Looking for a spicy weekend?

The Sunshine Coast’s top Asian Restaurants come together at Spicers Tamarind Retreat to headline The Curated Plate food and drink festival.

Looking for a spicy weekend?

The Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival is returning to Spicers Tamarind Retreat on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 August 2024. Visitors to the verdant 18-acre property just outside Maleny will be served a spicy blend of the region’s most iconic Asian restaurants simmered in a nourishing afternoon of live music, chilled drinks, market stalls and masterclasses.

Come to savour unique, street-food style dishes from the iconic Spirit House restaurant, as well as local favourites Rice Boi, and the Retreat’s own Tamarind Restaurant led by Sunshine Coast native and acclaimed executive chef, Daniel Jarrett.

Dan welcomed the chance to put on a feast of local produce for a happy crowd. 

“For all of these chefs, it’s an opportunity to put a spotlight on the amazing produce we get to use every day. We’ll cook for more people in an afternoon than we’d usually see in a week,” says Dan.

Giving foodies the perfect weekend escape to the country, Spicers are offering special one or two-day accommodation packages and transport options.

Return buses will be run to Spicers Tamarind Retreat from Noosa, Caloundra and Mooloolaba on Saturday and Sunday. Buses are timed to arrive 15 minutes before the Festival opens at 1pm and departing 15 minutes after the Festival closes at 6pm. A park-and-ride shuttle will run between Spicers and the Cooke Park Maleny throughout both days.

So leave the car at home, bring a picnic blanket, relax in the sunshine with your friends and family, and savour the amazing tastes of Asia at Spicers Tamarind Retreat on Saturday 3 or Sunday 4 August.

The perfert arvo with an ASIAN SPIN

To match the sensational food on offer, an epic round of the Sunshine Coast’s own beverage producers will be pouring the drinks.

There will be craft beer from Brouhaha Brewery, inspired cocktails from Sunshine and Sons Cocktail Bar, Brockenchack Wines (locally owned Barossa Valley winery), as well as prestige Champagne by the glass and bottle from the prestige House of Taittinger. Sunny Coast Water will have the most delicious way to stay cool and hydrated through the day, with a thirst-quenching range of non-alcoholic beverages, including kombucha.

Tom Hitchcock, head chef of Spirit House in Yandina, first featured at the Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival in 2023 commented “Asian cuisine has a big part of my background, and we love showcasing our local produce in Spirit House style … and it will be interesting to see what all these chefs come up with.”

Chef Tom and his team will be offering Fraser Island spanner crab. “We’ve rolled the local spanner crab wafer thin inside spring roll wrappers and added a yellow curry sauce thickened with egg to make it as rich as possible, and garnish with two kinds of puffed rice.”

Finally, to add some distinctive freshness, the dish is dressed with locally grown herbs and ‘Champagne Red’ finger limes from Green Valley’s orchard near Beerwah. And Tom’s suggested wine match? A chill glass of crisp, zingy Champagne.

Mitch Smith is the executive chef and co-owner of a host of restaurants on the Sunshine Coast, from the modern Greek cuisine of Spero in Mooloolaba to a bunch of casual Asian-themed bistros with Giddy Geisha in Maroochydore, Piggyback in Palmwoods, Rice Boi in Mooloolaba, and fine-dining with RB Dining in Mooloolaba.

Mitch said his stand would be serving BBQ satay-spiced chicken skewers, with a fragrant green curry, Thai basil and jasmine rice. A classic! Mitch recons the perfect liquid pairing is an ice-cold beer.

Showcasing the finest local chefs and produce

Under the tenure of executive chef and local legend, Dan Jarrett, since 2010, the award-winning Tamarind Restaurant and popular Tamarind Cooking School at Spicers Tamarind Retreat have become the region’s culinary gems for their fresh, inventive take on modern Asian cooking.

Jarrett was raised on the Sunshine Coast where he lives with his young family and has been delighting foodies as a chef for nearly 30 years. He’s built an extraordinary insider’s knowledge of the region’s produce and suppliers.

For the 2024 Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival, Chef Dan and his team are offering two dishes. There’s oysters with a Japanese-style salsa of wakame, soy and yuzu with those beloved Green Valley finger limes. Next, is an artisanal Sai Ua sausage originating in Chang Mai in Thailand's north. It combines pork, chilli, kaffir lime and coriander, and is served with roasted chilli jam. Dan says the perfect pairing is a crisp, refreshing lager.

