We’re first to admit we can’t get enough of all these epic new openings, but every now and again, word of a new venture comes along that makes us childishly giddy.
We’ve been sitting on this juicy piece of intel for a month or so now, and it’s safe to say it was one bloody tough secret to keep. Why? Because the team that is about to spread their magic to our dearest Burleigh Heads are Gold Coast hospitality royalty.
There’s no questioning Mitch and Nerissa from Etsu and Commune have helped shape the restaurant and cafe scene that we know and love today. They consistently deliver the whole package—exceptional food, service and ambience—raising the bar and with it, our expectations.
Everything they touch turns to gold. From tipi parties to pop-up bars (although having recently sold their half of Aloha in Broadbeach), we simply love these guys. Like hand on heart love them. So you probably get the picture how excited we are!
Finallllly we have the green light to share some teasers with you and what to expect when Etsu 2.0 descends on Burleigh this October. Are you ready?
Inspired by a recent snow trip to their second home, Mitch and Nerissa’s latest venture came about after touring Japan’s south island stopping in at Osaka, Kyoto and returning again to Tokyo. While a vast majority of their time was spent swilling Japanese whiskies, the rest of the trip found them bouncing from one tiny bustling yakitori bar to the next.
For the inexperienced, yaki means ‘grill’ and tori means ‘bird’, aka ‘grilled bird’. It’s essentially skewered meat; primarily chicken, cooked over binchotan charcoal on a robata grill. It’s the way they love to eat and was a focused style of dining they felt was missing on the Coast.
Their new venture in Burleigh will only seat around 50 diners, and if Etsu is anything to go by, we can’t wait to see what they do with the space. No matter what night of the week, Etsu is a throbbing hubbub; it’s a spirited vibe they intend to recreate through lots of recycled wood, moody lighting and some inventive styling to resemble the contemporary version of an old school Japanese yakitori eatery.
Come October, you’ll slide back the signature barn door and be met with the hum of vibrant conversation and the wafting smells of charcoal and meat searing on the robata grill. Pull up a stool at the low yakitori bar and open-plan kitchen, where chefs passionately toil over steaming barbecues. They’ll be serving up yakitori skewers featuring flavoursome chicken using all parts of the animal, plus veggie options and a smattering of other delicious Japanese specialties. We’re salivating in anticipation.
But wait, it gets better! At the rear, they’ve plans for a dimly lit bar and lounge. Naturally we can expect a wealth of Japanese whiskies and they’ll also be getting creative with the traditional spirit Shochu (made with sweet potato, barley and rice), to create variations of the traditional Chu-hi cocktail; think infused blueberries and passion fruit. A back door exit onto the alleyway will also allow you to slip quietly next door to Lockwood, Burleigh’s hidden speakeasy, when you’re warmed up and ready for the night to roll on.
While these guys are as humble as hell and are treading lightly hoping that “people will come”, we know you lot will be just as pumped with this news as we were.
Yep, October can’t come soon enough!
What: Etsu 2.0 (name yet to be announced)
Where: Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
When: Opening October
Love all things Asian? Here's seven of our fave next-level Asian restaurants to tide you over until October.
Image credit: Hayley Williamson