Published on April 13th, 2015 | by Ann Rickard0
Mooshka Bar and Restaurant
“ Why can’t we have more of this?”
My words as I took a seat at Mooshka Bar and Restaurant in Sunshine Beach last Tuesday.
The place was rocking.
The margaritas were going down a treat, the music was perfectly pitched so you could enjoy it yet still talk, the pizzas, tacos and nachos were coming out of the kitchen faster than Jamie Oliver could whip up a batch of salsa, and the whole gently rowdy scene was like something you’d see in a trendy Melbourne bistro.
As Jamie Oliver would say when he looks at a perfect dish he’s just whipped up “happy days”.
We loved the vibe.
As was the intention of owners Lucy and Damian Roberts, who opened Mooshka six years ago.
“Our plan was to create a warm environment where people felt comfortable and relaxed,” Lucy said.
“We wanted to appeal to different demographics and ages. We had young children ourselves then and were always looking for somewhere to take children. Here they can play out the front while the parents eat and can see them.” Mooshka’s look, with its eclectic mix of vintage laminex and fun retro tables and funky object d’art, sets the laid-back mood.
The place is a whirlpool of movement, music, colour and chat.
Much of the menu is made for sharing – pizzas, salads, snacks – with an excellent back-up of good main courses.
We preferred the sharing option but mains going down around us – grilled barramundi with massaman curry; king prawn gnocchi – looked good, generous and tempting.
Tuesday nights are Chihuahua Tuesdays when the margaritas are $10 and the tacos $5.
A bargain? You bet when you consider the quality and generosity of the tacos with their fish, chicken, pork or vegetarian fillings.
Pick up one of these beauties, fold it, bite in, and the world feels a better place.
Being blessed (cursed?) with a capacity to eat a great deal, we had several tacos before taking to a big plate of nachos, and then from the specials board, an enormous enchilada with eggplant, spinach and cheese with a side of lightly dressed salad. Good, fun eating.
Pizzas go from the traditional (three cheese) to a Mexican-spiced chicken topping packed with jalapenos, spinach, salsa, mozzarella, olives and sour cream (what a way to go), through to a stylish barbecued pork belly with fried potatoes, caramelised onions, chilli jam, mozzarella and sour cream.
The Mooshka salad will leave you feeling full yet virtuous with a tall offering of rocket, beetroot, goat cheese, carrot, cabbage, cucumber and pine nuts drenched with honey mustard dressing.
Less virtuous but good, the potato skins with sweet chilli and sour cream; the grilled haloumi with Noosa reds, pesto and olive tapenade; the barramundi spring rolls or the salt and pepper calamari with nam jim.
The music plays every Tuesday night and Sunday afternoon and gives the place the buzz that had me saying “why can’t we have more of this?”
The happiness spills out to Duke St with a bar and tables on the footpath. Lunch specials ($18) change daily and include a drink, and every day between 3pm and 5.30pm a $5 menu offers a variety of good treats
. On any night you could sit next to kids eating fish and chips and ham and pineapple pizzas or oldies like me sipping a margarita and contemplating whether to finish the meal with a gluten-free chocolate brownie with peppermint ice-cream and berry compote.
Mooshka is that kind of place.
46 Duke St, Sunshine Beach.
P: 5474 5571
Fully licensed. Open 7 days from 11am through to late.
Average prices: Pizzas $18; Snacks $14; Salads $18, Mains $28