Published on November 24th, 2013 | by Ann Rickard4
Miss Moneypenny’s – Noosa
Hasting Street has never looked prettier. The fairy lights entwined in the trees are now fully installed from one end of the street to the other and they have given Hastings Street a permanent celebratory atmosphere.
They’ve caused such interest and admiration people are stopping their cars in the middle of the street (carefully), getting out and taking photos.
At the Woods end of the street, the trees on each side extend and overhang so the fairy lights create a tunnel effect. It’s spectacular. I’ve always loved fairy lights in trees and I’ve always loved Noosa so you can imagine how happy I am now.
Ben didn’t know the fairy light project was happening when he negotiated to take over the old Ma Mensa the site and spend a great deal of money on rebuilding it to an elegant restaurant with oodles of warm timbers, a large wow-factor bar, sleek brown leather banquettes and striking wooden tables. It’s Melbourne meets Noosa, with the timber and ceiling fans and open-to-the-street ambience. You feel like an A-lister just by walking in.
The veranda section, right on the street, is where you chill out with a glass of wine or cocktail after a day on the beach. Ben, a dog lover, doesn’t mind if you bring your dogs to sit on the veranda with you. (Cool, no?)
Because Miss Moneypenny’s is so new and because I’ve been away cruising the South Pacific, I haven’t had a chance to do dinner yet (but give me time). However, I have sampled breakfast and, it goes without saying, I’ve popped in for a cocktail.
The cocktail list is right up there with dazzling offerings of the kind you’d expect to find in the best bars in London or New York. Some of the cocktails are available in carafes, great for sharing, especially the Bloody Mary with vodka, quince liquer and aperol, shaken with muddled roast capsicum, oregano, lemon and lime juices and a special spice mix, with a side of lightly fried caperberries.
One of the signature cocktails is the West Indies Yellowbird, a delicious concoction of dark West Indian rum, Cointreau and Galliano, mixed with grilled banana, pine, lime and orange juices with palm sugar and vanilla syrup. It comes with candy banana and caviar pears. It’s addictive and almost impossible to stop at one (but I did, only because I had the dogs with me and wanted to take them to the dog friendly beach at the end of the woods.)
Breakfast has all the items you would want at that hour including a beautiful Italian omelette with marsala onion, green olive, buffalo mozzarella, cress and vincotto – but it also has an intriguing Hunter’s Charcuterie Meat Board: prosciutto, cacciatore salami, guanciale bacon, chorizo, marinated olives and pickled peppers come with house sourdough, some delicious Italian relish and fried caperberries. Bet you wouldn’t expect that at breakfast.
Ben Walsh, master mixologist, has a big Sydney background and a long list of accolades. He is co-owner of the successful Goldfish Bar and Restaurant in the New South Wales Hunter Valley, and previous co-creator and owner of the multi award winning Goldfish Bar in Kings Cross Sydney
He has relocated to Noosa, is hands-on and his determined to win over the locals with this elegant cocktail and dining venue.
He’s created a modern Mediterranean menu that takes care of everyone – families, couples and the glam set. Sharing plates are the go, pizzas are daring but restrained (fresh fig, pumpkin, walnuts, buffalo mozzarella and haloumi ), pastas cover the traditional to the exciting (how about pulled pork open lasagne?) and the desserts are dazzling (dark chocolate milk jelly, anyone?)
Entrees average $17, mains $35, desserts $17, pizzas $20something.
6 Hastings St, Noosa.
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