Winter Nights with XO

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Georgia Beard shares how XO Sunshine Beach enriches its reputation as a local favourite with winter comforts from their new Winter Menu and the return of XO Nights.

Embassy XO is one of Noosa’s enduring dining destinations. Humble, authentic and unfailing in quality, this haven of modern Asian been a key feature of Sunshine Beach’s food scene for over a decade. 

The XO team’s confidence in their multicultural offering has earned the loyalty of locals everywhere, creating enough culinary variety to keep us salivating without losing the homegrown influence we love the most. 

As winter creeps into our region and deepens our appetites, XO invites us to seek refuge from the cold with comforting, heartwarming cuisine. 

Their winter menu brings fresh seasonal flavours to the table with A La Carte and 5-Course Tasting experiences paired with premium wines from XO Cellars, the restaurant’s independent purveyor of fine wine and boutique beers.

During the 5-Course Tasting, thaw out with Prawn Laksa before filling up on hearty plates of Charcoal Grilled Squid; Cantonese Roast Duck; and Soy Braised Lamb Shank; before finishing with a gratifying Chocolate Bao dessert. Yum! 

The A La Carte menu offers a banquet rich enough for winter hibernation with small plates like Tempura Lemongrass Quail and Sizzling Eggplant Hot Pot and large plates like Grandma’s Mapo Tofu; Roasted Heirloom Cauliflower; and Cantonese Roast Duck Clay Bowl – not to mention the fresh herbs and greens that are grown on James’ farm. 

Chef James Wu said this season’s menu allowed him to return to his roots as an emerging chef in Asian kitchens. 

“Many of the dishes are based on techniques and recipes I learnt in a Chinese Malaysian restaurant when I was an apprentice,” he said.

“The Prawn Laksa is a recipe that was taught to me over twenty years ago. I wanted to focus on warmth and fulfilment for this season and this is made possible by our amazing relationships with new and long-time suppliers.

“For example, Brisbane Valley Quail will be suppling protein for our Tempura Lemongrass Quail; our relationship with local fishermen means I also have the privilege of getting the first pick of fresh fish that have been caught on the trawlers as they come into dock; and Megan from Steamed Bun Co continues to deliver the goods.”

XO continues to champion local produce and there will be celebrations aplenty with the return of XO Nights on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, allowing locals to experience seasonal menu changes every fortnight!

“The consistent support from regulars and a now-full kitchen team has made room for the experience once again,” James said. “XO Nights allows the kitchen team to experiment, trial new flavour combinations for dishes and revamp or add new flairs to pre-existing dishes. I love XO Nights for the freedom they allow myself and my team to express themselves.”

The XO Nights menus will offer a combination of dishes that can be found on the winter menu as well as dishes that will only be offered for that fortnight in which it features.

In each entrée and main, guests can choose from meat, seafood and vegetarian options and pair their meals with premium wines.

XO also offers a $10 credit per guest, which can be put towards a drink of your choosing or a bottle of wine from their award-winning list!

“It’s a fun format to deliver, and we are so exceedingly grateful to our guests and their useful feedback,” James said. 

“The community support for the relaunching of XO Nights has been fundamental for its return.”

It’s clear – a restaurant earns its reputation as a local favourite when we gather at their tables, savour their homegrown menus and celebrate their contribution to the recipe for community. 

“We strive to provide wholesome meals that encapsulate the philosophy of XO and the consistent high standard we strive to achieve,” James said.

“When a guest leaves after a meal with us, we want them to feel satiated, content and looked after.” 

What an XO-lent addition to the Noosa dining scene!

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