Sunshine Coast for the first time. There are few experiences in the region that so succinctly sum up what visiting Noosa is all about, and as a result of booking here you’re in for a treat that delights both the eyes and tastebuds alike.

7. Elements at Montville

Location: 38 Kondalilla Falls Road, Montville

Cuisine: Cafe / Tea House

Image: Elements at Montville via IG/Laurenpbath
Image: Elements at Montville via IG/Laurenpbath

This charming little hybrid cafe/tea house nestled in the Sunshine Coast hinterland is both quaint and full of character. Featuring innovative and tasty food that is overall inexpensive given both its quality and lovely aspect it is set in a location just a short drive from the centre of hinterland town Montville. Elements offers a combination of wonderful rural views that compliment its dining nicely while being one of the Sunshine Coast’s best spots for high tea. While this isn’t the place to go if you’re looking for a full degustation-style meal, it’s a great way to finish off an afternoon of hiking and exploration in the hinterland. Combining the best parts of outlook, food quality, decoration and service Elements at Montville makes for one of the hinterland’s go-to spots for breakfast and light refreshments.

The food on offer here is more traditional British/Australian morning tea style than hearty restaurant – think fresh, warm scones, French toast, grilled sourdough etc. However Elements do each of these and more with some interesting takes and ingredients incorporated to make them something of a break from the norm. Traditional sandwiches have added ingredients that make them more memorable than their namesake and the exquisite home-made desserts come straight from the oven. Add to this a range of wonderful home-cooked pastries and there’s enough to satisfy all but the biggest of appetites here.

Elements offers a combination of wonderful rural views that augment its dining nicely with being one of the Sunshine Coast’s best spots for high tea.

Those after a beverage will likewise find Elements sublime, as there are extensive tea offerings of various types both herbal and miscellaneous. From such far-flung places as Madagascar and beyond as well as excellent coffee for those who need their caffeine fix. Early risers will also be happy to know that excellent breakfasts are also on offer, with many of the staple favourites served along with some extra little surprises. Lunch is a similar affair, and while the menu is not extensive each item it features is both well crafted and filling enough – especially when accompanied by the various sides most order. Presentation of dishes is above-average across the board and it’s clear that plenty of care is taken in the preparation and delivery of dishes from kitchen to table. High tea, however, remains the star and its lovely tiered offering is a favourite for those looking to indulge.

Decor at Elements on Montville also exudes charm, while it trends slightly towards the feminine, the wonderful table decorations with a funky, retro-style feel make for dining with a difference to the standard city cafe. Service also reflects this, conducted in a kind and relaxed manner that is still prompt and with minimal wait times. The cafe also has a charming gift shop at the front that features all sorts of unique handcrafted goods that’s a pleasure to explore and grab a keepsake. If you’re in the hinterland area or planning to explore the nearby Kondalilla Falls, be sure to stop by Elements at Montville when the stomach starts to rumble.

6. Sails Restaurant

Location: 75 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads

Cuisine: Modern Australian

Image: Pepe Saya via Sails Restaurant
Image: Pepe Saya via Sails Restaurant

While food is obviously going to be the main focus of any dining experience, there are plenty of other elements that go into making a culinary affair wholly enjoyable. External factors such as decor, atmosphere, service and location all contribute to a solid and memorable meal. It’s the latter factor that is one of the main contributing factors that makes dining at Noosa’s Sails Restaurant such a standout, as its raw location on Hastings Street overlooking the absolute beachfront makes it hard to beat. Clocking in at #4 on our list of Australia’s Top 10 Beaches when we polled the Australian public back in 2013, Noosa Beach has a well-deserved reputation as a stunning stretch of sand and Sails Restaurant capitalises upon its location by augmenting the outlook with a high quality, upmarket dining experience.

