The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for our visit to Caloundra for lunch at Tides Waterfront Restaurant with friends Jan and David. We love getting out for a (very) long lunch every few weeks and we have the best time – every time. It’s wonderful to spend time with people who love and respect each other as well as both of them being intelligent and fun. Isn’t that a lovely smile?
We arrived and parked at the beach and walked across the road and down the street to the restaurant. It’s upstairs but if you walk up Minchinton Street, it’s at street level and looks directly across to the beach and Pumicestone Passage. Turn a bit and we could see the Glasshouse Mountains and turn back and we could see the Pacific Ocean.
The interior is crisp and contemporary and we were pleased to be seated right next to the windows so we could enjoy the view while we caught up with who’s doing what. Tides has seats for 75 diners, leaving us plenty of room to be ourselves. I would have taken more photos inside but I won’t invade the privacy of other diners.
We hadn’t been seated long before being offered water and drinks and once we placed our order, food was on the table. You know they’re doing a good job when nobody says, “How long have we been waiting?” None of that here.
We opted for the 2 course meal for $37.50 each. There’s a 3 course meal for $50 but none of us thought we could hold that much food at noon and still accomplish something later on.
Jan ordered the confit duck leg that came with braised cannellini beans, chorizo and herbs. I watched her pull apart that slowly cooked duck and for a moment wondered if I had chosen the wrong thing.
David ordered the Mooloolaba prawns which were sauteed with chorizo and served with a panzanella salad. Mooloolaba is the city nearby and there are lots of prawn trawlers around. The local prawns were well cooked and when paired with the spicy chorizo, David thought the flavours were well matched.
As you know, I have trouble with seafood and fish so I ordered the rump steak. I gave it two thumbs up for flavour but it was tough and difficult to chew. I wonder why a restaurant with an Australian Good Food and Wine hat would choose to serve a tough piece of meat. I know it’s not just me because when I ordered it, our server said it was difficult to cook it more rare because it was a tougher cut of meat. (That should have told me something.)
My steak came topped wonderful sauce of porcini mushrooms, bacon and finely chopped vegetables as well as sliced and roasted kipfler potatoes. All the flavours worked for me and I would have been in heaven with a more tender piece of meat.
A meal is always better when you add a few sides so we had the green beans with bacon and parmesan butter and we ordered roasted kipler potatoes with thyme salt too.
We decided on a bottle of Hazard Hill Sauvignon Blanc Semillon wine and we found it fresh and fruity and very drinkable. It’s not an expensive wine – more of an enjoy it now and don’t think about it again wine. The tasting notes say musky aromas of ginger, quinine and lemon zest with a smoky overtone but to me it tasted like wine.
As we finished up the wine, our server came by with the dessert menus and within minutes we were tucking in to our sweets. First was the apple and rhubarb crumble with chantilly cream – with visible vanilla seeds. The crumble was tart and tangy and perfect to finish up a meal.
The winner of the desserts with this quenelle of Belgium chocolate mousse that was creamy and light as a feather. Along side the mousse was a square of fudgy chocolate that had been showered with freeze dried, powdered white chocolate and topped with a toasted marshmallow. There was also chocolate shards, hazelnut cream and pistachio powder that pushed this dessert to the top in both taste and presentation.
Finally we enjoyed the cheese plate of triple brie, crackers, fruit and quince paste. If cheese is on the menu, that’s always a favourite.
Our hats are off to chef Anthony Shone, the New Zealand born chef who has created a lovely menu. We’ll be back.
Tides Waterfront Dining
Upstairs Corner of Minchinton street and Esplanade
Caloundra, Queensland 4551
This meal was independently paid for.
Vicki Bensinger says
First of all, did you redo your website? I don’t recall it looking quite like this – it’s stunning! As for your meal, I would have never known that steak was tough from the photo, it looked amazing. In fact all the dishes did. What beautiful photos and website.
LOL about a year ago, Vicki. 🙂 The steak didn’t LOOK tough at all, it was gorgeous.
This is such a lovely review – I love all the bright, relaxing photos! Crazily enough, I’ve never even heard of a cheese plate for dessert before – but you bet that I would order the same thing. Hope you’re having a lovely week!
Mary Frances says
I agree Maureen, not much in life is better than dining on great food with great company. And what a beautiful ocean view to take in all in with!
Eva Taylor says
It’s too bad your lunch wasn’t up to par but the other dishes look amazing. I would have gone with the prawns too they look amazing. The dessert looks great too. It’s so nice to have neighbours as lovely as your neighbours, we get on with ours very well too.
We have been the luckiest people when it comes to neighbours.
