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Bondi Grill’e

Burleigh Heads is where it’s at this summer Gold Coasters with brand new eateries popping up in every spare inch of space and even more to come over the next few weeks.

The latest to hit the streets is Bondi Grill’e, fresh out of Coolangatta, and into our lives. The sleek new venue can be found underneath Ambience Burleigh and just down the way from Oh My, Waffle.

The newbie boasts a menu primarily focused on perfectly cooked meats that are a fusion of South African and modern Australian flavours, perfectly home in a moody, low-lit space dotted with a few select pieces of artwork and an industrial-style aesthetic.

There are tables both inside and out so you can choose from an intimate and a bulk people watching vibe and we particularly love the bench-style seating running along the side wall. It’s a sweet shade of olive green and the seats themselves are those old school steel folding kind of ones your Nan used to whip out at parties back in the day, bringing Bondi Grill’e both a sense of nostalgia and the cool, old-school vibe we dig.

As mentioned, the menu is packed full of tasty (m)eats with all your classic steakhouse faves including steaks, ribs and salads absolutely made to perfection.

In terms of ribs you may choose from beef, lamb or pork and these are all (of course) slow cooked and basted in a secret sauce (that will blow your mind) and served with chips or potatoes.

The menus’ steaks are the finest cuts of Australian prime beef around and are also basted in a secret sauce that we hope to somehow steal the recipe for someday. Don’t tell them that.

Of course there are chicken (the Portuguese is a winner) and seafood options and a stack of sides you won’t want to pass up.

We alluded to Coolangatta earlier and that is because the Bondi Grill’e dream began down south with a slightly more casual version that’s absolutely adored by locals.

The main difference between the two is that Burleigh boasts a share plate menu in case (and we know it is) that is your dining style of choice.

Options include Pork Belly that is slow roasted and served with roasted onion, dry grapes, toasted almonds, carrot puree and red wine jus (which is to die for) and a Pumpkin Salad that’ll tickle your tastebuds. There’s also a Charcuterie Board stacked with a selection of incredible dried meats, pickled vegetables and chutney. Oh how we adore you chutney.

The wine and cocktail menus are perfectly curated to match the food and we predict many an eve spent with loved ones at this classy space.

Bondi Grill’e 2.0 (and 1.0 for that matter) is the work of a few good folks who were set to open the store in another Burleigh space (where Mr Hizola’s now lives) about a year ago but circumstances beyond their control stopped it from happening.

In the spirit of never giving up though, the team finally made it a goer and we are certainly stoked they did. Pop down and give them some love, you might just discover your new favourite eating establishment.

Burleigh Co-Op

Burleigh Heads has absolutely come alive in the last couple of years with epic eateries and beachside bars popping up all over the place.

The locals are loving it, everybody else is talking about it and we are 100% on board the Burleigh’s the best train.

If there was one thing missing in a suburb filled with good vibes and even better people though, it was an eatery centred around a sense of community and here we are discussing the team of locals who have now taken up that space.

Burleigh Co-op opened their doors today (Monday March 4th) and the sweet little venue already has a huge following, which doesn’t surprise anyone in the least.

The newbie is the work of a gang of folks whose names you no doubt know, including the Hotel Miami crew, the legends at Granddad Jacks, the guys at Lost Boys Barbers, food extraordinaires Fingers and Bones Catering and Elki Blue Jewellery.

They’ve taken over the spot where much-loved Burleigh Social once lived after quickly seeing the hole it’s absence left for the hungry locals.

The bones of the building remain the same but the fitout is all sparkly and new with a whitewashed slash industrial vibe perfectly at home amongst the potted greenery, tangled trellises and a little bench style situation covered in vines.

Inside, glossy white tiles line the back wall, which is where you’ll see the chefs working their magic and you may sit inside to watch them do just that or outside in the prettiest of courtyards.

It’s relaxing, easy on the eye and, well, perfectly Burleigh.

The menu is also one of the best around with plenty of breakfast slash lunch dishes you’ve never laid eyes (or tastebuds) on before.

The Zucchini Waffles are a taste sensation with a sunny side egg (best name for a food-related thing), mixed shoots, chilli sour cream and Parmesan snow (also epic). It’s a big old dish that’ll satisfy you for a very long while.

The Brick Lane Bombay is spice-fried potatoes, flashed spinach, fried egg, coriander, spring onion and lime. You want to eat it just after reading that don’t you. One of the best brunch dishes in the world. Big call, no lie.

Zucchini Waffles

There’s also an array of bowls filled with fresh, nourishing goodness and while we’ll certainly be sampling all of them, first up we’d recommend the Green Papaya Salad because fresh hot smoked tofu, rice noodles, loads of herbs, peanuts, crispy shallots and Chili and lime dressing. All of the flavours.

Oh let’s also discuss the Falafel Fritters with pickled red cabbage and caraway seeds, turmeric cauliflower hummus, barley tabouli and a seeded cracker. Yep.

Every dish deserves a mention but we can’t give away all their secrets.

Green Papaya Salad

The coffee is by local faves Social Espresso so you know a sweet, smooth brew is on the cards and all the produce on offer is local because showcasing our stunning city is what Burleigh Co-op is all about.

From the owners to the eats, everything about the place is part of the community, co-operative vibe Burleigh knows and loves.

