I recently travelled to Queensland to check out the multi-million dollar facelift that Airlie Beach had recently undergone. I was up there just before the work started so it was great to be able to do a ‘compare and contrast’ exercise to see how far it had come. In the past you’d be forgiven for thinking Airlie Beach was backpackers haven and all others should give it a wide berth. Now, it’s a whole different story. In the couple of years since my last visit I was really pleased to see some fabulous cafes and restaurants as well as great accommodation options.
We’d heard about Deja Vu Restaurant and their locally famous Sunday Long Lunch, so after a beautiful facial at Airlie Day Spa, we sat down to the 8-course degustation lunch around the gorgeous infinity pool, with a delicious mojito to start.
Over the course of about two hours, our table of four was treated to eight fabulous (and very generous) courses of share plates from the husband and wife, chef and front of house team. On a Sunday afternoon the place is packed so it’s a good idea to make a reservation. Ask for poolside seats to really take advantage of the tucked away location, with a view that gives a completely different perspective over Airlie Beach. You’ll definitely want to dip your toes in the pool so wear shoes you can kick off under the table, even take your swimmers! Some diners have been known to end up in the pool after lunch (and a few chilled sauv b’s no doubt!).
The dish of the day award goes to the Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder. It had beautifully charred bits and perfectly tender, melt in your mouth, textbook lamb shoulder, served on vinegar rice with snow peas. The vinegar rice really lightened the dish up, bringing it back to being a light, summery take on slow cooked lamb.
I didn’t get pics, but we also enjoyed a lovely salad, chicken pizza and mussels in a thai broth. All delicious. You can check out the current long lunch menu here.
But you know what the best part was….the 8-course menu is $44.50pp! This really is a steal and the perfect place for a long, lazy lunch. Next time you’re in Airlie Beach, make this your go to for a Sunday afternoon.
I travelled as a guest of Whitsundays Marketing and Development Limited.