July 10, 2017

Spirit House hits new high

When it comes to stunning restaurants, Noosa on Queensland's Sunshine Coast is a mecca, and as Helen Flanagan knows the Spirit House is one of the best.

Meander through fragrant lush gardens with 20m high black bamboo, exotic statuary, jangling chimes and water dragons to (hopefully) a table lagoon-side. The menu of share plates offers a kaleidoscope of flavours to tempt the palate and engage the mind.

Steamed black mussels steeped in coconut, lime juice and sugar, tossed with coriander leaves, mint, chillies, peanut toffee chilli dressing and crusted rice shards is an explosion of joyfulness.

Plum slices pickled with ginger and lime salt is a finessed interplay with crisp fingers of sticky rice, chicken and spanner crab.

The menu celebrates nature's beauty, crosses borders but is honed to a sharp, primarily Thai edge.

Even if you are familiar with the restaurant you probably weren't aware of the latest jaw-dropping addition. There's a beautiful U-shaped building with cocktail bar, alfresco seating, private dining room, kitchen and dedicated chef. It shrieks Thai-luxe.

Clever landscaping blends in with the existing tropical gardens, plus custom artwork, lighting and an outstanding wall featuring 600 buddhas makes the perfect, most ambient spot for pre and apr├Ęs lunch or dinner drinks, also exclusive celebrations for say 24.

"We have always wanted a dedicated bar for our guests," says Helen Brierty who with husband Peter created the Spirit House in the early 70s and even today, whether cookbooks, cooking school or the bar, are never satisfied with ordinary. "We looked at our two ageing shade-houses and it clicked - knock them down, borrow a heap of money and build something special in their place. Staff went to Thailand in search of inspiration at the funkiest bars and restaurants to bring back ideas for Thai-inspired food and drinks." It worked brilliantly.

There's a compulsion to say di mak to bar manager Yann Audran cocktails such as Singha Mojito, House of Sathorn and Smokin' Kraken. Why? Because it means 'excellent' in Thai. He also makes a mean martini!

Snacks are created by the very talented head chef Tom Swapp. Believe me you'll keep wanting more of peanuts with kaffir lime, coriander salt and chilli; Coffin Bay oysters with red nahm jim; toasted chicken satay brioche sandwich with cucumber pickle; Massaman lamb pies with house-made tomato sauce; Mooloolaba prawn roll with tom yum mayonnaise; and let's not forget lemongrass marshmallow skewers with kaffir lime sugar; and Thai tea ice cream sandwiches with raspberry jam, for the sweet tooths.

Visit www.spirithouse.com.au

The menu celebrates nature's beauty, crosses borders but is honed to a sharp, primarily Thai edge.

Words and food/drink images: Helen Flanagan.

Others as supplied.

Feature supplied by: www.wtfmedia.com.au

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