As soon as I heard that Peter Kuruvita was opening a venue in Noosa I wanted in. I heard that it would be a casual restaurant and bar through the day that transformed into a fine diner at night. I was so keen, I emailed the restaurant 3 weeks in advance to try and score a table on their first night of service. I secured a table for four and also scored the best seat for watching the chefs cook in the kitchen.
Of course many of you may already know of Peter from his popular cooking shows, cookbooks or his restaurant empire including Flying Fish in Sydney as well as a Steakhouse and another Flying Fish in Fiji.
First I would like to commend the very nice reply I received after I made an inquiry about the booking. It was formal and polite setting a good mood for the night.
I had spent the day cooking at the Noosa Food & Wine Festival, but not eating, which gave me a great appetite. I had no idea what to expect from the restaurant and hoped it would have some of Peter’s specialty dishes which are known to be hearty and generous. This was exactly what I found on offer.
The restaurant has a beach house feel with stained wood floors and chairs contrasting with the white walls and tablecloths.
On entry we had a chat with the manager who explained that the restaurant staff had been through two services, one for the hotel staff so they had an idea of what they were doing. This showed with the friendly service we were given.
We decided to order two servings of the bread, share the Beach House Seafood Tapas plate and one of the entrees which we were drawn to. On the tapas plate was a Sri Lankan kingfish ceviche, seared scallop, seared prawn and another raw fish dish. I tried a bite of each and loved the creamy kingfish ceviche the most. The sourdough bread was nicely toasted and was well matched with the moreish eggplant dip. The oil and balsamic was pleasant but nothing unusual.
The entree of Seared Yellow Fin Tuna, Ruby Grapefruit, Sweet Pork, Crackling ($22) stood out for me. The immaculately presented tower of components were visually appealing and the taste was even better. The tartness of the ruby grapefruit, counterbalanced the sweetness of the pork and black pepper caramel. The lightly seared kingfish adding the soft texture and crackling, the crispy texture. An absolutely flawless dish that provided a great start to the meal ahead.
Next, I just had to try Peter’s signature fish curry. Though, I was surprised by the presentation. I was instructed to construct the dish myself with the portioning of the sauce, rice and raita left to my hands. As you can see in my before and after picture. In full, the dish was a Sri Lankan Snapper Curry, Basmati Rice, Condiments ($38). The condiments included tamarind puree, coconut sambal, oven roasted tomatoes, crispy curry leaves and raita. The sauce was lightly spiced and had a lovely fragrant smell. The snapper was cooked perfectly with a lovely crispy skin but I wished I hadn’t poured the sauce over the fish as it had become less crispy. Nonetheless, it was a nicely executed dish and a generous serving.
Dad opted for the Pan Roasted Local Reef Fish, Confit Garlic, Tamarind Sauce ($34), which on this night was Snapper. He usually goes for the red meat option when we dine out but he really enjoyed this dish.
Mum made a brave move deciding to tackle the 500g (3 full) Steamed Moreton Bay Bugs tossed with Chilli, Ginger and Shallot (MP on the night was around $40). “Brave” as in eating with a pale pink shawl on! On cue the waitress offered her a special bib which Mum was very grateful for. I had a couple of mouthfuls and loved it as it was my first taste of bug, I can’t really tell if it was as would be expected. The sauce complemented the bug superbly with a pronounced spiced flavour.
Even the Princess was over the moon with her kid’s menu steak and onion rings.
After main I was invited by the manager to go and meet Peter in the kitchen. I told him how I had taken his place at last year’s Noosa Festival Delicious Produce Dinner and he laughed. Here is a photo with him.
Before long, the desserts arrived. We ordered two and decided to share. First was the Banana Soufflé, Lemon Semifreddo, Coconut ($16). It was quite a large soufflé, which I had hoped as it was quite an expensive dessert. It was just as a soufflé should be, airy, light, high, and delicate with a distinct banana flavor. The accompanying semifreddo was refreshing with the shredded coconut.
Also ordered was the Salted Peanut Butter Semifreddo ($17). How good does salted peanut butter sound? Imagining how good it would be, doesn’t even come close to reality. In reality it was even better! The creamy half frozen ice-cream with the added crunch of the peanuts was outstanding. The unexpected addition of meringues, banana mousse and a crunchy peanut brittle, that we all fought over, was an enjoyable finish.
Peter Kuruvita’s Noosa Beach House survived first night nerves admirably and dished out simple and hearty fare in a lovely revamped room more than worthy of its setting in iconic Hastings Street. I had questioned how they would cope when Peter is on his lengthy television adventures but be well assured that Katie McKay and Gary Whyte (ex Le Manoir, ENG) as well as Tony Kelly (ex Stokehouse) are more than qualified to take the reins.