Bao, dumplings, beer and good times abound at Tugun’s new-look Backbone Bar
You can do it, put your back(bone) into it – Tugun’s much-loved bao and dumpling den, Backbone Bar, has opened the doors of its brand-new home, just a stone’s throw from its original lodgings. The neighbourhood noshery now occupies a high-profile corner site overlooking Gold Coast Highway, adding a stand-alone fish and chippery and gelato counter in time for summer spreads. Here’s everything you need to know about Backbone 2.0.
Backbone Bar in Tugun is the epitome of a local. Since opening in 2016, the casual sip spot has continuously built a following of folks who can’t get enough of its beer-and-bao offering. So much so that a table can be hard to come by at peak times. When the chook nook on the corner vacated, Backbone’s owner Gavin White jumped at the opportunity to add another 100 seats as well as explore a couple of his own personal passion projects while he’s at it. The new Backbone Bar continues a similar retro-industrial aesthetic with plenty of raw timber and matte-black fixtures, a scattering of high and low tables, an old-school pinball machine, and a dartboard. The bar itself was salvaged from the Kirra Hotel prior to demolition, a nod to the area’s long-standing locals.
As far as the venue’s edible offering is concerned, the Asian street food side of things remains largely unchanged with a mouth-watering array of bao, dumplings and gyoza sitting pretty alongside Korean beef bowls, karaage and Japanese curries. One thing that has changed, however, is the introduction of a separate fish-and-chip menu that drifts from snapper and whiting to panko-crumbed prawns and crisp potato scallops, with a couple of burgers thrown in to round out the offering. Diners can choose from either (or both) menu, so if you fancy a side of fried calamari with your bao, that’s totally fine. Backbone’s fish and chippery operates from Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm and is available for eat-in or takeaway.
Digging the vibe? Jump over to our Stumble Guide for Backbone’s location and opening hours.
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