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Baked at Ancora

A gourmet bakery and café for Tweed Heads.

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

Bistro 16

It’s not often we get to discuss our sweet southern friends but when we do, it’s for very good reason (usually due to epic eats obviously) and this little tale is no exception.

Before we begin discussing epic eats however, let’s discuss bowls clubs, an English invention enthusiastically adopted by Aussies that have since become one of our favourite places to spend time.

The reasons for which are three-fold: 1. Affordable schooners slash wine, 2. Epic eats at even better prices and 3. The chance to play barefoot (or real) bowls on a Sunday afternoon after/while indulging in schooners slash wine.

What’s not to love?

Which bring us to the purpose of this article. Said epic eats and specifically those of Bistro 16 at Tweed Heads Bowls Club (see we always get to the point eventually).

It’s a delightful space, both rustic and modern in aesthetics with bright pops of colour and a soft, low-lit vibe. It’s charming and welcoming and the kind of spot you definitely won’t mind spending a bit of time in.

The culinary team there, led by Executive Chef Brad Whittaker, have been in the process of creating a new menu of late and the results are in. It’s a modern, comforts-of-home style situation made up of small plates and things to share and, to be frank, we’re impressed.

In recent times Bistro 16 has become a dining destination much-loved by both locals and visitors and, as folks who are passionate about food tend to do, they decided to ramp things up a bit.

Here’s what you should rush down there to taste at the next available opportunity; South Western Salad, Char-grilled Pork Loin Cutlet, Meal Lover Pizza, the Mushroom, Ricotta and Spinach Burger and the BBQ prawn BLT. Yes, all of those things.

Share-wise may we suggest a Prawn Cocktail (how good are those) or some Southern Fried Chicken. Or both, because you know how we like to encourage eating.

The rest of the menu is made up of all your favourites including pizzas, pasta, burgers, stir-fries and chicken parmies all of which are prepared by the Tweed Heads Bowls Club’s in-house butchery (who knew).

For dessert, don’t even think about not ordering the Chocolate Mousse plus probably try the Tiramisu and Crème Caramel baked by the in-house Pastry Chef. This place is the gift that keeps on giving isn’t it.

Of course, there’s a roast of the day (pork, beef or lamb) and it’s just $13.50 for members (well worth joining up for).

The Chef and his team make it their mission to be creative with the menu, including choosing unique ingredients and flavours to ensure you’ll definitely want to keep coming back for more.

Here’s the best part though; express meals are priced from $9 for members at lunchtime and $15.50 at dinner with desserts on offer from $4.50. WOW.

So that’s about 37 reasons to get down to Tweed Heads quick smart and don’t forget the aforementioned affordable schooners slash wine and opportunities for barefoot slash real bowls.

It’s everything you need and then some.

LOCATION: Corner Wharf and Florence Streets, Tweed Heads
HOURS: Lunch daily from 11.30am until 2pm and dinner Sunday to Thursday 5:30pm- 8pm, Friday and Saturday 5:30pm- 8:30pm

Words by Kirra Smith


Tweed Mall

Say ciao to Tweed’s stunning new Italian eatery

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Italian food is a gift from the Gods (aka people who revere carbs, love and afternoon naps above all else). It is both a comforting hug and a combination of flavours that instantly transport you back to that trip you once took to Italy and haven’t stopped thinking about since.

Particularly when it’s the work of two people who understand the importance of all of the above and have indeed spent considerable time living in one of the most beautiful countries in the world themselves.

Maki and Mike Dackiw are the brains behind Tweed Head’s newbie Gallura Italian and their rap sheet is an impressive one. They spent ten years running a trattoria in Milan before making the move to Sydney to open a sister venue and most recently, Park Street Pasta Bar in Brunswick Heads.

Luckily for the Gold Coast, the pair have now made the move to our southern shores and with them, comes a stunning new space brimming with those Italian good vibes you know and love and serving up a menu that will almost certainly blow your mind.

Gallura Italian is an intimate 60-seat venue with low hanging lights, a beautiful, brightly coloured octopus mural and a section called the Chef’s table where you can sit at the bar and watch Mike and the team at work. Oh and there are pendant lights made from oyster shells so that’s amazing.

Now to the menu and what a divine little masterpiece it is. Each dish is refined and made up of perfectly balanced flavours with influences from Sardinia and all made with the freshest of coastal produce.

To begin, the Arancini with black truffle, mushroom, buffalo mozzarella and porcini cream is absolutely divine as is the Chargrilled Local Octopus with cannellini bean crema, pickled green tomatoes, baby radish and nduja. Two of the best Italian dishes we’ve ever sampled (and yes, including from Italy).

One of Gallura Italian’s specialty dishes is the Pane Frattau – a Sardinian flat bread soaked in lamb broth with tomato salsa, basil, pecorino sarda and with a poached duck egg perched on top. It was melt-in-your-mouth magic.

From the Primi menu, the Spaghetti with NZ vongole (clams), confit garlic, vermentino (white wine from Sardinia) and Bottarga (salted fish rose) is mind-blowing, the perfect combination of flavours and the pasta arrived al dente which very rarely happens. Perfection.

For dessert, quite obviously you’ll want to taste the Limoncello Tiramisu and also maybe an Affogato because those are amazing always.

The wine list is made up of Italian tipples from across the country and there is a tight cocktail list should you wish to indulge in a couple of those too.

The emphasis of Tweed Head’s spectacular newbie is on fresh, local produce, handmade pasta and traditional Sardinian methods and may we say they have absolutely nailed it.

We’re probably going to move to Tweed now.


LOCATION: 1/20 Stuart St, Tweed Heads
HOURS: Wednesday to Friday 12pm to 2.30pm and 5pm to 9pm, Saturday 5pm to 9pm and Sunday 11.30am to 3pm

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

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