fbpx
Search
Generic filters
Filter by Suburb
Select all
Broadbeach
Burleigh
Coolangatta
Currumbin
Main Beach
Mermaid Beach
Miami
Nobby's Beach
North Burleigh
Palm Beach
Robina
Southport
Surfers Paradise
Tugun
Water Fun

Adam Haralampou

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No doubt you’ve had the pleasure of setting foot inside one of Adam Haralampou’s ridiculously popular establishments. He’s the brains behind Justin Lane, Harry’s Steak Bistro and Mr Bengel and how grateful are we to have his genius in our lives.

We sat down for a chat with Adam about his passion for pizza and why a little healthy competition is a good thing.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve been a local my entire life!

What do you love most about living here?
The fact that you can be in the hinterland and 10 minutes later you’re swimming at the beach.

How did Justin Lane come about?|
I have a passion for pizza and saw there was a need for something in the Burleigh market. Next up was Harry’s and then Mr Bengel.

Where do the ideas for such unique venues come from?
Harry’s came from a need to have a high quality steak experience for a low price point. This hadn’t been done beforehand. Harry is my grandfather’s name who was a passionate foodie and beef eater so it made sense to name the venue in honour of him.

What’s your favourite drink or dish from each?
Justin Lane: seafood pizza, Stone & Wood lager, Harry’s: scotch fillet and frites and a glass of Shiraz, Mr Bengel: green smoothie and bacon and eggs.

How do you feel about the Coast’s rapidly expanding foodie scene?
I think it’s great! Good competition is great and will lift the benchmark of all venues.

What’s been your journey to get to where you are?
The whole experience has been an adventure. The ups and downs go hand in hand but the continual journey is the adventure.

Do you have anything new in the pipeline?
Not for the moment. Enjoying what I have.

What’s the best piece of life advice you’ve ever received? Never get too busy that you forget to enjoy what you already have.

Being a Gold Coast local, we have to ask your favourites on the Coast?
Beach: Tallebudgera Creek
Cafe: Paddock Bakery
Restaurant: Etsu
How does your weekend usually look: Family time, work and nature

New to Palm Beach: Mr Bengel

Say hello to Palmy’s newest neighbour Mr Bengel – the third son of the man behind Burleigh favourites Justin Lane and Harry’s Steak Bistro.

Adam Haralampou, creative foodie genius, is no stranger to restaurant success on the Gold Coast and he has been eyeing off the prime Palm Beach real estate for awhile saying he’s not trying to reinvent the breakfast wheel but just wants to offer good food, straight up.

With a relaxed, open-living, navy on white look perfect for beachside Palmy living, Mr Bengel, Adam’s first cafe, represents a fictitious laidback local surfer in his 50’s who loves a chat. It’s also

They’re serving the much-loved Supreme Roasters coffee – born and bred in Queensland and a favourite amongst locals.

The best part is, said coffee is free Monday to Friday (March 6th to 10th) from 6am to 9am.

Serving up fresh, affordable food for breakfast and lunch, the menu will include the usual suspects – including ‘Housemade Bircher Muesli’ and ‘Eggs Benedict’ – along with a Harry’s lunch favourite – the Waygu Beef Burger.

If there’s one thing Adam knows how to do it’s simple food made delicious.

Whether you’re coming off the sand after a morning surf or heading down south for a road trip, pop in to say hello to the team at Mr Bengel.

See you there for a coffee on the man himself.

LOCATION: 1099 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach (between Seventh and Eighth Avenues).

HOURS: From 6am to 2pm daily.

Words by Kirra Smith

Simon Gloftis

We’re going to call it, Simon Gloftis is the man who started the foodie revolution on the Gold Coast. Starting with Little Beans, then now-iconic Greek eatery Hellenika and finally The Fish House, the restaurateur has a slew of local firsts under his belt.

His passion for the Gold Coast’s dining scene has seen him become one of the most familiar faces in town and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

We chat with Simon about Hellenika’s soon to be opened rooftop bar and the game-changing plans he’s got in store for the Coast.

How did your passion for food came about?
I didn’t realise but obviously growing up in a European family, it was ingrained in me when I was a kid. My godfather has one of the most famous Greek restaurants in Melbourne and we used to go there as a family but I wouldn’t sit at the table I’d go and stand at the door of the kitchen and they’d pass me food and I’d take it out. Then I got a job delivering pizza, worked in a few restaurants, then went to pizza maker and floor manager then I went back to the kitchen. I eventually left hospitality and got my real estate license but every night I was going home and instead of studying the real estate course I was looking at cookbooks so I realised what I loved. I had three cafes on the Gold Coast and then from the cafes I opened Hellenika then Fish House.

