Introducing Herbert

Image source: Contributed

Storytelling through cleverly curated food and cocktails is at the core of the dining experience at Noosa’s most stylish plant-based bistro. Carlie Wacker plates up the Herbert vibe.

Starting a restaurant can be daunting, particularly in these times. But opening a restaurant that challenges the usual stereotypes to reignite the creativity in both food and drink is a bold and brilliant move. 

Meet Herbert: a 60-seater bistro located in the heart of Noosa Junction with a plant-centric cuisine and cocktails that play with your mind and senses. 

Dining at Herbert is a multisensory experience and one that I cannot compare to any other. 

The first thing you notice is the décor – it’s an escape from the Noosa norm into a sassy and sophisticated Parisian art nouveau style bistro with a food and cocktail experience that is pure theatre. Designed with help from Clo Studios the space features polished brass, custom mirrors, Moroccan tiles and a very cool vibe. 

Co-owners Alex McKechnie and Leon Johnston wanted to make a sophisticated space that removed the formalities of fine dining but kept the quality and attention to detail.

Alex’s passion is drinks and he has created a cocktail menu that rivals any I have ever explored (and I do love an Insta-worthy cocktail!). 

“The focus of the bar is to creatively engage with guests via story telling with the locally foraged ingredients and pure ingredients,” Alex explains. “We only work with the finest ingredients and are even working on making our own spirits and liqueurs. 

The encounter with each cocktail on the menu is a memorable one as each cleverly-curated drink challenges and excites the senses. For example, the Pot Plant looks like it came straight from the home garden – served in a terracotta pot with edible ‘soil’ and a rosemary twig, (spoiler alert!) you expect a sweet beverage and get a bourbon blast; The Ron Burgundy will blow your mind – spicy, cheeky and surprising just like its namesake; or the Nusa Cana spiced rum with pinot noir and bitters served in a dome of mahogany smoke that once the lid is lifted and the smoke subsides leaves you with flavours that adapt and deepen throughout the encounter. 

Now let’s talk food! I’ve never had a vegetarian or vegan offering quite like Herbert. The menu is as mind blowing as the cocktail list. Small but intentionally designed and always evolving with the seasons, there are three size options designed to share: small, medium and large. This is a great way to explore all the flavours and certainly makes for a very engaging experience. 

“Our restaurant intends to break down barriers of vegetables as meat alternatives and promote sustainability,” says Leon. “As a result, the menu looks like the reverse of your regular menu with almost all dishes being vegetarian.

“Options like charred tamarind-glazed watermelon is intended as bursts of texture juxtaposing a slow flowing flavour experience, it incorporates macadamia and tahini milk, wakami and rainbow radish so that sweet smoky flavour of the watermelon is contrasted by the creamy nutty macadamia and tahini milk,” says Leon.

“Our super popular cauliflower dish is rubbed in a pastrami spice and served on a bed of labna with pickled and raw cucumber on the side. The relationship between the spice and texture of the cauliflower to the cooling elements of the cucumber and labna create a symphony of flavour and texture. 

“All of the dishes make the ingredients the hero and are designed to help you experience top-quality produce in the most surprising and challenging way,” he says. “Our advice is to come hungry.”

Indeed, this menu offers a newfound appreciation for vegetables and the team have successfully converted some vegetarian and vegan sceptics (namely my husband) with their mouth-watering, hearty and satisfying menu.  

Leon and Alex have created a warm and inviting space that is as friendly as it is flavoursome. 

“You can get dressed up or arrive straight from the beach and still feel relaxed and welcome” says Leon. What are you waiting for? Herbert loves to make friends!

Join us for a three-course feast with matching drinks exploring the unique world of Herbert! 

We want to share the experience with you, so we have planned lunch in this stylish casual bistro brimming with next-level cocktails and food for the vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian or flexitarian. Whatever you are – you won’t want to miss the Herbert show!

Bring your friends for a feast and fascinating discovery of super summer flavours! Three-course feast with matching drinks and more!

Herbert Restaurant
1 Arcadia Street, Noosa Heads

Friday 11th February, 12noon-3pm

$95 pp for a 3-course meal with matching drinks and more!

About the Author /

Ali spends her days clicking away and creating print and digital designs for a variety of coast businesses and brings more than 15 years of print publishing experience. When she’s not at her computer, you can find her outdoors with her husband and three kids.

Post a Comment