When it comes to European food, the rest of the world has a lot to owe. And no trip to the old continent is complete without a stop by in Belgium. This pocket-sized country is steeped in history, and today the biggest draws are its medieval towns and cafe-bars serving some of the planet’s finest beers and waist swelling food you’re likely to find.
When we stumble across a new and exciting venue bringing unpretentious and authentic eats and drinks to the Gold Coast, our heart skips a beat for a second. And for this new Currumbin creekside venue, you may need to sit down, because Bridges MD Belgian Dining is the slice of Europe we all need in our lives.
Owners Martin and Delphine are two hospitality professionals and veterans in their own rights. Both hailing from Europe — Czech Republic and Belgium respectively — they have always wanted to bring a little piece of where they grew up to where they now call home on the Gold Coast. And luckily for us, this equates to some scrumptious flavours that you will struggle to find anywhere else.
The name, Bridges MD, is inspired by the many famous river crossings throughout Belgium. Situated near the serene and picturesque Currumbin Creek, this adorable restaurant/bar couldn’t be in a more perfect location if it tried. The space comprises a tall, recycled wood bar with high seats, a vintage-styled lounge area, and the most enchanting back courtyard area with beautiful features, elegant tables, chairs and a running fountain. Stay a while here, and you may forget you’re in Queensland!
The venue’s offering will be split between operating as a boutique coffee shop from late morning to mid-afternoon before becoming a refined dining haven of Belgian delicacies in the evening. Saunter in on any given daytime, and you will be treated to some of the most intricate and delectable handmade sweets you have ever laid eyes on. Delphine will be handmaking real Belgian Waffles to order, whipping up Chocolate Pralines, Chocolate Mousse, and the most mind-blowing Hot Chocolate with Crème Chantilly on top. There will also be several pastries, Macaroons, and other traditional Belgian Petits Delices on offer — which when you try them, you’ll instantly be smitten. And if you ever want to see what is on offer, you can always take a stroll past their chilled window display with all the goodies in plain sight: dangerous!
Of an evening, the menu will focus on hearty Belgian fare with customary dishes of Steamy Mussels with sauce Provencal or Mariniere, slow-cooked meatballs in a unique and secret sauce inspired by the town of Liege — Liegeoise. And to top it off, how do hand-cut hot chips sound? Naturally smothered in an array of painstakingly housemade sauces that even ex-pat Belgians will delight in. Delicious, we dare say.
No Belgian cooking is complete without great drinks. Although a neat little wine list of Australian and European drops and a mustering of cocktails will appeal to most, it’s the beer where this venue truly shines. Belgium is renowned the world over for its greatness of beer, some breweries dating back to medieval times and using the same recipe as their founding fathers — who were most of the time bored monks! So, nestle in at the bar top and let hand-poured European beers from Belgium, and the Czech Republic quench your thirst. Be careful, though; some of these can be around 6-8% standard, no half measures here.
Whether you plan on stopping by for a tasty treat during the day or slipping into the courtyard area for a Belgian beer by night, Bridges MD is set to open their doors this weekend (Sat 26th / Sun 27th June 2021) and promises to be a firm favourite for locals and visitors to Currumbin.
Where: 136 Duringan Street, Currumbin
Hours: Open every Thursday – Tuesday (Closed Wednesday)
Boutique Coffee Shop: 10am – 4pm
Dinner Service: 5.30pm – late
Lunch Service only on Saturday & Sunday: 12pm – 3pm
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
It’s the unassuming seaside suburb quietly making itself known for the hippest coffee haunts and an industrial area that has grown into THE place to be, seemingly overnight.
Because somebody has to do it, we’ve rounded up 13 reasons why locals love Currumbin.
Serving up some of the absolute best doughnuts you’ll ever have the pleasure of sampling is Currumbin’s Fuel Bakehouse. With varieties like Nutella, Passionfruit and Salted Caramel to name a few, you won’t be sad if you buy at least four of each. Not only doughnuts though, they also do epic pies, cruffins, croissants, all of the baked goodies and coffee too. Perfection the lot of it.
Where: 44 Currumbin Ck Road, Currumbin Waters
The Salt Mill
A tiny little space directly across from the beach, The Salt Mill is perhaps one of the most beloved cafes there is on the Coast. They do exceptional coffee, takeaway sandwiches packed with goodness, Açai bowls (arguably some of the best around), smoothies, fresh juices, smashed avo, raw treats, everything that is delicious in the world. Buy one of everything then stroll across the road and take in that unrivalled ocean view.
