If you want to discover the Scenic Rim’s excellent regional dining, all you need is a little time and a hunger to try something new.
You’ll find plenty of country charm in this picturesque rural area located in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range two hours south of Brisbane. Stalls selling everything from local avocadoes to freshly cut roses line the grassy roadside and everything is impossibly green. On the drive to the best restaurants in the Scenic Rim, you get to enjoy the scenery and at lunch or dinner, you can take your time. The Scenic Rim is perfect for a culinary adventure where the only thing rivalling the stunning scenery is what is on your plate. Here are five Scenic Rim restaurants that are worth the trip.
Fire pits and wood ovens have always shaped the menu at Homage Restaurant, but the kitchen had no choice but to fully embrace a ‘cooking with fire’ concept for almost a year after a fire destroyed the homestead housing the restaurant. Wood fired dishes have since become a key part of the dining experience, with the original outdoor wood ovens are now complemented by an indoor Milbrasa grill. The kitchen takes its inspiration from the culinary and visual landscapes of the Scenic Rim and works with local farmers who supply much of the produce. Beef brisket from nearby Rosevale is teamed with cabbage from the garden and citrus from the orchard. The on-site smokehouse is used to preserve the market garden’s bountiful produce for use throughout the year. This progressive regional restaurant with a focus on sustainability and provenance has taken out multiple awards and shouldn’t be missed.
Ocean View Estates
Pull up a seat at a table on the outdoor deck and take a deep breath of the fresh, country air at this charming Scenic Rim restaurant at the Ocean View Estates winery. With the view revealing bucolic rolling hills with the ocean sparkling in the distance, this casual yet classy winery restaurant near Dayboro in is pretty as a picture. Start with crispy calamari, seared scallops or grilled octopus served with charred salsa, papaya salad, and fingerlime. Mains include massaman curry and twists on popular favourites like duck Maryland instead of the usual chicken. Diners with dietary requirements are especially well catered for with dishes such as miso pumpkin served with puffed rice cracker, fried spring onion, and seasonal pickles or gluten free teriyaki beef short ribs. Friendly staff who go out of their way to make diners feel welcome add yet one more reason to visit.
The Dining Room at O’Reilly’s
It takes two hours to reach The Dining Room at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat from Brisbane or 1.5 hours from the Gold Coast. As the road twists and turns its way up Green Mountain, ancient trees meet overhead to form green, leafy tunnels, adding a sense of mystery and excitement to the journey. If you’re looking for a unique Scenic Rim dining experience, The Dining Room is the place to be. The food is homely rather than fancy but it’s also ‘lick your plate’ delicious, especially if you’ve spent the day hiking the trails at Lamington National Park where this restaurant is located. If you can, try to score a prime table in front of the window overlooking the ‘possum perch’, where nocturnal marsupials of every shape and size clamber down the branches to feast on cut up fruit. What table you get comes down to luck as The Dining Room doesn’t take bookings but eating early increases your chance of dinner and a show.
The Peak Restaurant
When you’re heading up the winding road to the Peak Restaurant at Spicers Peak Lodge, Australia’s highest non-alpine retreat, your dining destination appears in front of you like a mirage. The hatted restaurant takes up most of the bottom floor of the architecturally stunning two storey lodge which looks like it’s perched above the clouds. A massive bluestone fireplace takes centre stage in the communal guest lounge outside the restaurant and re-milled Blackbutt timber enhances the luxurious, high country atmosphere. If you aren’t keen on driving down the winding road at night, lunch is your best option, but nothing beats the multi-course degustation dinner accompanied by impressive wine matches from the in-house sommelier. They’re so good you’ll be tempted to as for a top up.
Scenic Rim Brewery
What this casual restaurant lacks in posh surrounds it more than makes up for with excellent local brews and delicious fare with a Dutch twist that honours the owner’s heritage. Located inside a cute wooden building that was once a corner store, the Scenic Rim Brewery offers signature brews like the Shazza and robust Giddy Gout milk stout. European dishes like bitterballen, gourmet hotdogs and a mighty wurst platter packed with Wurst platter bratwurst sausage, bockwurst sausage, cheese kransky sausage, fries, sauerkraut, pickled vegetables and coleslaw will keep you going long into the afternoon. They’re also the perfect accompaniment to a refreshing brew or two as you relax on the desk.