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CHOP CHOP

With five new venues, a new name and new owners, Surfers Paradise’ Asian foodie precinct CHOP CHOP (A+ for naming efforts) is set to become one of your new favourite eating destinations.

Formerly known as 8 Street, the laneway space mimics an Asian hawkers marketplace and, when complete, will be home to 28 unique vendors. Which is a lot of eating and we are here for it.

The premise of the low-lit, Orientally-inspired precinct is to provide the people with an authentic Asian dining experience complete with both alfresco and communal dining options.

Eats from around the world, including Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese and Indian (to name a few) are on offer and each venue offers something absolutely unique and delicious to soothe your hungry soul.

Let’s chat newbies and our dish of choice though and get excited gang.

Bali in Paradise is serving up Crispy Duck Set served with homemade chilli, egg, peanuts and rice and it’s both extremely filling and extremely tasty.

Fruit Bang (new love of our life) is bringing the goods in the form of a Red Mocktail with raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, lemon and mint. It’s both fresh and a little bit fizzy and perhaps the yummiest (non alcoholic) drink there has ever been.

Ace Thai are the stir fry connoisseurs and the Combination Prawn and Chicken Pad-See-Ew is healthy goodness in a warm, nourishing bowl while Dumpling Ma Ma are providing all the very best varieties of dumplings including large crispy friend ones which you know are the ones we chose.

Last but certainly not least is Hot Cake House and we’re all about this one. They create tiny little hot cakes right in front of your eyes and they are both light and fluffy and filled with an array of flavour sensations. There are caramel, red bean and coconut milk raisin hot cakes, strawberry sweetie custard Japanese Tokyo Pancake and also Danish twists that are to die for.

So many incredible things to fill our bellies with. Thank you CHOP CHOP, we appreciate you beyond measure.

Stay tuned for the grand opening when all 28 venues will be open and there will be an absolute extravaganza of eating, Chinese lion dancing (best) and lantern painting. What a time.

It’s an epic experience, go give ‘em some love.

LOCATION: Cavill Lane, 3113 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise.
HOURS: Cafes open for breakfast from 7am, restaurants open for lunch from 10am

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Mad Asian Kitchen and Bar

Prepare yourselves Gold Coast, flavour explosion incoming. Mad Asian Kitchen and Bar, which gets a solid A plus for naming efforts, swung open its’ doors in Robina this week and it’s everything you love about Asian food in the one stylin’, low lit venue.

The space can be found in The Kitchens, Robina Town Centres’ ever-expanding foodie destination of choice but it’s quite unlike any other shopping centre eats you’ve ever experienced.

The vibe of the venue is distinctly Asian inspired with lanterns hanging from the ceiling, dark wooden seating and a backlit bar with all your favourite tipples atop the shelves (and then some). The kitchen is open so you can watch the masters at work and there are two private dining sections, one sunken into the floor and one in a private room complete with it’s own neon sign shining from above. We’re in love.

There’s an outdoor eating area with fairy lights strung above, plenty of greenery throughout and GUESS WHAT – there’s a ping pong table and you can play while you eat (or maybe after, whatever suits).

The menu is of the contemporary Asian persuasion bringing a mix of all the best things from China, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam, offering up an array of exceptional dishes, from gyoza and kushiage to rice and noodle favourites, stir fries, curries, and sizzling specialties.

Definitely taste test the Spicy Tuna and Fried Lotus Root with cucumber, avocado, red onion and chilli mayo and the Vegetable San Choy Bau. So very good.

Keen to risk your dignity for a crack at the Hot Asian Food Challenge? You’ll be presented with a feast of fiery dishes chosen by the chef and your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to finish them in 20 minutes. Let us know how that goes hey.

Of course, the drinks menu is nothing short of sensational with a sweet selection of both hot and cold sakes to get you in the spirit. The signature cocktails are fun too and we think you should sample the Mad Asian – it’s Frangelico and Cointreau with cranberry and yuzu juice served with frozen sake crush. Yes please.

Soon there’ll be themed sake nights and that sounds right up everyone’s alley.

Robina hey, coming up with the goods. Get on it.

LOCATION: Upstairs at The Kitchens, Robina Town Centre, Robina
HOURS: 11am until 9pm Sunday to Thursday and 11am until 9.30pm Friday and Saturday

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

 

Burleigh Heads scores an epic new Japanese eatery

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Japanese food is one of life’s greatest pleasures. So when a new, perfectly curated eatery bringing the traditional tastes of Japan to Burleigh Heads opens up, we are obviously all about it.

The newbie, Oi Izakaya can be found in the little alleyway off James Street where the Mexi-goodness that is Hail Mary also resides.

It’s the work of local lads Troy Olsen and Stephen Thompson who, along with renowned Gold Coast design genius OJ Thompson (of Ally Chow and Etsu fame), have created something the Gold Coast is going to absolutely love.

