Opa! Seafood stalwart George’s Paragon opens two new restaurants in Coolangatta
When you think of seafood on the Gold Coast, chances are one name immediately springs to mind – George. George’s Paragon has become synonymous with sumptuous seafood spreads and has, over the years, provided the backdrop for countless birthdays and celebrations, etching it into the very fabric of the Gold Coast’s culinary landscape. Joining its long-standing flagship Sanctuary Cove restaurant is not one, but two new locations within The Strand at Coolangatta.
There’s a sense of warmth and convivial charm when you step foot inside a George’s Paragon restaurant. From the crisp white and blue linen-draped tables with napkins folded in a fan formation to the picturesque Santorini sunset murals, there’s a sense of familiarity, and perhaps even a dash of nostalgia if you grew up on the Gold Coast. Even though the restaurant, located on level one of The Strand at Coolangatta, is brand-new, it feels like it’s been there forever. In some respects, that same sentiment could be applied to the whole George’s Paragon dining experience. While some venues reinvent themselves with the seasons, George’s Paragon has remained steadfast in its approach, and, judging by the line out the door every day and night since opening, it would appear that people are craving the kind of culinary comfort that the venue’s owner George Tassis provides. Guests are greeted upon arrival with an enthusiastic “yiassou and welcome” as they are shown to their seats. The expansive space is peppered with tables and booths of varying sizes, whether you’re after an intimate table for two, or you’re celebrating with your nearest and dearest.
When it comes to the fare, the menu is precisely what we’ve come to know and love from George’s Paragon. Cold appetisers of king prawns and cocktail sauce, fresh oysters and smoked salmon get your meal off to a delightful start, followed by hot appetisers of barbecued baby octopus, lightly crumbed calamari and gooey saganaki. A firm favourite among seafood devotees, George’s Paragon’s selection spans the depths of the ocean, from Atlantic salmon to barbecued bugs and, its specialty, whole lobster mornay. If you’re really committing to a food coma (of the best kind), there’s an enormous seafood platter for two that includes smoked salmon, mixed oysters, barbecued bugs, prawns four ways (fresh, barbecued, bathed in garlic and battered), fish, calamari and lobster mornay. Those who prefer land-based protein can wrap their mitts around a souvlaki loaded with tender lamb, carve into an eye-fillet steak or the chicken paragon (chicken breast, camembert cheese, mango and cream). And yes, before you ask, the half-price daytime menu is available!
Not one to do things by halves, George has also opened an entirely separate venue – George’s Paragon: Cocktail Bar & Café, which is located at the other end of level one, and is envisaged as a cafe by day and cocktail bar by night. The cabinet is brimming with a selection of freshly baked goodies including croissants, baklava and coffee cheesecake. If you’re in the mood for something a little more substantial, there’s a handful of favourites including George’s famous seafood chowder, beef moussaka and spanakopita. Wash it down with a Greek coffee (if you know, you know), or, for something a little stronger, add a dash of Grand Marnier. In true George’s Paragon style, the drinks selection is vast and all-encompassing.
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