You know those big life moments, when you’re sitting in the in-between. Like, you know things are about to change but you can’t fully comprehend how they will affect your life or what this new ‘chapter’ will look like.
…Take a deep breath, because this is one of those moments. Mmmhmm. All your dreams are about to come so damn true and you don’t even realise it yet. Well, maybe not your big dreams, but definitely the dreams of your stomach, which is just as important, because food.
Yep, today friends, is the last day you’ll live without a new freakin’ amazing Mexican restaurant in your life, because tomorrow the spot we’ve all been waiting for is throwing open its doors. That’s right, Paradise Arcade is finally here. Woot!
The very awesome brainchild of two mates who are no strangers to the hospo industry, Dylan and Colin only recently made the move from Sydney to our sunny patch. Seeing a gap on the Sunshine Coast for a Cali-inspired Mexican restaurant, they nabbed the keys to an unused space in Noosa Junction and spent the past few months giving it a complete overhaul.
We gave you the lowdown a while back, when the boys were half-way through their fitout, remember? Back then, we had an inkling this place was going to be something spesh, but since our sneak peek earlier in the week, we can hand-on-heart say, Paradise Arcade is epic!
A smallish interior has been fully re-designed to include a kitchen, kitted out bar, seating and, our fave part, a lofted eating area reached by a black spiral staircase. See? R-A-D. There’s copper piping, neon signs, a gigantic wall mural of Frida Kahlo, a collaged-up ceiling, skulls, trinkets, cactus and pineapples dotted around. Basically, we’re planning to move in. Permanently.
Outside, tables made by Dylan and Colin out of imported Mexican tiles, sit under strings of festoon lights and palm trees—it feels like summer, except it’s winter.
Tapping into the Mex-Cali food scene, Paradise Arcade is all about the dishes that’ll have you making room in your belly for round two (or three or four). The menu is broken down into antojitos (little cravings), tostadas, tacos and desserts. It’s a tight-ish selection but that just makes it achievable to eat your way around the whole thing in a handful of visits. We’re up for the challenge. You?
We tried and loved the finger-lickingly good Pollo Fritto—seasoned and fried chicken topped with pink onion, pickled chilli, chipotle aioli and Baja cream. But if veggies are your friends, start with the chargrilled street corn with jalapeno mayo and lime butter or the guacamole and chips with a secret hibiscus seasoning.
Once you’ve knocked those over, we’d totally peer-pressure you into ordering a couple of tacos (the Baja fish—marinated and grilled fish with shaved cabbage, pic de gallo and Baja cream is divine) and, of course, the same again of tostadas. These hard-shelled tortillas look like works of art, especially the king fish ceviche option. Oh baby!
Now, this is a sit-down, table-service restaurant and it is all about the food. But, it’s also about the drinks. More precisely, the cocktails. Featuring the most extensive range of Mezcal and real-deal, won’t-make-you-heave tequila, if you still haven’t recovered from that night in year 12, this is the spot and the cocktail list to help you create new sparkly memories. Heck, the boys even listed the help of a Doctor in Tequila (apparently, it’s a thing) and have been on a recent ‘research trip’ to Mexico, all in the name of bringing you only the best.
Beer is also available on tap, with Two Birds ‘Taco’ Beer sitting alongside Paradise Arcade’s very own creation—the Paradise Palms Lager. But, in what’s perhaps the most exciting news in the land of the drinks, Paradise Arcade has brought margarita on tap to the Sunshine Coast. We kid you not. Margarita on tap is here, guys, and you can order a whole jug of it if you want!
Opening tomorrow (Thursday) from 4pm, Paradise Arcade will be open seven days till late, for all your wining and dining needs. We’re already massive fans, and we’re putting our money on it that we won’t be the only ones.
Get there this weekend and say a big hola to your new fave Mexican restaurant.
Interested in all things fresh? Check out Sunshine Beach's newest restaurant here.
Image credit: Amy Higg for The Urban List