Table Talk – A Place to Call Home

May 1, 2018

Table Talk – A Place to Call Home

It’s true, there really is no place like home and what better place to live than here on the Sunshine Coast – where lifestyle is king.
When my parents were looking to set up their family home with my younger sister and I, it was down to Byron Bay or the Sunshine Coast. Having lived in Sydney, the coastal, laid back lifestyle was appealing, and after much deliberation, the Coast won, and here I am still, 30 years later.
While many gravitate here for the lifestyle (a word bandied around a lot when talking about the Sunny Coast), I also believe there are great opportunities on our doorstep, due in large part to the fact that we are still relatively young when compared to the likes of the Gold Coast and Brisbane.
We are still cementing our footprint and laying great foundations, which is attractive to savvy entrepreneurs wanting to leave their mark on the ‘making of the Sunshine Coast’. This way of thinking has lead to a healthy wave of new businesses opening, which is in turn contributing to our great lifestyle – just think about the super cool eateries, coffee shops and breweries popping up.
Speaking of, joining me for lunch at the new Backlane Tapas and Wine Bar in Mooloolaba was Elizabeth Fairon, owner and principal lawyer of Life Law Solutions; James Goldsworthy, director of Ray White Mooloolaba; Tara Williams, art director at Profile Magazine; Leah Blissett from Bliss Photography by Leah; Emily Gouge, marketing coordinator of LPE; Lianne Dickson, business development manager at Auswide Bank; and Stuart Greensill, director of Herron Todd White.

Profile: Why did you settle on the Sunshine Coast?

Elizabeth: I came to the Sunshine Coast four years ago, for the lifestyle, wanting somewhere to be away from the city. I’ve always been in Brisbane and loved coming up here for weekends, my husband and I thought, ‘Why should we keep paying for accommodation every time we come up here when we could have our own house?’ We wanted to create a place where we could come and relax and have our own space. Our main house is up here and we go to Brisbane as we need to for work and have a house in Brisbane as well, but it’s very much go to work, go home, and we’re up here the rest of the time.
James: I was on the Fraser Coast at Hervey Bay and moved here in 2012. I came here for the lifestyle, as Elizabeth said. We love our live music, live sports, we like good food, we used to spend a lot of time back and forth to Brissy, we don’t need to anymore with places like this opening, but in the early days we were going to Brisbane every couple of weeks for music and things and then Ocean Street in Maroochydore started kicking on. We’re pretty lucky where we live in Mooloolaba, but then we go to Noosa, up to Maleny, Caloundra, and within half an hour you can be in a different world – it’s a pretty awesome lifestyle.

Kim Chi with furikake

Tara: I moved to the Coast when I was two years old and grew up in Coolum and now I’m living near North Lakes but still drive up to work on the Coast because I love it here. I love the beach, I can’t get away from it, it’s so relaxing and has a different lifestyle.
Leah: Four years ago I moved here from the Central Coast in New South Wales. My husband and I bought a mechanical business and we wanted a lifestyle change for the kids. I love the lifestyle, the people, the beaches, I just love it in general.
Emily: I’ve been here for two years, prior to that I was in the UK. This is the sixth country I’ve lived in. I met my partner back in the UK when I was at university and his mum, my soon-to-be mother-in-law married an Aussie, so when I graduated we came out here and did some travelling together in a campervan and we stumbled across the Sunshine Coast. When you first get to Australia, the vastness of it is terrifying, you feel like you’ll never be at home here because you’ll never understand it all, but then we settled in Caloundra and now in Cotton Tree. Everything that is amazing about Australia; the people and the culture, is condensed into this region and obviously we also have the beaches, so now we’re going to make it home. I love the relaxed culture of it, nobody is in too much of a rush on the Sunshine Coast and now that we are looking to the future to get married and have our own family I can’t think of a better place to do it – it’s just home.