Ironically, the picture-perfect location of Sails makes it quite unlike other restaurants on this list as it comes recommended to dine here during the day as the bright and beautiful panorama of the beach will be in full view. Regardless of when you choose to visit, you’ll be presented with an excellent and balanced menu selection that tends towards the pricey end of the scale but is sublime in its offerings. This is a place to splurge, with high-end dishes in abundance and seafood featuring bugs, oysters, scallops and various other bounties of the ocean. The scallop ceviche in particular is a testament to both the quality of the ingredients and skills of Sails’ chef. Dishes here are well portioned and presented without being overly large and the menu tastes as good as it reads across the board.

While dining at Sails requires a not-insignificant monetary investment, the return you get for your money will result in one of the region’s most memorable meals.

Of particular note is Sails Restaurant’s wine menu, which features a dizzying array of wines both imported and local found within, and it’s thick enough to be almost a “book” in itself. As a result, wine aficionados will be in their element here, while the uninitiated can query the knowledgeable staff who are able to advise on pairings and descriptions for each type. Families who initially may be concerned about bringing the little ones along to a classy establishment need not worry; the restaurant does a good job both catering for and dealing with children and there’s a surprisingly wide range of choices for kids on the menu compared to other similar restaurants.

While the dress code at Sails is smart casual, the restaurant carries with it a premium feeling, which emanates both from the high-end decor and the friendly yet professional attitudes of the staff. It’s a positive reflection of the quality of the establishment that many of the waitstaff have remained in their roles for long periods of time. They truly know how to make their patrons feel special and are always willing to go the extra mile to accommodate certain needs or requests.

In all, this is a long-running and “signature” restaurant that provides a unique experience unlike almost any other on the Sunshine Coast. While dining at Sails requires a not-insignificant monetary investment, the return you get for your money will result in one of the region’s most memorable meals.

5. Spirit House

Location: 20 Ninderry Road, Yandina

Cuisine: South-east Asian

Image: Spirit House
Image: Spirit House

Another restaurant in which its setting features prominently – albeit for more unconventional reasons – is the unique and wonderfully immersive Spirit House at Yandina. Located within a distinct and greenery-rich layout that focuses on mixing in escapism with quality food, this restaurant and cooking school feels akin to dining in the jungles of the likes of Thailand or Vietnam rather than a popular coastal seaside getaway region. The restaurant takes roughly a 30-minute drive to reach from Noosa Heads, however the extra effort is well worth it. You’ll be surrounded by bamboo in a setting so rich in atmosphere with candles flickering over water and pathways that wind through immaculately-kept gardens with Buddhist sculptures.

The cuisine on offer at Spirit House reflects the surroundings, with an Asian-themed menu incorporating influences from Thailand and a diverse array of tastes and textures that create an adventure for the tastebuds. This variety means that there’s always something new to try for most guests willing to experiment, with dishes including kingfish, coconut soup of salmon and the highly recommended pork belly with a light citrus caramel sauce. Sharing dishes is encouraged here to allow patrons to sample the widest possible array of flavours and for the indecisive among us the banquet menu is an excellent choice. The banquet provides a great and thorough cross-section of the various spices and flavours for which the cuisine is renowned and is highly recommended for first-time diners.

Located within a distinct and greenery-rich layout that focuses on mixing in escapism with quality food, this restaurant and cooking school feels akin to dining in Thailand or Vietnam.

There are a lot of small and subtle additions that the Spirit House chefs make to the dishes that add to the depth of flavour. Many of these are complimented by the large wine list that offers wines by-the-glass rather than bottle only; a wise choice for most, given the need to drive back into the heart of the Sunshine Coast. Dining at Spirit House is a peaceful affair, aided by the way its layout does a great job of concealing your table from that of other diners, helping create a secluded feel that is less prone to disturbances. This is only broken up periodically by the waitstaff checking on diners to both ensure they do not lack for anything or bring the meals to the table coupled with detailed descriptions of each dish, with the bringing out of courses well spaced.