Where: 784 Pacific Parade, Currumbin
Hello homewares. And plants and art and jewellery and clothing. All the things you love and all delightfully arranged in the perfectly styled space that is Gather Store. In case you haven’t been in (WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE), allow us to enlighten you. Owners Jan and Sandy Hogg have carefully curated goods from local artists and craftspeople drawing inspiration from the local creative community. It’s pure gold, go now.
Where: Shop 1, 56 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters
The newest kid on the block, Consciously Clean is the place to go if you need to stock up on anything and everything eco-friendly in terms of home and body cleaning goods. They have a system where you can bring in your own jar or bottle and fill that with the product of your choice or purchase one there and it’s all very affordable. Not only that though, you can also grab food containers and wraps, drink bottles, pet things and skincare too. It’s a one-stop shop. We love.
Where: 4/42 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin
The cry of “best espresso on the Coast” has been heard of Portside Coffee more than once and it’s true, this cool little joint is serving up the goods and not just in the coffee department. There’s also buttery homemade pastries on offer and intimate, friendly neighbourhood vibes galore. It’s the perfect place to get your early morning caffeine fix if you’re planning to explore Currumbin’s newly happening industrial area.
Where: 42 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters
Panya Artisan Bakery
The only thing better than the smell of freshly baked bread is the taste of freshly baked bread. Sensory dreams can come true when you visit Panya Artisan Bakery. If you haven’t heard of it, don’t be alarmed, their main jam is supplying your favourite cafes and restaurants, but they do sell limited quantities of baked goodies to the public. Set your alarm for as early as you can handle, it’s well worth the wake up call.
Where: 42 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters
Freeman’s Organic Farm
For a complete change of scenery make sure you add Freeman’s to your weekend plans. The farm was established in 1915 and in the 1920’s became the largest commercial banana farm in Australia with over 100 acres of trees. Today, the farm grows all organic produce which you can sample at the I Eight Cake Kitchen via a variety of delicious organic dishes and (more) baked treats.
Where: 618 Tomewin Mountain Road, Currumbin Valley
All your favourite arty aspects combine at Dust Temple, an ex-warehouse turned gallery, coffee shop and creative community hang. Hosting local, national and international artists, musicians, poets and an in-house ceramicist, leatherworker and silversmith, it’s certainly a place to go if you need to feel creatively inspired. Amp up the happy vibes with a coffee while you’re there.
Where: 54 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin
Casual Japanese dining at its absolute finest is what you’ll find at Zipang Japanese. If you’ve not yet had the pleasure, it’s time you did yourself an absolute solid and booked in there to devour one of the best feasts you’ll ever have. They’re open Friday and Saturday nights at the moment and you’ll absolutely need to book ahead because Zipang is very, very popular. For good reason.
Where: 5/31 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin
You’ve heard about it and if you’ve not yet had the chance to visit, make today the day. Balter is the brainchild of your fave local pro surfers combining two of the things we Gold Coasters love the most, beer and waves. It’s a delightfully decked out space with big old beer vats on display, a sweet mural on the wall and plenty of outdoor spots to sit. Happy days.
Where: 14 Traders Way, Currumbin
Iron & Resin Garage
Primarily a clothing store and coffee shop, Iron and Resin Garage was made for rockers and motorbike riders. The reclaimed industrial space features a famous Sunday session, #onanysunday. Every Sunday from 9am-12pm you and your crew are invited to enjoy great live music from the cream of local musicians and breakfast provided by assorted food trucks.
Where: 6 Stewart Road, Currumbin
Brimming with all the tasty food stalls, arts and crafts and live music, Sanctuary Markets are held every Friday night at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Oh, there’s a bar too. Whack on your stretchy pants and grab your gang, there’s fun to be had on Friday nights in Currumbin. Obviously check out Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary too for that matter, they’ve got a bird show that’s pretty fun.
Where: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, 28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin
Parker and Persia
Love all of the vintage things? Us too. Luckily newbie Parker and Persia has us covered with a shop filled with revamped vintage furniture and homewares and some of the most stunning Moroccan rugs we’ve ever seen. Owners Steph and Sam have curated goodies from all over Australia to bring the stunning space to Currumbin. We’re in love.
