Opening its doors in the first breaths of 2020, Orzo is the second eatery by lauded hospitality couple Matt and Dayna Jefferson. Loved for their down-to-earth but excellent bistro, Social Eating House, we were always confident this would be special.
A current and sophisticated addition to the bustling Oracle Boulevard dining precinct, Orzo has long leisurely lunch or romantic date night written all over it.
Outside beckons for people-watching over oysters and cocktails, while inside the light and airy dining room has been meticulously styled with muted tones of grey, seafoam and apricot complemented by soft layers and curves, blonde timber furniture, statement pendant lights and inviting couch seating. In short, it is one seriously good-looking space to dine.
Simple, fresh and local is the mantra here. Led by always smiling owner and chef Matt, Orzo’s concise yet impressive Italian-inspired menu includes a playful smattering of Asian (like miso) and native Australian ingredients (like bush tomato and lemon myrtle) to make it truly distinctive. Options dance between starters featuring silky burrata wrapped in slithers of zucchini, flavour-packed salsa verde and saltbush, or whole roasted prawns served simply with garlic, chilli and lemon.
We recommend only inviting eating partners who like to share, as you’ll want to taste one of everything on the slurp-worthy, handmade pasta menu. From the signature scampi on orzo pasta coated in a rich roasted shell sauce with leek and mascarpone, to the generous serving of tagliatelle brimming with shitake, dusk, cocoa and fennel. There’s also rigatoni with wagyu neck ragu and risotto with spanner crab, or delectable main dishes of pancetta-wrapped spatchcock and grass-fed wagyu sirloin, to name a few.
Seasoned Italian-eaters will appreciate that al dente—cooked to tender but still with a firm texture—is truly the only way to serve authentic, handmade pasta. So, put your trust in the chef and enjoy the flavours, consistency and sensory profiles the way they were always intended.
As one of the best restaurants on the Gold Coast, Social Eating House has always set the bar for artfully-crafted desserts, slinging some of the best desserts in town, period. And, as anticipated, you can expect nothing less from Orzo. Even if you’re not typically a dessert person, it would be a crime to walk away without sampling whatever graces the menu that day.
You will die and go to heaven after mouthfuls of the Tira-MISO, a magical blend of aerated coffee sponge, native chocolate ganache, macadamia nuts and bold clouds of caramelised miso parfait. Or chef Matt’s favourite, a towering treat of pistachio cake, blood orange sorbet, candied orange shavings and topped with a white chocolate yoghurt mousse. See? Heaven.
Each bottle on Orzo’s 30-deep wine list, featuring mostly Italian and Australian labels, is carefully selected to complement each dish. In true Italian style, Orzo’s cocktail list is Campari and Aperol driven, alongside delicate sippers like the Italicus Gimlet with Italicus, vermouth, lemon and a rose petal. If you’re unfamiliar, we recommend trying the herbal liqueur Amaro (they have nine options to choose from), an Italian after-dinner digestif best sipped neat or over ice. We particularly love their exclusive collab with Black Hops Brewery; the Full Monty is a Belgian blonde ale infused with Montengero Amaro and the perfect mid-afternoon accompaniment with a plate of cured meats and mixed olives.
Bustling Broadbeach has always been a melting pot where the Coast’s abundant visitors and locals collide, generating an always-holiday mood. And it’s absolutely where you need to head for your next dining adventure—just tell the team at Orzo that we sent you.
Orzo is now open seven days, serving lunch and dinner from 12pm until late.
Where: 1N-02, The Oracle, 12 Charles Avenue, Broadbeach
For more information, click here.
Secured your table at Orzo in Broadbeach? If you’re hunting for a drink afterwards, try the best bars in Broadbeach.
Image credit: Kaitlin Maree for Urban List