The newbie is a low-lit, moody space reminiscent of back alley, Tokyo-style Izakayas with all burnt wood paneling, dark intimate corners and an open-style kitchen, so you can watch the magic unfold.

The bar, at one end fits snugly into the corner and is jam-packed with an impressive array of whisky’s (love you), sake and Japanese beers. Tiny samurai fight for attention on one wall, while a (really quite magical) golden orb shines out from another.

The vibe is the perfect combination of old school Japanese and modern sophistication and we’re big fans.

Menu-wise the eats are refined and authentic, infusing mind-blowing flavours into dishes you’ll never want to stop eating.

To start, sashimi, always. The freshest of tuna and salmon for your tasting pleasure. But also Edamame Cheese Chips, a thing we have never before had the pleasure of sampling but will now order at any and every opportunity. Don’t ask, just order.

The Squashed Cucumber is not only one of the great dish names, it is a great dish. Basically it’s cucumber in plum sauce but the flavours defy that overly simplistic description. Eat it.

Oi Izakaya also have a Sushi Burger on the menu and yes it is indeed stacked like your run-of-the-mill burger but made with sushi. Genius and so very tasty.

Of course, the menus’ pièce de résistance is Okonomiyaki, the dish that made Troy and Stephen fall in love with Japanese eats and the reason we now get to spend all our time at Oi Izakaya.

If you’ve not yet had the pleasure Okonomiyaki is made up of many things including egg, cabbage, flour, Japanese spices and your choice of meat. The dish we sampled was Hiroshima-style (with noodles) and it was the very best variety we’ve ever tasted.

We ate the entire thing and you should order it and subsequently be impressed by how good we are at eating.

To drink, we suggest getting involved in one of the MANY Japanese whisky’s on offer but if straight up isn’t your thing, the Brown Rice Old Fashioned is as good as it gets.

Oi Izakaya

All in all, Oi Izakaya is quite a treat and the perfect addition to Burleigh’s foodie scene and we suggest you get down there at the earliest available opportunity and give the boys some love.

And if you need someone to mentor you in the art of whisky drinking, you know where to find us.

LOCATION: Shop 4-6, 30 James Street, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: Wednesday and Thursday 4.30pm until late, Friday to Sunday 12pm until late

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

14 must-dine Surfers Paradise restaurants

Citrique Seafood offerings, JW Marriott Gold Coast (image supplied)
Citrique Seafood offerings, JW Marriott Gold Coast (image supplied)

Surfers Paradise offers a lot more than just beaches, bikini-clad tourists and nightclubs. The eats scene has really taken off in recent years with locals rediscovering this hub for quality nosheries. It’s a melting pot for different cuisines and eats styles, so whether you’re after a casual, relaxed meal or something fancy-pants boasting award-winning chefs and hats, Surfers has you covered.

Here are 14 must-dine spots in our city’s most famous location, so you have somewhere new to try every day/night for exactly two weeks. And…go!

Citrique
Famed for its breakfast buffet, weekend long lunch, award-winning seafood market experience buffet, and exciting Modern Australian a la carte dishes, Citrique and Executive Chef Paul Smart serves up the ultimate fine dining experience. #HereForIt! Calling the beautiful JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa home, you would expect nothing less from this five-star favourite!
Our pick: Anything seafood!
Where: JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa, 158 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise

BOBs Beer (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
BOBs Beer (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

BOBs Beer
BOBs Beer is Surfers Paradise’s first and only brewery and is the perfect stop for a relaxing amber ale and meal post-surf with your posse. The kitchen is under the expert guidance of Head Chef Nathan Dennard, and trust us when we say you are in good hands! Oh and fun fact: BOBs Beer is an acronym for Best of Beers. Cue the “ah-haaaa’s”.
Our pick: Bannockburn chicken
Where: 10/2 Elkhorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise

The Langham
The brand new super-luxe GC hotel ‘it girl’ The Langham serves up the finest cuisine from the East and the West. Get your posh on and enjoy The Langham Afternoon Tea at Palm Court, and the finest meat, fish and poultry at Akoya. We’re counting down till the opening of T’Ang Court, the hotel group’s signature Michelin-starred destination for fine Cantonese Dining. You had us at Langham.
Our pick: The Langham Afternoon Tea at Palm Court
Where: 38 Old Burleigh Road, Surfers Paradise

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Gold Coast (image supplied)
Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Gold Coast (image supplied)

Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club
Nothing says Gold Coast like a meal by the beach at a surf club – and this one is a cracker. Grab a bite at the restaurant offering a modern, alfresco dining experience with a newly refurbished bar and dining area with casual coastal vibes. Or, swing into the Bistro which is always a hit with hangry ankle biters. Winner winner surf club dinner!
Our pick: $12 Lunch Specials
Where: Corner of Hanlan Street & The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise

