Cellar Door on First

Check out the Sunshine Coast’s latest dining hotspot.

Looking for a sleek wining and dining restaurant in Mooloolaba? Try Cellar Door on First, a must for fans of contemporary cuisine.

Located at 19 First Avenue, Mooloolaba (one street back from the Mooloolaba Esplanade), Cellar Door on First has become a local favourite since opening its doors in 2018.

Aside from the food, Cellar Door on First is also known for stocking wines from across the world including France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand and more.

To get a taste of what foodies and wine connoisseurs can expect we interviewed Cellar Door on First’s Operations Manager Shane Johnson.

What inspired Cellar Door on First?

The owners wanted to create a venue away from the hustle and bustle of the main tourist strip in Mooloolaba. The aim was to have a space that made people feel special, comfortable, relaxed and gave customers a unique dining experience at an affordable price.

What type of cuisine is served?

We have a fusion menu drawing on Asian and French influences. Our signature dishes include Moreton Bay bug kiev with seaweed butter and kimchi and Scallop dumplings with duck ham, pickled ginger, enoki and green tea dashi.

What is unique about the restaurant?

We want to give our guests a dining experience they won’t forget and strive to deliver whatever kind of experience they are looking for. Whether the experience is sharing and grazing through the menu, coming in for a main course and a glass of wine, or if you are after the full experience let us take you on a journey through our seven-course degustation menu with matching wines.

Which is more popular, the standard menu or degustation? 

More and more people are opting for the degustation menu, whether it’s the five courses or seven courses, people are happy to sit back relax and let us give them a great experience.

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Do you have vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan options?

We cater to all food preferences. Apart from the specific vegetarian dishes that are on the menu (listed below), our chef is also happy to tweak our dishes to create gluten-free and vegan options. We also offer a five or seven-course vegetarian degustation menu, which can be converted to a vegan version if customers let us know when making a booking.

  • Zucchini noodles with tomato, Thai basil, Choi sum and mushrooms.
  • Tofu with rice congee, pickled carrot and black bean.
  • Banana peppers with Mexican beans, sweet corn, avocado and romesco salsa.

What food trends have you noticed in 2020 and are you introducing any new menu items?

People are becoming more aware of what is sustainable and continue to move towards a vegan lifestyle. We are adding some guest requests to our menu and now have three cuts of Cape Grim grass-fed beef and three fresh fish dishes on the menu along with spanner crab spaghetti. 

Is Cellar Door on First more known for its food or wine?

Food is, and should always be, the focus of any restaurant. What we do well is complement the meal with a great selection of wines from our temperature-controlled wine fridges. We also have local Sunshine Coast beers and are known for our signature cocktail – a fig and orange old fashion featuring spiced rum, homemade chocolate bitters, fig syrup and maple wood smoke.

What’s the secret to a good glass of wine?

Good company and great food are some of the most important things in enjoying a good glass of wine. Temperature also has a lot to do with it – serving white and red wines at a controlled temperature makes a difference in the taste of a wine. Being in Queensland, where a summer day is 30 degrees and restaurants are serving red wine at 30-odd degrees is not very nice. We are lucky to be able to serve wines how they are intended to be drunk.