A is for Acqua
Deb Caruso discovers a jewel in Caloundra’s crown where the food is as good as the view.
Every region has one stand-out dining venue that offers a reliable and delicious destination for locals and a drawcard for tourists. For Caloundra, that venue is Acqua Restaurant & Bar – a waterfront destination for good food and great times.
With sweeping views overlooking the ever-changing Pumicestone Passage, it would be easy to get lost in the vista however, the stunning views are matched by the relaxed and friendly service and a mouth-watering menu that deserves your full attention.
On offer is a perfect symphony of simplicity with premium steaks, oysters, a great selection of seafood, chicken and pasta. The menu is down-to-earth and offers something for all tastes and dietary requirements – the hardest part is deciding what to order.
Thankfully, Acqua Restaurant offers plenty of opportunities to savour the view and the flavours as it is open every day for lunch and dinner with the bar open until late.
The lunch menu is available from 11am-2.30pm daily and includes something for everyone with a range of gourmet burgers; a Fisherman’s Basket with calamari, chips, whiting and battered prawns served with tartare sauce and a fresh green salad; and there are always vegetarian options such as a vegetable stack or the current favourite of gluten free pesto penne pasta salad.
It’s hard to go past the lunch special of two courses for $45 or three courses for $55 with a range of entrées, mains and desserts. Seafood, steak and flavour-packed vegetarian options abound with a delectable dessert to choose from.
If stunning sunsets with killer cocktails is more your thing, the world of Acqua is your oyster.
From Mojitos to Martinis; Mocktails to Cosmopolitans and everything in between, the extensive beer, wine and cocktail selection make Acqua Restaurant and Bar a great place to relax and have a couple of drinks while taking in the ocean views.
Matching the perfect sunset is the perfect cocktail and our money is on the Passionfruit Delight with passionfruit pulp shaken with lychee liquor, vodka, sugar syrup finished with a dash of soda. Mind you, the Pumicestone Sunset is also tempting with orange liquor, limoncello, orange juice and finished with grenadine. We’ll have to try both, just to be sure.
Dinner is a delight from 5.30pm where entrées include oysters done many ways; Arancini Balls; Calamari; Chilli Bugs and Prawns; Mussels; or Pork Belly & Scallops, amongst other choices.
After something light? How about a selection of salads including the current Tempura Prawns and Watermelon salad with a sweet chilli and lemon myrtle dressing?
In a nod to the venue’s heritage as the former site of Alfie’s Moo Char and Bar, there are several steaks on offer cooked on the grill to your liking with a choice of sides, sauces and the option to upgrade to a reef-and-beef scenario with prawns, bug and scallops in a chilli lime rosé sauce.
Other mains include a mix of old favourites with new twists such as Veal Scallopini; Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken; Crispy Skin Barramundi with cauliflower puree, kipfler potatoes and asparagus served with lemon myrtle dressing; or a Seafood Platter for one or two people loaded with calamari, black mussels cooked in a Napoli sauce, prawns, scallops, bugs, oysters, smoked salmon, crumbed whiting and lime aioli.
Pasta and risotto lovers will not be disappointed with a plethora or plates to please, including the perennial favourites Creamy Chicken Pesto; Carbonara; or Seafood Linguini. Risotto dishes on offer range from Chicken and Porcini; Pumpkin Risotto; Saffron Marinara or Mussels with cherry tomatoes.
Dietary requirements are catered for, as are the kids with a dedicated menu for younger diners.
Leave room for dessert with Panna Cotta of the Week heading the lineup and hotly-contested by a range of other delights ranging from Tiramisu; or Lemon & Lime Cheesecake.
Don’t forget the Affogato or skip dessert and head back to the cocktail list for a Lemon Meringue Martini of vodka mixed vanilla Galliano & limoncello shaken over ice; or the Acqua Espresso Martini which brings a creamy touch to your typical espresso martini with Tia Maria, Kahlua, Bailey’s, vanilla Galliano, Mozart gold and espresso shaken over ice with a touch of cream and chocolate sauce served with a hint of cinnamon!
Just like the tide, the menu constantly changes based on fresh and seasonal foods so don’t despair if one of the aforementioned dishes isn’t available, we’re sure there will be something equally delicious in its place!
This family-owned restaurant offers relaxed dining with endless water views and something for everyone.
For friendly service, wholesome food and stunning views, we give Acqua Restaurant and Bar an A+