The round-up: Feeling fancy? Up the ante at the Gold Coast’s best fine dining restaurants
If you’re searching for that special occasion restaurant, want to treat your significant other, or you and the crew are just feeling fancy and want to splash out on a fine feast, then this handy list of the Gold Coast’s best fine dining restaurants is here to help. From sumptuous seafood to bougie bites by the beach, we’ve round-up some of the coast’s top spots for our interpretation of Gold Coast fine dining …
The North Room, Mermaid Beach
Effortlessly combining coastal vibes with refined food and excellent wines, The North Room is the epitome of a fine dining local gem. The concept has captured the hearts of Gold Coast diners seeking a top-end food offering in a relaxed, casual setting. Owner and chef Tim Stewart’s menu gives a nod to the season’s best produce and is constantly pushing boundaries, making regular visits a must.
Nineteen at The Star, Broadbeach
Nineteen at The Star is the jewel of luxury hotel The Darling, and has earned a stellar reputation since its opening in March 2018. Now under the culinary direction of chef Uday Huja, Nineteen continues to wow diners with a menu that uses simplicity to celebrate quality produce. The incredible views are just a bonus. If you’re really keen to make the most of your time at Nineteen, Bellini Saturdays is an excellent place to start.
Restaurant Labart, Burleigh Heads
Unlike most fine dining venues, Labart takes a refreshing step away from formality and has become well known for its welcoming and convivial atmosphere. Chef and owner Alex Munoz Labart’s menu of snacks, small plates and larger dishes is driven by an ethos of sustainability, seasonality and simplicity – and locals just can’t get enough.
Jimmy Wah’s, Burleigh Heads
Named after the local watering hole in the 1987 Robin Williams flick Good Morning, Vietnam, Jimmy Wah’s is the latest venture from Shelly Greaves (the former owner of Verve in Broadbeach) and offers a mouth-watering array of Vietnamese cuisine with a modern Australian influence – think zingy ocean trout tartare with grilled rice paper and betel leaf with crisp tempura barramundi, charred corn, peanuts and chilli. Designed for grazing and sharing, the fare is predominantly gluten-free and can be made vegetarian upon request. The bar offers a succinct but expertly curated selection of wines, craft beers and fanciful cocktails. The Ginny Wah (Ink gin, kaffir lime, lychee, coconut water) is a refreshing sip and if you can handle some heat, Jimmy’s Chilli Margarita (Espolon Resposado tequila, Cointreau, lime, lemon, sriracha) has your name all over it.
Tommy’s Italian, Currumbin
A relative newcomer to the list, Tommy’s is the handiwork of hospitality heavyweights Tom Torchut (Arc Dining, Gemelli Italian and Eleven Rooftop Bar) and Ronnie Tarabay (owner of The Fish House). The 120-seat trattoria offers sharp but casual service, coupled with a mesmerising view of the cerulean waters of Currumbin. In true Italian fashion, the modern a la carte menu showcases exceptional local produce cooked simply. Accompanying the fare is an equally as extensive selection of beverages, including seven different kinds of spritz, cocktails, mocktails, craft beers and a geographically diverse wine list.
This intimate Japanese fine dining space delivers one of the city’s most incredible food experiences. Located at The Star Gold Coast, this cutting-edge eatery is overseen by internationally renowned executive head chef Chase Kojima and his team, who take authentic Japanese cuisine and spin it on its head to create a truly innovative culinary journey. From fresh sashimi and intricate sushi creations, to caviar, binchotan delights and izakaya-style creations, a night out at Kiyomi is a must.
Social Eating House + Bar, Broadbeach
Refined dining space Social Eating House has long been a favourite among locals looking for top-flight eats and quality sips. From charcuterie and bar snacks to progressive share plates, chef and owner Matthew Jefferson’s dining experience is a true culinary gift.
Rick Shores, Burleigh Heads
There’s a very good reason Rick Shores in Burleigh Heads is booked out weeks in advance. Perched quite literally on the water at Burleigh Point, Rick Shores serves up a sophisticated share menu driven by pan-Asian flavours (the Moreton Bay bug rolls are an absolute must!). Here, the fare is matched only by the impeccable service and insatiable view. Rick Shores also offers an extensive well-matched wine list filled with interesting, organic and biodynamic drops to try alongside curious Thai-inspired cocktails.
Eddy + Wolff, Robina
Nestled off the beaten track on Commerce Drive in Robina (just behind the petrol station, up from Robina Pavilion), the Asian-inspired bar and eatery is all about bar snacks, barbecued bites and share plates. Think dishes like char-grilled king prawns with burnt-garlic butter with chilli oil and shrimp paste. The bar is equipped with an enviable collection of Japanese whisky, a considered array of Australian wine (with a nod to Canberra producers), and a concise list of cocktails. Everything has a story here – from the venue’s name to the dishes and the drinks list – so pull up a barstool and let the owners share their memories with you.
