Dig Into A Banquet Of Tapas At Tugun’s New Spanish Restaurant

By Isabel Croker – who loves morning run clubs as equally as she loves negronis and tiny snack plates

The Gold Coast continues to blossom with exciting new dining spots and Lucia is one such addition. Lazy afternoons basking in the golden hour, laughing and sipping on sangria with appetizing delicacies on hand—no, we’re not describing your next summer holiday, this is the scene at Tugun’s hottest newcomer, Lucia.

Lucia pays homage to the dreamy tones of northern Spain and seamlessly blends refined European-style aesthetics with just a hint of Gold Coast flair. Step into the simplistic yet sophisticated space and you’re instantly transported to the laid back Spanish countryside. The stunning space doesn’t just remind you of Spain—the authentic and carefully curated styling takes you on a trip to the European haven. 

The stunning fit-out is inspired by classic Spanish architecture and oozes European-chic vibes; small tables cluster inside the pistachio and blush-hued interior, black lanterns cast light on the well-stocked bar and the exposed brick lining the walls is reminiscent of a traditional Spanish casa. Venture out the back to the terracotta-coloured alfresco courtyard and you’re greeted with a vibrant outdoor space inviting you to spend many an evening chatting with friends, a glass of vino in hand. 

Bright bougainvilleas add bold pops of colour and olive trees reminiscent of a Spanish vineyard adorn the courtyard, while round tables and intimate booths lining the back wall create a communal space that simply draws you in to linger. The breezy venue seats 110 patrons and we predict there won’t be many free seats, well, ever.

Now, what you’ve really come for—the eats. Lucia’s share-style menu is traditional Spanish cuisine at its best. Head Chef, Lucas Biffi celebrates authentic Spanish flavours, with a strong focus on wholesome food that can be shared, brings people together and celebrates all the best things in life—good food, good drinks and good company. The team at Lucia’s knows not to change a good thing, except with fresh, quality ingredients and this ethos is showcased throughout their dishes.

The stripped-back menu is full of delectable small bites and larger share-style dishes, all designed to be paired with a drink (or three). Start with a selection of aperitivos; roasted eggplant and zucchini with chargrilled bread vyes for your attention while the Jamón Iberico and truffle salami beckon you to dig in. Next, warm your palate with pintchos, which are Spanish-style tortillas stuffed with bold flavour combinations, like tiger prawn vinagreta and tomato basilico. It’s simple, it’s authentic and it’s goddamn delicious. 

Now, move onto the star of the show—the sharing plates. We can’t go past the flamed chorizo, which is flame-cooked with vodka and served with chargrilled bread or the grilled octopus marinated in onion and garlic. If you’re really looking to impress, dive into the paella de casa, which is made following an authentic Spanish recipe and boasts king prawns, mussels, chicken, peas and roast capsicum. This authentic Spanish fare is the sort of thing you’d expect to snack on while relaxing in a summery European villa and we can’t get enough of it.

Lucia’s standout menu has been carefully curated to be enjoyed with a drink in hand, with refreshing, summery cocktails taking centre stage. Browse the tempting selection of drinks, which are truly some of the best cocktails we’ve had the pleasure of tasting. Of course, you have to try the house sangria, which mixes it up with aged brandy and cinnamon orange and is served on tap. Sangria on tap? Now we're talking. Sip on the Verde Smash, which artfully muddles elderflower and basil or try Lucia's famous chilli margarita, which is a cheeky twist on a Paloma and combines housemade chilli syrup with a dash of white chocolate. Curious? You’ll just have to taste it for yourself. Lucia also boasts a solid wine list, with an emphasis on organic, sustainably-sourced and vegan wines. 

Lucia is the perfect injection of culture into the Gold Coast restaurant scene; it’s the sort of special place you want to come to again...and again. A true celebration of Spanish flavours, any time you visit Lucia you’ll find drinks pouring, people laughing and fingers happily digging into delicious food. Raise a toast to the good life here.

Lucia is opening soon, keep updated for more details.

The Details

What: Lucia
Where: 01/445 Golden Four Drive, Tugun
When: Open Wednesday to Friday, from 4pm to late
Open Saturday and Sunday, from 12pm to late
For more information,
click here.

So you’ve feasted on sangria and paella and your pants are feeling slightly snugger than you remember? Lace up and hit the best bush walks on and around the Gold Coast.

Image credit: Clayten Fowler Photography

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