Social House at Voco reimagines hotel dining with burgers, ‘low teas’, share bites and meaty delights
In late 2018, the Watermark Hotel in Surfers Paradise officially became known as Voco Gold Coast. The iconic building’s sleek new brand and direction is now filtering through to its restaurant and bar offerings, with the hotel group recently lifting the lid on Social House (formerly known as Walrus) and the newly overhauled Social House Cafe on the ground level. Look, we get that a hotel is often not the first place you’ll look to for Friday night burgers with the crew or your morning coffee and bacon-and-egg roll – so, consider this a gentle nudge to kick that stereotype to the curb.
While locals may be familiar with the venue under its former guise of Walrus, its new identity as Social House has flown relatively under the radar. Hidden in plain sight on the Gold Coast Highway, the reinvigorated dining spot now sports a sleek new aesthetic, while its delectable menu is slowly stepping into a new direction, which sees most of menu now designed to share. Though, you’ll still find a series of dishes plated for one, such as the wagyu beef brioche burger with melted Irish cheddar (sided with pickles, of course) and the New York strip steak with crispy onion rings and warm potato salad. Smaller share-style eats cover the land and sea, with plates like six-hour slow-braised beef cheek with lemon, capers, grilled crostini and roasted-garlic skordalia, coral trout brioche sliders with preserved-lemon mayo and local Tamborine organic watercress, and tasty mezze boards with moutabel, hummus, marinated labneh, sour herbs and house-baked Iranian bread. If you can’t decide what to share, go for the eye-catching Social House platter, loaded with favourites like the slow-braised pork belly, free-range buffalo wings with ranch dip, crispy salt and pepper squid, Sicilian-style arancini and the aforementioned braised beef cheek and skordalia. There’s also the ‘meat and cheese’ share platter, which sees cuts of San Danielle prosciutto, grilled chorizo and wagyu bresaola, arranged alongside grilled vegetables, buffalo curd, triple-cream brie, pickles, olives and grilled crostini. To sip? Think all-Australian wines, craft beers, giant sharing cocktails, and more delicate libations like apple pie martinis and lemongrass margaritas.
If you’re not into high tea, then Social House’s ‘low tea’ will be right up your alley. It’s far from your traditional pinky-raising cucumber sandwiches and earl grey situation – rather, the on-site pastry wizards assemble a delicate array of sweets and savouries for you to devour. The high/low tea offering rotates almost daily, featuring bites like smoked-salmon brioche sliders, salted-caramel-popcorn macarons, house-made scones with Chantilly cream, intricate pastry domes, milk-chocolate tarts and more. Adjoining the restaurant and bar is Social House Cafe – a daytime dispensary of specialty caffeine by Will & Co, tasty treats and on-the-go breakfast and lunch options. Absolutely everything, from the cookies and croissants to the cakes and brownies, is made on-site. There’s also a small retail section for edible gifts on the go (how handy), including pots of fresh honey straight from Voco’s rooftop beehive.
Keen to check out the new Social House? Head to our Stumble Guide for opening hours and contact details.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Gold Coast dining guide with more than 870 places to eat, drink, shop and play.