The times and travels of Jodie and her little men out and about on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. A focus on family-friendly venues, events, things to do and fun under the sun.
Published March 12th 2012
Walking along Noosa's Hastings Street, Cato's Restaurant and Bar first appears as a trendy cocktail lounge. Wrought iron sculptures frame the bar where windows and walls would normally be, allowing patrons to sit at the bar and people-watch (a very popular Noosa pastime) while still capturing ocean breezes and natural light.
Cato's Bar, fronting on to Hastings Street starwoodhotels.com/sheraton
However behind the martinis and chilled out tunes lies Cato's Restaurant. The restaurant is elevated above the bar, and separated from the masses by floor to ceiling glass and greenery. Cato's is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week.
Prawns. Moreton Bay Bugs and Oysters are some of many options on offer
Cato's Restaurant offers up an impressive selection of à la carte options, but most can't resist the temptation of the seafood buffet on offer as part of their dinner menu. Our most recent dining experience at Cato's offered a smorgasbord of options - fresh prawns, Moreton bay bugs, local sand crab, whole baked reef fish, and oysters (fresh and Kilpatrick). Non-seafood eaters will enjoy the impressive array of carvery options (lamb, beef and pork were on offer during our visit, although we have had baked ham on previous occasions), antipasto platters, sushi, breads, and soup available. A live cooking station offers an interactive experience where you request custom-created stirfrys, steaks and garlic prawns, cooked to order in front of you.
Cato's Restaurant offers an impressive a la carte menu and buffet dishes
And if you can possibly fit any more in, the dessert bar will please even fussiest sweet tooth. The chocolate panna cotta, citrus cheesecake and chocolate eclairs were amongst the highlights for us during our dining experience, and were perfectly complemented by the homemade ice-cream on offer as well. Keep the following pros and cons in mind for your next visit: Pros:
1. Fresh seafood and plenty of non-seafood options 2. Great service 3. Great location on Hastings Street
4. Open to the general public, not just Sheraton guests
5. All food is included in one buffet price, so easy for families to budget for
6. Parents facilities in the restrooms Cons:
1. We were offered a choice of two seating times, 6pm or 8pm. This may prove inflexible for some families who need to eat earlier or later.
2. Bookings generally need to be made in advance, especially in busy seasons and school holidays (taking into account the tourist crowds that flock to Noosa).
3. Tea and coffee, while inclusive at some other buffets, are not included in your Cato's buffet package and need to be purchased in addition.
Overall, the dining experience at Cato's was more than pleasant, and certainly a treat for the tastebuds. We've been here before, and we certainly will be back again.