Summer is here. You can feel it in the warmth of the sun on your skin, sense it in the air, and you can certainly taste it in the fresh flavours dished up by head chef Graham Waddell and his team at Noosa Springs Golf and Spa Resort’s Relish restaurant.
Crisp, local ingredients whipped into mouth-watering dishes that pop with the bright, bold colours of summer boast light, tasty flavours – you can all but feel them dancing on your tastebuds with each delicious mouthful. This is the vibe for the new seasonal menu at Relish.
Originally from Scotland, Graham completed his training in England and has since worked in high-end restaurants across his homeland and throughout London. He has travelled the globe and cooked in some of the finest establishments, but luckily, he now calls the Sunshine Coast home and has done so for the past 16 years.
“I came to Australia for a backpacking adventure in my twenties, met my wife Sarah. We now have three beautiful daughters and I couldn’t think of a better place to call home,” Graham says.
And for the past two years, Graham has also called Relish home. “I love getting to use the beautiful fresh local produce we have here on the Coast, like the Noosa Reds tomatoes and local veg, and of course Mooloolaba prawns, which are always a crowd favourite. In fact, one of the most popular dishes on the menu, and one that doesn’t really change, is the Mooloolaba prawn sandwich and chunky fries,” he tells salt.
“I would say the majority of our produce comes from farms around the Sunshine Coast, and we also have a herb garden on site. The older we chefs get, the more we appreciate mother nature’s amazing produce and the more we want to let that do the talking.”
“As far as the menus go, I really like to cook on the hoof as we say, seldom repeating dishes.
“That’s what keeps cheffing exciting,” he says. “I’m not interested in overworked dishes either; here, produce is king. Food cooked simply to retain its natural character, and the warmer weather leans towards seafood dishes and grilled meats with summer salads, so that is what you’ll find a lot of on the new menu.”
Some of the mouth-watering dishes on that menu include Yucatan-style barramundi with avocado, melon, radish and charred lime; brined and charred Kingaroy pork cutlet with apple, celeriac, fennel, and jus gras; Lebanese salad of cucumber, haloumi, whipped feta, olive, melon and Noosa reds tomatoes with mint oil; Merguez-stuffed baby squid and king prawns, olives, peppers, and blood orange – delicious!
And let’s not forget the yummy summer desserts, like a pavlova with mango, passionfruit and strawberries or ashed goat’s cheese, saffron pears, pain d’epices, fig relish and caramelised truffle honey.
And although the food is what does the talking around here, the atmosphere lends itself to that breezy summer feeling. Have your meal dished up on the terrace under the palms as you look toward the golf course and beautifully manicured gardens.
“It is like an oasis out there. The restaurant is relaxed. It almost feels like you’re on a holiday, a million miles away, but in reality, you are only three kilometres from Hastings Street in Noosa,” Graham says.
For that reason, not only is Relish a favourite among guests and members, it’s also a popular choice for the locals.
“There are many community groups and locals who come to use the fitness centre, do yoga, have a hit of tennis or use the spa who love to come and enjoy a meal or some morning tea after their session,” Graham says.
“It really is a place for everyone to enjoy great food and a great environment.”
The restaurant is open to the public for breakfast and lunch daily, as well as morning tea and the popular traditional high teas, which are made in-house.
Themed dinners: Relish dishes up a themed dinner on the first Friday of the month for $75 per person with a four-course dinner representing a specific cuisine and country.
Summer specials: The summer lunch special is available daily, with three entrée, main and dessert options from the new menu to choose from. It’s $38 for an entrée/main or main/dessert or $45 paired with a glass of wine.
Christmas Day lunch: Relax and enjoy a shared feast with family and friends while enjoying sensational food, premium beverages and a festive atmosphere.