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Betty Wilson’s Dining Room

By James Barnes, Destination Food
By James Barnes, Destination Food
By James Barnes, Destination Food

The phrase pop-up always elicits feelings of excitement and anticipation, particularly when the word restaurant follows and particularly on the Gold Coast.

Happily, we’re here to talk (write) about exactly that; a pop-up restaurant on the Gold Coast and one with an excellent name to boot.

Betty Wilson’s Dining Room is popping up in Kirra as of right now and it’s an exclusive Chef’s Table dining experience like no other.

Brought to us by local chef Jason Atwal, the restaurant will take over one of our favourite southern café spaces by night, Zephyr Coffee Co., from Thursday to Saturday each week.

The Chef’s Table experience will offer an eight-course (!) menu utilising the freshest of local ingredients and Jason’s flair for seafood and experimental cooking techniques.

You may recognise the much-loved Chef from his four year stint at QT Gold Coast’s Bazaar Interactive Marketplace and you will also know that means the menu is going to be one of the very best around.

A favourite dish on the stellar menu is Na Jim spiced prawns with a fresh herbed vermicelli noodle salad encased in a fried prawn cracker and the Heirloom tomato salad with a Burringbar Romano cheese basket. Amazing right?

The aim of the eve is to offer exceptional food in a stylish, relaxed setting paying homage to Jason’s Grandmother, the one and only Betty Wilson. He says she was an incredible baker and as a child, Jason couldn’t get enough of her apple pies with vanilla ice cream, which we completely understand.

In other great news, you may BYO wine to the dinner free of charge.

It’s set to be an experience created with a whole lot of love and the expertise of a man who knows his stuff.

Plus, for we lucky Gold Coasters, with only 12 seats available per night (bookings are essential though, so make sure you lock it in early for the hotly contested seats), it’s the perfect place to make new friends, gather the gang or treat your team to a VIP Christmas party like they’ve never seen before.

Get in quick, we’re fairly certain it’s going to be a popular one.

LOCATION: Zephyr Coffee Co., 1 Churchill Street, Coolangatta
HOURS: From 6.30pm Thursday to Saturday nights

Words by Kirra Smith

Zephyr Coffee Co.

Ahh Kirra. The seaside suburb synonymous with surf, sunshine and ever-present good vibes. The breeze is balmy, the locals are all smiles and now, the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans is wafting down Churchill Street and into your caffeine-loving bloodstream.

You can thank specialty coffee creator newbies Zephyr Coffee Co. for feeding (read: amping up) your addiction and bringing completely unique blends into your orbit to alter life as you know it. Sounds dramatic but bear with us.

The cafe is a simple, relaxation-inducing space just a block back from Kirra beach ensuring salty ocean breezes aplenty on the umbrella-covered front deck. Greenery induces good vibes in the form of fancy wallpaper while the choose-your-own-adventure coffee roaster takes pride of place in the back corner.

Owner Justin has been a passionate coffee connoisseur for many moons and his idea to allow customers to roast their own take home blends is both genius and surprisingly unheard of around these parts.

He orders ‘green’ beans in from around the world and of course, creates his own roasts to make delicious cuppas for y’all while also allowing you to develop your own according to your tastes and preferences.

It’s an actual coffee addicts dream. Of course, the team also create two of their own blends – one for espressos and one for milk based coffees – for those who are all about less effort and faster swigging.

In terms of food, because we know you’re all wondering, there’s a fun range of smoothie bowls to sample, including some you’ve never seen before.

Get around the Black Bowl with charcoal, acai, banana, mango, blueberries and granola for a cooling, healthy snack. Or, if a full day at the beach has you craving carbs, definitely grab yourself a Spaghetti Bolognaise Jaffle and thank your lucky stars those bad boys came back into foodie fashion.

It’s your new favourite summer hang so head on down and get yourself acquainted.

LOCATION: 1 Churchill Street, Coolangatta
HOURS: 6am to 2pm Tuesday to Friday and 6pm to 12pm Saturday and Sunday

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

14 reasons locals love Kirra

Best known for a pumping, world-renowned surf break and ever-present chill vibes, Kirra is the unassuming seaside village within our swiftly expanding city.

Nestled between Bilinga and Coolangatta, Kirra may be small but she is also mighty. Just ask the locals.

Warning: the word Kirra may be slightly overused within this article.

Here’s a list.

St Helens Bar + Kitchen
The newest of the bunch is St Helens, a laidback eatery from which you can feel the ocean breeze on your face while enjoying fresh, seasonal eats made from local ingredients. The family owned business has quickly become a firm favourite due to their welcoming, good vibes, quality and affordable menu and of course, the perfect location. Head in there for a delicious feast.
Where: Shop 2, 78 Musgrave St, Kirra

Kirramisu
Famous for an overflowing dessert cabinet including, you guessed it, tasty tiramisu, this little gem has become an institution in the beachside suburb. Not only loved for their clever name, Kirramisu serve up a bangin’ breakfast and lunch menu, fresh juices and smoothies and all with a side of sparkling ocean views. It’s the little place with the big soul.
Where: 2/28 Musgrave St, Kirra 

