After scouring every inch of the city for the best grub going, what new frontiers could Australia possibly offer such a voracious foodie as you? Surely it’s time to go further afield. Interstate maybe?
There’s a perfect haven of hidden treasures that I bet you haven’t even considered: the Gold Coast. Yes, the Gold Coast is having a moment and she’s an untapped resource: perfectly proximate to the shimming shoreline, and practically heaving with the feasty goodness.
If you don’t mind the sea breeze, and fancy yourself a bit of a foodie, then this is the guide for you. Here is our delicious guide to the Gold Coast:
Etsu Izakaya | Mermaid Beach
Etsu Izakaya specialises in refined Japanese cuisine, which includes everything from sushi and sashimi to whatever’s sizzling off the Robata grill. Since fresh fish is the secret to the best sushi of your life, where better to indulge in a shareable Japanese feast than a stone’s throw from the foam?
Hellenika | Mermaid Beach
Boasting some of the best Greek this far north of Melbourne and west of Greece, Hellenika taps into the communal tradition of Greek cuisine with a menu of share plates you could fall in love over. Curate your own feast from their compendium of dishes, or relinquish all decision-making with a Hellenika banquet. Either way, you’ll leave in much the same state: sated and buzzing from the inside out.
Bin 72 | Coolangatta
Their tapas style means you can’t rush things at Bin 72. And why would you want to? With the sweeping panorama of a beachfront view literally RIGHT THERE you could almost forget the zucchini flowers stuffed with fresh prawns or the baked miso eggplant or the salt and pepper squid. You never would though, the intoxicating aroma brings you back bite after bite and your descent into catatonia is natural and expected.
The Fish House | Burleigh Heads
Headed by the same crack team behind Hellenika, there’s no way The Fish House could be anything beneath spectacular. Their premise is a simple one but outstanding nonetheless, and centres on the best and freshest seafood available. Round out the meal with some stellar wine and you’ll quickly dissolve into hysteria.
Lester & Earl | Palm Beach
This joint takes American food back to the old school. Honest, slap-up feeds are served by the namesake smoke-cadets, Lester & Earl, whose dreams of running a classic smokehouse are well and truly coming true. Expect slow-smoked brisket, fried chicken, craft beers, beach views, and the most succulent rib meat that ever fell from the bone (like what I imagine the ribs at Freddy’s BBQ Joint in House Of Cards would have been like before Frank went and ruined everything).
Gemelli | Broadbeach
Keeping it in the family, the Italian twins behind Gemelli attained their iconic status by utilising traditional methods within a contemporary setting. Their pasta recipes are the wizened result of generations of refinement and perfection, which yield dishes as incredible as you would expect.
Rick Shores | Burleigh Heads
How would you feel if we told you that the legends behind Brisbane's famed LONgTIME have also set up ANOTHER Thai restaurant in Burleigh Heads? You’d explode into a million pieces, wouldn’t you? Well pull yourself together because this cuttlefish popcorn isn’t going to worship itself, and don’t get me started on the slow-roasted lamb shoulder…
Kiyomi | Broadbeach
This little nugget which can be found tucked inside Jupiters Casino is a benchmark of modern Japanese cuisine. The main attraction of Kiyomi is the 7-course omakase menu, which takes diners on an unexpected journey into flavourful tastygasms.
Garden Kitchen & Bar | Broadbeach
‘Sure, this is all well and good, but where’s the bloody steak?’ It’s right here, friends. Garden Kitchen & Bar is yet another well-kept Jupiters secret, only this time paddock to plate names the game. Their commitment runs deep with all of the fresh produce coming from either their own garden or local farms, and every cut of beef is hand-selected from the finest reared in regional Queensland, New South Wales or South Australia. All signs point to truly spectacular steak, and that is exactly what you’ll get at Garden Kitchen.
Mamasan | Broadbeach
This is where Asian fusion takes a left turn; Mamasan is the kind of place that drags you headfirst into a kaleidoscopic whirlpool of Asian flavours. The dumplings alone are worth travelling for, but to get the full effect you’ve got to bring a party and let Mama feed you with the chef’s selection of share plates that look like soft sculptures on the plate; too good to eat and yet we find a way.
Justin Lane | Burleigh Heads
Here is a soothing, Italian balm to cure all nonsense and deliver you unto the purest dining pleasure. Feel like a carbloader? You need Justin’s pasta. Not keen on cutlery? Hands are the only way to tackle one of Justin’s glorious pizzas. Dinner with the fam? Get the whole roasted chicken. Whatever your needs, Justin’s got you covered, and his rooftop is the perfect place to enjoy it. He won’t force you to sip on a crisp rosé and look out over the beach at dusk but, you know, it’s there if you want it.
Miami Marketta | Miami
By day, Marketta makes coffee for the weary. But every Friday and Saturday night, she transforms like a magnificent butterfly into a raucous mecca of street food and live tunes. We were stoked when we heard about it too. This artistic phantasmagroia brings together every possible style of street food you could imagine with whatever incredibly music act happens to be breezing through. Also check out Mini Marketta on Wednesday evenings, providing the holy trinity of midweek fun: cocktails, retro DJ’s, and tapas.
Image credit: Hayley Williamson, Brooke Darling, Edward Tsang, Christian Nimri
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