The recap: seven of the best new Gold Coast restaurants, bars and cafes that opened in May

The recap: seven of the best new Gold Coast restaurants, bars and cafes that opened in May

Winter may be here, but the Gold Coast’s dining scene is showing no signs of cooling off. In fact, it’s only getting hotter! This year has been a whirlwind of exciting new nosheries, watering holes and local haunts. Before we blink and it’s Christmas, we thought we’d recap on some of our favourite new openings from May (and a couple from June) …

Blessing of the Sun, Mermaid Beach
If you love the smaller, hole-in-the-wall spots with one chef in the kitchen, you’ll love Blessing of the Sun. A little space with a big heart, the quaint 26-seater has transformed the former Lovechild Kitchen + Bar premises in Mermaid Beach into the perfect spot for a date night and cocktail-filled catch-ups. The venue is the realisation of a long-held dream for chef Kohta Iwamoto, who honed his skills at Nao izakaya in Otsu, Kyoto before making the Gold Coast home in 2013. “Blessing of the Sun is a reflection of my passion for cooking and my desire to create a welcoming space where people can enjoy delicious food,” says Kohta. The menu is geared towards small plates such as citrus-cured salmon with capers, white onion, dill and creme fraiche,  sizzling skillets of garlic prawns and Japanese-curry arancini. Get the gnocchi and thank us later.

Black Dingo Cafe, Coolangatta
If there was an award for ‘most impressive view’, Black Dingo Cafe would be in strong contention. Occupying what could arguably be the most impressive ocean-fronting site on the Gold Coast, the cafe has sprung to life beneath Point Danger Light (also known as the Captain Cook Memorial Light), overlooking Duranbah beach in Coolangatta. Just in time for whale-watching season, the deck has fast become a popular perch for locals and passers-by to bask in the winter sun and sip coffee. Sounds pretty great, right? Don’t take our word for it, pull up a seat and see for yourself.

J’s Brunchette, Mermaid Beach
Whether you’ve got a hankering for a little something sweet or those pesky pangs have hit hard and you’re in need of something hearty, J’s Brunchette is a beautiful new addition to Mermaid Beach. Nestled at the base of the Montego Mermaid Beach Motel, this newly opened gem is poised to become your go-to spot for breakfast, brunch and lunch. J’s Brunchette is the brainchild of Jasmine Chen and her business partner, chef Ming. With Ming’s 18 years of culinary expertise, including a decade-long stint as a pastry chef in Hong Kong, and Jasmine’s keen eye for aesthetics, J’s Brunchette is as delicious as it is beautiful, complete with a striking floral arbour and classic French-bistro seating. There’s also a charming florist nook stocked with fresh blooms for some post-bite beauty to take home.

Mermaid Hot Bread, Mermaid Waters
If you mention the words ‘banh mi’ or ‘pho’ on the Gold Coast, you can pretty much guarantee that Miami Hot Bread’s name will pop up. The hole-in-the-wall along the Gold Coast Highway has undoubtedly reached cult status among banh mi lovers near and far who flock there for a fix of crispy crackling-topped banh mi, fragrant pho, rice paper rolls and salad rolls. In May, the sandwich slinger welcomed a second outpost to the family – Mermaid Hot Bread in the Waterways complex. If you’re yet to check it out, consider this the sign you’ve been waiting for.

Benny’s Burger, Surfers Paradise
Opening 11 restaurants in as many years, the South Australian-born franchise Benny’s Burger is clearly doing something right. Since the brand’s inception in 2013, the famed burger flippers have been on a mission to transcend the ordinary, and in the process have established a cult following of folks who can’t get enough of the American-inspired menu crammed with burgers, beers and shakes. At long last, Gold Coasters can get a taste of the goods, with the latest outpost springing to life on Hanlan Street, just a sandy-footed dash from the beach. A neon light reading ‘burgers beers cocktails shakes’ leaves no doubt as to what you will find within.  Side your feast with a classic Canadian poutine, although not American, you’ll be willing to overlook that fact once you get a glimpse (and taste) of the chips, gravy and cheese curd combo.

Let’s Get Toasted, Burleigh Heads
Sanga, sambo, sammie, whatever you call it, the humble sandwich (and its crispy toasted counterpart) is having a solid moment here on the GC and we are here for it. What’s not to love? Oozy, convenient and damn delicious, it’s a no-brainer for a bite on the run. If you too share our enthusiasm for toasties, get along to El Ranchero (aka the the cocktail garden next door to Mo’s Dessert Clubhouse) and check out the brand-spanking new food truck called Let’s Get Toasted. Hot tip, the Jamaican Me Crazy and Pavarotti are both equally as delightful. Not feelin’ the sanga, no worries – Let’s Get Toasted also dishes up a clutch of loaded fries and nachos.

Kiyomi, Broadbeach
Okay, so this one isn’t technically a new opening since it’s actually approaching its ten-year birthday, but the signature Japanese dining experience has turned the page on a new chapter that delivered a bold new look, an impressive 16-seat private dining room and an elevated menu. A collision of ritual and art, the new-look Kiyomi seamlessly melds Japanese culinary tradition with modern innovation to deliver a truly memorable dining experience. Among the stand-out new dishes are red snapper, sashimi and kombujime amaebi with pickled daikon and ginger-lime dressing, Mooloolaba prawn toast with karashi miso, spanner crab and cabbage alongside an aged pork tomahawk with apple wasabi, pork jus with Okinawa black sugar.

Still want more? Take a peek at some of our faves from April George’s Deli in Kingscliff, Ramen Danbo in Pimpama, Riverland Kitchen in Tweed Heads and Wu Kong Kitchen & Bar in Southport. Still want more? Check out a few from March – Sandfire in Miami, Holy Ship at Marina Mirage, Doughed in Hope Island and last but certainly not least, Canvas in Palm Beach.

Image credits: Let’s Get Toasted, snacksforyoureyes, Kiyomi, Luke Marsden, 

The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Gold Coast dining guide with more than 870 places to eat, drink, shop and play.


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