For as long as I can remember, our family has celebrated the Easter holidays at Mooloolaba.
Our holiday involves a relaxing beachside routine: morning walks, catching waves, lunch spreads, afternoon board games, sunset beach volleyball, and on Good Friday: dinner at Fish on Parkyn, a Sunshine Coast local fine dining favourite.
Fish on Parkyn’s setting is the quiet end of the narrow spit between Mooloolaba beach and Mooloolah River, where the waves break peacefully, the trees are plentiful and the sunset sublime.
The restaurant’s décor hints at superb seafood dining — abstract rope forms hang with metal fish sculptures swimming up the walls. Elegant table settings and subtle lighting are charming, with clinking glasses and the buzz of a restaurant replete with regular diners. Lead by experienced hosts Jon and Sue Koning, Fish on Parkyn has created special lunches, dinners and weddings since 2003.
Oysters are favourites — large, salty and brimming with a taste of the surrounding seawater. Choose Kilpatrick, or natural with fresh lychee, chilli and coriander salsa or
Famous Mooloolaba prawns are lightly battered and artfully presented with grilled chorizo, rocket, avocado/mango salsa and tomato/capsicum tapenade. Salmon and scallops are from Tasmania, and Fish on Parkyn also offers a variety of reef fish, swordfish, tuna, scallops, Moreton bay bugs and crab.
Feeling like something other than seafood? Try the sticky pork belly entrée on okonomiyaki pancake, tempered with piquant pickled ginger salad — a well-balanced flavour trio. One warning though, go overboard on the entrees and you might not consider mains.
Bring your own wine or choose from a solid list. There is everything from Louis Roederer champagne to New Zealand sauvignon blanc, Victorian pinot noir and South Australian shiraz. Local and international ales are plentiful, on tap and bottled.
There is a favourite meal amongst our group, ordered year after year: freshly caught barramundi, flown in from North Queensland, crusted with crushed macadamia and placed over rich roast pumpkin, fetta, cashews, rocket and sage butter. It is a succinct dish of varying, delightful flavours, textures and the right amount of healthy nutrition.
Another stand out — literally — is the ‘daily special’ whole fish served standing up in spectacular deep-fried form (pictured is red throat emperor). It is served surrounded by a moat of unctuous tamarind sauce, a perfect pairing to the crunchy skin and smashing flavour of the fillet. Attacking the beast is easier than it looks, so do not be put off.
Cleverly designed to follow seafood, the desserts showcase citrus. Take your pick of the orange crème brulee, lime and toasted coconut cheesecake or the ginger-crusted lemon curd tart.
The quality here has increased over the years with remarkable consistency, and long may it continue. For Fish on Parkyn, familiarity breeds success. Now, everyone home for a game of Balderdash …