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Although there is no denying they are spectacular, sparkling Noosa ocean views alone are not enough to fill the tables at a restaurant along the popular Hastings Street beachfront strip. Sure, the tourists might pop in for a bite to eat when they are in town, but to thrive in this location a restaurant also needs a steady local trade. Sails Restaurant Noosa continues to attract a large loyal clientele who often drop by for a bite to eat at lunch time and end up staying for dinner. Whether you are seeking classic fish and chips or something more sophisticated, the regionally inspired food, glorious beach views and friendly service will leave you smiling.

Classic fish and chips at Sails Restaurant Noosa
Classic fish and chips at Sails Restaurant Noosa
Enjoying the view with a chilled glass of wine
Enjoying the view with a chilled glass of wine

We dropped in for lunch on the kind of beautiful winter day that has tourists reaching for their cameras. Although it was too cold for swimming (or at least too cold for Queenslanders like us) it was the perfect day to enjoy lunch overlooking Noosa’s famous main beach. Our meal began with a glass of chilled white wine from the impressive wine list and a leisurely perusal of the menu. Local produce is a feature here with dishes featuring the likes of Mooloolaba tuna, flavoursome Noosa Reds tomatoes and scallops from nearby Hervey Bay.

We decided to ‘eat local’ for both entrees. Fraser Island spanner crab lasagne accompanied by shaved baby fennel and raw tomato sauce and seared Mooloolaba king prawns served atop a crispy corn fritter was excellent. Asian flavours in the prawn dish were complemented by a dash of chilli jam which gave it a satisfying kick without being too spicy. The delicately flavoured lasagne was equally impressive, offering a seaside inspired twist on this classic Italian dish.

Mooloolaba king prawns tasted even better than they looked
Mooloolaba king prawns tasted even better than they looked
Fraser Island spanner crab lasagne
Fraser Island spanner crab lasagne

While my husband’s main of grass fed Manning Valley eye fillet didn’t look particularly pretty on the plate, it did taste terrific. This is quite a large meal, especially for lunch, so make sure you arrive hungry if you plan on ordering this dish. I enjoyed trying the steak but the barbeque free range chicken served with organic black quinoa, fried chickpea tabouleh and buffalo haloumi was definitely more my style. Be warned that you don’t need to order sides at Sails unless you are very, very hungry. Servings are extremely generous, especially for the price and quality of the meals. If you dine at midday, there are also some lighter dishes available on the lunch time menu.

Grilled Moya Vale chicken
Grilled Moya Vale chicken
Manning Valley eye fillet
Manning Valley eye fillet

Diners who are after something a bit lighter can opt for a chilled Mooloolaba prawn sandwich served with seafood sauce and crisp butter lettuce. This meal is only available at lunch time and is a very popular choice judging by the number of them coming out of the kitchen during our visit. When it comes to sandwiches, this one is not exactly cheap at $21 but it is apparently like no sandwich you have ever tasted before. Dessert was definitely a dish to be shared after such a large lunch. We ordered one rich, soft centred, Callebaut chocolate pudding between us which was just right. Coffee overlooking Noosa’s stunning beach provided the perfect excuse to linger a little longer and enjoy the view.

Soft centred chocolate pudding
Soft centred chocolate pudding

Disclosure: The writer paid for her meal at Sails Restaurant.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.