Looks who’s upping their foodie game even further folks. That’s right, Southport is the home of yet another sweet new venue and as of right now, the northern suburb is hot on the heels of its southern sisters.
Aviary Rooftop Bar opens this week on yes, the very top floor of the brand new Mantra at Sharks, and it really is quite a delight to behold. With 180 degree views over the Surfers Paradise skyline and the ocean right behind that, it’s the perfect place for an after work beverage or Sunday arvo session with the crew.
There’s a couple of things going on, starting with an outdoor area called The Nest at one end (yes there are heaters) including a greenery laden wall and plenty of seating overlooking said skyline.
Through the other side is the main bar with lounge-style seating areas, dining tables lining the north facing window and higher tables overlooking the stunning Gold Coast seaway and beyond. We are 100% in love with the colourful, illustration style menus, coasters with hilarious alcohol related sayings and general good vibes due to all of the natural light streaming in from every direction.
A woodfire pizza oven takes up one corner with a teal tiled wall and (our fave) a neon sign reading ‘come fly with me’ (because all the bird-related things) taking pride of place. Plants are artfully scattered about and pastel-coloured tables give a sophisticated yet laidback feel. It’s really very lovely.
Food-wise the menu is filled with all our favourite things including, quite obviously, a selection of extremely tasty woodfired pizzas (tested and approved by yours truly). The In Bloom was a fave with zucchini blossoms, pine nuts, feta, tomato, baby spinach and lemon olive oil. Definitely give The Burrata a try – it’s got smoked burrata (an Italian-style buffalo cheese), shaved prosciutto, tomato, caramelized onion and arugula (rocket).
Share plates are also on offer and range from bowls filled with warm delicious olives and almonds to Pork and Veal Meatballs and, the love of our lives, a Charcuterie Board that must be eaten by everyone.
The cocktail menu is a good time too. We vote for the Bowerbird because it’s got Prosecco with ginger liqueur, lime juice and simple syrup and it is the most refreshingly delicious thing there has ever been. True. The Black Swan is a healthier style of tipple which is (get this) a spiced herbal blend featuring charcoal powder mixed through Settlers Yuzu Gin, Mandarin Liqueur, Licor43, lemon and simple syrup. Insta-worthy and yummy!
The bar is stocked with many a local tipple and all liqueurs are sourced from Tamborine Mountain because supporting local is a thing we Gold Coasters do.
There’ll be a DJ playing all the best house beats on Friday and Saturday nights and acoustic tunes on Sunday arvos. PLUS a cinema area will offer a regular art-house night.
It’s quite the exciting time to be a Southport local what with next-level venues literally springing up all over the place.
Gather your gang Gold Coasters, winter or not, there are good times to be had.
LOCATION: Mantra at Sharks, Melia Court, Southport (next to Southport Sharks)
HOURS: Monday to Friday 4pm – late and Saturday to Sunday 12noon – late
Words and photos by Kirra Smith