Located on the site of the Old Yacht Club, the Pier 33 bistro is breathing life back into the Marina. And life it has created, with the option of casual, long tables right on the water, seating alongside a grassed area under the umbrellas, or in bean-bag comfort for more relaxed, family-styled dining experience.
The formal dining room is fabulously spacious, and the shining jewel of the venue is its open bar, oval in shape and a hive of activity, basking in mosaic blue tiled light. It is the kind of bar at which you can drink casually but still obtain the most lavish of drinks.
It is a nod to the bistro’s sibling, Burleigh restaurant Rick Shores, the first culinary child of co-owner Andrew Hohns. Together with Sunshine Coast Architect John Robertson, and construction business operator Hew Williams, the trio has transformed the pier into a nautical fixture of the Coast’s social scene.
The food menu entices with an array of selections from the sea, and after some deliberation I choose the Mooloolaba king prawn, spanner crab roll and the eye fillet steak from Toowoomba.
In keeping with the trend for provisioning as close to location as possible, head chef and former senior sous-chef at Sydney’s Republic Dining Simon Taylor sources his seafood directly from Sunshine Coast suppliers.
With roots in fresh seafood, Taylor’s impressive gastro-resume includes stints at Sydney’s Flying Fish, Jaquest Reymond in Melbourne and, closer to home, Two Small Rooms in Toowong.
The spanner crab roll was an entrée highlight, served on a brioche bun with kewpie and tobiko sauce, and the Mooloolaba king prawn was perfectly complemented with a fascinating seaweed butter.
A delightful surprise was the crispy fish wings, a contemporary presentation with a briny nod to a classic nibble, accompanied with a creamy aioli and a wedge of lemon. Needless to say, I was eagerly anticipating the mains.
The tender, juicy eye fillet was cooked to perfection, standing toe-to-toe with the aromatic beef jus.
To accompany the beautiful main, I selected the baby cos and buttermilk salad, and the pumpkin, coffee and burnt butter sides.
A flavoursome journey of sweet, savoury, bitter and just good, old-fashioned tastiness granted my tastebuds an overall feeling of ‘fresh’ cuisine.
Finishing on a lemon tart that offered a citrusy zing with vanilla bean cream, my palate felt cleansed.
This seaside gem is a delightful addition to the Sunshine Coast dining scene, providing a top and tail experience with its Gold Coast counterpart already a favourite amongst foodies.
With a shining new star at the Mooloolaba Marina, I cannot wait to see what else these operators plan to reel in.
Our readers also enjoyed this story about Michelin Star Pile-Up.