When you have the opportunity to dine overlooking the spectacular Mooloolaba Beach, you’re digesting the ‘money-can’t-buy’ view before you even enjoy a delicious bite of food.
And when the menu is oozing with fresh local produce – we can’t help but ask: can you get any more quintessentially Sunshine Coast?
Welcome to Mooloolaba Surf Club’s exclusive upstairs space, Bayview Bar and Bites.
The sound of the ocean and the subtle clinking of glasses and cutlery set the ambiance as you sit at the second-floor restaurant adorned with delicate fairy lights and wine barrels.
Let’s not forget to also mention the sweeping views from Point Cartwright in the south to Mount Coolum in the north, and further on a clear day.
With a selection of tables on the balcony and the sea breeze gently flowing through the entire restaurant you feel as though you are almost dining on the beach. Yes, it’s that close to you. And when you’re that close to the beach you’d expect to enjoy dishes full of the very best local seafood and produce.
Under new head chef Yu Xiang Gu, Bayview Bar and Bites’ new winter menu is a Sunshine Coast smorgasbord containing 80 per cent local ingredients.
Originally from China and with an extensive career in fine hotel dining, Gu is eager to showcase what he loves about the region’s produce with his signature Asian twist.
“I like Queensland products, especially Sunshine Coast fresh seafood and dairy products,” Gu says. “Our crème brûlée is made with Maleny Dairies [products]. I have been there myself and did a tour and tasted their milk.
“With my background, I will also have an Asian influence on the menu. I will bring the experiences I have had in the past during my travels while using local products.”
Gu says by highlighting the local produce it is not only a chance to support local growers, producers and suppliers, but also a way for visitors to taste the Sunshine Coast culinary experience for themselves.
And this winter, the menu is sure to delight with a selection of dishes to indulge in.
One of items on this season’s menu includes the pan-roasted Mooloolaba prawns and seared scallop risotto.
Served with preserved lemon, grander peas, rocket and cherry tomatoes, the hero of this dish is without a doubt the delicious, juicy seafood.
Gu says the prawns are trawled in deep water, giving them the size and flavour Mooloolaba prawns are so well known for.
This dish is rich yet vibrant, especially as the preserved lemon dances around your mouth with every bite. And of course, the seafood is cooked to absolute perfection.
The crispy-skin snapper fillet with a soy and ginger sauce and sautéed wombok is also a dish not to miss.
Served with Japanese rice, Gu says the cooler climate in Japan makes for the perfect growing conditions for rice, therefore making it the best in the world. The fish falls apart as you put your fork through it, and the addition of a generous drizzle of the sauce ties the entire dish together.
If something from the land is more your style, make sure to order the grilled lamb rump and rib eye steak share plate.
Served with herb potatoes, semi-dried Roma tomato and a selection of greens, this is the ultimate choice for a hearty winter’s day meal.
The lamb and steak are tender, juicy and full of flavour – this substantial dish will not disappoint.
Moving on to dessert and the crème brûlée is everything you’d expect – sweet and sumptuous. And yes, the novelty of cracking that top layer to reveal the creaminess below never gets old.
You can taste the quality of the local dairy used, translating into a smooth and creamy dessert full of flavour. The addition of vanilla to the crème layer adds an irresistible touch to finish off your meal.
While seated at the restaurant, which also transforms into a function space for weddings and events, be sure to enjoy a cold beer, glass of bubbles, wine or a cocktail.
This really is a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours indulging and taking in all the view, and food, has to offer.
In fact, it’s perfect for a romantic lunch or dinner, or a special occasion with family or friends.