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9 Gold Coast restaurants to impress your friends

Because food is the way to everybody’s heart. And Tier 1 friends list.

Jimmy Wah's, Burleigh Heads (image supplied)
Jimmy Wah's, Burleigh Heads (image supplied)

Friends, they’re the family we choose and worth their weight in gold. But LBR, don’t we all kinda fancy ourselves as the group authority on where to go for the best nosh, vibe and cocktail list? Well stick with us kids, we’ve got this!

Here are our tried and tested (on repeat) recommendations to elevate you to Queen Bee status. XOXO.

Jimmy Wah’s
Anyone who’s someone is eating modern Vietnamese, and no-one does it better than Jimmy Wah’s. Named after Robyn Williams’ charismatic character in ‘Good Morning Vietnam’, it’s sure to get a thumbs up from your squad. If you really want to nail the dish recommendations, we suggest you handball this conundrum to the chef with the ‘Feed Me’ option. Choosing his top choices for 7 courses (plus a side), you’re guaranteed to please the posse.
Where: 1724 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

T’Ang Court
Srsly, the mere mention of The Langham will have your mates nodding in approval. The bougee T’ang Court honours its Michelin-star sister restaurants specialising in fine Cantonese dining. Reflecting the timelessness of the Tang Dynasty, China’s golden age, score extra points for the epic cultural nod. The authentic Cantonese dishes are complemented by the high-end, contemporary fit-out. In the words of Nike, just do it.
Where: The Langham Gold Coast, 38 Old Burleigh Road, Surfers Paradise

Coast Beach Bar, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)
Coast Beach Bar, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

Dripping in coastal-styled furnishings and high-quality on-fleek accents, COAST is the restaurant with the most! This spectacular $2.5 million-dollar venue adorning the first floor of the brand-new Ocean by Meriton is all about fine modern Australian shared cuisine, and breathtaking uninterrupted views of the big blue. Sink a margi with your gang at the 14m marble bar, a second one outside on the stunning terrace, and the next (several) with your designer dinner in the main dining room.
Where: Ocean by Meriton, 86 Esplanade, Surfers Paradise

Occupying arguably the most iconic turf on the Coast, Siblings packs wow-factor for days. This modern Aussie brunch and dinner hot spot at Kirra Beach Pavilions is dripping with 1950s Miami beach vibes from pillar to post. Beautifully styled with a colour palette and décor celebrating its glorious surroundings, a meal here should be on every Gold Coaster’s to do list. The food is on-point and there are 52 signature cocktails to enjoy with your chums. Nuff said.
Where: 15 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Siblings Kirra, Coolangatta (image supplied)
Siblings Kirra, Coolangatta (image supplied)

When The Australian Good Food Guide awards you 14 points and two chef’s hats, you’ve officially arrived. With accolades like this, your fancy friends will be all over it like Pro Hart on a Stainmaster commercial. Situated in the stunning HOTA Gallery, Palette takes inspiration from artworks on display and major exhibitions to show just how naturally art and food blends. Fresh ingredients sourced locally where possible create a showstopping modern Australian menu guaranteed to woo.
Where: HOTA, Home of the Arts, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise

Labart (image supplied)
Labart (image supplied)

Restaurant Labart
There just aren’t enough stars for this Burleigh blockbuster. Another modern Australian restaurant to dine for, it is fine dining at its, well, finest. The work of passionate husband and wife team Alex and Karla Munoz Labart, Labart offers a seasonal, share-style menu made with only the best produce and a sustainable wine list to match. The earthy, refined and understated interior creates a warm and welcoming ambience, providing the perfect setting for an intimate meal with friends.
Where: 8 West Street, Burleigh Heads

Rick Shores
Focusing on fresh, locally sourced produce with the intention to share, soz but we don’t want to #TooGood. At one with the ocean, the infamous Rick Shores overlooks beautiful Burleigh and serves up some of the very best eats in town. With awards up the wazoo, it’s a sure thing when you want to impress. Speaking of, insist your mates order the Fried Moreton Bay Bug Roll and don’t be surprised when they weep tears of joy. Wash them down with a few of Rick’s cocktails and this is not the time to volunteer for DD duty. Happy days.
Where: 43 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

