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Can we get a watt watt for this five star dining experience?

Executive Chef Hamish Watt, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort (image supplied)
Executive Chef Hamish Watt, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort (image supplied)

You know when you visit the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort for a meal, the chow is going to be on-point. Well the flavour and quality are about to be dialled up another notch, with the appointment of Hamish Watt as Executive Chef. Hamish is a bit of a big deal (autographs later peeps) and will oversee the culinary offerings across all areas of the resort.

Launching his illustrious career under Neil Perry at Rockpool in Sydney, Hamish has worked for an impressive rollcall of eatery icons here, in London and over the ditch in New Zealand. We’re talking the prestigious Kensington Place restaurant (how now brown cow), running the show at the Botanic Gardens restaurant, and Executive Chef at the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley Resort. He was also the Executive Chef at Crowne Plaza Christchurch, before a secondment to InterContinental Wellington, where he reinvigorated menus across the five-star hotel’s R&B outlets. Oh and he’s also run his own successful start-up, ‘Watts on Crown’ in Crown Street Sydney, so yeah, he’s definitely going to bring home the bacon (and much more foody goodness) at our beloved Sanctuary Cove.

Using fresh, local ingredients as hero accents to produce innovative Modern Australian cuisine with a European touch, we are salivating as this is our kind of swagger! And when we say local, we mean precisely that, as Hamish aims to source from suppliers within a 100km radius. From The Fireplace, to Verandah Restaurant and Bar to the Cove Café, there are native ingredients galore, and oh how we love this for us.

The Fireplace, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort (image supplied)
The Fireplace, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort (image supplied)

Speaking of our cosy fave The Fireplace, it would be negligent not to talk about the new menu which will take your tastebuds to new (faren)heights! Together with the restaurant’s Head Chef, fellow culinary king Randy Tablan, this duo showcase the finest homegrown wood-fire cuisine, seasoned with herbs from the restaurant’s very own herb garden! Oh and important side note: redgum wood is used to fire the ovens, infusing each dish to perfection. The result….pure edible ecstasy! You’ll be so absorbed in the next level flavours that you’ll forget to take pics, which is code red because if it’s not on Insta, it didn’t really happen.

Kick things off with a wood-fire Grilled Quail entrée, served with pearl barley, carrots, apple purée and port wine jus. Make sure you leave room for the signature 1kg Tomahawk Steak from the wood-fire grill, 150-day grain-fed from Toowoomba, served with grilled broccolini and red wine poached shallot. Because a whole kilogram of moo just isn’t enough, why not add a mouth-watering accompaniment like the wood-fire Whole Moreton Bay Bug? Or, perhaps the Hiramasa Kingfish is more up your alley, with wood-fire baked kingfish, sweet potato purée, roasted capsicum, zucchini and sauce Vierge?

End on a sweet note with Roasted Coconut and White Chocolate Mousse, with pistachio sable, milk chocolate creameux and passionfruit gelee because….well, just because! It’s darn delish and didn’t your Gran teach you it wasn’t a proper meal without dessert?

Hiramasa Kingfish, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort (image supplied)
Hiramasa Kingfish, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort (image supplied)

Aside from new seasonal menus at The Fireplace, Hamish is also focusing on new innovative concepts for banqueting, and can someone we know please hurry up and get hitched at Sanctuary Cove so that we can taste-test please?

So next date night, special occasion or work event, it’s gotta be The Fireplace – or any of the other equally impressive offerings at InterContinental – for the unmissable Hamish Watt experience. Bring it on we say, spirit fingers and all.

Where: InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, Manor Circle, Hope Island
When: 6pm – 9pm 7 days a week and from 5.30pm on Saturday.

Words by Bianca Trathen.

STORY SPONSORED BY INTERCONTINENTAL SANCTUARY COVE RESORT

1kg Tomahawk with Whole Moreton Bay Bug, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort (image supplied)
1kg Tomahawk with Whole Moreton Bay Bug, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort (image supplied)

Ignite your senses at The Fireplace

The Fireplace, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort (image supplied)
The Fireplace, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort (image supplied)

There’s just something uber appealing about a cosy woodfire restaurant, and we don’t care if it’s not winter. We warmly (wink wink, nudge nudge) welcome an intimate, homely yet wee-bit-fancy feed all year round!

As soon as you walk into this Northern GC treasure, you’re engulfed by the amazing woodfire aromas and high-class atmosphere. We must warn you, a drool sitch is entirely likely. For those who haven’t figured which location we are referring to yet, we’re talking about InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort’s spectacular signature dining destination, The Fireplace.

The restaurant’s name is enough to give you a solid dose of the warm and fuzzies, but the space takes that notion to a whole different stratosphere. A tastefully designed modern rustic beauty, the stone tiled flooring, moody lighting and open kitchen ensure that The Fireplace experience is as rich in the ambience as it is in flavour.

The Fireplace fresh herb garden, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort (image supplied)
The Fireplace fresh herb garden, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort (image supplied)

Showcasing locally sourced wood-fire cuisine at its finest, meals are seasoned with produce from the restaurant’s very own herb garden! (Side note; why does our home-grown herbs always seem to hate us so much #RIP.) Dishes are then placed inside the onsite wood-fire oven where they’re infused with irresistible smoky goodness, and where is a napkin because Houston we have a (salivation) problem – again.

It’s not just the magnificent wood-fire oven that makes this place so popular, it’s the genius line up of talent in the kitchen….and the cellar. Executive Chef Hamish Watt and Head Chef Randy Tablan cook with such heart and passion, and how we wish we had even 1/1000000th of their cooking panache. Elevating the dining experience to the next level, you can select a vino from the 200-strong wine library and can we just have all 200+ cellar of our own please and thank you.

