Queensland

Rickys, Noosa Heads

If you’re considering dining at Rickys then chances are you have a special occasion in mind. If you don’t, then find one – because Rickys is an iconic Sunshine Coast restaurant that’s very worthy of a celebratory meal.

Regardless of the occasion consider arriving in style. Sadly I didn’t realise in advance that Rickys has its own jetty. The Noosa Ferry (noosaferry.com) and Noosa Water Taxi (noosawatertaxi.com) both offer a glamorous way to arrive at the door. I arrived in a very ordinary taxi and regretted not having done more research.

Rickys, Noosa Heads, review, restaurant

Arriving for an early dinner I experienced Rickys by day and by night. The interior lends itself to both really well. By day the white tables and chairs combined with the water views create a relaxed beachy ‘lets sit here all day’ atmosphere. By night mood lighting kicks in and it feels more intimate and elegant.

Rickys, Noosa Heads, restaurant, review

After being shown to our table on the deck (one of the few outdoors) we spent a little while deliberating over the seasonal summer menu. There’s lots of choose from across tapas, entree and main courses. The decision on what to choose is complicated further by a specials menu. Rickys describes their modern cuisine as having a ‘a delicious dollop of the Mediterranean’. And, in common with Noosa’s other top restaurants (I tried Sails and Thomas Corner Eatery), the fresh local produce is the hero of almost every dish.

After some deliberation our order was placed and we could sit back and enjoy the view.

Rickys, Noosa Heads, restaurant, review

Tapas

The term tapas can be used rather loosely nowadays, as a descriptor for anything smaller than an entree. But at Rickys they serve their tapas in a way that any Spaniard would approve of – in the style of finger food with no need for cutlery. All that’s missing is a cocktail stick in each on.

I rarely eat aioli, because it’s typically loaded with vegetable oil, but on this occasion I allowed myself a little because the tapas sounded so good. Here’s what I tried:

Rickys, Noosa Heads, restaurant, review

Pulled pork smoked mozzarella Tunisian briks, chipotle chilli aioli ($13)

Rickys, Noosa Heads, restaurant, review

Noosa smokehouse salmon horseradish chive croquettes, dill aioli ($13)

Rickys, Noosa Heads, restaurant, review

Pumpkin manchego caramelised onion arancini, muhammar, saffron aioli ($12)

Would I recommend choosing tapas over entrée like I did? I would if you’re visiting Rickys for drinks as they’re a really flavoursome drinks companion. But if you’re there for a special meal I’d probably jump straight to entrees.

Main

When a waiter verbally and quickly reels off the specials they’re often easily forgettable. But at Rickys the mini specials board sits in the middle of your table – as if to tell you that you’re missing out if you don’t give it some serious consideration. Had the specials menu not elaborated on the pork it might not have been so tempting. But on seeing ‘Bangalow pork’ I couldn’t resist.

What’s so special about Bangalow? It’s made by a group of dedicated pork producers who adhere to feeding and breeding programs that have been specially designed to produce the best naturally tasting pork. Trust me it’s good and considered to be among the best in Australia. Find out more at sweetpork.com.au

Rickys, Noosa Heads, restaurant, review

Bangalow pork chop, potato celeriac, goat’s curd gratin, asparagus broad bean pea salsa, red wine jus ($38)

The portion of 300g was so generous we didn’t have room for sides, and the accompanying gratin and vegetables really turned it into a mini feast. It reminded me of a good Sunday pork roast from my childhood growing up in Yorkshire, England. If I was sending a postcard home I’d have mentioned this dish.

Cheese

Rickys gives you plenty of information on the origin of each cheese and that’s what attracted me. Just pick your favourite one, two or three cheeses and they’re served on an elaborate platter with crackers, grapes and other goodies. We chose an Aussie aged cheddar and a Kiwi blue.

Rickys, Noosa Heads, restaurant, review

Maffra aged cloth bound cheddar (Victoria) & Whitestone Windsor Blue (Central Otago NZ) ($24)

It’s unusual to visit a fine dining restaurant and come away full and satisfied. Unless you stuff yourself with bread at the start often you leave feeling you could’ve managed just a little bit more. But at Rickys the cheese board was the perfect end to a very filling meal.

And if you’re wondering how the service stands up to the food I’d say it’s very attentive and knowledgeable – the experienced staff know how to run a sleek operation.

Tips

  • Consider Rickys if you’re planning a wedding or function on the sunshine coast. Three or four course set menu options are available for large groups.
  • At busy times if you make a reservation before 7pm there’s a two hour limit on the table. Bear this in mind when you plan your visit.
  • Waterview tables are limited – so if you really want one then be sure to request this when booking.
  • Rickys also has a sister wood fire grill restaurant. I didn’t dine there but had a good look. It’s more casual with a large open kitchen. Check out the menu at rickys.com.au/grill/

Contact

Rickys River Bar + Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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