Without exception, every single person we know that has been to The Spirit House restaurant has said it was amazing and that we had to go ASAP. So I finally got my act together and booked us in for lunch – booking is essential, and weekends can be booked out months in advance.
Unfortunately it was an incredibly grey, rainy Saturday, but we set off up to the coast eagerly as there’s nothing like a chilly day to whet your appetite for a ginormous lunch! The Spirit House is in Yandina on the Sunshine Coast, on the way up to Noosa. We had booked in for a late lunch at 2:30pm, and dashed through the thai gardens huddling under an umbrella – a real shame because the gardens were lovely, but it’s just an excuse to come back!
The restaurant is situated around a large pond filled with the resident water dragons, and lots of eels apparently! We were sat waterfront, and watching the rain on the pond was incredibly relaxing. We took one look at the menu and both promptly plumped for the Thai Banquet – when in Rome, right?
Our first course was the Coconut Soup of Salmon with lemongrass. This was unanimously agreed on as the star of the show, which is funny because I never would have ordered it off the a la carte menu. A deliciously rich, creamy, savoury soup with some poached salmon, and a beautiful kick of heat, my mouth is watering just thinking about it – if you go to the Spirit House, please try this dish! I may have to buy their recipe book as our lovely waiter told me the soup recipe is in it.
We also got a little bonus amuse bouche as an apology for our first course being delayed – caramelized pork and prawn in betel leaf with frozen pineapple. A chewy caramelly little morsel of yumminess!
Next up on our culinary adventure were the wok seared scallops with Pickled Green Papaya, Pomelo, Peanuts and Red Nahm Jim. Perfectly cooked, juicy scallops, with beautifully tangy accompaniments.
Our final “appetiser” was the Crispy Bangalow Pork Belly with citrus caramel source. Dee-licious! Tender glazed pork, crispy skin, rich sweet sauce, fab!
Our main courses were all served together – there was a Whole Crispy Fish (barramundi) in tamarind sauce, steamed rice, Lamb Shoulder Massaman Curry, and compressed cucumber and pineapple salad. Phew, it was a lot of food! The fish was salty and crispy on the outside, and soft and pillowy on the inside, perfect with the zingy tamarind sauce. I am not a huge lamb lover, but the meat in the massaman curry was just falling apart it was so tender, and it worked really well with the pineapple and cucumber salad.
By this point we were well and truly stuffed, but we rallied when we saw the beautiful desserts we were served. I got the Pliable Chocolate with Roti Puffs, Condensed Milk, and Banana Honey Ice Cream, and T got the Tumeric Pannacotta with Quince, Honeycomb and Yoghurt Ice Cream. We shared both, and both were delectable. I usually avoid desserts at Asian Restaurants, but these changed my opinion.