If there is one thing out there we can all likely agree on; it’s that superb food and libations deserve to be enjoyed in fabulous surroundings. And whilst the Gold Coast is a playground of natural beauty and sublime weather, some eateries simply gel with their environments that little bit better, you know?
One segment of the bustling eating scene we think fits this bill to a tee is Mexican food and a good sea view. The kind of place where a steady afternoon sea breeze helps you get over all those spicy flavours and a sandy outlook provides the perfect backdrop to sip a margarita — or five.
The owner behind this newly opened venue is no stranger to hospitality. Franz Zdesar had a hand in the much-lauded Project Tokyo in Mermaid Waters, and long before that, spent years living and working as a chef in some of Europe’s most well-respected restaurants. Let’s just say he knows his way around a chopping board! Now with a fantastic position just off the sand, he hopes to bring an energetic and easy-going taste of Mexico to the southern Gold Coast.
The fit-out to this oceanside venue is bright, fun and ultimately welcoming. Outside there’s high bar seating with views out to the beach and built-in concrete booths, which cleverly look rustic yet refined at the same time. Inside is where immense accents of hot pink and warm reds come to life, with cactus flower beds and a seriously eye-catching mural. All punctuated by a charismatic white breeze block bar aptly positioned to pour cocktails all afternoon long.
Franz has a deep understanding and love for all things Japanese, but at the same time appreciates and adores the simplicity and enjoyability of Mexican food: the kind of stuff you could eat every day, right?! This said, the menu is a modern take on Central America — minus the cliches — and with added hints of Japanese flavours. Meaning if you order the Hibachi Wagyu Rump, your corn side will come dripping in miso butter — trust us, it works! These nuances throughout the menu are subtle. In the separated taco section, you’ll be able to choose from traditional flavours like crispy skin pork belly, pickled cabbage, and salsa verde or tempura fried line-caught fish, chipotle mayo and grilled pineapple salsa.
And if this little section had the salivation glands in your mouth activating, just wait until you read the rest of the menu.
The menu can be shared amongst a few or enjoyed more traditionally. You’ll also come across a selection of smaller plates ‑ such as fish ceviche — sides, extras and a couple of desserts worthy of your attention: avocado brûlée and chilli chocolate truffles with dulce de leche.
Like any Mexican establishment worth their salt, a smart and tasty collection of signature cocktails is supported by a slew of differing margaritas like the Coco (coconut) and Chile (chilli). The beer selection is simplistic, and in time they will be pouring Japanese-made beer from the tap. For those who feel like a lighter refreshment, we suggest you familiarise yourself with one of Mexico’s most famous soft drinks: Jarritos. There are five flavours for you to choose from, and once poured over ice, these are a sure-fire way to cool yourself down in the summer heat.
With a recent opening, the venue has already experienced a flurry of attention. At this point, they are kindly asking all diners to book ahead where possible. All that’s left once you have your booking is to wander in off the beach and saunter over to Kirra’s newest down-to-earth taste of Mexico.
Hours: Open Wednesday – Sunday 5pm – late & Lunches: Friday-Sunday 12pm noon – 2.30pm
Where: 2/74 Musgrave Street, Kirra
Words by Alex Mitcheson.