OMG! Everything looks perfect…and what a nice piece of meat! Yes, I am a big meat eater…
Have a great week Maureen 🙂
I can’t decide WHOSE meal looked more delicious even if the steak ended up being tough. The desserts were gorgeous from the humble apple and rhubarb crumble to that frou-frou chocolate mousse plate. Freeze dried white chocolate??? I WISH I could get my quenelles to turn out so nicely. I have to admit to being tempted by the cheese plate though cause of my ‘salty’ tooth. I love quince paste and wished I could have seen it more clearly. Is it that dark square in front of and to the right of the brie wedge?
And what a beautiful and very elegant setting to enjoy it in with a lovely view.
Yes, it was very very dark and rich. yummo
Chris Scheuer says
How fun, it sounds like a wonderful lunch but I don’t think I would have been able to walk away from the table. I’d still be sitting there at dinner time – but I bet their dinners are wonderful too!
Melissa B says
The pictures look great! =)
and the food sounds yummy.
I’m glad you had a great time!
Beautiful and delicious food. Gorgeous view. Good friends and laughs. Life does not get any better than that!!
I would have ordered the prawns. YUM drools.
Wow! That’s a BARGAIN for such an incredible meal in such a stunning location! I’m jealous. 🙂
AND a hatted restaurant. I was very pleased.
Veronica (Roni) says
Aren’t the views just glorious? And particularly at this time of year….
What a special way to appreciate food, friends & fortune…happy days Maureen :)) xx
The Ninja Baker says
That view and dessert (oo-la-la) makes me want to visit Tides Waterfront Dining…Maybe a visit to LA’s finest Japanese tempura restaurants might change your mind about fish =)
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) says
Oh, pity about your steak – Maureen – because it certainly looks good!
I know! It was beautiful to look at. Most of it went back to the kitchen. The flavour WAS great though.
Lizzy (Good Things) says
How delicious, and what a gorgeous location, Maureen! Note to self, must go here next time we’re in Queensland!
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
Ohh how nice. The restaurant is lovely. The prawns would be my choice and that chocolate dessert – oh my! Such fun and your lovely neighbor has a wonderful smile 🙂
Sugar et al. says
Gorgeous food and great choice of menu. I would probably need 4 serves of the chocolate mousse because it’ll be over in seconds for me:-)
Anna @ shenANNAgans says
Wow, what gorgeous photos, I feel like I am right there with you.
The prawns look amaze, so does the choccy mousse.
Marilyn Lesniak says
What a gorgeous place to dine with friends. That meal looks mouthwatering delicious!
Nancy | Plus Ate Six says
Wine always tastes like wine to me too 🙂 I was looking at your photos and feeling quite homesick for blue skies, sea breezes and beautifully Australian produce. Shame about that rump steak though.
Hotly Spiced says
It’s such a beautiful setting and I love the starched linen on the tables. I would definitely have ordered the confit duck and the cheese platter. How wonderful to have neighbours who are also good friends xx
John@Kitchen Riffs says
I haven’t had duck confit in ages. That looks wonderful. In fact everything looks wonderful! Sounds like my kind of place — thanks.
David Crichton says
Salivating at all that beautiful food and the most wonderful setting.
Amy @ Elephant Eats says
wow, that looks like a gorgeous place and an amazing meal. My mouth is watering…
First of all, did you redo your website? I don’t recall it looking quite like this – it’s stunning! As for your meal, I would have never known that steak was tough from the photo, it looked amazing. In fact all the dishes did. What beautiful photos and website.It’s too bad your lunch wasn’t up to par but the other dishes look amazing. I would have gone with the prawns too they look amazing.The prawns would be my choice and that chocolate dessert – oh my! Such fun and your lovely neighbor has a wonderful smile. 🙂 🙂
I redesigned my site a year ago. 🙂
Abbe @ This is How I Cook says
That is one gorgeous restaurant. So wish I was there to dine with you!
What a wonderful restaurant, every dish looked amazing but I have to admit it was the steak that grabbed my attention, too bad it was tough! Your photos are incredible!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
That’s a great price for waterfront dining. I don’t think you’d ever find that sort of deal in Sydney. A shame about the steak, when it is done well with great sides it’s heaven!
I was shocked – for a restaurant with a good food hat, too. I suppose it IS Caloundra. 🙂
Marissa | Pinch and Swirl says
This post just made me SO hungry!!
Everything looks incredible—and now I’m craving brie! So sorry about your beef—how disappointing!
ahem is that you? gosh you look so beautiful . i like your hair.
No, of course not. That’s Jan. She’s blonde and blue eyed. I was born with jet black curly locks.
What a wonderful place Maureen ! If once I’m going to Australie I know where I can eat a great dinner ! Love the chocolate quenelles ! So gourmand 🙂
Oh I wish you would come to Australie!! It would be so much fun showing you around.
Thanks for a delightful journey through the meal with you. Lovely photos!
What a gorgeous place to dine with friends. That meal looks mouthwatering delicious. It was an wonderful feeling .. 🙂
What stunning photos and beautiful pictures Maureen!! Love it.