This was our review in Taste Magazine last year…
Food, service, setting – everything clicks at this welcoming spot. Margie Fraser reports.
The model has been around for a while; the little restaurant adjoining a quiet mountain retreat of cosy cabins; the view to a babbling creek that goes by the quirky name Obi Obi (with complementary platypus).
Nearby there is access to a preserved and not too made-over main street, where sales of organic coffees now outnumber those of farm tools and hay, and a great big country pub with wrap-around verandas that dominates the streetscape.
Greetings from Maleny. And greetings from Pomodoras on Obi restaurant, that nestles into its rainforest setting behind the main drag like a furry marsupial into a tree fork.
It seems like part of the pre-ordained script to venture up the mountain range from the Sunshine Coast on a rainy, foggy day, and arrive in the misty, cold surrounds of this ridge-top town.
Pomodoras is a welcome, warm spot, where the verandas have been enclosed by chill-defying plastic awnings, and the heat is on.
At first glance, the setting looks like a grown-up version of a cafe, but it is a few cuts above that, and much more comfortable and gracious.
A peephole into the kitchen and the chefs at work gets really interesting around dessert time, but all through the lunchtime service things are looking competent and focused. Pomodoras pleases with its perfect collision of style, expectation and ability.
Service is part of the equation too, with a no-attitude friendliness and plenty of efficiency. It’s not trying to be anything it’s not, but anything it does is done really well. I like the synthesis.
And today what could be more appealing than the offer of mushroom soup or a delectable old-fashioned chicken liver pate served with tiny cubes of port jelly and sourdough toast? Other entree items include sumac dusted calamari and prawn salad, or a buffalo ragout ravioli.
The pate is a perfect texture, the serving generous and the flavour classic.
A two-course special offers the pate followed by a Moroccan lamb dish for a mere $30, or $40 for three courses, which includes a ginger and white chocolate brulee.
Wines, likewise, have country town prices with some reds as little as $7 a glass, and a middling Oz sparkling (from Angove Estate) for a sweet $6.
Admittedly, the lunch menu leans a little more to the cafe style than the more elaborate constructions at dinner, including a new chefs’ table five-course tasting menu (at $95 including wines).
But the slow, local and organic food theme runs through all the lists, and specials such as chef Chris Bond’s homemade orange vincotta, homemade stocks and locally sourced buffalo show a lot of care and attention.
The Moroccan lamb belly arrives as two succulent slices of slow-cooked, rolled belly crowning a pile of couscous laced with fresh herbs.
There’s a wonderful smoky lilt to the tomato relish on the side, and nicely scorched pieces of eggplant marry well.
A thick and juicy fillet of crisp-skinned barramundi is served on a stack of truffled mash and looks as glossy and inviting as any I’ve seen.
The lamb burger comes with jumbo wedges and a salad – the more pedestrian sibling of the group, but still hale and hearty and fresh.
Desserts are where patissiere Chris and his crew truly show their prowess.
The tart tatin is the prettiest I’ve yet seen, and the most delicious. Slim slices of apple are precisely fanned from the centre, the pastry as light as air and crisp and chewy, the caramelised fruit sweet perfection.
A butterscotch ice cream and accompanying blackberry coulis seem almost unnecessary. The sticky fig pudding next to me is equally gorgeous, sitting in a pond of bitter caramel sauce. But wait, we haven’t even got to the signature chocolate fondant – a tall cylinder of warm ooziness served with a roasted plum ice-cream. Winter bliss.
How it rated
Total out of 50 – 37
Information in this article is correct as of 10 July, 2012.
Margie Fraser reviews QLD restaurants for the taste section every Tuesday in The Courier-Mail.
Taste.com.au – The Courier-Mail – July 2012
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