Kirra Surf
Speaking of institutions, Kirra Surf is a must-visit when cruising into the footwear-optional suburb. Their range of surfing products and apparel is unrivalled, the staff are super friendly and there’s always at least two things you’ll want to take home with you. Pop in for a visit and marvel at the larger-than-life posters of your fave good-looking surfer boys.
Where: 8 Creek St, Kirra 

Baskk at Kirra Point
Right on the cusp of the Coolangatta and Kirra border is baskk at Kirra Point. Also a bit of a newbie, baskk is bringing cruisy, lounge bar vibes to the already rather chill suburb. Serving a range of tasty tapas and some absolutely stunning cocktails (there’s flowers in the ice cubes guys), it’s the place to be for long lunches that turn into decadent dinners.
Where: Shop 2, Beach House Plaza, 52-58 Marine Pde, Coolangatta

baskk at Kirra Point

Bread and Butter
The Kirra institution recently got a spectacular makeover to match it’s spectacular menu and the people of Kirra (and the rest of the Gold Coast) were very happy about it. They’re serving up pizza, pasta and gnocchi of the tastiest varieties including all you can eat for $30 on Thursday nights. Plus you’ll get those delightful salty ocean breezes from right across the road. Best.
Where: 76 Musgrave St, Kirra 

Kirra Hub
A very recent addition to little old Kirra is Kirra Hub, a social eatery all about good food, good drinks and chill place to spend time with your people. The concept venue, in the Kirra Surf Apartments building, offers three types of cuisine under the one roof. Think pizzas, burgers and authentic German dishes. There’s so much deliciousness to choose from.
Where: 2 Creek St, Kirra

Kirra Beach Bakery
A visit to Kirra isn’t complete without hitting up the local bakery. Whether you’re in need of a post-surf Sweet Chilli Chicken Pie or a pre-dinner Vanilla Slice (don’t judge), Kirra Beach Bakery is the place to go. Get down there early in the morning for fresh-out-of-the-oven bread and enjoy a slice or two with the local seagulls while watching the sunrise.
Where: 1/100 Musgrave St, Kirra 

Cotton Living
Who doesn’t love homewares. Cotton Living, located opposite the beach, is one of the best, showcasing stunning handmade furniture and accessories. Everything in the store is Insta-worthy with a focus on natural colours and textures and the deepest of ocean blue hues. It’s a luxurious space inspired by the beauty of the Coast and you’re sure to find something to take back to your own abode.
Where: Shop 5, 34 Musgrave Street, Kirra

Kirra lookout by Andrew Shield

HiPoke
The poke bowl phenomenon has taken the Gold Coast by storm and why wouldn’t it. Originating in Hawaii, poke bowls are made up of protein and salad combinations artfully arranged in bowls and perfect for both consuming and Instagram snaps. Two of our favourite things. Of the signature bowls, we’re all about the Karaage Chicken with edamame, carrot, corn, sweet chilli mayo and lotus root chips. Summer is just around the corner folks, time to get healthy.
Where: 18/48 Musgrave St, Kirra

HSD Kirra
Since surfing is king in Kirra, it’s no surprise that a tiny little converted surf shack has become a favourite for local hangs. Previously the shaping digs of Dorrington Surfboards, the classic little brick building is a family owned affair stocking all the best surf-friendly goods from boards and accessories to clothing. Head down and stay awhile, HSD is oozing with good vibes.
Where: Nirvana by the Sea, Shop 2, Cnr Musgrave and Douglas Streets, Kirra

Kirra Surf Life Saving Club
Located right on the beach, this old boy has been around longer than you (est. 1916) and is a firm favourite amongst all Gold Coasters. It’s the perfect spot for an afternoon cold one overlooking the ocean or an affordable dinner with the crew. Sit yourself on the deck and let that balmy sea breeze float your worries away.
Where: 15 Marine Pde, Kirra 

Kirra Hill Lookout
Where better to feast your eyes on the beautiful beach that Kirra is famous for the world over. Trek to the top of the headland (maybe after you’ve had that pie) and prepare to be wowed by views from Main Beach to Snapper Rocks. Pack a picnic or fire up the barbie and thank your lucky stars you get to live in the best place on Earth.
Where: It’s on the big hill, you won’t miss it 

Gold Coast Skydive
Jumping out of a plane is all kinds of a fun time, and jumping out of a plane and landing on Kirra beach, even better. The food folks at Gold Coast Skydive are based in Kirra and once you’re out of that plane hurtling toward the sand, Kirra is exactly where you’ll land. After that adrenaline rush you might want to calm yourself with a beer or two. Luckily, the surf club is right there to assist.
Where: 1/78 Musgrave St, Kirra

Kirra Beach Pavilion
While driving around the headland, you may have noticed the cute little shelter overlooking the ocean. It’s not only a great place to hide from the scorching sun, it’s also got some time on its back, over a century to be precise. Early photos of Kirra beach show the shelter in place by around 1916. The Kirra Shelter Shed makes for a great viewing platform and is the perfect spot to watch whales play out in the ocean.

Words by Kirra (sadly-not-named-after-the-suburb) Smith

Ocean image by Andrew Shield

Kirramisu Cafe & Restaurant

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