If you search The Spirit House on this website you’ll find a lot of entries. It is without a doubt my absolute favourite place to eat here on the Sunshine Coast. I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve eaten here over the years.
It’s also one of the most respected cooking classes in the country – and for good reason. At a Spirit House cooking class you’re doing – not watching.
This class was titled “Taste of Vietnam” and I was lucky enough to be my friend’s “plus one” – her hubby had bought the class for us as her 30th wedding anniversary gift. I haven’t said as much to her, but I think he’s probably a keeper.
When we arrived the benches were all set up ready for us.
Our menu for the evening?
- Crispy rice paper rolls with chicken, prawns and cloud ear mushrooms
- Barbequed cuttlefish with crunchy Vietnamese style herb salad
- Clay pot of pork with coconut water, caramel and star anise
- Wok-seared choy sum and oyster mushrooms
- Char-grilled spatchcock with lemongrass, ginger and five spices
- Sweet and sour pickled vegetables
The first thing we did was get the pork into its marinade – and then we began to chop. A Spirit House cooking class runs very much like I’d expect a mise en place to run in a restaurant. Everything is prepped and ready to go and everyone has a job to do.
Once everything is prepped, the pork is in its clay pot and cooking, and the spring rolls are made and are frying, we plate up the herbs and sit down with a glass of wine to enjoy our spring rolls.
We eat these by filling a lettuce leaf with herbs, placing half a spring roll inside it, and wrapping the whole thing up. Fantastic.
From here we head outside to the barbecue and the hibachi grill to cook our spatchcock and calamari…
and then it was back inside to cook the gai lan (which we were using instead of choy sum), put the salads together and plate the dishes up.
With all the prep done and everyone helping out, dinner was on the table and wines poured in no time. All that was left to do was eat.
And the finished product? All I can say is wear comfy pants or elastic waists. Plus, this is the only cooking school I’ve been to where they serve beer and wine (complimentary) with your food. Bonus.
Once the class was finished we met up with our designated driver (ie our husbands) at the Spirit House bar for a rejuvenating purple gin.
Well worth the money and the pre-planning. If you’re doing this as part of a Sunshine Coast holiday, I’d recommend booking as soon as you book your trip to the coast. If you’re coming up from Brisbane or are local, the classes book out a few months in advance – especially during summer and July holidays. More info and booking forms can be found here.
The Spirit House is located at 20 Ninderry Rd, Yandina. It’s about a 20-minute drive from Noosa, a little longer from Mooloolaba or Buderim, and about 110km or 90 minutes (if the Bruce Highway is behaving itself) from Brisbane. You’ll need to drive – or book a taxi/uber. Directions are on the website.
Gluten-free and vegetarian diets are catered for. The soy sauce and oyster sauce we used in class are both gluten-free.