Julius Pizzeria, South Brisbane. Photo Michael Ross
Julius Pizzeria, South Brisbane. Photo Michael Ross

Queensland’s 7 finest family-friendly restaurants

PUT the cooking on hold tonight and take the family out for a special dinner.

We've found Queensland's finest family-friendly restaurants, as seen in the Delicious 100 list.

Here are the top 7.

Restaurant Reviews - Two in Noosa
Restaurant Reviews - Two in Noosa


BISTRO C

It's not all about the view at Bistro C but such is the panorama of Laguna Bay and across to the treed headland of the Noosa National Park that it can be hard to focus on what's going on inside. Never mind, the formula of a buzzing, family friendly atmosphere with widely appealing, well-put-together food and rapid service has been well-honed over the 26 years since it opened.

The venue offers three meals a day, seven days a week. Breakfast could include a sticky barbecue pork, spring onion and rice noodle omelette or fresh fruit with Yandina coconut yoghurt. Relaxing into dinner after twilight drinks would be a good decision but lunch makes full use of the view, the easygoing menu and the drinks list.

Cider-battered fish with a fresh, caper and herb-flecked salad and excellent chips are a worthy option, as is the spinach and shiitake dumplings with burnt butter. The trifle, an amalgam of mango, peach and lovely passionfruit sorbet over a bed of fresh sponge is worth serious consideration.

Must-eat dish: Spinach and Shiitake dumplings

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Dayle Merlo

Cuisine: Modern Australian

Bookings: Yes (not breakfast)

Open: daily breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (from 7.30am until late)

Address: 49 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads

Ph: 075447 2855

Website: bistroc.com.au

Instagram: @bistroC

 

 

Caxton Street, Petrie Tce, 21st November 2017
Gamb
Caxton Street, Petrie Tce, 21st November 2017 Gamb


GAMBARO SEAFOOD RESTAURANT

There was once a dish on the menu at Gambaro Seafood Restaurant called millionaire's oysters, with crab and avocado in a decadently rich mornay sauce. It was proprietor Michael Gambaro's take on oysters Rockefeller.

Tastes change. These days the menu has been stripped of such old-world excesses and most oysters are eaten a la natural, perhaps with a glass of crisp white wine.

Those seeking a nostalgic hit can still order a crayfish in mornay sauce from the special crustaceans menu, along with live mud crabs and seafood platters. And there is still a linguini marinara, with prawns, scallops, fish, calamari, mussels, tomato and basil. It's the best in town.

Gambaros has been an irresistible lure for seafood lovers since the family opened a fish and chips shop in Paddington in 1952. And the fish choices are endless.

For starters try spanner crab ravioli seafood bisque, or calamari served on a shredded zucchini and radicchio salad. The fillet of swordfish main is a jaw-dropping delight, as is the panko-crumbed red emperor.

Must-eat dish: Queensland mud crab

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Lucas McEwan

Cuisine: Seafood

Bookings: Yes

Open: Breakfast daily; Lunch Mon-Fri; Dinner Mon-Sat

Address: 33 Caxton St, Paddington

Ph: 07 3369 9500

Website: gambaro.com.au

Instagram: @gambaroseafoodrestaurant

 

 

The new restaurant space in Miss Songs at The Vill
The new restaurant space in Miss Songs at The Vill

MISS SONGS

Bougainvillea spills over whitewashed walls framing a fiery sunset. A poolside panorama of striped umbrellas and designer deck chairs flows past palm trees to an azure ocean bristling with masts.

Recent renovations at Townsville hub The Ville have created a restaurant worthy of this world-class view. Alive with the overflow atmosphere of neighbouring drinking hole Quarterdeck, Miss Songs is vibrant in every sense. In the hands of head chef Arie Prabowo (ex Orpheus Island), classic Chinese dishes sing.

The favourites - Peking duck; hissing, spitting and sizzling scotch fillet with Cantonese sauce; and Beerenberg honey and lemon Chicken - may be predictable, but there is nothing standard about their execution. If you're taking the better-value banquet route, make sure your choice includes the addictive seafood san choy bau.

While not the broadest refreshment list, you won't have any trouble choosing a sundowner from the tropical tipples. The themed Dragon Ball with Hendrick's Gin and Chinese Hua Diao wine is among the more interesting on offer.

Must-eat dish: Seafood san choy bau

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Arie Prabowo

Cuisine: Chinese

Bookings: Yes

Open: Daily from 5.30pm

Address: The Ville Resort-casino, Sir Leslie Thiess Drive, Townsville

Ph: 07 4722 2222

Website: the-ville.com.au/dine/miss-songs/

Instagram: @thevilletsv

 

 

Restaurant Pier 33 in Mooloolaba.
Restaurant Pier 33 in Mooloolaba.

 

PIER 33

If you can't afford a yacht but want to dine somewhere you can pretend you do, Pier 33 is the perfect spot. The old Mooloolaba yacht club building has been given a Hamptons makeover with all-white interiors, pops of blue, and simple nautical décor.

Diners gaze at yachts moored in the marina and nearby fishing trawlers indicate the kind of fare on offer. Unless you're with a big group, skip the large share plates and stick to the snacks or sides starting with bite-sized seared Noosa scallops - tender, diced cubes are held place on a crisp oversized corn chip with a lightly whipped avocado, hints of desert lime and a sprinkling of black caviar. Or the crudo white fish with melon and white soy or try the mizu-marinated half eggplant, roasted to creamy perfection and topped with a mini-Vietnamese salad of snow pea sprouts, mint, coriander and watercress.

