A Family Affair – Sindo’s Spanish Restaurant
A dream to honour her late father was the inspiration behind a new family-run restaurant bringing a taste of Spain to the heart of Noosa, as Ingrid Nelson discovers.
Estrella Alba-Blinco may have faced more than her fair share of challenges in life, but the brave mum of seven has proved anything is possible if you follow your heart.
As proud new owners of Sindo’s Spanish Restaurant in Noosa Junction, Estrella and her husband Mark opened the doors in June, after a serendipitous chain of events.
Named in honour of Estrella’s beloved late father Gumersindo Alba (known affectionately as Sindo), who lost his battle with cancer three years ago, the couple is passionate about delivering an authentic Spanish dining experience based on traditional family recipes passed down through the generations.
“Dad was born in Spain to a very poor family and came to Australia as a young man to build a better future,” says Estrella. “He worked hard all his life and he was loved dearly by his entire family.”
Having retired from her career in hospitality to care for her father during the last seven months of his life, Estrella could never have imagined what life had in store for her next.
“I answered an ad for some part time work at a Noosa restaurant and a few months later they asked me if I wanted to buy it,” says Estrella.
“At first I laughed and then I thought ‘what if’. I went home that evening and told my husband I was buying a restaurant. I knew it was a risk but I wanted to do it for my father so his legacy would live on.”
Behind every great restaurant is a great chef, and Estrella says although it may have taken six months to find him, Spanish-born chef Daniel Marti was worth the wait.
“We had gone through several agencies and hadn’t found the right one. We decided to put a sign in the window and three days later he called,” she says.
“He came flying down the road on a skateboard and literally through the front door and I knew straight away he was the final piece of the puzzle.”
Bringing Estrella’s family recipes to life while adding his own flair and creativity, Daniel and the kitchen team have created an exciting menu full of authentic Spanish dishes including a selection of tapas, share platters and mouth-watering mains, such as Paella.
An authentic Flamenco Guitarist and Dancers regularly add to the experience and special events and functions are always lively.
Within the few short months the restaurant has been open, Estrella and her family have been overwhelmed by the support they have received from the local community and business owners.
“I love Noosa. I have met the most amazing people and the business owners really support each other,” she says.
In a bid to give back to the community, the restaurant donates one dollar from every main meal to Little Haven – the palliative care team who helped care for Sindo and the family during his final months at home.
“They helped us so much to keep dad at home. They came out any time of the day when we needed them and offered counselling and support,” says Estrella.
“We actually became good friends. They came to my wedding and my daughter’s wedding. They were just amazing. We could never repay what they did for Dad.”
As I sit chatting with Estrella about her incredible journey, Spanish guitar plays softly in the background and the hum of conversation among the happy customers fills the air.
I have no doubt Sindo would be so proud of his daughter’s achievements and what a beautiful legacy he leaves behind