The proud recipient of the Two-Glass accolade in Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards last year (for the fifth year may we add), the restaurant’s master Sommeliers Sean Robertson and Sacha Kansky clearly know the A to Z of grape juice. Their award-winning wine-list offers a diverse, appealing and well-balanced ensemble cast of vinos, showcasing Australia’s finest wine regions and premier ranges from across the globe.

Seafood Pasta Linguine from The Fireplace, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort (image supplied)
Seafood Pasta Linguine from The Fireplace, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort (image supplied)

Let’s unpack the menu which is positively LIT, and would we expect anything less with a name like The Fireplace? We recommend starting with an entree of Charred Field Mushrooms featuring lentils, sauteed spinach and sherry vinegar dressing.

Then, move on to a main and wait, we’ve just spotted a fusion of our two faves; seafood and pasta! Not an unusual combo by any means, but when you find a restaurant who can do this ‘power couple’ justice, it’s a moment. The Linguine Seafood Pasta with Moreton Bay bugs, prawns, cherry tomato, zucchini, chilli and baby basil hits all the right notes, and is it excessive to order another helping? Throw a bottle of chilled Aquilani Pinot Grigio into the mix and again we ask, if it’s OTT to order two, and the answer is always a hard no.

Or, for those craving a meat fix, the Bangalow Pork Belly with apple, brioche, red wine shallots and kaffir lime puree is cooked to perf. The crackling on this bad boy is phe-nom and we won’t judge if you try and steal your date’s helping coz, crackle. Pair it with a bottle of Donnhoff ‘Estate’ Riesling which, friends, IS the (now not so) secret sauce.

A meal minus dessert is like cheese sans quince paste, so do right by your tastebuds and order the 54% Dark Chocolate Parfait with whisky & vanilla sauce, chocolate biscuit and roasted nuts cream. Divine.

The Fireplace, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort (image supplied)
The Fireplace, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort (image supplied)

So now that your next date night is sorted, your only conundrum will be finding a frock that conceals the evidence of a three-course feed so good, you couldn’t part with a single crumb…or sip.

Where: InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, Lower Level, Manor Circle, Hope Island
When: 6pm – 9pm Wednesday to Friday; 5.30pm – 9pm Saturday and 6pm – 9pm Sunday. Closed Monday & Tuesday.

Words by Bianca Trathen.

STORY SPONSORED BY INTERCONTINENTAL SANCTUARY COVE RESORT

The Marine Village Sanctuary Cove

6 of the best Gold Coast chefs

Uday Huja, Executive Chef at Nineteen at The Star, Gold Coast (Image supplied)
Uday Huja, Executive Chef at Nineteen at The Star, Gold Coast (Image supplied)

There are many exceptional restaurants on the Gold Coast right now, our city has become quite the little foodie hub. It’s primarily due to the chefs at said exceptional restaurants who spend countless hours tweaking and perfecting dishes so we get to devour incredible dishes. And we’re pretty happy about it.

In honour of these chefs and International Chef Day on 20th October 2020, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best on the Coast so you know who to visit next time you’re in the mood for something special.

Uday Huja
Renowned Gold Coast Executive Chef Uday Huja made the move here only a few short years ago after a career that spanned high end Las Vegas hotels, Michelin starred restaurant The Inn at Little Washington and now, Nineteen at The Star (lucky us). He brings an absolute wealth of knowledge to the stunning venue and if you’ve not yet been in to experience his Oyster Journey, you’re missing out. It’s an honour to have him here.

Alex Munoz Labart
Head Chef and owner at Burleigh’s Restaurant Labart, Alex Munoz Labart is not only one of the Coast’s top chefs, but one of Australia’s. He hails from Sydney where he worked in (and owned) the best of the best restaurants and now he’s making magic for us in the form of modern Australian dishes that blow your mind every time. Alex lists Iku Yakitori Bar as one of his favourite restaurants on the Coast.

Adam Dundas-Taylor
Adam Dundas-Taylor has worked with some of the world’s best chefs, including for Jamie Oliver and London’s finest Nobu. He was the owner of beloved Firecue in Nobby’s and now, he’s joined the team at Broadbeachs’ Miss Moneypenny’s as Executive Chef to bring a fresh, new feel (and all of his impressive experience) to the menu. Adam lists Gemelli and Mamasan as two of his favourite Gold Coast venues.

Adam Dundas-Taylor, Miss Moneypenny's (Image supplied)

Guillaume Zika
With two Chefs Hats under his belt, Guillaume Zika is quite the chef for the Gold Coast to have claimed. He fronts the culinary team at Burleigh Pavilion (including The Tropic). Between the two venues Guillaume creates both casual, perfect-post-beach eats and a sit-down menu using only the highest quality produce. He says Restaurant Labart is one of his favourite restaurants on the Coast.

Kelvin Andrews
While Brisbane has now claimed this superstar, we still call Kelvin Andrews our own. He lists some of the Coast’s most revered restaurants, including Nineteen at The Star, The Fish House and Hellenika as his starting points in the culinary world and now is the Head Chef at Brisbane’s five-star SK Steak & Oyster. And he’s barely getting started. Kelvin says Alfred’s Diner is his favourite spot for breaky.

Daniel Ridgeway
Daniel Ridgeway is the local restauranteur who has made Gold Coasters dining dreams come true for over a decade with venues like Little Truffle, Gotham Grill & Rooftop Bar (recently sold) and four BiN restaurants all his creations. He’s worked overseas for much of his career and he’s absolutely earned every single accolade he’s received. These days you can find him at Little Truffle and Daniel lists Itoshin as one of his favourite local spots.

Daniel Ridgeway, Ridgeway Group (Image supplied)
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