The highlight of our recent trip to Hamilton Island was a birthday dinner. L’s mother had invited us all to a private dinner on Pebble Beach at Qualia.
Qualia is a ‘six star’ exclusive resort on Hamilton Island, with a well deserved international reputation. Entry to Qualia is via some impressive Jurassic Park like gates, and by booking or appointment only.
We arrived in our golf buggies just in time for the sunset, and were instantly handed a glass of champagne on the beach. It was so beautiful. While we were admiring the sunset, oysters were brought out as canapés.
It was a great local touch to see the oysters served on coral, and not the usual rock salt. The use of the coral set the tone for other dishes that used local produce and adopted local themes.
The whole setting was amazing – we were standing on a tropical island, sipping on champagne, eating oysters and watching the sun set.
The private table was overlooking Pebble Beach and the sea. An outdoor kitchen with a massive charcoal Barbecue was set up near the table. The first entrée came out, Whitsunday prawns, fennel and citrus. The prawns were massive, delicious, perfectly cooked and promised an amazing night ahead.
The next entrée was seared wattleseed kangaroo with beetroot and mustard cress. This dish was beautifully presented on individual little wooden platters. The kangaroo was cooked to perfection and the acidity of the pickled beetroot made for an exceptional taste.
The last entrée was smoked Whitsunday bug with native finger lime and olive oil pearls. Like the other two before, it was delicious. The bug had a very creamy texture, but the finger lime cut through it well. The little olive oil pearls looked like caviar and were quite extraordinary!
The main course was a range of dishes straight from the giant Barbecue. I loved the local reef fish with yuzu, grean beans and radish. It was quite a firm fleshed fish and had a nice crust on the outside from the Barbecue.
Lamb ribs and the wagyu steak were also served straight off the BBQ – both cooked to perfection, delicious and juicy. They came with roasted chat potatoes and garden salad.
The main courses were an exciting display of outdoor cooking, with so many different flavours. Amazing.
I’m definitely a dessert person. When the individual deconstructed tropical fruit pavlovas came out I was in heaven. The meringue shards were sitting beautifully in the passionfruit curd and the berries added some colour. I could have eaten another one, it was absolutely delicious!
The service throughout our evening was impeccable. The staff were very attentive and made the whole experience perfect.
I hope that one day I can go back to Hamilton Island and I really hope that I can return to Pebble Beach at Qualia for another experience. We all loved it! It was such a unique setting, combined with incredible food. I doubt that any of us will ever forget this night.
Qualia – Pebble Beach
Hamilton Island 4803 QLD