Where: 2a/42 Currumbin Creek Rd, Currumbin
Words by Kirra Smith
There is one word that sends 99.9% of us to our happy place and for once, we’re not talking about wine or cocktails. We’re referring to that other guilty pleasure that unites us all….chocolate! It may be enemy #1 to our waistline but whatevs, it’s so good that most of us are happy to have a little more junk in our trunk if it means we can indulge, like, daily.
Because we want it for brekky, lunch and dinner, we’ve put together a list of the most drool-worthy choco dishes on the GC. There are 15 so that means you have 2 weeks and 1 days’ worth of your choccy hit sorted. If you cap yourself to one indulgence per day – but honestly that’s conservative. No judgement here!
A few sandy footsteps from Tally Creek, Custard Canteen – little sis of Bam Bam Bakehouse and Cubby Bakehouse – whips up pastry goodies like a boss. Their cookie cakes are legend-ary and let’s talk about the Quad Choc Cookie because mind=blown. When you pull apart this bad boy you’ll have heavenly choccy goodness oozing here there and everywhere – just the way it should be.
Where: Tallebudgera Recreation Centre, Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Ahh Churros, a little slice of heaven…or Spain, but kinda the same thing. Sun Churro offer nine dip-cup sauces to keep you coming back again and again (which we do), but we’re going all-out and ordering a Choc Strawberry Churro Sundae with chocolate ice cream, chocolate fudge and strawberries drizzled in chocolate, topped with churros, choc whipped cream and choc curls.
Where: Biggera Waters or Surfers Paradise
Cowch is conveniently located in Broadbeach’s The Oracle Boulevard so that we swing in and eat our feelings. Get stuck into a Fudge Nut Sundae Bowl with chocolate, caramelised condensed milk (ohmygawd), and cookies & cream gelato, served on fudge sauce-soaked brownie pieces, topped with peanuts, whipped cream and dark chocolate sauce. We’re speechless.
Where: 1 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
Poppy’s Chocolate Robina
When you’re wandering around The Kitchens at Robina, don’t tell us you haven’t picked up a little somethin-somethin from Poppy’s coz we know better. With chocolates and truffles galore, chocolate bark, rocky road (our pick – it’s all-time) and even humble chocolate buttons (we’re getting all nostalgic), the lovely Lynda has you covered. Fun fact: Lynda was even nominated for a Mumpreneur Award last year. Another local done good!
Where: The Kitchens, Ground Level, Shop 4252, Robina Town Centre Dr, Robina
Chocolatier extraordinaire Alicia knows her chocolate, and GC chocco superfans can’t get enough. If you’re after a gift or some seriously crowd-pleasing wedding favours, there are options galore guaranteed to please even the finest connoisseur. Her signature product is the Chocolate Pralines, fine shells of chocolate encasing soft and textured fillings like caramels and ganaches. It’s death by chocolate for us.
Where: 7/10 Bailey Cres, Southport
So imagine if Twix Tacos existed with 2 deep fried Twix bars in a red velvet pancake taco with icecream, brownie salsa and shaved milky bar. Umm they do, and you can wrap your laughing gear around them at Ze Pickle. Famous for its bangin burgers, founding trio Nathan, Aaron and JD do the sweet end of the scale just as masterfully – and originally – as the savoury stuff.
Where: 1/37 Connor St, Burleigh Heads
I mean, who doesn’t heart this place right? With seating in their cottage, garden, rooftop, loft and barn, Paddock is a GC institution. From the milkbar, order a frozen hot chocolate, made with five different types of choc, blended with ice and topped with Nutella, vanilla bean cream and Paddock brownie pieces. Why not pair it with a Raw Snickers Slice and guarantee a chocolate hangover (worth it).
Where: 20 Hibiscus Haven, Burleigh Heads
Kylie’s amazing themed cakes (girlfriend got some skills) and cupcakes are seriously all-time! Her signature black chocolate cupcakes will knock your socks off and with the option to request any theme within reason, you know where to go next when you’re catering for a party. Her pull-apart cakes are something special and your kiddos will go bonkers for anything from this place. Just yes!
Where: 56 Nerang St, Nerang
This place is as delicious to look at as its sweet goodies are to devour. From the beautifully self-branded bottled Nuttellattes to their to-die-for baked treats, coffee and locally made artisan goods, we give it a big thumbs up. With gram-worthy charm from pillar to post, choose from a mouth-watering array of 24 gelato flavours and we’re going with the choc hazelnut. Mmmm.