Rick Shores (image supplied)
Rick Shores (image supplied)

The Glenelg Public House
If your peeps are fangirling/fanboying over perfectly cooked, juicy steaks of the highest quality (paired with the tastiest sides to level up the yum factor), look no further than Glenelg Public House in Mermaid Beach. The vibe of the low-lit space is relaxed and welcoming, encouraging you and your crew to settle in – with a glass of red in hand of course – for the long haul. May we recommend the banquet for a well-rounded, standing-ovation-worthy nosh-up. You’re welcome.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

The North Room
An intimate little beauty tucked away in Mermaid Beach, The North Room is the ultimate pocket rocket. Seating a maximum of 20 people, you feel extra spesh with super attentive service and food that embodies the ‘ole ‘you eat with your eyes’ adage. The seasonal menu encourages you to try something new each visit, with a focus on fresh, ever-changing dishes crafted from the highest quality produce. Add a sophisticated fit-out and Mind = Blown vibes are a given.
Where: 2527 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach (between Ventura Road and Cronulla Avenue)

Words by Bianca Trathen.

The North Room, Mermaid Beach (image supplied)
The North Room, Mermaid Beach (image supplied)

Restaurant Labart

Photo credit: Andy MacPherson
Photo credit: Andy MacPherson

Burleigh Heads is on absolute fire with venues swinging open their doors left and right, much to the delight of locals who apparently can’t get enough of tasty eats and bunkering down somewhere warm with a wine in hand (same to be honest).

The latest eatery to grace us with its’ presence is Restaurant Labart (opening tonight), a stylish space on Burleigh’s West Street, where Burleigh Chinese once lived. It’s simple sophistication at its finest and unlike anything the Gold Coast has seen before.

Which is of course, due to the fact that Restaurant Labart is the work of Sydneysiders Karla and Alex Munoz Labart who bring quite the impressive rap sheet to our beachside city.

But first, the interior. The narrow space is beautifully designed with walnut leather bench-style seating lining the walls and not-quite-khaki paneling with dark wood furniture and low-hanging lighting completing the picture. The vibe is earthy, refined and understated and we quite like it thank you very much.

The menu is, happily, the star of the show and that is a concept close to our hearts (and tummies). It’s made up of snacks (best) and both small and large share plates all of which are absolute taste sensations.

To share we recommend the BBQ King Prawns with shellfish butter, crème fraiche and finger lime and the Veal Tartare with sun-dried tomatoes, tarragon and potato crisps.

The large plates are all kinds of goodness and in particular the Seared Mulloway with peas, dill and horseradish and the Grilled Lamb Rack with charred turnips and green herb sauce should make you happy.

For dessert (OUR FAVOURITE) Chocolate Mousse with popcorn ice cream and salted popcorn is probably the most exciting dish there is in the world. Keep that one coming please.

You may also indulge in a cheese plate and if that’s not enough to have you making a reservation right this minute, please explain.

To compliment the stand out menu, a carefully curated selection of wines (including biodynamic and natural choices) along with Australian craft beers and seasonal cocktails are on offer to delight your tastebuds.

As mentioned owners Karla and Alex made the move from down south where Alex was the Head Chef at famed Sydney venues Monopole and Cirrus Dining, both of which were awarded Chefs Hats during his tenure.

Restaurant Labart is their first venture and, with the philosophy of aiming to simply make people happy, they’re sure to fit in just fine around these parts.

Excuse us, we’re off to consume all the chocolate mousse before the rest of you get your hands on any.

The end.

LOCATION: 8 West St, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: Dinner Wednesday to Saturday 6pm until 11:30pm. Lunch Friday to Sunday, 12 until 3 pm

Words by Kirra Smith. Photos supplied – interior shots by Andy MacPherson – food images via Restaurant Labart.

Gotham Grill & Rooftop Bar

If you’ve been considering a trip to New York but don’t have a spare million dollars (yes, hi), forget about it because NYC is coming to you baby.

