Apr 18, 2012
qualia Fine Dining
Everything at qualia is divine, and Alastair Waddell’s food is no exception. In fact, after lazing by the beautiful pool (at Pebble Beach or in your room), lazing in the spa and lazing with a glass of champagne at sunset, dinner at the restaurant in the Long Pavilion is a fabulous way to end your day. At this point I should probably throw in a disclaimer – my husband, Michael, is the General Manager of qualia (which means we are frequent diners in the Long Pavilion – quality control, and all that)!
Anyway, Ali is a Glaswegian, with an accent to match. Prior to his appointment as qualia’s Executive Chef he held the position of Sous Chef here for three years. Before arriving here in the tropics, Ali spent time in Melbourne at Bistro Guillaume, and before that was at some excellent restaurants in the UK.
A few weeks back we were entertaining some writers from the US and were treated to Ali’s Tasting Menu. It was gorgeous – my favourite of the seven courses was the Carrot Crumbed Pork Belly, with vanilla and orange and heirloom carrots…and the Crab and Fennel, with local mud crab and a fennel gazpacho. Each course was wine matched, and James, qualia’s lovely sommelier, had a great time talking us through each selection.
What I love about Ali’s food is that the flavours are so clear and clean. They blend so beautifully with the rest of the dish and look so pretty while doing it. It tastes great and looks fantastic. In my books, good food is a vital ingredient in any holiday. Ali couples beautiful food with the best Great Barrier Reef hotel, and it’s a winning combination.
If you’d take a piece of unbiased (!) advice, cap off your Hamilton Island holiday with dinner at qualia – give them a call and see if they can’t squeeze you in. Otherwise we might see you at the Great Barrier Feast with Guillaume Brahimi in July, to see Ali’s menu for the Welcome Dinner on Friday the 6th.