Something Cosy at Dee Den

Image source: Contributed

Rebecca Jamieson Dwyer visits Dee Den to discover the decidedly dee-lightful ambience and a menu that’s perfect for autumn.

Is there anything better than cocooning yourself somewhere cosy and enjoying a flavoursome feast on a wild and windy night? Dee Den’s menu lends itself perfectly to this scenario, offering a warming range of curries, noodles and stir fries alongside a selection of more unusual bites to warm you from within as the weather starts to cool.

Located in an old Queenslander in Buderim, Dee Den has charm and welcoming vibes in abundance: think white VJ walls, pretty floral installations, a dark, moody bar area, and a back deck with views out over the treetops, which can either be open to let in the breeze or closed to protect diners from the elements.

If you love fresh Asian flavours and sharing plates with your dining companions, you’ll love the whole Dee Den experience. But if you think you know what to expect, think again: this restaurant prides itself on offering ‘something different’, with creative interpretations of beloved dishes that will surprise, delight and keep you coming back for more.

Stand-outs include the Betel Leaf with Caramelised Pork, served with peanuts, pineapple and green apple – a fun, crunchy parcel of tastiness; and the Hokkaido Scallop Sashimi with chilli sesame vinaigrette, lychee, ginger and kaffir lime zest, which has to be tasted to be believed. The Slow-Cooked Angus Beef Cheek Massaman with sweet potato, almond flakes and toasted coconut melts in the mouth and is the most popular item on the menu for good reason, while the Grilled Chicken Turmeric Curry with roasted Japanese pumpkin, sweet potatoes and crispy shallots is a mellow, warming crowd-pleaser (and a popular one with the kids).

Dee Den owner Jeremy Khoo is particularly proud of the Thai Herbed Grilled Chicken – a unique dish that combines unusual ingredients like spiced sundried tomato, roasted kohlrabi radish, pickled fennel, basil, chipotle salt and dried shallot for a full-on flavour sensation.

“My business partner and Head Chef Mike Meesuwan put this together after lots of taste-testing, which is why you’ve got that combination of herbs and tomatoes with the Japanese kohlrabi radish – it’s a mix of ingredients you won’t see anywhere else,” he said.

The menu is split into small, medium and large dishes for easy ordering and, if you’re feeling indecisive (me, always!), there’s a handy flow chart at the back that splits the dishes into two sections – ‘something different’ or ‘something familiar’ – and will help you create a feast that’s perfect for your palate.

You can make it easy with a range of banquets to choose from – and all dietaries, particularly gluten-free are covered.

To encourage conversation and connection while dining, Jeremy comes up with a series of unique questions for each menu, such as, ‘If you had a TARDIS, could travel anywhere in time and space for a day, where and when would you go, and why?’ and ‘What’s your game plan when AI and robots take over the world?’. Super interesting and fun!

“The whole idea was to give people something to chat about while waiting for their food, and we love seeing customers engaging with the questions and having great conversations together,” he says. “It works equally as well for first dates as it does for 10-year-anniversary dinners!”

Just as much care is given to the drinks menu, with signature cocktails combining locally crafted and small-batch spirits with unusual flavours.

We love the strong, sweet Lychee Martini; the aromatic Fig Negroni; the delicate, citrusy Yuzu Pisco Sour; and the tropical, moreish Strawberry Mimosa (but beware: one is never enough!).

For flavoursome, cosy and fun dining this autumn, Dee Den definitely delivers.

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