Having eaten at Cato's previously and been underwhelmed, its reincarnation Noosa Beach House is a revelation. Not being from Sydney, I wasn't familiar with Peter Kuruvita's food, but I am a convert.
Our starters of the prawns and tuna respectively were very good but not outstanding, but unfortunately the different wines we had chosen to go with them were not great, so detracted a little.
With regard to the main course, my partner had the beef, which was excellent. My duck main was however outstanding. I had initially ordered two starters (instead of a starter and a main), and the duck confit was the second. The server asked would I like it as a main course if possible, and I said only if that's OK with the chef. When it came out I was so glad that I did, as it was outstanding. The duck confit was presented as cubes with some stunning accompaniments and looked amazing. A beautiful dish which I thoroughly enjoyed, plus the glass of pinot noir which I ordered to go with it was a perfect match.
The table next to us came in for dessert only, and when they arrived we could only look in wonder at the very beautiful desserts, one of which had what looked like spun fairy floss on top. Not being dessert eaters, we preferred to look, not eat, but they looked extraordinary.
All in all, a wonderful experience.
The reviews on trip advisor for this restaurant reveal a number of problems, particularly with service, after opening in 2013, but there are a lot of happy campers in 2014, and that was certainly our experience. There were however a few hitches for us also, but nothing that detracted from an excellent experience. In the spirit of helpful feedback, I am listing these below.
- the server wasn't very knowledgable on the menu, and I only found out afterwards (reading Trip Advisor), how good the starter tasting plate, and the Sri Lankan fish curry were. I wish we had known and tried these dishes. One for next time!
- The server also couldn't advise on wine and food matches, and it would be great if the matches were listed on the menu, or at least the servers were able to assist.
- The bread and olive oil suddenly turned up after the food had arrived. The server (not the first one) told us she had forgotten. There was also confusion when they switched servers during service - good idea to let the diner know.
- We had initially chosen to eat there because of the SPG 15% discount, which is even better at the moment, as Starwood are offering double starpoints at participating restaurants, which is a big incentive to go there. Normally the restaurant applies the SPG discount when you settle the bill, and on presenting my SPG card, I was told that it would be applied at checkout at the hotel. Fair enough, but the hotel on checkout said it should have been applied at the restaurant (which is in fact correct), but then the receptionist had little knowledge of the discount and 10-15 minutes later it was finally sorted. Reading this thread, it appears that several other diners at Noosa Beach House have been told they can't get the 15% discount, which is in not correct, as the restaurant is listed on the spgrestaurantsandbars.com website as applying the 15%. Anyway, we got it in the end, plus the double starpoints for the meal, so happy all round.
All in all, highly recommended, although you might need to overlook a few minor things while they are still in the start-up phase. Most definitely worth the visit!
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