I am a big fan of Thai food – I love the balance of flavours, the diversity of ingredients and textures, the bold taste sensations. Surprisingly for a country that has many ties to Asia and numerous Thai restaurants, only a few seem to get it right and create that “wow” factor. One such restaurant is Sprit House in Yandina, who serves up not only exquisite food but creates an authentic Thai experience in its setting and service.
Established in 1995, Spirit House is a haven, set in beautiful tropical gardens filled with bamboo, palms, ginger and other exotic plants. Walking along the path to the restaurant, you could be forgiven for thinking you had been transported to the jungles of Thailand. Scattered through the gardens are various statues and Thai artefacts. The Thai-style dining area looks over a large pond, where you’ll see ducks, water dragons and a turtle or two if you’re lucky!
Moving on to the all-important food: the menu is not extensive, but don’t let that make you think it will be easier to make your choices! If I was a bottomless pit, I would have happily worked my way through the entire menu, however there were only two of us, and it was lunchtime, so we settled for two entrées and two main courses.
For starters we chose the Crispy Pork Belly with Citrus Caramel Sauce and the Fresh Coconut & Watermelon Salad with Mint & Spicy Chili Dressing. The dishes complemented each other perfectly, the pork being rich and luscious (and the skin WAS crispy!) and the Watermelon salad providing a refreshing contrast with fresh coconut, herbs and a beautifully balanced dressing.
For mains we chose Thai Lon with Soft Shell Crabs and Whole Crispy Fish (barramundi) with Tamarind Chili Sauce. I am used to eating soft shell crab deep-fried, so to have it in a coconut based sauce was different but divine. It was served with deep-fried whitebait fritters. The Barramundi was equally delicious, a generously sized whole fish deep fried with a lovely tamarind sauce.
Other items on the menu that will definitely entice me on my next visit include Crispy Green Peppercorn Prawns with Tom Kha Custard & Pickled Ginger Salad, Roast Waygu Beef with a Red Curry Sauce & Candied Bamboo and Chargrill White Pepper Cuttlefish with Cashews & Crispy Green Pawpaw Salad.
The service was relaxed yet professional, the perfect combination for Spirit House. Our waiter shared his knowledge on wine choices as well as the dishes.
A word of caution: their portions are very generous, much larger than you would expect from your local Thai restaurant, so don’t over-order! Although we were just able to get through our dishes, we had no room left for desserts, which was a pity because we could easily have been tempted with the Chocolate Pistachio Steamed Pudding with Passionfruit Jelly & Ginger Foam and the Banana Bavarois & Salted Peanut Caramel with Chocolate Flower. Next time….
20 Ninderry Rd, Yandina (about a 30 minute drive from Noosa)
Phone: 07 5446 8994
Lunch 7 days and dinner Wednesday to Saturday evenings.