The Taste of Togetherness at XO

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There’s nothing like a feast to bring family and friends together. XO’s five-course tasting experience is designed to maximise flavour and friendship, as Georgia Beard discovers. 

The place where we share our food is the place where we share ourselves. Whether we’re gathering over a restaurant table, a picnic blanket or an open fire, the act of eating puts us on equal ground. We break down invisible barriers and open up to each other. We find connection as we break bread.

We first see the power of food with our families as the dining table becomes somewhere you return to one another after a long day apart. Laughter, light-hearted debates, an outrageous anecdote – all shared between mouthfuls of lovingly-prepared meals. When the day is over, the people you live with know you a little better, and you do them. 

The better the food, the stronger the positive connections – and even better when you don’t have to prepare it or clean up afterwards.

As we move into the cooler months and out of the manic start to the year, it’s time to reconnect with each other. We just need some good food to go with it! 

From the restaurant kitchen in Sunshine Beach, XO Head Chef James Wu thoughtfully designs his menu around local and seasonal food that is designed for the whole table to share. 

The restaurant’s five-course tasting menu provides the perfect foundation for human connection. A fusion of Asian flavours and premium wines await guests in a soft, intimate environment. 

It’s a style of dining that brings about conversation. Adding to the authentic and personal experience is that the cuisine comes from a place of love and dedication to local growers and culturally diverse cooking. 

With Chinese, Thai and Japanese backgrounds, restaurant chefs embellish the menu by adding splashes of their own inspiration to another’s dish. The ingredients themselves are drawn from local businesses and farms. 

“We have started by connecting with some amazing suppliers, and more are in the works,” James said.  

“Our own ten acre home in Cootharaba is home to Joyous Farms and supplies about 70% of the fresh produce used at the restaurant. It’s a unique and specialised approach, which is not easily found in the region.”

According to James’ wife Phoebe, who also works in the restaurant and on the farm, the five-course tasting allows guests to simply sit back and relax while James selects his favourite or his most compatible dishes to provide a curated experience. 

This autumn, the five-course tasting menu is characterised by flavours of the earth and water: Steamed Garden Okra harvested from Joyous Farms and paired with Silken Tofu and Asian spices; Cured Ocean Trout refreshing the palate with Soy Herb Relish, Mung Bean Noodles and Garden Leaves, and succulent Soy Braised Duck Leg melting against Hinterland Fruits, Garden Vegetables and Red Thai Curry.

Vegetables are more than a side dish and are celebrated with plant-based dishes including Crystal Skin Garlic Chive Dumplings; Charcoal Flamed Black Pearl Mushrooms; or Sichuan Chilli Eggplant. 

A Mango Pancake with Hinterland Fruits and Chantilly Cream ends the evening on a sweet note.

James’s favourite dish off the menu is Charcoal Flamed King Fish with Bonito Dashi and Garden Vegetables. 

“The king fish is grilled over coals, and then it is dipped inside a Tare sauce which enhances the smoky flavours,” he says. “The flavours of every ingredient combine to create a dish that reflects the change of season.” 

What goes better with good food and good conversation than the perfect wine? XO has you covered with the option for a wine pairing, including a premium level for aficionados. 

“A lot of people don’t know about this hidden gem,” Phoebe says. “We are a paddock-to-plate restaurant with knowledgeable and long-time hospitality servers and an amazing kitchen team that has been together for four to five years – they are like family.”

James agrees and says they want guests to feel at home and walk away already planning their next visit. 

“Everyone knows someone that needs to try the XO experience,” he said. “And we’re ready to welcome them!”

As the Embassy XO staff grow in their connection to cooking and to each other, this sense of community transfers to the guests seated at their restaurant tables. 

Hands pass plates around the table, cuisine inspires conversation and relationships are strengthened for seasons to come. 

View the five-course tasting menu or book your next gathering at 

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