What is it you love so much about it?
I literally wake up in the morning and start thinking about food, then I eat food and I don’t stop until I go to bed. It’s my life. I don’t travel anywhere other than for food. When I go to Europe I book the restaurants before I go, even if I’m popping down to Sydney I book the restaurants before I book the flights. It’s all I want to do.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I went to Marymount College from year four. I was born in Melbourne then we moved to Brisbane, back to Melbourne then to the Gold Coast.

What do you love most about living here?
I just think there’s an energy here on the Gold Coast that the bigger cities could only dream about. We can actually make an impact with such a small decision. When I opened up Little Beans in Nobby’s it was probably the only real espresso bar on the Coast and people followed it straight away.  We needed these places. In a big city you can make an impact but you get lost. My whole success on the Coast has been because people supported me. They followed me from Three Beans to Little Beans to Piccolo to Hellenika to The Fish House and now back to Hellenika. I’ve got the same customers from back then and some of my staff have worked in all those venues. The Coast has been a massive support for me.

Why are you so passionate about bringing such quality dining venues to the Coast?
Some of it’s a bit selfish, I actually do things I like and then hope enough people like the same thing. I’m a big fan of healthy food, not as in quinoa salad, as in King George Whiting and Greek salad. When you come to one of my restaurants you will get the best produce in Australia, bar none. We’re either equal to, or better than, every other restaurant in the country and that’s my whole motto.                                               

Do you have a personal favourite of all the ones you’ve opened?
Hellenika. I love every one of my venues because they’re all a piece of me but when I walk into Hellenika I feel like it’s home. I eat there five or six nights a week, I’m happy there. I love the nice big wooden tables, the Greek music, the food, and the wine, the feeling. We all say there’s something in the walls at Hellenika, it’s looked after so many people. It feels like it’s been around for 40 years.

What have you got in store for Hellenika?
We renovated the whole building and I put a whole new level on it. Downstairs will be opening next Friday (1st September) and upstairs is probably about eight weeks away. Upstairs will be a bar with a retractable roof. Downstairs has gone from a taverna-style venue. It had that real rustic Melbourne-style Greek restaurant feel. It’s gone away from that now so when you walk in you’re going to feel like you’re in a Greek restaurant in Athens but something that’s modern today. We’ve gone from 110 wines on our list to 500, it’s amazing, there are 50 indigenous wines from Greece alone. We’re taking everything to the next level. We’ve added some new dishes to the menu – kept about 60% of the favourites – but added some really traditional Greek dishes. Things like Corfu Bianco which is my favourite dish, it’s potatoes and Kingfish baked in the oven with olive oil and lemon juice. So simple but so beautiful.

It’s going to be a touch more formal downstairs and then upstairs is a lot more casual. It’ll be all the mezze food, which is tapas in Greek. Things like pork belly, meatballs, zucchini chips, all that lighter stuff. The bar upstairs will be the main focus, we just want people to be able to come and have a light dinner or snack and drinks. We’ll try and be open until midnight every night upstairs so there’s no guessing if we’re open. You can feel comfortable to go at 10 o’clock at night and have a wine.

What are your thoughts on the rapidly growing dining scene of late?
To give you an example, seven years ago I had to explain what share food was. We had to tell people that food comes to the middle of the table and it’s sort of like a Chinese restaurant. Hellenika was also the first one to do double sittings. Now, that’s commonplace. Nine of my ex staff have opened up venues between Broadbeach and Palm Beach, most of your favourites were opened by my ex staff. I’m really proud of what’s happened on the Gold Coast, if I had a small part to do with it, that’s great.

How would you like to see our foodie scene change or grow over the next few years?
We’ve opened up all the venues I think it might be enough now, there’s nearly one restaurant per person. I think there might be a little bit of hardship to come, just because I know how hard it can be. I’m hoping we consolidate a little bit and maybe get more quality into what we’ve already got before we think about expanding too much further. We need all these local restaurants to make sure what they’re doing is the best they can do. I think it’s neglectful to customers if you start giving them things that are making them sick like artificial flavours and enhancers. I’m hoping we improve on what we’ve got before we grow too much more.

What’s happening after the rooftop is up and running?
I sold The Fish House to do an amazing project, which I can’t mention for a few months but that’s the next big one. Hellenika will always be my baby but I’ve got plans for something that will really be game changing. I can’t wait to launch it.

