The recap: the best new Gold Coast restaurants, bars and cafes in May
Somehow we blinked and it’s June. In the past month alone, the Gold Coast has welcomed a number of eateries that are contenders for our best-of lists, including a fiery Japanese joint, a slick neighbourhood bar for Broadbeach and a brand-new Italian pizza bar. Read on for all of the delicious details …
Sofi, Surfers Paradise
If your social media feed is bombarded with sun-soaked images from European getaways and adventures abroad but your annual leave allowance doesn’t allow for such getaways, pull up a seat at Sofi in Surfers Paradise for a taste of the luxe life. The aesthetic new rooftop restaurant and bar delivers an elevated Amalfi-style rooftop experience that promises to transport your taste buds to the Mediterranean. The menu meanders from oysters and olives to appetisers of chermoula-grilled prawns, burrata and char-grilled octopus. The larger plates include dry-aged duck, Ranger Valley wagyu rump and pappardelle with field mushrooms, leek, peas and charred prosciutto. Accompanying the culinary offering is a carefully curated selection of international spirits, champagne, wine and cocktails. If you’re ready to get swept away to the Amalfi Coast, book a table.
Happy Endings, Broadbeach
While the name is sure to raise a few eyebrows, it’s a cheeky nod to the rather infamous massage parlour that formerly resided within the space and the latest culinary offering from the duo behind the suburb’s much-loved Fig & Frankie’s. To save you from an awkward chat with HR/spouse, we’re going to go ahead and spill the beans on its precise location – head towards Fig & Frankie’s and up the staircase that’s signed Flesh Impressions piercing parlour. Follow the projection up the staircase and you’ll discover Happy Endings. When it comes to the menu of beverages and bites, it’s described as modern Asian, melding flavours to create a Happy Endings twist. The Matcha Espresso, for example, combines matcha liqueur with matcha tea, clear coffee vodka and condensed milk, while the Tokyo Drift delivers a flavour-bomb of wasabi-infused mezcal, house-made melon liqueur and pineapple oleo. Peckish? Snack on a serve of lotus-root chips, kingfish sashimi or yakitori, while those with a more substantial appetite can stick their chopsticks into slices of wagyu tataki that’s flash-seared on the hibachi grill and bathed in Thai-style Crying Tiger sauce. Ready to dine? Slide into their DMs to book a table.
Okawari House, Nobby Beach
Translating to mean ‘second helping’ or, more generally, ‘another one’ in Japanese, Okawari House has transformed the space formerly occupied by i like ramen at the northern end of the Nobby Beach strip. The latest culinary offering from Imlach Hospitality Group (Bine Bar & Dining, Tank Bar & Dining, Precinct Brewing Co. and Hideaway Kitchen & Bar), Okawari House is combining elements of Tokyo’s upscale dining with Osaka’s flavourful fare. Head chef Takumi Nitta, whose resume includes stints at the former TEN Japanese Restaurant in Broadbeach as well as Brisbane’s famed Sushi Room by Simon Gloftis, has curated a menu that highlights yakitori and selections from the robata grill – think slightly charred broccolini, octopus and a show-stopping flaming wagyu with a marble score of 8+. Wash it down with one of five Japanese-inspired cocktails, Japanese craft beer, sake, shochu or a glass of minimal intervention lo-fi wine. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, it’s pronounced oka-wari.
The Yard GC, Mermaid Beach
The Gold Coast Highway-fronting site that was formerly home to Alfred’s Apartment has welcomed a brand-new operator and opened the gates once more as The Yard GC. The venue is a joint effort between Surfers Paradise Brewing and Official Beer Co, which is probably your first indication of what you can expect from the new open-air beer garden. The aptly named space provides the ideal backdrop for mate dates over a beer and a bite. It goes without saying that the beers, which are dispensed from a reconfigured bus fondly referred to as ‘the beer bus’, are on-point, so let’s skip straight to the eats. From early morning, diners can wrap their mitts around bacon-and-eggs rolls alongside granola bowls and The Greenie (Vegemite-and-cheese scroll topped with avocado and fetta), accompanied by a coffee from Arundel’s the establishment coffee company. Then, come midday, the menu flips to include a selection of pizzas including a Calabrese that’s drizzled with hot honey and a barbecue pulled pork. Not in the mood for pizza? Opt for a plum-pork burger, grazing board loaded with cured meats and cheese or the smokey pork ribs instead.
Crispy Italian Bar, Burleigh Heads
While the term ‘bar’ in Australia has come to represent everything from the local watering hole slinging XXXX tins right through to sophisticated sip spots featuring curated cocktails, Italian bars are a little different. In Italy, bars are places you can go at any time of the day or night and enjoy a coffee and a pastry, or a savoury bite that’s usually accompanied by an alcoholic beverage of some description. If that sounds like your ideal vibe, check out Crispy Italian Bar on the Lower Gold Coast Highway in Burleigh Heads. he venue is the handiwork of mates Matteo Tricarico and Riccardo Proserpio, who wanted to share their cuisine and culture and fill the panini-shaped void in our collective hearts with mouth-watering Italian cuisine, coffee at any time of the day and aperitivos at sunset.
Social Espresso, Burleigh Heads
If coffee is a non-negotiable part of your day, seek out Social Espresso’s brand-new caffeination station on Fremantle Street and enjoy a damn fine cup. The impressive new cafe is open Monday to Friday and dishes up a mouth-watering selection of toasties (seriously, do yourself a favour and get the pesto chicken, unless it’s already sold out), bacon-and-egg rolls and pastries from Well Bread & Pastry and Fuel Bakehouse. You’ll also find a selection of pies from Mark’s Gourmet Pies, which if you’ve ever stumbled across at the Burleigh markets, you know is not your average Four’n Twenty variety.
This is just a glimpse of the deliciousness we’ve welcomed lately! If you’re keen for more, check out Double Zero, Coolangatta, Isla Cantina at Isle of Capri, Golden Times in Bilinga, D’ La Rosa in Mermaid Beach and the new-look Tropic Vice in Nobby Beach.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Gold Coast dining guide with more than 870 places to eat, drink, shop and play.