Perry's Restaurant in Maleny
Giant beech trees once grew where today cattle graze and tourists walk. The Sunshine Coast hinterland village of Maleny has long been a farming community, although dairy farming is now no longer the main income earner for the district. And those beech trees? Well, they have all but disappeared.
We know where one of the giant trees ended up - as floorboards and the ceiling in the old Baptist Church at the top end of Maleny.
Back in 1913 a church elder donated one of the giants and over 90 years later, whilst the church has been de-consecrated, the beech timber survives.
A decade ago the congregation sold up and moved to a new site. Enter Sherry Wright, who fell in love with the high country, and discovered that the church was for sale, and bought it. Sherry's first restaurant venture was a very popular casual Italian-style restaurant in Balmain.
Her CV is a most interesting read. Bored with her day job as assistant to a government minister, she worked nights as a pastry cook in one of Melbourne's first gourmet cafes. Sherry has travelled and cooked her way through Europe, Japan, the Americas and the Caribbean, cooking for the rich and famous in exotic locations.
With her macadamia orchardist and potter husband Peter, they have established Perry's Restaurant as one of the region's most popular dining locations.
Perry's cuisine combines the Eastern concept of balance between sweet, salt, sour and bitter with the depth and complexity that comes with long slow preparation. Sherry calls it 'modern classic'. The big recommendations being the scallops with lemon, cream and dill sauce served in a filo basket and the roast duck served with sour cherry and fig sauce is a favourite. The dessert menu suggestions range from 'chocolate drunken sponge with warm Belgian chocolate sauce, roasted macadamias and chantilly cream' to the big seller of 'treacle bread and butter pudding with port and sultanas' that looks remarkably like a souffli.
Perry's Restaurant is open for dinner seven nights a week. Bookings are essential.
By Richard Hughan
For more information
Perry's Restaurant Maleny
Tel +61 7 5494 2822