Being a Gold Coast local, we have to ask your favourites…
Beach: Nobby’s
Café: For someone who’s owned cafes, I don’t hang out in cafes. I do pop down to get a smoothie or juice from Smoothie Shack, that’s about the extent of it.
Restaurant: Can I mention a few? For steak, Glenelg Public House, again Aaron used to work with me. For soup I go to New Saigon and get my Pho. For ribs I go to Fire Cue. For sushi I go to Sapporo in Broadbeach, they’re the only ones on the Gold Coast that I know buys the same quality seafood I do (just ask them what their best dish of the day is and go with that). For hot pot I go to Itoshin in Mermaid Beach. My cousin owns The Lamb Shop in Burleigh so I’m always up there. Pinocchio in Mermaid Beach do a really good fennel salad.
Weekend hang: I’m working on weekends but my weekend is during the week. I’m just hanging out in Nobby’s. The boys and I always get together on a Tuesday and have dinner, that’s my thing. My family owns Miami Marketta so I’m there a lot to watch a band and hang out.

Lucas Schranz

He’s brought the Gold Coast two of it’s favourite American-style eateries, Easy Street and Luckies Diners and now, along with wife Erin, he’s about to launch a third venue.

We chat with Lucas about tacocat, the traditional Mexican restaurant opening in a Burleigh alleyway later this month.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve been here five years, I’m Tasmanian, my parents are Austrian but they moved to Tasmania about 30 years ago. My wife Erin is pretty much a Gold Coaster. She’s been here about 25 years or so and her family is here.

What do you love most about living here?
The weather, so much better than Tasmania. I’ve been here a few years and owning the restaurants, just knowing so many cool people, it’s such an easygoing place. There’s no rat race like Melbourne or Sydney, it’s just a bit more casual and chilled out.

You’re about to open tacocat in Burleigh, can you tell me a bit about it?
Where it’s going is like a garage and even though I say I don’t like being in Melbourne and Sydney, I do like the laneway vibes of Melbourne and the alleyway it’s going into is awesome. I wanted it before I knew what to do there. The space came up and I realized there was no great Mexican food in Burleigh. It’s my favourite part of the Gold Coast so I thought I could probably make tacos. I’m possible going to try and open one of every restaurant flavour-wise. Maybe I’ll do Italian or Japanese next, I don’t know.

What’s going to be unique about it?
I want to do traditional Mexican food, Mexico City type food. Not Californian or Tex Mex style, just pretty traditional but in a modern way.

What’s your background with food?
I’ve been a Chef my whole working life, about 15 years. I travelled and worked overseas, bummed around and snow boarded. I’ve been a delivery driver for a catering company all the way up to working in the best restaurants in Australia. So I’ve done pretty much everything.

You started with Nola at Blackboard Coffee, how did Easy Street Diner come about?
We were doing Nola, which was Southern food, and we opened Easy Street because we didn’t want to only do food from New Orleans. We thought maybe it was a little bit too specific. We decided to do American food and then all of a sudden the hamburgers were just delicious and started being the main part of Easy Street. Bit of a fluke really.

What’s your favourite thing about being in the restaurant biz?
When I was young I used to say I would never have a restaurant. Why would I ever want a restaurant? I would tell my mother she was crazy for thinking I should buy one. Like I said, once I’d worked around a bit and didn’t get along with a few owners, I thought I could do some things a bit better. Owning your own business is awesome, you can do whatever you want, my favourite part is not having to fill out timesheets. I love hanging out with the people I work with, trying to make everyone happy and giving the Gold Coast stuff I think it needs and that they’d like.

You also opened Luckies Diner at The Collective, why did you want to be part of that concept?
I thought Jeremy (owner) was going to do an amazing thing with that place, which he did. I thought it was a great way for heaps of different customers to eat our food, which they are, and just the whole thing about hanging out on the Gold Coast and making it better. The Collective is bloody amazing.

Have you got anything else exciting in the works?
I think I’ll just work on tacocat for a bit and hang out with our new baby. I always think about the next thing before the first thing is done but like I said maybe an Italian restaurant, you never know.

Favourite piece of life advice…
Enjoy the moment.

Being a local, we have to ask for your favourites…
Beach…Can’t really go past Burleigh because there’s people watching, restaurants, you can have a beer, it’s probably one of the greatest beaches in the world I reckon
Café…Blackboard Coffee is delicious
Restaurant…There’s so many on the Coast at the moment. I love Jimmy Wah’s
Weekend hang…Just going out for lunch, hanging out on Burleigh Hill at the moment. Sounds the same as everyone, do something crazy, take the jet ski out or jump off something high.

© 2022 All Rights Reserved.