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Published April 4th 2013
A taste of Italy on the Sunshine Coast
For a quick trip to Italy and a taste of a typical village Trattoria, you can't beat a visit to Caffe Paradiso in Mudjimba on the Sunshine Coast. The food was exquisite, both authentic in taste and quantity, with prices reasonable.
With little airs and graces about the place, Caffe Paradiso feels strangely welcoming with Dean Martin crooning in the background and plastic tables and chairs scattered around a small courtyard. Tables don't have expensive decorations or clothes to distract diners from the amazing food and are kept clean with a quick wipe.
Our amazing entree was a fusion of scallops and spicy sausage on a bed of cauliflower puree. The scallops were sweet and tender, making a textural contrast with the spiciness of the sausage and tiny cherry tomatoes hidden in the rocket salad. My partner and I shared this and it was felt that it was enough for a light main meal for one person.
Our group were enthralled with the rich, creamy delights of the home made pastas. The lasagne held the surprise of a spicy chorizo layer, while the carbonara sauce left no trace on the plate. Although gelato was a firm favourite choice for desert, the cassata held its own with each layer of rich sweet indulgence delighting the senses. A feature in any authentic trattoria is the impressive coffee machine which did not disappoint, the rich aromas of freshly ground coffee meeting our expectations.
It has a small parking lot and is adjoined by a camping site, which may put some diners off. The atmosphere can be described as quaint, with christmas lights hung vicariously around the courtyard at all times of the year, and yellowing posters of long past movie stars and Italian wine region postcards adorning the brick walls.
The menu is available online. The restaurant is fully licences and bookings are encouraged, especially for larger groups.