Baos, beers and Southeast Asian eats at Burleigh newcomer KAMI
When it comes to dining as a group, it can be a bit of a culinary minefield. With a myriad of different tastes, preferences and dietaries often rolled into one social setting, you can be hard-pressed to find a cuisine that is as adaptable as Asian fare. Gloriously pillowy bao buns loaded with an array of fillings, satisfyingly crisp karaage and piquant gyoza – it’s the definition of crowd-pleasing. If your mouth is watering right about now, go ahead and get excited for KAMI in Burleigh Heads. Here’s everything you need to know about this new Southeast Asian-inspired eatery …
In August of last year, a previously under-utilised space fronting the Gold Coast Highway in Burleigh Heads was transformed into a casual coffee slinger called Magnolia Lane. With dreamy bright-white breeze bricks, top-notch brews and a moreish menu, locals were quick to embrace the neighbourhood newcomer. A sign perched curiously above the neighbouring tenancy hinted at something exciting in the works, and now, after a few Covid-related delays, we’ve got our first taste of KAMI. Pronounced kaa-mee, the quaint eatery is the latest from the talented trio that brought us Magnolia Lane – brothers Mitch and Marcus Ryan alongside long-time pal and business partner Anthony Bartolo. While some owner-operators may have been content with one venue, the ambitious team had their sights set on expansion early on with the view to create a dedicated daytime venue that sat alongside a separate nighttime noshery. Each venue boasts its own name, vibe and completely separate visual identity, in fact, the only things that they have in common is the kitchen and their impeccably high standards. The rationale behind the decision to keep the spaces separate was so that evening patrons don’t feel like they are sitting in a bright, light cafe, and vice-versa. KAMI features an electric-blue and white aesthetic (envisaged by Anthony’s wife Bridgette), and features a stunning tiled bar complete with bold blue grout. A couple of low-set two-seaters, a handful of bar stools and one prized booth make up KAMI’s inside seating options, while outside, the vibe is more suited to casual catch-ups and groups with long tables and plans for high bar-style tables.
As for the eats – everything on KAMI’s menu is designed to share. There’s a selection of bao buns (karaage chicken, pork belly and shitake mushroom) and ridiculously crispy spring rolls with fillings like pork and prawn or mushroom and wombok to get you started. Moving on, you’ll find gyoza and the venue’s specialty Cha Gio (fried rice paper rolls) sitting pretty alongside karaage chicken, charred Asian greens and a Vietnamese salad that packs a spicy punch. Sippers have a choice of eight signature cocktails including concoctions such as Mr. Kami (whisky, honey-ginger syrup, egg white) and White Rhino (white rum, Malibu, lime juice). While the cocktails hero the drinks menu, you’ll also find a selection of tap beers, wine and spirits. KAMI is by no means a sitdown fine-diner, rather, it’s casual, fun and full of flavour. If that sounds like your kind of vibe, skip over to our Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Gold Coast dining guide with more than 870 places to eat, drink, shop and play.