Every so often one visits a restaurant that is truly spiritual, magical and all those other words with an “al” suffix. Even less often is the food served there is sufficiently inspirational to live up to the promise of its surrounds.
Spirit House at Yandina, in the hinterland of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast delivers on both.
Last weeks visit was not our first, just our most recent. In fact, I have long said that if I ever got married again (naturally only to my husband) the deed would be done at Spirit House.
Essentially the restaurant is comprised of a main open air building with two covered wings forming a frame to the water feature which is home to ducks, water dragons and lillies. Lizards climb the walls and the trees to bask in the sun. The flash of blue from a kingfisher is bright as the bird dive-bombs for whatever it is that kingfishers eat. Wispy plumes of smoke from incense wafts into the air, providing protection from mozzies, but also makes the whole restaurant somehow more temple-like.
But it’s the food that is why this little restaurant in the middle of the tiny village of Yandina is so often fully booked.
My friend and I started with a serve of hot and sour lychee scallop garnished with pork crackle. Our husbands opted instead for a shot glass filled with chilled tom yum with a perfect coffin bay oyster and garnished with micro celery.
These were so good that 2 things happened:
· I forgot to take a photo of either dish and
· We ordered another couple of glasses each!
Spirit House dishes are designed for sharing, so share we did, with each course as good as the next and with each of us being unable to choose a clear favourite.
So what did we eat?
· Chargrilled white pepper cuttlefish with cashews and crispy green pawpaw salad
· Pan roasted yellowtail kingfish with green chilli nahm jam and crispy shallots
· BBQ chilli jam chicken with smoked green chilli relish and crispy chicken skin
Spirit House also have a range of pastes and sauces for sale, a cooking school that is almost as difficult to get a booking for as the restaurant and a range of cookbooks that have the distinction of being the most used books in my kitchen.
If you want to know more, check out the website- the link is here.