Booking a table alongside the pond comes highly recommended if possible, as the extra level of ambience it adds to an already impressive location is magnificent. Spirit House is another Sunshine Coast restaurant that is frequently booked out due to its positive reputation, so be sure to make a reservation well in advance. If you’re looking for a dining experience that allows you to escape for a few hours at both lunch and dinner set amongst memorable surrounds that make the simple act of dining feel special, then Spirit House ticks all the boxes.

4. Embassy XO

Location: Bryan Street, Sunshine Beach

Cuisine: Asian fusion

Image: Embassy XO
Image: Embassy XO

Relatively hidden in little Sunshine Beach just a short trip from the heart of Noosa comes this little gem that offers big-city standards in a relatively small part of the Sunshine Coast region. Embassy XO is a smart and modernly decorated Asian-themed restaurant that carries with it an atmosphere of sophistication and an upmarket feel across the board, incorporating a mixture of largely Chinese and regional Asian tastes on the menu. This resulting blend provides a mixed bag of flavours that allows diners to sample the best of multiple parts of the Far East all in one sitting and as a result one does not have to be a strict fan of traditional Asian dishes to enjoy a meal here.

Situated upstairs in a sleek and tasteful dining room, it’s a professional and retro-chic example of decor that contains elements of its Asian influence without being gaudy or cheesy. The kitchen at Embassy XO is open and visible with diners able to see the food being prepared, which adds to the immersion and provides transparency. There’s also a great little bar area for enjoying a drink before or after your meal, which some truly innovative cocktails on offer that are made with some creative ingredients such as intermingling chilli and lychees – unconventional, yes, but it simply works, and sets the stage for the food to come.

Embassy XO is a smart and modernly decorated Asian-themed restaurant that carries with it an atmosphere of sophistication and an upmarket feel across the board.

This innovation and creativity carries over to the dining aspect as well; Yum Cha features prominently on the menu, so if you’re a fan of dumplings you’ll have plenty of selection. However other dishes such as pork rolls, duck buns and their great oysters serve as tasty alternatives. Embassy XO offers a number of different banquet options (with both seafood and meat as their key focus) as well as a la carte, and the menu offers a great range of choices for vegetarians as well. One of the highlights is a Local’s Menu which continually changes and offers 3 courses at a reduced price, making Embassy XO a great spot for residents as well as travellers from afar. Dishes here carry with them a number of delicate flavours made from delicious produce, this is true “fusion” style cooking where everything has a little modern twist – the restaurant’s take on a creme brûlée is particularly refreshing.

All of this comes wrapped in a package that would feel comfortable in the likes of one of Melbourne’s dining hubs. Little touches like the cosy fireplace great during the winter months, a thoughtful wine list, the ability to order while enjoying drinks beforehand and a number of unfamiliar menu entries all make for a quality experience. Don’t let its inconspicuous location throw you off, this is one of the Sunshine Coast’s best restaurants, and the standout spot to dine out in Sunshine Beach in particular.

3. Tides Waterfront

Location: 26 The Esplanade, Caloundra

Cuisine: Seafood / Modern

Tides Waterfront 2 edited
Image: Tides Waterfront

Seafood is a longstanding hallmark of the Sunshine Coast and those after a seafood orientate meal can head to this favoured Esplanade restaurant. Provides enjoyable fine dining with Caloundra’s best waterfront views Tides Waterfront overlooks Bulcock Beach. With it’s crisp linen tablecloths, stainless silver cutlery, attentive service and Michelin star-worthy food Tides Waterfront is an ideal choice for diners looking to treat themselves. Tides is upmarket, but still carries with it the laid-back nature that is reflective of the Sunshine Coast as a whole.

As might be expected from its combination of both location and name, Tides’ menu revolves predominantly around seafood with dishes featuring scallops, prawns, salmon, and other delights. However dishes covering meat and vegetarian options are also available for those with different tastes and dietary persuasions. Presentation of the food here warrants a special mention, with a mixture of artistic and impressive dishes served with enough creative touches that act as a visual representation of the extra effort put in across the board. Meals here are quite inventive too, making the most of ingredient mixtures to drum up some original tastes. Highlights include figs with beetroot, an incredibly smooth blue cheese mousse, pork belly with fetta, and a truffle jus that is incredibly moist and mouth-watering.