Where: Sanctuary Cove Marine Village, Shop/39A Masthead Way, Hope Island
D Point Ten
Doughnuts….oh how we love thee! These circles of fried yumminess never fail to a put a smile on our dials and D Point Ten has upped the game. There’s something here for everyone (good luck choosing….) but for the chocoholics among us (hi), let’s go a Reese’s Donut. Or wait, maybe a Gaytime Donut (what a pairing!). Or perhaps a Caramilk?! Oh bugger it, we’re ordering them all.
Where: Southport, Broadbeach, Varsity Lakes, Hope Island
Waffle & Bean Dessert Bar and Patisserie
It’s a new local fave and we can see (and taste) precisely why! Chocolate lovers, you can get your fix and then some, starting with their new Donut Cakes stuffed with Nutella. For those who prefer a gluten free, flour free treat, you’re in luck coz their Chocolate Mud Cake with Caramilk Frosting and Cadbury Flake is so spesh, it makes us gluten-embracing-folk consider jumping the fence.
Where: Shop 11/118 Griffith St, Coolangatta
My French Pastries
An award-winning French bakery that even delivers? Hells yeah! With sweet delicacies for days, Pasty Chef Antonio Marchesi keeps pastries real, authentic and made according to French tradition. That means only the finest French flour, quality butter and it’s all made from scratch. Do yourself a favour and try the Nutella-filled beignets, or their chocolate eclairs but be sure to order a couple because one is never enough.
Where: Shop 5, 4226/361 Robina Pkwy, Robina
Tarte Bakery & Café
In addition to a stellar all day brekky menu (note to self: order the Babka French Toast, a brioche filled with Nutella and chocolate chips, balsamic strawberries and whipped cream), the Tarte crew give good tarte. It’s hard to go past their brownie and sea salt cookies with a gooey, soft centre and cookie-like outside. A staple since the start which has stood the test of time.
Where: 1748 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
Oh My, Waffle
Get your waffle on at this shut-up-good dessert bar. A must try is the Wafflenator and with a name like that, you know you’re in a for a bad ass sweet sensation. A golden waffle topped with crushed Tim Tams, Whittaker’s Creamy Milk Chocolate, ice cream and drizzled with salted caramel sauce…and need we really say anymore? For the next level addicts, add brownie pieces. Oooooooh yeahhhhh!
Where: Shop 6, 1837 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
Aux Fines Bouches
You might have guessed this place is French and LBH, the French do desserts like no-one else. Their cakes are absolute works of art (seriously, we can’t stop marvelling at their beauty), and taste equally next level. We’re giving special shout-outs to their ah-mazing croquembouches and chocolate macaroons which we could eat all day long. And maybe we did….
Where: Unit 2/43 Taree St, Burleigh Heads
Words by Bianca Trathen
Dining out can be a mixed affair. From finding yourself excitedly catching up with friends over share style plates to sitting down in a sophisticated environment with huge explorations of flavours — and no doubt courses. There is undoubtedly an eating-out experience for every occasion. Boutique dining room-style destinations offering polished and carefully orchestrated dishes are growing in popularity; offering diners the chance to take part in a culinary journey from the moment they sit down until the moment they wave goodbye.
How do nine luxuriant courses of utter seasonality and divine savourings sound to you? Like something you need in your life, we think you’ll agree. Brought to you by renowned Sydney Chef Alex Munoz-Labart, Restaurant Labart provides one of the most on-point submersions into culinary wizardry you’re going to find outside of a capital city. Once you have taken your seat, enjoy the pared-back wooden furniture and muted colour accents permeating serene yet urbane feels. Seriously: what is there not to adore about this place?
Where: 8 West Street, Burleigh Heads
The North Room
A sophisticated and contemporary dining room in Mermaid Beach, The North Room made its debut in mid-2017 introducing locals to share-style dining. The ever-changing menu focuses on seasonally inspired dishes served in a clean and minimalistic space. For wine lovers out there, rejoice. You’ll be treated to exceptional and lesser-known wine producers hand-picked to accompany the exquisite flavours of whatever chef/owner Tim Stewart has opted to curate for the day’s menu.
