What is your idea of a fine dining setting?
Stuffy dining rooms, over-starched tablecloths, stone-faced wait staff, and an unpronounceable wine list? Well, that certainly still exists, but recent shifts have seen a more informal approach to fine dining, particularly here on the Coast. We have some damn good places to eat, but what they’re doing is cleverly walking the line of being fine, but not too fine. Catch our drift?
Great service, an awesome setting, and exceptional food is what eating out is all about, right? With that in mind, we’re dishing up the goods on a handful of the best fine dining restaurants on the Gold Coast; the kind of places you perhaps want to treat your lover or your mum and dad, not so much your Tinder date.
The Fish House
This place needs no introduction. The Fish House is a cornerstone of our fine dining scene, setting the bar high and showing visitors and locals what’s possible on the Gold Coast. Recently changing hands, the restaurant hasn’t let up on its bountiful fresh fish and incredibly varied and well-crafted wine list. Fish is flown in daily from all over the country; landing in Coolangatta in the AM and then on your plate by lunch, is something very special. Oh, and the view? Just make sure it doesn’t distract you too much, you don’t want your food getting cold now.
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
Little Truffle Dining Room
Now, if we were brutally honest, the location of one of the original and best fine dining restaurants on the Gold Coast isn’t all that glamorous. Though step inside Little Truffle and the clean, elegant setting that greets you will quickly set the tone for your evening. Simply put, the food here is good, and we mean really good. How does Moreton Bay bug tortellini sound? We can vouch that it is seriously delicious. With hints of truffle through the menu, think clever ultra-modern Australian cuisine with touches of French/Spanish/Italian flavours, and the added bonus of friendly, attentive staff. It’s an absolute winner in our books.
Where: 2444 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
When you walk into Rick Shores, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve walked into a 1920’s colonial hideaway for the likes of Ernest Hemingway. Though what you’ve walked into is something quite different. If we are honest, which we like to be, this dining space has to be one of the Coast’s absolute best. We’d go so far as to say it’s our iconic equivalent to Bondi’s Icebergs. On a sunny day, you can be sat on a table literally feet away from the water’s edge and Burleigh Beach; sunlight cascading through your wine glass and an unparalleled view along the golden sand alllll the way to Main Beach. It truly IS special. The view isn’t everything here though; the clever and thoughtful pan-Asian menu will tantalise the taste buds and caress your eyes from start to finish. Innovative and original cocktails are the cherry on the cake, as well as the smiley and attentive staff, helping instil a slightly more casual fine dining feel.
Where: 3/43 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
Situated within Broadbeach’s five-star Sofitel Hotel kinda already sets the scene for the quality of restaurant you might expect, and they don’t disappoint. Clever and gastronomical mastery is deployed in pretty much every dish; picture smoke-fired and Heston Blumenthal-inspired wizardry here and you’re in the ballpark. Fancy cocktails and immaculate service only add to make Room81 a worthy mention among the best fine dining restaurants on the Gold Coast. With the option of a five-course dinner for $99 per person, surprisingly it doesn’t need to break the bank either.
Where: Sofitel Hotel, 81 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
Sure, we’re being a bit cheeky, as Kingscliff isn’t officially on the Gold Coast. In fact, it’s in another state, though we’d happily adopt it as an extension of the Tweed. In the tranquil and cool setting of Kingscliff is where you will find boutique-styled and Greek-inspired Taverna. Boutique is an apt claim, with the seating capacity a mere 60 peeps and opening times just Thursday through to Sunday. That aside, the ambiance and service are flawless and the menu is something else. Having Greek heritage in the family has meant the food is genuine, yet with a modern innovative twist. Think: charred WA octopus on a fava bean whip with sweet pickled vegetables, mind-blowing fried squid and crisp seaweed, and the tender slow-cooked lamb. Trust us folks, if you want a refined lunch or sunset dinner by the ocean paired with nek-level food; it’s well worth the drive.
Where: 22 Marine Parade, Kingscliff, NSW
Japanese cuisine is highly regarded worldwide, that’s a fact. Another fact is that Japan as a country has the most number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world. So, with that in mind, Ten Japanese should automatically be on this list, right? Well, in fact, no… but what these guys do in Broadbeach is pretty darn special. The venue itself is intriguing; as soon as you walk in you’re transported to another Zen garden-like environment; very modern and pleasing on the eye. Take a seat and it only gets better. An impressive list of wine and sake greet you, with knowledgeable staff on hand to help guide you if needed. As you might expect, the food is on point, with the addition of two different degustation menus that both showcase notable produce and unwavering skill in the kitchen. Patagonian Toothfish and Tajima Wagyu Sirloin anyone? Yes, please! For a notable Japanese experience, Ten Japanese is a top choice and one of our fave fine dining restaurants on the Gold Coast.
Where: 2669-2679 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach
Lavish Vanitas is a solid entrant among the best fine dining restaurants on the Gold Coast. A deserving recipient of two chef’s hats in 2017, this eatery really is one of the city’s finest. Chef De Cuisine, Dayan Hartill-Law and his team do a stellar job of taking top produce and delivering an intelligent, well-crafted menu that can at times be seen to take inspo from a few different cuisines. Clever, eh? Add the fact you’re dining in one of the Coast’s premier hotels, overlooking their sprawling pool, with faultless wait staff, service, AND a wine list to envy. Date night, anyone?
Where: Palazzo Versace Resort, 94 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach
In charge of planning a special occasion? Check out the Coast’s best private dining rooms.
Photo Credit: Hayley Williamson for Metropolist