The intoxicating aroma smacks our noses the second we step inside the door. Instantly our stomachs rumble uncontrollably. The overwhelming smell of anti-pasta, New York pastrami, goat and feta cheese, bresola, pancetta, duck and orange pate, olives and Gorgonzola fills the air.
This is Belmondos Fresh Food Market hidden in a light industrial estate in Noosaville. Well known by the locals but not necessarily on the tourist route, Belmondos is a foodies delight. It’s a locally owned Italian style gourmet paradise with a selection of products grown on the Sunshine Coast and imported from all around the world. This is a perfect place to buy groceries and catch up with friends over coffee.
A staff member advises “the locally grown produce accounts for about 30% of the fruit and vegetables that we sell here.”
Looking around, it’s obvious. The counter is filled with premium Australian lamb, Black Forest Smoke House Bacon and grain fed premium beef.
As well as the deli and fruit section, there is an open plan café in the centre choked with customers devouring light meals. The menu is brief but exciting with a selection of home made pies, savoury tarts, casseroles, curries, salmon croquettes and frittata all served with seasonal salad drizzled with Australian olive oil. The food is made daily. It’s almost impossible to decide between sweet and savoury.
We find a table and glance around. Shelves are stacked high with gourmet products including jams, preserves, dried fruits, nuts and biscuits as well as a selection of gifts, home wares, hampers and cooking books. There are fridges on the sidewalls stocked with a selection of yoghurts, cheeses, pates, pesto, tofu and fresh dinner meals designed for the busy customer.
Elizabeth orders afghans, one of New Zealand’s’ favourite biscuit for us to try with coffee sourced from the Dominican Republic.
“Sitting here reminds me so much of Melbourne. Right now, I could be at the South Melbourne markets on a Saturday,” she tells the waitress.
Noosaville is part of a tourist destination known for its surfing beaches rather that it’s quality gourmet food. Most of these visitors head to the beach. For the locals who have relocated from capital cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, Belmondos represents all that they miss the most about urban living: the gourmet treasures. That’s probably why this slice of Melbourne remains hidden in the back of an industrial estate.
Coming to Belmondos is a great excuse to plan impromptu drinks tonight for friends. Before leaving, we stock up on marinated anchovies from Italy, smoked marlin sourced from the Noosa River Smoke House, king salmon from New Zealand, fresh salad, figs marinated in honey and a few other goodies.