Where: 2527 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach (between Ventura Rd and Cronulla Ave)
If the backdrop is something you consider heavily when choosing a destination for eating out, how does a world-class art gallery sound? Home of the Arts (HOTA) brand spanking new Gallery building would not have been complete without an astounding place to eat and drink, right? Enter Palette. With the talented and much experienced Dayan Hartill-Law as Executive Chef, the ethos is simple; high-quality produce with amazing provenance underpinned by knowledgeable yet approachable staff. Book in for an evening visit and be amazed by a degustation menu directly inspired by neighbouring art installations.
Where: The Gallery, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
Glenelg Public House
One for the meat lovers out there: what these guys don’t know about preparing and serving up mouth-watering steak isn’t worth knowing. The menu cleverly hinges on incredibly diverse, quality produce — both from the paddock and the ocean — with old-school yummy dishes served with a contemporary Australian flair. For those who feel like something a bit special, there is an additional section for oversized select pieces of meat which can be sliced and brought out ready to share. Be sure you come with drinks on your mind, as the back bar and wine selection are another strong point at this Mermaid Beach ode to good food.
Where: 9/2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Eddy + Wolff
The décor and styling of this tucked-away Robina hotspot will inevitably make it hard going if you intend on ordering anything quick. A central island bar with wrap-around high seat dining is the epitome of modern, sophisticated eating, and we reckon you’ll fall for it in a big way. A fusion of Asian flavours awaits you from an uncomplicated share style menu with its devoted section to BBQ: Octopus Tentacle with tangy nashi pear glaze is the absolute highlight here. Another eatery with a ‘distinction’ in Instagram profiles, showing off some mighty sexy-looking cocktails you just must try — all with subtle but considered nods to the orient.
Where: 44 Commerce Drive, Robina
When you’re yearning for top-notch Japanese eats within a small and intimate setting, then this under-the-radar restaurant in Currumbin Waters, we think, fits the bill to a tee. From the moment you arrive, the cheery staff will bring the specials blackboard over to your table and talk you through what delicious edible sensations are on offer. If it’s available, we recommend the black sesame crusted Salmon or any one of the baos — they’re all fabulous. Pair up whatever you opt for with a selection of sakes and Japanese beers to round off a great experience of Japanese cuisine on the southern Gold Coast.
Where: 10/27-31 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters
Being one of the longest-standing — and most celebrated — restaurants in our city, Little Truffle most certainly has a piece of our heart. But what is it about this unassuming Mermaid Beach haven of flavour? Is it a European-inspired menu filled with the most deftly put together mouth-watering dishes, or a dazzling wine list, perhaps it’s the exceedingly polished service? You know what, we think it’s all three — and a whole lot more!
Where: 2444 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
From the same folks behind the ever-popular pizza restaurant, Francie’s, this newly opened Mediterranean delight is already bringing all things delicious to the people of Coolangatta. Aesthetically, this bolt hole with a fresh white interior is the kind of place you’ll want to settle into and be in no hurry to leave. With a menu centred around some incredible handmade pasta — with a separate vegan menu — we think you’ll join us in agreeing Griffith Street just got a whole lot better. The textbook spot to pop in for an afternoon wine — or fall in love with the menu and stay late into the night.
Where: 14 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
Lupo arrived at Mermaid Beach to a whirlwind of rave reviews, and here now, nearly four years later, the adoration hasn’t stopped. The comfortable space offers a homestyle Italian menu with lashings of love and an atmosphere to match. Made up of the very best produce around, if you take a look at their Instagram anytime soon: beware. It’s plausible you’ll be lost to the world scrolling their drool-worthy photos for a while. The Pork Cotoletta is crumbed pork that will ruin the humble Chicken Schnity for you forever.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
When the prospect of visiting the cutest little Italian eatery comes your way, you should be keen as can be. The newly opened Bottega on Chevron Island features handmade pastas to hand-rolled and stretched pizzas, fired right on the spot in their pride of place pizza oven — beside the entrance, no less. Sprinkle into the equation some out-of-this-world imported wines, which you won’t find on the high street every day, and Bottega is the answer to your pasta-induced prayers.
Where: 58 Thomas Drive, Surfers Paradise
The Little Plate
Another hidden in plain sight gem, The Little Plate manages to pack a punch in the flavour department by taking Euro and Asian favourites and turning the taste up to 10! You’ll consistently find a large selection of as-fresh-as-possible specials, giving this Burleigh restaurant the ultimate replay value — no two visits will ever be the same. We suggest you give their tasting menu a go at least once and let the experts take care of the rest.
Where: Shop 11/3 Deodar Drive, Burleigh Heads
Words by Alex Mitcheson.