Sweets are less exciting with the choice between a smooth lemon curd tart, strawberries with mousse, or cheese. Service is causal but warm and focuses on making sure diners order the right amount of food. Pier 33 is part owned by Andrew Hohns, the man behind last year year's no. 1 restaurant Rick Shores, at Burleigh Heads.

While it's yet to reach those heights, Hohns has teamed up with Sunshine Coast architect John Robertson to make the most of the location. And the cute back lawn and bar are ideal for sundowners from the ample drinks list. It's the next best thing to eating alfresco on the deck of a yacht.

Must-eat dish: Seared Noosa scallop tostada

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Simon Taylor

Cuisine: Modern Australian

Bookings: Yes

Open: Lunch and Dinner Tue-Sun

Address: 33-45 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba

Ph: 07 5294 5675

Website: pier33.com.au

Instagram: @pier33mooloolaba

 

 

Escape Tip
Escape Tip

SAILS

It pays to book early to secure a beach-front table at this smart but relaxed restaurant sitting on the edge of Noosa's Laguna Bay.

Easygoing staff recite specials and explain dishes from chef Paul Leete's seafood dominated menu, which takes pride in its commitment to locally sourced produce. Take for example Moreton Bay bug tail, the sweet crustacean just cooked through paired with a lightly smoked pumpkin puree, raw cauliflower "rice" and charry leek. Or perhaps Fraser Coast king prawns served alongside dense gnocchi, in a pungent seafood bisque.

With four working cellars, there's a wine to suit every dish, from premium offerings served by the glass courtesy of a Coravin system to more affordable house options. The dessert wine section and signature cocktails are also worth exploring, paired perhaps with one of the classic sweet dishes given a modern spin such as the intensely rich Belgian chocolate and hazelnut pavlova pooling with lightly spiked espresso cream, dollops of Nutella and a scattering of smashed hazelnut praline.

This is a smart and reliable restaurant for those happy to splurge a little.

Must-eat dish: Hazelnut pavlova

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Paul Leete

Cuisine: Modern Australian

Bookings: Yes

Open: Lunch and Dinner daily

Address: 75 Hastings St, Noosa Heads

Ph: 07 5447 4235

Website: sailsnoosa.com.au

Instagram: @sailsbeachnoosa

 

 

ESCAPE - 2015 NOOSA FOOD ..   Season Restaurant -
ESCAPE - 2015 NOOSA FOOD .. Season Restaurant -

SEASON

Separated from the crashing waves of Noosa's Main Beach only by a stretch of white sand, by day the view from many of Season's tables is stunning. A fixture on the dining scene after more than 15 years, the focus of the bustling eatery is on a broad offering with wide appeal.

A drink friendly snack list heads the menu - including oysters, pizza, salt and pepper squid and prawn tacos, each filled with two succulent crustaceans, radicchio, pickled carrot, apple avocado and a touch of sriracha. Beer-battered fish and chips are a seaside staple and this version offers two-crisp coated fillets and a good aioli.

Other options might be a generous portion of local seafood yellow curry or a duck, porcini and pepper pie with cauliflower puree. Dessert runs through a greatest hits list including crème brulee, buttermilk panna cotta and dark chocolate pudding.

Must-eat dish: Prawn tacos

Price: more than $80 for two courses

Chef: Andrew Tomlin

Cuisine: Australian

Bookings: Yes

Open: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner daily

Address: Beachfront, 25 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads

Ph: 07 5447 3747

Website: seasonrestaurant.com.au

Instagram: @seasonrestaurantnoosa

 

Gemellini Restaurant at Nobby's Beach for Taste re
Gemellini Restaurant at Nobby's Beach for Taste re

GEMELLINI

Gemellini, "the little brother" of Gemelli Italian in Broadbeach, combines rustic tradition with youthful energy and warm hospitality.

Begin your adventure with the wine list, where blackboard specials and cluey service will coax you away from the Italian classics. The idea for the venue-exclusive 2016 Latta Gemelli Rosso Nebbiolo was appropriately born over a few friendly vinos between Gemellini co-owner Paul Carney and Young Winemaker of the Year Owen Latta. It's a gorgeous, surprisingly soft drop that sets the scene for the comforting courses to come. Start with chargrilled octopus in the simple Sicilian style, brought to life with lemon, garlic and chilli. Next move on to the pasta, all of which is made fresh daily with free-range eggs and preservative-free flour.

There's also a gluten-free option. Ever-changing incarnations of gnocchi hog the attention, but every dish earns its places. Sample neatly handmade parcels of ravioli wrapping spinach and ricotta and served in buttery parmesan and sage sauce, or try the rigatoni laden with lamb ragu slow cooked for eight hours in crushed tomatoes.

Hand-stretched, traditionally topped, wood-fired pizzas prop up the restaurant's steady takeaway trade, but they also deserve a slice of the dine-in action.

If you haven't already slumped into a contented carb coma, finish with the signature Nutella and mascarpone doughnuts.

Must-eat dish: Rigatoni ragu

Price: $41-$80 for two courses

Chef: Matteo Finotto

Cuisine: Italian

Bookings: Yes

Open: Daily for Dinner, Fri for Lunch

Address: 2/2247 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach

Ph: 07 5575 1418

Website: gemellini.com.au

Instagram: @gemellinigc



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