The Sunshine Coast is fairly lacking in high-end restaurants as a whole, however Tides does a solid job of carrying the card.

Tapas and lunch time specials are a viable and enjoyable option for those looking to keep costs down when visiting Tides Waterfront, however the star of the show is the elaborate 7-course degustation on offer that represents great value for money. The mixture of seafoods done in all of smoked, baked, fresh and croquette forms (accompanied by divine artichoke sauce), wagyu beef and mixed desserts such as Panna Cotta and chocolate mousse make for a great cross-section and comes highly recommended. Should you decide to go with a la carte, you’ll not be disappointed. The choice available on the menu is extensive and there’s enough variation so that even those with fish allergies will be able to enjoy a meal for lunch and dinner alike without feeling shortchanged. A substantial wine list with a number of big names caps things off for those looking to splurge and advice on accompaniments is freely, happily and expertly dispensed by the staff.

Service at Tides Waterfront is as one might expect from a restaurant both of this standing and price point, which is to say there’s just the right amount of staff engagement that it walks the line between being attentive while staying unobtrusive. Given its location, Tides is a wonderful spot to use as a “special occasion” restaurant that’s more ideal for couples than families (although they do cater to children). If you’re able to request a table on the balcony it provides a view out to Pumicestone Passage and the tip of Bribie Island. The Sunshine Coast is fairly lacking in high-end restaurants as a whole, however Tides does a solid job of carrying the card. If you’re after an evening of fine dining with a casual elegance, then this is a spot that’s sure to satisfy.

2. Karma Waters

Location: The Esplanade, Mooloolaba

Cuisine: Portuguese

Image: Karma Waters
Image: Karma Waters

Many of the more common cuisines such as Italian, Chinese, and various other staples are widespread enough that finding a restaurant that offers tastes with a difference and memorable flavours can often be a chore. It’s with this factor working in its favour that makes Karma Waters at Mooloolaba such a standout with its Portuguese influences and the use of that country’s distinctive herbs that make for some truly refreshing dishes. This is a dining spot where the casual facade on the surface and spread out onto the foothpath belies the quality of dining that awaits within. One needs to only stroll by on a weeknight and notice the ever-packed tables to see why it’s got such a strong reputation with locals.

One of the first things you’ll notice with the menu at Karma Waters is how well-priced everything is given the quality. It’s quite possible to dine here for two people spending only $50 and come away satisfied, also, the ability to BYO alcohol can keep things even more reasonable. Should you bring along your own wine you’ll be provided with a bucket of ice to keep it cooled. Add in the regular specials menu that offers outstanding value for money with the highly generous portion sizes and you’ve got an excellently priced meal given the quality.

If you’re after meals full of tastes that are slightly different from the usual, take time out to visit Karma Waters.

The choice presented on the restaurant’s menu is quite extensive and features a number of tasty spins on the likes of beef cheeks, lamb shoulders and shanks, chorizos and other core items that are a staple of the cuisine. There’s frequent use of peri-peri sauce throughout and the foods at Karma Waters are given enough spice to add flavour without tasting saturated. Their signature dish is a Portuguese Espetada; skewered beef with garlic and salt (vegetarian version also available), that is done exceptionally well here, and it’s complimented by different spins on Paella, Trinchada, garlic prawns, and chorizo.

