Definitely Different at Dee Den
Deb Caruso discovers the must-do dining destination where the food and drink is never boring, definitely different.
Dee Den opened on the eve of April Fool’s Day this year with the promise of delivering ‘something different’. Proving they are no fools, owners Jeremy Khoo and Head Chef Mike Meesuwan, have certainly delivered on the promise with more than 250 rave reviews of 5-stars within the first four months of opening!
One of the key reasons is their short but carefully-curated wines and cocktails with an emphasis on showcasing beautiful local Australian wine, spirits and products from small distilleries and family farms.
Take for example Dee Den’s Davo Plum Spritz, where a local Australian-made Davidson Plum Aperitif is used instead of the traditional Aperol. We’re loving the adoption of indigenous foods and the Australian interpretation of a traditionally-European drink!
Now, that is something different and, according to Jeremy, people are LOVING this on their lips. But the prize for the best-selling cocktail goes to the Lychee Martini – and why wouldn’t it?! We can attest to the magic of this decadently-delicious drop (we even managed to get the recipe from Jeremy! You’re welcome).
It gets better! Dee Den’s drinks menu will be revised for the new season and be launched in late September or early October and will feature extended wine and cocktail lists. And of course it wouldn’t be Dee Den if a few of the drinks weren’t something different.
A sneak peek of some of the upcoming drinks has us salivating. Keep an eye out for the Quandong Sour, made using a Gin of Native Australian botanicals and Quandong, which is a Native Australian wild peach; and the smoky, fruity and refreshing Mezcal Paloma – both perfect as we get into the warmer weather. Look out Lychee Martini!
It’s not all about the booze (which is pretty ah-mazing!), the service (which is super-friendly), the views (breathtaking) but also the food!
Here’s where Dee Den claims to be ‘recklessly creative’ but we think they are much more clever than that.
The way Chef Mike matches flavours and brings a new twist to an old favourite is commendable. There are plenty of choices for those with dietary requirements and the freshness is undeniable, with the Kingfish Sashimi an absolute stand out. Served with Kaffir lime zest, red onion, Thai basil, sawtooth coriander, grapefruit nam jim and coconut snow, it’s a dish that you won’t want to share. Trust me.
Likewise, the Betel Leaf Wrap with grapefruit, charred eggplant, Thai herbs, shredded coconut, lotus root chips and chilli jam dressing; Watermelon + Anchovy Flakes with roasted galangal powder, ikura salmon caviar, rose water, bonito flakes, shichimi togarashi and pepper; or for something more substantial, the Crying Tiger Short Ribs with Thai ‘e sarn’ sauce, basil, ngo gai coriander, saltbush, kaffir, herbed rice powder and kumato. Now that is something different!
Jeremy’s experience as a chef and his Bachelor of Honors in Hospitality Management is evident in the way everything is presented, including the timesaving and fun flowchart that is indeed an interactive map of foodie fun! This will be getting a freshen up for spring as will the hilariously helpful “Conversation Starters”.
Housed in a refurbished Queenslander at the top of Buderim, take a seat in the cosy bar, dine on the deck or indoors, order the banquet, a few killer cocktails and experience ‘something different’.
Dee Den is open Tuesdays to Sundays for lunch and dinner and is perfect for a beautiful date night, girls’ night out and for special celebrations and events. Bookings are strongly recommended. www.deeden.com.au
LYCHEE MARTINI RECIPE
- 45ml Vodka (Dee Den uses the local Sunshine & Sons Vodka)
- 15ml Coconut Rum
- 15ml Lychee Liqueur
- 45ml Lychee Syrup from the can
- 2 Lychees, skewered for garnish
- In a shaker, combine all the ingredients (except the lychee skewer) with ice.
- Shake for approximately 15 seconds. The drink needs to be icy cold.
- Double strain and serve in a frozen martini glass
- Garnish with the lychee skewer