Chicken with jerk spice, buttermilk, iceberg lettuce and smoked potato

Lianne: I came here in 2003, having lived on the South Coast of New South Wales in a place called Ulladulla. I used to travel up here to visit friends in Minyama twice a year and decided this was where I wanted to end up. I met up with a financial planner who was a very smart guy and he said, ‘You should always buy where you want to end up, that way someone is paying it off for you’. So I came up here and bought a property on the Sunshine Coast and a few years later my company asked me to come up and work here. There is nothing not to like here, we live in Cotton Tree so we love our rowing and stand-up paddleboards, the salt water, so that’s the part I love.
Stuart: My mum and dad are from Gympie and I moved here 21 years ago.
I came here because it was the first job offer I got out of university, but then the added benefit was it is such a good place. Geographically it has a lot to offer everyone and I just love how dynamic it has become. It’s evolving from a sleepy holiday town into, not a thriving metropolis as such, but it has become a really powerful region, which punches well above its weight. We’ve got to find our own individualism, we’re not the Gold Coast, we provide a different offering for people to come here – the locals shouldn’t be so concerned about people coming here to want a little bit of what they have, because let’s face it, we’re bloody lucky.

Hervey Bay scallop with wakame and black bean vinaigrette

backlane tapas and wine bar

Their tagline says it all, ‘At Backlane we are all about tapas, paired with the perfect wine or beer’.
That sentiment was certainly expressed loud and clear on the day of our visit, with chef Nathan Rumble promising to continue feeding us until we were full, and manager
Jason Hess backing that up with perfectly paired wine. Does it get any better?
What ensued was a delicious spread of some of Backlane’s most popular dishes as well as some tasty seasonal offerings from their new menu.

We started with a selection of bite-sized tapas including crumbed olives with goat’s cheese; Hervey Bay scallop with wakame and black bean vinaigrette; croquette with pumpkin, pepitas and chevre; octopus with white bean, fennel and octo vinaigrette; and spring rolls of chicken, saffron rice and black olive mayo.
We then moved onto more substantial share-style dishes including chicken with jerk spice, buttermilk, iceberg lettuce and smoked potato; beef short ribs with carrot, raisins, cauliflower and turmeric; and kim chi with furikake.
From the hours we spent at Backlane, which absolutely flew by (it’s true, time really does fly when you’re having fun), it was evident both Nathan and Jason are masters of their craft, drawing on the decades of experience between them, they exude a confidence in their product, which is not only appreciated by patrons, it’s enjoyed.
From the popular Tetsuya’s in Sydney to Spicers Tamarind in Maleny, Nathan has drawn on his experience and taken inspiration from new and innovative techniques and flavour combinations, to create a cracking menu reflective of European/Spanish tapas-style of eating.
The European influences don’t stop at the menu. Jason says the back lane location is akin to the streets of Italy, where you find locals wining and dining.

Nathan Rumble and Jason Hess photo by cullen collection

Having worked in establishments like Rick’s Whiskey Bar, Peak Wine Bar and The Piano Bar, Jason has developed a profound cocktail and whiskey knowledge over the years (I hear they do a mean espresso martini), which is complemented by a wine list carefully curated by local wine buff, Travis Schultz.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect location for a romantic dinner with your beloved, or are heading out for a night with friends, Backlane Tapas and Wine Bar is a must-try.

On the menu
Small plates
• Crumbed olives with goats cheese
• Hervey Bay scallop with wakame and black bean vinaigrette
• Croquette with pumpkin, pepitas and chevre
• Octopus with white bean, fennel and octo vinaigrette
• Spring rolls of chicken, saffron rice and black olive mayo
• Chicken with jerk spice, buttermilk, iceberg lettuce and smoked potato
• Beef short ribs with carrot, raisins, cauliflower and turmeric
• Kim Chi with furikake

Backlane Tapas and Wine Bar
19 First Avenue, Mooloolaba
Phone: 5444 0835

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