Due to its location, dining at Karma Waters brings with it a combination of beach views and the convenience of all the shops nearby, and as a result it’s a great place for enjoying breakfast or coffee while you’re browsing the area. Service is attentive and timely while also being exceptionally friendly and the staff do an excellent job of keeping kids entertained throughout their dining experience. The blend of value and distinctive flavours all rounded out by a great view provides an outstanding overall spot for a meal. It can be argued this is the Sunshine Coast’s best value spot in terms of being able to enjoy all of breakfast, lunch, and dinner while not trying to overcompensate on price and “charge for the view” of the waterfront. If you’re after meals full of tastes that are slightly different from the usual, take time out to visit Karma Waters.

1. Spice Bar

Location: 123 Mooloolaba Esplanade, Mooloolaba

Cuisine: Asian fusion

Image: Spice Bar
Image: Spice Bar

If there was a single word to describe this outstanding Mooloolaba restaurant, “evolution” may bit it. Having seen multiple incarnations and several locations since its original inception, the innovative and creative Spice Bar continues to strut its outstanding range of intermingled Asian flavours. It’s this lack of hesitation to experiment and keep things fresh that makes a meal at Spice Bar enjoyable no matter how many times you’ve visited in the past. Its newest location overlooking the water simply adds an extra touch of enjoyable ambience to what is one of the Sunshine Coast’s top eateries. Spice Bar is a restaurant that’s nearly eternally busy, yet manages to remain well run without ever becoming chaotic and possesses a buzz that’s both trendy and cosy.

The menu at Spice Bar is an exercise in adventure that prides itself on being exciting and interesting with a hint of unusual thrown in, as exotic combinations abound and a surprise awaits around every taste-filled corner. As a result, adventurous eaters will find themselves right at home, while more timid diners are encouraged to branch out as the combinations often surprise. One minute you can find yourself sipping on crab soup, while the next will have you sampling kangaroo or duck okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake). There are plenty of sharing options on the menu for indecisive diners, which have the added benefit of making Spice Bar an ideal venue for larger groups to ensure that no taste sensation goes missed – the phrase “the more, the merrier” definitely applies here. Menu standouts include beef tataki done thinly sliced with a tangy marinade, fish fillet done in Sichuan broth, and a gorgeous lamb rump that falls apart in the mouth.

If you’re the type who doesn’t mind branching out and embracing new tastes, Spice Bar is a spot on the Sunshine Coast that’s impossible to beat.

As with many other menus on this list, Spice bar offers a comprehensive degustation menu with a number of course quantities available. Although individual portions of items are small, there’s enough of them to leave diners full at the end, especially if opting for the 10-course extravaganza. The experimental theme of the food here extends through to dessert as well. It’s one of the only places on the Sunshine Coast you’ll experience anything close to a frozen espresso coffee liqueur and the peanut butter jelly cake & ice cream is likewise a surprise delight. Beverages on offer befit an Asian themed restaurant, with Asahi beer on tap, a range of other imports and a variety of exotic cocktails available for those looking to expand their range. In all, the food on offer here is emblematic of a “dining experience” – nearly none of this is something you could replicate at home, and it’s all the more memorable for the fact.

Spice Bar also boasts a great interior with Asian-inspired decor that is beautiful without being overwhelming. It’s another dining spot that incorporates an open kitchen into the proceedings that adds rather than detracts from the experience and provides a firsthand look at the well-oiled machine that the management and cookstaff have running. The business of the restaurant also never detracts from the service, as there’s always smiles and friendly acknowledgements and interaction from the staff. Lastly, while it’s another restaurant that is often booked out, the option to dine at the bar exists for those who aren’t fussy, so if you’re unable to book a table in advance it never hurts to try your luck with a walk-in. If you’re the type who doesn’t mind branching out and embracing new tastes, Spice Bar is a spot on the Sunshine Coast that’s impossible to beat.

In addition, if you’re looking for all the top things to see and do in and around Sunshine Coast including activities, attractions and more, be sure to check out our main region section to browse and book online!

Experience Oz Staff

This article was produced in a combined effort by Experience Oz staff members. Experience Oz + NZ is the home of things to do in Australia and New Zealand, with over 3,000 awesome experiences across Oz + NZ!

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