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Anekawa brings fine Japanese dining to Mudgeeraba

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Japanese dishes are an (absolutely delicious) art form and one that we are happy to indulge in every single day of our lives. Particularly when they are created by someone who has been perfecting said art form for many moons.

Which is exactly what is happening in Mudgeeraba of late due to the opening of Anekawa – an exceptional new Japanese eatery you are going to want to sample at the earliest available opportunity.

It’s an intimate space, perfectly fitted out with light wooden furniture, earthy textures, raw slabs of stone for tabletops and a light sprinkling of draped greenery. You’ll recognise the work of Owen Thompson who has designed and created interiors for the likes of Project Tokyo, Baked at Ancora and Double Barrel Kitchen (to name a few).

The bar is the feature of Anekawa, again made of a huge piece of stone with a few bottles stocked on the wall behind and piles of ceramics perfectly placed to create a cosy, homey vibe that we could absolutely never recreate at home. It’s perfection. As is everything about Anekawa honestly.

Owner and Chef Koki have gone above and beyond to develop a menu that’s quite unlike anything we’ve ever seen with unusual dishes and cooking techniques designed to get you to step outside of your comfort zone.

The focus is on local produce sourced from growers and suppliers with ethical practices and using organic ingredients as much as possible. Koki is very mindful of where everything is grown and how it’s harvested and the high quality produce is the driver behind a menu that changes often, depending on availability.

For example, at the moment there’s a dish involving a Long Spined Sea Urchin because it’s in season and Apellation Oysters are sourced from premium leases in areas where there are native wetlands and are not mass harvested. How good.

One of a couple of the staples on the menu is the Organic Gotofu with sesame soy and cherry granola, which is probably not a dish we’d usually try but was one of the most delicious combinations of flavours we’ve tasted. Absolutely next-level.

Rice Clay Pots are another staple and you can order those in combinations like beef, coddled egg & chives, snow peas & school prawns or sweet corn & butter.

Chargrilled Fish Heads with Umedare and Chives and Pan Fried Petuna Ocean Trout with green pepper kosho and chargrilled capsicum are dishes that are currently on the menu and ones you won’t want to miss out on.

Anekawa (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
Anekawa (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Chef Koki uses cooking techniques unique to his birthplace of Saga in Japan and they’re not often used across the rest of the country, let alone here.

There’s also a tightly curated cocktail list and of course, sakes, whiskey’s and beers.

Exceptional, in a word. It’s been a minute since we’ve seen an addition to the Gold Coast dining scene as unique and exciting as Anekawa and we are quite thrilled about it. Go see and sample for yourself.

LOCATION: Cnr Swan Lane and Railway Street, Mudgeeraba
HOURS: 5.30pm until 9pm (last orders) Tuesday to Saturday

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Baked at Ancora

Baked goods are life. There is nothing more we want or need than a sweet, crispy pastry and a perfectly brewed coffee on a Saturday morning. Except maybe a water view and an after-pastry side of avo on toast.

And where better to indulge in all of those things than right here, just over the border, Tweed Heads to be exact. Baked at Ancora opened just a short while ago, bringing an edgy, delightful eatery to the northern side of already much-loved wedding venue Ancora.

Baked is the baby of Gavin Rudd (head baker) and restaurateur Mark Wilson, who has gifted us with Osteria, Taverna and Bombay Cricketers Club – all southern beauties and the newbie is of equally exceptional quality (but also maybe better because, pastries).

It’s a long space with huge windows overlooking the sparkly Tweed River running up one side, naturally-inspired tables and chairs and, of course, plenty of greenery hanging overhead. An interior window allows you to peer in at the chefs working their magic and, the best bit, a neon sign shining out from inside reads “currently getting baked” and let us in on that please.

The food, as you would expect from local restaurant royalty, is absolutely exceptional and you may either sit inside and soak up the good vibes or grab a picnic rug and recline on the grassy outside area, which is both perfect for kiddies to run around on and for dealing with food coma type situations.

The a la carte menu is made up of all the very best breakfast and lunch dishes including said Avo Toast (but tastier than your usual) plus Bacon and Egg Benedict Rolls, Pork Belly Burgers and (a personal fave) House Made Sausage Rolls made with organic pork, Granny Smith apples, fennel and thyme. All the things are things you’ll want to eat time and time again.

You may also enjoy baguettes with Salami, Butter and Pickles (GIMME) among other epic flavour combinations and there are take home bread options such as Pain aux Olives with Kalamata olives, rosemary, oregano and black pepper. YUM.

Sweets-wise The Custard Pie is all your dreams come true, as is the Apple Breton Tarte Tatin and the Chocolate Praline Tart. We recommend sampling one of each and also taking one of each home for later.

Oh and their signature (read: perfect) croissants will have you dreaming of sweet Parisian mornings and you’ll probably never stop eating them. Same.

Summer’s (almost) over, it’s fine.