So, after all that, obviously the only thing left to do is get down to Hibiscus Haven and get involved in the goodness.

Happiest days.

Words and photos by Kirra Smith.

LOCATION: 2 Hibiscus Haven, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: 6am until 3pm daily

BKA Vegan Restaurant & Bar

Oh hey, we’re here to chat about Burleigh Heads again – the fastest growing foodie scene in Australia (made that up but it wouldn’t surprise us if it were true).

The latest exciting eatery to join the ranks of Burleigh’s rapidly expanding restaurant extravaganza (dramatic) is BKA Vegan, a stylish plant-based venue found underneath Ambience on Burleigh and open as of right now.

BKA Vegan has moved into the spot once occupied by The Local and it’s got that low-lit, moody industrial vibe we know and love. A sign splashed across the wall reads ‘Be Kind Always’ (which is what BKA stands for) and that, friends, is the entire premise of the newbie.

Earthy tones, exposed bricks and raw unpolished timber makes up the bar area and it’s a welcoming, edgy and delightful addition to beautiful Burleigh.

You can sit inside to soak up the good vibes or sidle up to a footpath table and watch the world pass you by.

Quite obviously, the menu is of the entirely vegan persuasion and every single thing on it (besides the bread) is made in house. Let it be known however that yes, it’s a vegan restaurant and while the food is indeed plant based, it is also simply food that is tasty, comforting and full of surprising, delightful flavours.

Owners Kylie Wood, a vegan of eight years, and Ryan Jacob wanted to create a space that offered hearty, tasty food and to educate people about being kind, both to one another and the planet. Ryan has been a chef for over 30 years and brings his expertise to a menu filled with unique flavour profiles that we shall now discuss.

There are many dishes worth mentioning here starting with small plates. We were particularly fond of the Spring Rolls (best we’ve ever tasted) and the Stuffed Crumbed Mushrooms. More please.

The larger plates were even better. Highly recommend the Mushroom Satay Ramen (flavour sensation), the Eggplant Cannelloni with spinach, cheese and lentil ragu and the Black Bean Noodle Salad with edamame, pickled ginger, wakame and spicy black bean dressing. Especially the Eggplant Cannelloni, what a treat.

The drinks menu is filled with vegan wines and beers (FYI Burleigh Brewing’s beers are all 100% vegan) and the cocktail menu is as good as you’ll find anywhere.

The entire crew are passionate about creating a conscious, ethical space and it shows both in the food and on their smiling, stoked-to-be-there faces.

Good food and good vibes, two of our favourite things. Get down there and give them some love Gold Coasters.

LOCATION: 1/1837 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: 10am until 11pm Wednesday to Sunday

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Restaurant Labart

Photo credit: Andy MacPherson
Photo credit: Andy MacPherson

Burleigh Heads is on absolute fire with venues swinging open their doors left and right, much to the delight of locals who apparently can’t get enough of tasty eats and bunkering down somewhere warm with a wine in hand (same to be honest).

The latest eatery to grace us with its’ presence is Restaurant Labart (opening tonight), a stylish space on Burleigh’s West Street, where Burleigh Chinese once lived. It’s simple sophistication at its finest and unlike anything the Gold Coast has seen before.

Which is of course, due to the fact that Restaurant Labart is the work of Sydneysiders Karla and Alex Munoz Labart who bring quite the impressive rap sheet to our beachside city.

But first, the interior. The narrow space is beautifully designed with walnut leather bench-style seating lining the walls and not-quite-khaki paneling with dark wood furniture and low-hanging lighting completing the picture. The vibe is earthy, refined and understated and we quite like it thank you very much.

The menu is, happily, the star of the show and that is a concept close to our hearts (and tummies). It’s made up of snacks (best) and both small and large share plates all of which are absolute taste sensations.

To share we recommend the BBQ King Prawns with shellfish butter, crème fraiche and finger lime and the Veal Tartare with sun-dried tomatoes, tarragon and potato crisps.

The large plates are all kinds of goodness and in particular the Seared Mulloway with peas, dill and horseradish and the Grilled Lamb Rack with charred turnips and green herb sauce should make you happy.

For dessert (OUR FAVOURITE) Chocolate Mousse with popcorn ice cream and salted popcorn is probably the most exciting dish there is in the world. Keep that one coming please.

You may also indulge in a cheese plate and if that’s not enough to have you making a reservation right this minute, please explain.

To compliment the stand out menu, a carefully curated selection of wines (including biodynamic and natural choices) along with Australian craft beers and seasonal cocktails are on offer to delight your tastebuds.

As mentioned owners Karla and Alex made the move from down south where Alex was the Head Chef at famed Sydney venues Monopole and Cirrus Dining, both of which were awarded Chefs Hats during his tenure.

Restaurant Labart is their first venture and, with the philosophy of aiming to simply make people happy, they’re sure to fit in just fine around these parts.

Excuse us, we’re off to consume all the chocolate mousse before the rest of you get your hands on any.

The end.

LOCATION: 8 West St, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: Dinner Wednesday to Saturday 6pm until 11:30pm. Lunch Friday to Sunday, 12 until 3 pm

Words by Kirra Smith. Photos supplied – interior shots by Andy MacPherson – food images via Restaurant Labart.

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