There are loads of things to love about this time of year, like the warmer weather and longer days. But our favourite thing has to be the surge of amazing new spring menus popping up at our much-loved local haunts.
We’ve gone and loosened the belt buckle and sampled a whole bunch for you. Here are five of the very best you absolutely have to try this week on the Gold Coast.
If you haven’t paid this stunning little wine bar and restaurant a visit yet, then do yourself a favour and push it straight to the top of your list because the food and atmosphere here is top notch. With small and larger plates on offer we suggest you order a few so you can sample all the goodness. Tasca's new spring menu is filled with moreish fresh seafood and melt-in-your-mouth pasta. Start with the spanner crab, finger lime and soured cream encased in endive leaves. This one is totally ok to tackle with your hands. Next up chow down on the sweet potato tart topped with caramelised shallots and spiced chickpeas. It’s an absolute game-changer. And because we can’t decide between the two pasta dishes, we reckon you should go ahead and order both. The gnocchi (AKA tiny morsels of heaven) with garden pesto, goats cheese and zucchini flowers AND the king prawn bolognese with linguini and fried breadcrumbs are seriously delish.
Spring menus aren’t just about long dinners either and the crew at beachside eatery Elk Espresso prove that with their downright delicious new brekky offerings. If you’re the kind of person who struggles to choose between sweet or savoury, order both, you won’t regret it. Start with the harissa jam and goats cheese scramble with shaved asparagus and heirloom tomatoes on grilled brioche. It’s fluffy, a bit salty and a seriously moreish. For your sweet tooth, you have to sample the Iced Vovo waffles with coconut ice cream, raspberries, ruby chocolate, strawberry jelly, pretzel soil and white chocolate pearls. And yep, it tastes as good as it looks and sounds. And the best part? It’s not sickly sweet but surprisingly light and refreshing. If you’re after something a little healthier, try one of their bowls of goodness, like the Spring Fling with apple lime sorbet, pineapple jelly, toasted puff grains and vanilla bean yoghurt.
We love the interior of Little Mermaid as much as we love their food offerings, and that’s a lot. Under new ownership, brothers Luke and Brett have overhauled both the food AND cocktail menu. The latter sees new additions like brunch cocktails made with Kombucha and cold pressed juices, which basically makes it healthy. We highly recommend the Drunken Mermaid, it’s light, refreshing and doesn’t even feel naughty. If you’re after something a little stiffer, grab Blame It On The Tequila, it’s the perfect weekend or post work tipple. Food wise, you have to try the ricotta on brioche (sweet and delicious), apple pie waffles (jam-packed with flavour and fresh fruit) and the vegan brunch bowl. And if you really want to push the boat out, go big and order the breakfast board, loaded with ALL the goods, including avo, eggs, haloumi, hash browns, chorizo and blueberry chia puddings. It’s meant for two but could easily feed more.
The Star is home to a whole bunch of tasty eats and the good news is lots of them have revamped their menus to coincide with the warmer weather. If Japanese is your thing, head to Kiyomi who have relaunched their degustation event Omakase, where diners get a front row seat at the sushi counter to enjoy an intimate 20 course degustation. Pasta lovers will not be disappointed with the new offerings at Cucina Vivo. Their fresh interior and large deck with stunning views will make you feel like you’re on holiday on the Amalfi Coast while you munch on spinach capellini with scampi, salted fish, chilli and lemon butter sauce. Last but not least, swing by Imperial for a Chinese feast. You can’t go past the steamed scallops with pumpkin and miso sauce and the stir-fried prawns with wasabi sauce.
Located across the street from the stunning Kirra beach, Baskk provides the perfect setting for a delicious meal. Like Tasca they offer a bunch of share plates so bring a crew and empty bellies for this one. We’ve never met a bao bun we didn’t like and Baskk doesn’t disappoint. Think: lobster tail, xo chilli and shitaki mushroom. We recommend you continue on the seafood train with some of the best char-grilled octopus we’ve ever tasted. Squeeze on some lemon and cover it in nduja and nutty butter. Next up you have to taste the tequila whole crispy shrimp with tomato, chilli and lime. It’s zingy, delicious and literally tastes of spring. Finish up with wagyu carpaccio with a just cooked egg, pepper lardo and orecchiette. Oh and did we mention they’ve also overhauled their cocktail list too? It features a whopping 52 tipples. Our faves are the blood orange margarita and the Soft Gin made with elderflower, watermelon, salt and lime.
Want to work off all those deliscious meals? Why not check out these awesome hikes on and around the Gold Coast.
Image Credit: Supplied and Kaitlin Maree for The Urban List