INTERESTING times ahead at Samba Grill in Noosaville.
We're already chuffed about the Brazilian restaurant and the genuine taste of churrasco (slow cooked meat over charcoal) that owner Steve Beak has been presenting in the evenings.
Now Samba Grill has opened for brunch and lunch which means more of the big, spicy flavours from South America during the day - and that's most agreeable.
Brunch begins at 9.30am so don't go looking for an early morning fry-up or muesli or yogurty things.
This is about waiting until a reasonable hour in the morning and taking your time over oeufs en cocotte. You're going to love it.
Oeufs en cocotte is a fancy French way of saying eggs baked in pots, or coddled eggs.
The basic recipe involves an egg layered between creme fraiche before being baked in the oven.
Steve's way of doing his oeufs is a nostalgic nod to his childhood when his mother baked him these eggs as a treat.
Now with his chef Matt Courage he has come up with a delightful list of flavour combinations to go with his oeufs...every one of them a winner.
We went vegetarian and plunged into a hot ramekin of baked egg with spinach, pumpkin, pine nuts and red onion. Loved the chunks of soft roasted pumpkin (with skin on) among the gooey egg and the wilt of the spinach. The pine nuts gave a textural jolt, as did the restrained quantity of red onion.
The veggie patch version comes with sweet corn, mushroom, spinach and avocado. Tasty.
The oeuf with baked beans, chorizo, parsley and chilli oil provides a chilli-thrill, and the smoked salmon oeuf with capers and red onion gives a feeling of luxe.
These are perfect brunch dishes, a glamorous way to start your day, and especially good on a lazy morning overlooking the Noosa River.
Other oeuf varieties include curried egg with bacon and rocket, and a Spanish lovely with chorizo, rocket, cherry tomatoes and caramelised onions. One for every of the week?
A cream cheese sauce is used rather than creme fraiche for added flavour and the oeufs come with gluten free white or grain bread. (To use like "soldier" fingers we used to dip into our eggs as kids?)
That's a lot of brunch love, then there is lunch with a pleasing number of burgers using the succulent meats slowly cooked over charcoal. Your day is going take on extra happiness after you've finished a shredded beef burger, or perhaps a piri piri chicken burger, or a Moroccan lamb burger.
Then there is the pulled pork roll (on ciabatta) with brie and sliced pineapple, or the one that won us, the honey soy pulled pork.
Chunks of succulent pork threaded through shredded wombok (Chinese cabbage) with mint, coriander and ginger) on a big ciabatta bun brought satisfaction for us two to share after the oeufs.
Then, because we saw them being delivered to another table (and because we suffer from food envy) we had to have the charcoal beef ribs.
These big beauties will satisfy a meat craving for an entire week. Slow-cooked, fall-off-the-fork meat is richly coated in a plum sauce so tangy it almost makes the eyes water. With chips or rosemary and garlic roasted potatoes this is man-sized, great for sharing.
Samba has proved a hit with its rodizio, all-you-can-eat service in the evenings with the Brazilian Gauchos (cowboys) doing the rounds of the restaurant stopping at your table with giant skewers of marinated slow-cooked beef, pork, chicken or lamb to carve before your eyes.
Now the happiness comes
during the day with the brunch and lunch menus.
Our visit on a rainy Saturday cheered us, and when our waiter told us he'd joined the Samba team after he'd dined there and fallen in love with the whole concept, our love of all-food Latin grew.
Vegetarian options are available at brunch, lunch and dinner. A good wine list of South American and Aussie wines keeps up standards.
The wall of neatly stacked logs provides drama, but doesn't take away from the river views.
Inside or footpath dining adds the Noosa vibe to this Latin lovely.
As Steve says, this place is "a feast for the yes, nose and belly."
Open for brunch and lunch Tuesday to Sunday
Dinner Tuesday to Saturday.
P: 5449 9577
251 Gympie Tce, Noosaville
All prices, information and menus on http://www.sambagrill.com.au
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