The philosophy of the crew at Baked at Ancora is a simple one; to bring loved ones together over good food and great coffee which, unsurprisingly, is pretty much life goals for us.

How good.

Love you baked (at Ancora) goods.

LOCATION: 118 Wharf St, Tweed Heads
HOURS: Daily from 7am until 1.30pm

Words by Kirra Smith

Mermaid Waters welcomes a new, must-try Japanese eatery

Here we are again to discuss a few of our absolute favourite things –you guessed it – exceptional eats and interiors we would like to replicate in our own homes immediately thank you very much.

The latest combination of the two and our most recent eatery crush, can be found in a little place we (and everyone else) like to call Mermaid Waters, where many a great little venue lives and a spot we will now be visiting a LOT more regularly.

It’s called Project Tokyo and it’s an intimate space found in the precinct where Lucky Bao and Nude Sisters Kitchen also reside, bringing the aforementioned exceptional eats and interiors, Japanese-style.

It’s the work of Franz and Geoff, a hospitality guru and chef who have long wanted to open a venue of this variety and we’re pretty happy they did.

The interior is the work of one OJ Thompson, the genius behind Oi Izakaya, Goto Restaurant in Southport and Double Barrel Kitchen (to name a few). It’s made up of moody blues and natural wood with beautiful, authentic artwork painted onto the walls and flags marking the entrance.

It’s pared back, perfectly put together and exactly the type of space we Gold Coasters love.

Menu-wise you can expect modern Japanese dishes from snacks and starters including the always-loveable Edamame, Lotus Root chips and tasty salads to signature dishes and some absolute stunners off the grill.

The Fried Lotus Chips with Miso Kingfish and Salmon Tataki were a standout and one of Chef Misa’s creations so don’t miss out on that one.

We of course, recommend all of the sashimi – Seared Tuna, Kingfish and Seared Salmon, fresh and delicious, yes please. Next up, the Gyoza is some of the best we’ve sampled, so definitely choose a few of those too.

The Duck Harumake was a standout, a crispy little package filled with duck, carrot and wombok and served with sticky Hoi Sin sauce. Loved it.

There’s also sushi, some very delicious tempura dishes, chicken yakitori (skewers) and grilled scallops you’ll definitely want to taste.

For dessert don’t go past the Chocolate Fondant with Green Tea ice cream, it’s next-level.

In conclusion, you should probably try everything and maybe go back the next night to do it all again.

Project Tokyo is that good.

LOCATION: 90 Markeri St, Mermaid Waters
HOURS: Open for dinner Wednesday to Monday and lunch Saturday and Sunday

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Double Barrel Kitchen opens fresh, new waterfront space

It’s not very often we get to bring you news from Benowa but today is a day that we do Gold Coasters and it’s very good news indeed.

The lucky suburb is the brand new custodian of Double Barrel Kitchen & Bar 2.0 and that’s certainly something to celebrate.

Found on Sunland’s new Marina Concourse (opposite RACV Royal Pines Resort) and overlooking the lake, the newbie is stunning, all bright and airy with huge overhanging lights, a community-style table in the centre and an arched bar where you may perch on leather stools and gaze lovingly at the perfection of it all.

Water views and a breezy outdoor area complete the picture and it all comes together to create a setting you will absolutely want to spend all your spare time in.

If you’ve visited Double Barrel Kitchen & Bar’s first venue in Miami you’ll know they’re all about breakfast, lunch and coffee and in particular, tasty dishes you aren’t likely to sample anywhere else.

The breakfast and lunch menus are both extensive so we’ll chat about a few highlights that you should absolutely taste ASAP.

Starting with breakfast, the most important meal of the day as they say. There’s a bakery section which is SO GREAT and it’s filled with croissants and bagels and banana bread and all the very best things.

There’s a bowl section including bowls of the granola, Acai, spring oats and warm greens varieties plus all the breaky classics you know and love.

Our most favourite section though is the DBK Essentials section because it’s filled with things like Cauliflower Cheese and Corn Fritters, Brekkie Terrine and Apple & Rosella Country Pie for dessert. So good.

When lunchtime rolls around there are entrees like Jar Set Pork Rillets, tacos and arancini, mains like Truffle Mushroom Risotto and King Prawn Angel Hair pasta and Chicken Spatchcock with a blue cheese puree that we are now in love with.

There are also gourmet burgers including a Pork Belly Bahn that’s one of the very best we’ve ever tried (by far).

Drinks-wise there are milkshakes (best), smoothies, coffee by Supreme Roasters and of course a selection of alcoholic beverages including everyone’s fave sparkling tipple Moet & Chandon. Love you.

All perfect for a laidback morning of indulging in delicious goodies while overlooking the water and laughing with the gals.

If you’re looking for us, that’s exactly where we’ll be.

LOCATION: Shop 5/11 Marina Concourse, Benowa
HOURS: Open daily from 6am

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

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