Well, Runaway Bay to be precise. Yes, the northerners are about to get their very own fancy pants rooftop bar and it comes in the form of Gotham Rooftop Bar & Grill and we should all probably pack up and migrate north for the winter.

It’s not just any newbie though; it’s the creation of serial restauranteur Daniel Ridgeway (of BiN, Rivea Italian Dining and Little Truffle fame) so you know it’s going to be a goodie.

Details please. So Gotham Rooftop Bar & Grill is a three-tiered Manhattan-style extravaganza featuring two restaurants and bars and one of the most stunning fitouts the Coast has ever seen.

Red velvet carpet will lead you up a winding staircase to the rooftop where you’ll find decadent wooden paneling and golden highlights. It’s a 1920s art deco dream and we feel some sparkly, tassly dresses might be our latest wardrobe additions.

On level two, you’ll find Gotham Grill, an intimate dining space drawing inspiration from high end American steakhouses with a huge selection of steaks from across Australia and New Zealand along with a huge choice of cold seafood.

Hot tip: the Gotham Seafood Tower is where it’s at.

The rooftop will offer a relaxed indoor and outdoor setting with views over Bayview Street and across to the Biggera Creek inlet. Sounds like the perfect sunset cocktail setting if you ask us. We’ve heard the Fruit Bat and Alfred’s Tonic are your new best friends.

There’ll be pizza, lobster rolls and burgers, which are, pretty much all of our favourite things.

The northerners have taken a bite out of the big apple and things are about to get fruity on the Gold Coast. Break out the punch bowl, it’s party time as of Saturday March 17th.

LOCATION: Bayview Street, Runaway Bay
HOURS: Monday to Thursday 5pm until late and Friday to Sunday Midday until late

Words by Kirra Smith.

A new, Moroccan-inspired rum bar opens in Kirra

In our opinion there aren’t enough dedicated bars on the Gold Coast. Obviously the ones we do have are five-star and we love them very much but the more the merrier when it comes to drinking holes.

Particularly ones that come with a side of salty ocean breezes in one of the most beautiful beachside destinations in the world (biased, but also true).

If you’re keen on exactly that kind of bar too a. let’s be friends and b. here’s some good news for you.

A brand new rum bar opened in Kirra just last week and it does indeed come with a side of salty ocean breezes, not to mention it’s pretty as a picture and the perfect spot for those summer Sunday sessions that make our lives that much sweeter.

The BASKK Rum Bar is yes, located within the stunning Kirra venue that has been a fave of everyone’s since it opened in 2017 and, in keeping the delightful theme, the new bar is all dusty pink hues, flowing fabric curtains and Moroccan-inspired furnishings. So all of the things we most adore.

It’s a private little area offering an array of rums from around the world along with selected spirits, wines and local beers.

The drinks list will be carefully curated and include tipples like the Caipirinha Sticky Finger made with Husk Pure Cane rum, finger lime and honeycomb, the Mr David with Husk Pure Cane rum, Davidsons plum and blended lychee and The Myrtle with spiced rum, ginger beer, orange peel and lemon myrtle.

Cocktails at Baskk, Coolangatta (image supplied)
Cocktails at Baskk, Coolangatta (image supplied)

YUM. We’ll take one of each please.

There’s also an array of tasty bar snacks on offer including a BBQ pork rum-glazed bao, spiced rum chicken wings and a sailor’s fruitcake dessert with spiced cherries and vanilla rum custard. Again, all of those please.

Of course, if you’d prefer something more substantial, BASKK Kirra Point offers exceptional woodfired pizzas, stacked seafood platters and some of the prettiest charcuterie platters you’ve ever laid eyes on.

So there’s epic rum cocktails and some of the very best eats around in a beautiful setting and those salty sea breezes, what more could you want?

Pencil in a date with BASKK Rum Bar this weekend and get those Insta-snapping fingers ready.

LOCATION: 2/52-58 Marine Pde, Coolangatta
HOURS: Friday to Sunday 5pm until late

Words by Kirra Smith

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