Over the Christmas break Mr M and I headed up to Noosa with our lovely friends S & P. A favourite food destination while in Noosa is Spirit House, situated in Yandina (about 40 minutes from Noosa). Mr M had never been to Spirit House but had enjoyed cooking from the Spirit House cookbook, so a visit was an absolute must.
Spirit House is a Thai restaurant set in lush, tropical rainforesty type surrounds. The main house overlooks a lake and diners either sit on the verandah or in covered outdoor seating adjoining the lake. It’s all very peaceful and beautiful. One slightly less beautiful element (depending on your preferences) is the large number of water dragons that enjoy swimming in the lake and terrorising (!) diners by running underneath, around and occasionally on the furniture:
They are completely harmless!
On to the meal, I recalled from previous visits that the food can be quite rich and made an effort not to over-order. We were guided by our waitress regarding what and how much to order and I think this time we got the balance pretty right.
We started with crispy pork belly with citrus caramel sauce ($14):
The pork belly was crunchy and rich, the richness was offset by the topping of coriander, lemongrass, chilli and ground almonds. The citrus dressing was sticky and sweet. This was an absolute winner.
For main course we ordered Spirit House’s “signature dish” – the whole crispy fish ($36):
Our fish was a gold band snapper, topped with a sweet chilli and tamarind sauce. This is a pretty impressive dish – crispy, crunchy skin with soft, flavoursome flesh. It is clear why this is a “signature dish” but it was pretty funny when we were leaving we saw that almost every table had one of these on it!
On the recommendation of our waitress we also ordered the wagyu curry ($34):
The meat in this curry was phenomenal – it was unbelievably tender from being slow cooked coupled with the marbling of the meat. I had never had wagyu stewed or braised before and I highly recommend it. The curry also contained some kaffir lime leaves and bamboo. The kaffir lime added some freshness to an otherwise coconutty, meaty dish. I don’t think the bamboo added much – just a bit of cellulose.
We also had a side dish of greens with water chestnuts and sesame seeds($6):
Tasty and pretty simple in a yellow bean sauce, these were a great little side to accompany our mains.
This was an excellent meal. I always go to Spirit House with high expectations and it manages to live up to the (self-imposed) hype. Mr M really loved his Spirit House experience as well and has already been urging others to try it out for themselves.
20 Ninderry Rd, Yandina, Queensland
Phone: (07) 5446 8994