Gods of the Sea, Nobby Beach
Gods of the Sea at Nobby Beach is the latest culinary venture from Jon Nurminen and Warren Lucas and is here to fill the void for sophisticated seafood in a seaside setting and offers a selection of cold starters such as Yellowfin tuna sashimi and melt-in-your-mouth beef tartare, alongside pan-seared scallops and grilled king prawns. The venue’s signature fish and chips delivers an upscaled take on the humble classic but the real stand-out is the whole smoked Rainbow Trout with lemon beurre blanc and herb salad. Gods of the Sea’s drinks list contains some top-notch sips including a bubbly South Australian pet-nat sitting pretty alongside drops from Spain, France, Italy as well as Australia’s premier wine regions, cocktails and beers by the bottle and glass.
Etsu Izakaya, Mermaid Beach
Etsu Izakaya is a traditional Japanese izakaya den intriguingly positioned on the Gold Coast Highway behind a set of old barn doors. Inside, it’s a total escape from the outside world. Etsu’s dishes are designed to be shared and served steadily during the course of the evening. Pick at some spicy edamame and beautifully fresh sashimi before moving on to some yakitori from the robata grill, pillowy gyoza and soft shell crab. Etsu offers an extensive selection of Japanese whisky, sake as well as craft beers and wine.
A modern Italian eatery from the same owners of nearby dining space Social Eating House + Bar. Chef and owner Matthew Jefferson’s menu focuses heavily on sustainable produce and local seafood, with lunch, dinner and in-between snacks (like cheeses and cured meats) served daily. You can dine alfresco overlooking the Oracle precinct, or settle inside and gaze at Orzo’s enviable blush-hued interior while catching the action from the open kitchen. The menu, which is kept intentionally simple to flow with the seasonality of local produce, covers smaller plates and snacks, handmade pastas, and a choice of three mains. Orzo’s bar is lined with goodness, with its predominantly Italian wine list covering all of the shades.
Little Truffle, Mermaid Beach
This hidden gem is one of the coast’s original fine dining spots. Owned by chef Daniel Ridgeway, Little Truffle offers a unique dining experience in an intimate setting, and is well known for the south-western European tastes woven through its modern Australian menu. There’s also a 16-seat private dining room with floor-to-ceiling black velvet curtains for a truly secluded dining event.
Vanitas, Main Beach
As Palazzo Versace’s signature Italian dining experience, Vanitas is known for bringing an element of elegance to the Gold Coast’s dining scene and surely leaves a lasting impression. Its ever-evolving seasonal menu features a delicious selection of authentic Italian mains, handmade pastas and desserts, complemented by a extensive wine offering. The exquisite 13-metre painting presenting the life of Gianni Versace certainly sets the scene.
Seascape Restaurant + Bar, Surfers Paradise
Seascape Restaurant + Bar is a multi-level venue that offers a level for all occasions. If you’re in the mood for a casual bite and a beverage overlooking a glorious expanse of ocean, the Bistro + Bar on level one is your place. Level two ups the ante to deliver smart casual dining. Furnished with beautiful Spotted Gum tables, the setting is warm and inviting and provides the perfect backdrop to while away an afternoon with fine food, chilled beverages and exceptional company.
Yamagen, Surfers Paradise
Modelled on the eclectic atmosphere and the hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo, the new-look Yamagen at QT Gold Coast is shining the light on modern Japanese in a way that we’ve never seen before. The fit-out sees the intricate nature of traditional Japanese styling combine seamlessly with edgy, modern elements to create a refined and cutting-edge venue. Much like the impressive interior, the food also blends the old-school traditions with innovative culinary techniques – it’s designed to be true to taste, but not necessarily true to format. The menu, which has been crafted by chefs Yoshihiro Yamazaki, Mitsuo Yoshino, Kei Sato and Shintaro Kosugi, will be served across three unique dining spaces – the bar, the table-seki and the sushi counter.
Citrique, Surfers Paradise
Built on a reputation of delivering fresh and locally sourced produce for the ultimate sea- and paddock-to-table experience, the new-look Citrique in Surfers Paradise is a must-try for foodies. The lauded restaurant is the cornerstone of the newly rebranded JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa‘s (formerly Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa) culinary offering.
Glass Dining & Lounge Bar, Main Beach
Overlooking the superyachts moored in the exclusive Marina Mirage, diners at Glass Restaurant & Lounge Bar are treated to, quite literally, million-dollar views. Glass provides the perfect waterfront location for an intimate outing or afternoon cocktails with friends. Handmade pastas, intricate tapas dishes and elaborate fresh seafood platters make for an impressive dining experience during the day or night. The wine selection is almost as impressive as the views with a strong focus on varietals, which are available by the glass and by the bottle.
Image 1 credit: Brooke Darling Photography
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Gold Coast dining guide with more than 870 places to eat, drink, shop and play.