We had wandered past Maisie’s Seafood and Steakhouse in Noosaville plenty of times in the past, always taking a sideways peek at what the crowd of footpath diners was enjoying for a weekend long lunch or a sunset summertime dinner overlooking the gentle Noosa River. The towering seafood platter for two was always popular with couples and there were always generous servings of fresh fish, while the daily specials boards featuring whole and half lobster thermidor and bountiful bouillabaisse always slowed us down a step or two.
So it was on our most recent trip up north that we decided to finally stop at Maisie’s for a Saturday slow lunch. The restaurant on Gympie Terrace is set in a heritage styled white and seaside blue timber building that dates back to 1920 when it was built by the local Massoud family and established as The Favourite café. The Massoud’s daughter Maisie worked in The Favourite for many years, eventually taking over the reins. The café withstood the Depression and World War II and was a popular establishment for the troops stationed in the area. During the war years, Maisie would cook and serve around 400 pounds or 180 kilograms of fresh fish a day to the troops and the café pianola would often be dragged out front for entertainment. It even had a drive-thru takeaway! Maisie remained the landlady of the premises until she passed away in 2005. Prior to her death, the current lessees of the restaurant appropriately renamed the café in her honour.
The building certainly retains the feel of times past with classic black and white photos that recount the local history adorning the restaurant walls. The menu at Maisie’s is also a ‘tip of the lid’ to the classics. For entrée it was a difficult choice with old-fashioned renditions of Seafood Chowder, Devilled Veal Kidneys, Prawn Cocktail and Calamari just some of the options. Mr GFAF decided on the Garlic Prawns cooked in a creamy garlic sauce and served on a bed of white, fluffy rice because it reminded him of a very similar dish he used to regularly eat in the 90s when we lived in outback Queensland. He wasn’t disappointed.
I chose the Cold Seafood Starter, which featured marinated mussels and octopus, oysters, bug and prawn with a small side salad and fruit slices. With a class 70s soundtrack playing in the background it was such a fun start!
For mains at Maisie’s there is a Seafood Lovers Menu and a Meat Lovers Menu to choose from. We stuck to the seafood side although the Steak with Mushroom sauce tempted Mr GFAF. Other menu options from the grill included ‘Clancy’s Oveflow’ – featuring a 200-gram eye fillet steak wrapped in bacon and served with oysters mornay and kilpatrick – as well as the classic Mixed Grill, Chicken Burger and Steak Sandwich. Mr GFAF eventually settled on the Fisherman’s Basket which was served in a giant glass clam-shaped bowl overflowing with thickly cut chips, fish pieces, scallops and scallop roe, calamari and prawns along with a small side salad and tartare sauce. He was in seafood heaven and declared that it was definitely a ‘cheat day’.
I ordered the Reef Fish and King Prawn Mornay which I thought would come as a plated fillet of fish topped with a prawn mornay sauce but of course it was served in a classic oval ramekin with the soft, fresh fish fillet on the bottom topped with a generous prawn mornay that had been finished under the grill. It was definitely naughty but very nice. Thankfully it came with a garden salad to make me feel less guilty!
If you prefer a lighter style meal there are plenty of smaller options at Maisie’s including a made to order stir fry of your favourite seafood, wok tossed with vegetables and served with rice. There are also main meal sized salads including a Seafood Caesar and a Prawn and Avocado. I think I might try this end of the spectrum next time! The daily special board should not be overlooked either.
Now ordinarily there would have been zero room for dessert, but Mr GFAF decided to give it a nudge and ‘take one for the team’ so that I could write about it in this post. There were 12 desserts to choose from but I knew they had him at chocolate. He opted for the Hot Chocolate and Almond Pudding with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. It was another generous portion with oozy, warm chocolate sauce, almond flakes and a single scoop of vanilla. Other classic sweet temptations were the Apple and Rhubarb Pie, Profiteroles and Sticky Date Pudding. I’ll have to leave more room next time.
If you choose not to BYO wine, the wine list at Maisie’s is enjoyable and very reasonably priced with all but one option available by the glass. We enjoyed the Dunes and Greene sparkling and the Brockenchak Riesling both from South Australia. There are classic cocktails, beers, spirits and ports available too.
The food and experience at Maisie’s is classic in every way. The service was thorough and so welcoming that we would go back for that reason alone! I think Maisie would be proud to know that the restaurant in her name carries on in her traditions of plentiful and classic seafood, steak and service and I am glad we finally stopped in.
If you liked this post you might also like these: