It would be easy to be absorbed by brilliant tapas and paella across a vast menu of Catalan and Basque specialties while drinking excellent cocktails, but don’t forget to investigate the wine list, which is crammed with thoughtful and exciting selections, from the humble to the grand.
The nuts & bolts
After a day of frolicking around one of the many beautiful bathing spots in Noosa, the idea of strolling into a tapas bar seems like the right thing to do. When that tapas bar fashions one of the most diverse and eclectic wine offerings in town, it’s a no-brainer. Owners and partners Lara Graham and Marc Romanella are responsible for Yoyo Bar, a space created with the mantra of having fun.
The parade of restaurants along Gympie Terrace makes for a busy hub of evening dining spots. Where Yoyo stands out is for its compact team of three who offer their guests an extensive wine list and the experience of Catalan and Basque cuisine. Their 75-seat venue has a unique atmosphere for a coastal venue, where dark tones and crimson finishings dress the terraced venue that looks out over the Noosa River. Graham takes care of all things in front, while Romanella dances solo in the kitchen.
Despite Graham’s experience as head sommelier at the now-closed Noosa institution Wasabi Restaurant, the list is something that speaks from them both, with both presiding over the beverages. “We have one rule for the selection process: if we both don’t like the wine, it won’t go on the list,” says Graham. The thoughtfully composed list balances well-known with emerging talents, both at home and abroad, with a clutch of natural and minimum-intervention wines alongside established superstars – think Gentlefolk in company with Cullen – and with over 35 wines by the glass, there is something for everyone.
Romanella’s menu is equally as abundant with a flotilla of tapas-style dishes capped off with substantial share plates. Fresh sardines, seared chorizo or charred octopus, for example, can occupy you while you wait for your plate of paella to arrive. Spontaneous dining feels like a rare act these days, but Graham and Romanella have created a space where an unexpected evening of indulgence is welcomed.