As an extra bonus, The Tamarind Restaurant and Maleny Food Co. will be dishing up a super refreshing, tangy Filipino mango float with mango gelato, to showcase the queens of fruits, celebrated throughout South East Asia.

Immerse in the vibrant flavours of ASIA 

Enjoy the shade and lush surrounds at Spicers Tamarind Retreat with your picnic blankets and cushions on the slopes of the grassed amphitheatre, or join the cooking demonstrations by The Tamarind’s own chefs, headed by legend Paul Blain. The fresh, vibrant flavours of Asia love being paired with a crisp, lively Riesling, and you won’t find a better way to discover its joys than one of the Riesling masterclasses.

The Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival is part of The Curated Plate culinary festival, a celebration of the region’s produce, producers and chefs, supported by Tourism and Events Queensland, the Sunshine Coast Council and Visit Sunshine Coast. The Official 2024 Curated Plate program offers more than 100 events across the region from 26 July to 4 August 2024, showcasing over 300 local producers and suppliers.

Festival Tickets and Travel

Event: The Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival

Where: Spicers Tamarind Retreat, 88 Obi Lane South, Maleny QLD

When: Saturday 3 & Sunday 4 August 2024 from 1:00pm to 6:00pm (guests can enter from 12:00pm)

Travel: Buses will depart (and return) 11.30am Noosa Junction, 11.35am Noosa Heads, 12.00pm Caloundra and Mooloolaba. ETA at Spicers Tamarind Retreat is 12:45pm. Buses return at 6.00pm. Tickets are $25pp for all locations. A park and ride shuttle will be running from the Cooke Park Maleny from 12:15pm.

  • Noosa Heads: Bus departs Noosa Junction Bus Station, 26 Sunshine Beach Road, at 11:30am; departs Noosa Heads Bus Station at 11:35am.
  • Caloundra: Bus departs Caloundra Transit Centre, 23 Cooma Terrace, at 12:00pm.
  • Mooloolaba: Bus departs Sea Life Mooloolaba, Parkyn Parade, at 12:00pm.

Child ticket $90pp: Five food tickets + two non-alcoholic beverage tickets

Adult ticket $139pp: Five food tickets + two beverage tickets

Adult ticket + Riesling Masterclass $199pp

All Inclusive ticket $299: Five food tickets + four-hour unlimited beverage package (excludes Champagne) + Riesling Masterclass.

The complete package from Tamarind Retreat

Spicers Tamarind Retreat are offering a special price on one and two-night accommodation packages so guests can make the absolute most of the 2024 Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival.

The two-day package begins on Friday 2 August with dinner at Tamarind Restaurant, breakfast on Saturday morning, tickets to the Festival on Saturday, a cheese and charcuterie feasting board on Saturday night, and breakfast Sunday 4 August:

  • Spa Studio: $2,496 for two guests
  • Falls Villa: $2,536 for two guests
  • Luxury Forest Villa, Orchard Villa or Gardner’s Villa: $2,536 for two guests, $3,136 for three guests, $3,736 for four guests.

For the one-day package guests are asked to arrive before 11:30am on Sunday 4 August and enjoy the property before the Festival kicks off at 1pm. The package includes Festival tickets, a cheese and charcuterie feasting board on Sunday night and breakfast Monday morning in Tamarind Restaurant:

  • Spa Studio: $1,338 for two guests
  • Falls Villa: $1,378 for two guests
  • Luxury Forest Villa, Orchard Villa or Gardner’s Villa: $1,378 for two guests, $1,713 for three guests, $2,048 for four guests.

Spicers Tamarind Retreat is a series of discrete buildings among a paradise of cool garden ponds, trickling fountains, wooden boardwalks and drooping palms that encircle the guest lounge pavilion and dining areas. Inviting walkways peel off into the rainforest, tempting you to savour a quiet moment surrounded by the lush gardens and rainforest beyond, as the sounds and smells of the festival beckon you to celebrate life.

For additional accommodation in the region, visit Sunshine Coast Visitor Information HERE

This article Looking for a spicy weekend? has been supplied from the OurSC website and has been published here with permission.