FROM spanner crab plucked fresh from the waters off Fraser Island to king fish caught off the shores of Mooloolaba, seafood is one of our favourite restaurant fares.
But what are Queensland’s best seafood restaurants?
As our team of reviewers travelled the length and breadth of the state for the annual delicious.100 – the 100 best restaurants in Queensland – here are their picks for where you’ll find everything from the perfect prawn to a sensational scallop.
Arc, with its quasi-horticultural architecture, a giant potted fig as its centrepiece and a gabled glass front wall facing the river to capture stunning Story Bridge and City views, is making its presence felt in the booming Howard Smith Wharves precinct.
Hellenika at the Calile
Owner Simon Gloftis is a stickler for quality, which means only the best ingredients end up in his Greek salad, transforming a simple dish into something remarkable. The same goes for seafood – the finest flown in from across Australia for dishes such as butter-soft grilled calamari splashed with olive oil and oregano.
It’s landlocked amid a strip of shops at the back of the Burleigh Heads business centre, but make no mistake, Labart deserves star billing.
The interior has an elegant, faintly Parisian bistro vibe fashioned from sage green and taupe walls, a tan leather banquette and a mirror-backed bar adjoining the open kitchen.
The food is seriously delicious and the service is exceptional.
A stalwart of the Noosa dining scene, the contemporary eatery has a hyper-local approach to food, growing much of its produce at its own farm in the nearby hinterland and sourcing the rest from local farmers and fishermen.
Right on the beach at Burleigh Heads in the freshly revamped Burleigh Pavilion, The Tropic boasts a jaw-dropping view past surfers to the saw-toothed Surfers Paradise skyline.
The 200-seater opened in January with Guillaume Zika, former head chef of London’s Michelin-starred Hibiscus and Sydney’s Cottage Point Inn, at the helm.
The menu is as relaxed as the sunbaking locals pegged out on the nearby sand, and there’s an evident decision to take good produce and let it speak for itself.
Hellenika, Nobby Beach
With its textured white walls and heavy timber tables, the sophisticated taverna is buzzy and loud like a lively Greek wedding when busy and surprisingly intimate, despite its great scale, when quiet.
But it’s the food that holds the most appeal here, with classic Greek dishes elevated by only the best of produce.
The Fish House
As the first restaurant to put Burleigh Heads on the culinary map six years ago, this Gold Coast beachside icon continues to make waves.
Therer’s the far-reaching, tome-like global wine list heavy with champagne for celebrations; and the always obliging and highly knowledgeable staff.
Then there’s the signature seafood menu, built around a commitment to only using the best quality product from across the country – and sometimes over the ditch.
Along with a major revamp of the building and an elegant new fit-out for the restaurant a couple of years ago, the menu has also kept abreast of the times, with the selection now including starters such spanner crab and ricotta ravioli with bisque and tomato, grilled scallops with porchetta, apple and hazelnuts.
Thomas Corner Eatery
Chef and owner David Rayner’s modern, breezy corner eatery makes the most of its esplanade location and the pick of the seating is the front veranda.
However large bi-fold doors ensure even those dining inside on high wooden tables are guaranteed ample views of the Noosa River across the road.
Relaxed, friendly staff put diners at ease and know their way around the refined menu as well as the decent-enough wine list. Nine years on, this remains a top choice in the area, particularly at lunch to take in the views.
At this stalwart of Noosa’s Hastings St, executive chef Paul Leete has a commitment to showcasing high-quality Australian produce on every seasonal dish that leaves his kitchen.
This assurance, paired with knowledgeable waitstaff, an outstanding wine list that befits its backdrop (the restaurant boasts four cellars) and handsomely executed dishes, can only form an attractive combination. Then there’s the view