Published on December 10th, 2014 | by Ann Rickard0
Eatery Right On The Money
A year ago Hastings St was a blaze of colour and movement to celebrate the opening of Miss Moneypenny’s restaurant and bar.
Dancing girls with feathers worthy of Vegas, hundreds of glam revellers, and cocktails we’d not seen before, showed us Miss Moneypenny’s meant it when it said it wanted to take on Noosa.
Now, 12 months on, the party scene was just as colourful last week (although no feathers) to celebrate the first anniversary of the restaurant and bar at the Woods end of Hastings St.
Owner Ben Walsh reflected on the year past as he invited 200 guests to join in food, wine, cocktails and music. “The year has gone really quickly,” he said in between rushing platters of oysters around the busy party. “We haven’t had much time to stop, to stand around and dwell on everything.
It is amazing to think just a year ago we were having an opening party.
” Getting to know the locals has been Ben’s biggest mission throughout the year and his introduction of a free-to-join membership card exclusively for locals, means he has won us over. “We have 2000 local members,” he said. “That means a lot of goodwill among the local community.
“Members receive 15% off everything seven days a week, and 30% off everything on Wednesday nights.
We have other specials for members as well, like on Sundays we do $10 cocktails and half-price seafood boards.
“During the year, Miss Moneypenny’s also clocked up a good share of accolades, winning the Best Regional Bar in Australia and being named finalist in a handful of other prestigious awards.
“It was a good start for us to be recognised outside of Noosa as being a serious venue,” Ben said. “The standard of our cocktails is a serious international standard. It is hard work but we have bar people who come from Sydney here to do stints.
“It is always good to have new breath, new eyes in here. The guys have a good idea of what’s happening in the capital cities. It changes so quickly. If you don’t keep up you get left behind.
“With cocktails such as Istanbul Old Iced Tea – a heady brew of London Dry Gin, quince liqueur, elder flower cordial, lemon juice, lightly muddled cucumber, shaken and poured over ice and topped with Turkish apple tea – we don’t think there is any chance of Miss Moneypenny’s being left behind.
Interestingly, the biggest selling cocktail of the year is the pina colada. But no orindary pina colada. It is given a thoroughly modern twist, served in a coconut shell and topped with foam. It’s one to take you on a mini journey to another land.
Highlights throughout the year at Miss Moneypenny’s have been many, but the Noosa Jazz Festival Long Lunch in the street stands out in Ben’s mind as a happy community event. “It was a great day,” he said.
And our Melbourne Cup party was fantastic.
We really put a great day on. “Everyone enjoyed it.
We did a lovely sit-down lunch, we had great entertainment, a massive television screen.
“Samuel Pincock is the new chef in Miss Moneypenny’s kitchen, recently arrived from Melbourne’s Auction Rooms Cafe where it won Best Breakfast in Melbourne and Best Cafe in Melbourne under his helm.
“We are releasing a revised menu this week,” Ben said. “It will have more of a focus on seafood but we are keeping to the philosophy of good simple food done well. “Just how you would have it on the coast of Italy.
” We’ll drink to that… and to another successful year.