Palette
With The Australian Good Food Guide awarding Palette 14 points and two chef’s hats, need we say more?! Situated in the stunning HOTA Gallery, Executive Chef Dayan Hartill-Law draws inspo from the artworks and exhibitions to show just how naturally art and food blend. There’s also a five-star menu for the plant-based folk, which is good enough to turn even the staunchest meat lover.
Our pick: Lady Musgrave Island Swordfish
Where: HOTA, Home of the Arts, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise

Palette interior at HOTA Gallery (image supplied)
Palette interior at HOTA Gallery (image supplied)

Pancakes on the Rocks
Who could eat pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the answer is everyone. It’s not all about pancakes though, with sweet and savoury crepes, salads, pizzas and their famous beef and pork ribs. They also do a drool-worthy ice-cream soda so warning, the kids will be buzzing on sugar for at least 48 hours but #WorthIt. Tried and tested – on repeat….
Our pick: Lemon Meringue Pancakes
Where: 4 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise

San Churro
If the answer isn’t churros then what is the question? With sister branches at Harbour Town and Tweed Village, this Spanish crowd-pleaser is famous for its to-die-for churros (obvs), croffles, gelato, desserts, hot chocolate, fairtrade coffee and shakes. For the non-sweet-tooths there are also scrumptious savoury eats, so everyone can #DiscoverDelicious. Served with only the best chocolate, you might intend to share…but you won’t.
Our pick: Cookie Butter Banana Churros Snack Pack
Where: Circle on Cavill South Tower, 3184 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Alfresco Italian Restaurant (Image supplied)
Alfresco Italian Restaurant (Image supplied)

Alfresco Italian Restaurant
Promising a full belly and a soul filled with love and happiness, say ciao to the much-loved Alfresco. Wowing diners for 30 years, this is where the Gold Coast meets the Amalfi Coast! With recycled timbers, textured walls and epic mood lighting, this place looks as good as it tastes. Everything on the menu is Bellissima, which also applies to the cocktail menu…especially the Long Island Limoncello!
Our pick: Schnitzel & Spaghetti Bolognese
Where: Wyndham Hotel, 3018 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Shiraz Persian Restaurant & Bar
Team Shiraz have given their newest location a major face-lift, with a completely new white and teal aesthetic fitted with over 200 seats, including interior and alfresco dining areas. Enjoy authentic Persian-style entrees, kebabs, lamb shanks, marinated lamb cutlets, chicken skewers, baklava, tiramisu and much more, with vegetarian options also available. Cue the drool.
Our pick: Shishlik
Where: Mantra Wings, 2893 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise

Shiraz Persian Restaurant & Bar exterior (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Shiraz Persian Restaurant & Bar exterior (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Surfers Paradise Beer Garden
It’s the heart and soul of Surfers and it just keeps on getting better. Notorious for its fresh menu and beer towers, it continues to cook up flavour-filled goodness with local seafood, meaty pizzas, pub classics and more.  Add the nostalgia factor with the infamous ‘adults playground’ offering Jenga, Connect Four, Foot-Pool, Shufl and more, and it’s the obvious choice to work on your ‘six-pack’.
Our pick: Chicken Parmi
Where: Paradise Centre, Corner Cavill Avenue and Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise

The Island Gold Coast
Goldie’s at The Island has gained quite the following with its impressive burgers, seafood, steaks, wood oven pizzas, fresh locally sourced produce, and off-the-chart good cocktails. And, why not pop up to The Island Rooftop Bar for views of the stunning Gold Coast skyline, plus a range of delicious cocktails, share platters and more wood-fired pizzas. The perfect spot to spend the day. Yes please!
Our pick: Italian Sausage Wood Oven Pizza
Where: 3128 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

The Island Rooftop (image supplied)
The Island Rooftop (image supplied)

La Diosa Mexicana
A modern Mexican restaurant with exquisite cocktails and lots (and lots) of tequila. Can we get a hell yeah?! With arches, cacti and all things cool for days, not to mention a menu jam-packed with Mexicana goodness, expect all the usual suspects like tostadas, enchiladas, quesadillas, nachos and burritos – it’s pure mexcellence. Oh and Taco Tuesdays here are a vibe!
Our pick: Burrito Super Bowl
Where: Circle on Cavill, 3184 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Seascape Restaurant + Bar
Perched above the hustle of the Surfers Paradise Esplanade, Seascape offers a multi-level venue with a chic Bistro and Bar and a fine dining restaurant, both with amazing ocean views. For those serious about their seafood (us), this is THE place for o-fish-ally the best eats from our pristine waters. If you have something to celebrate in the warmer months, book The Rooftop…you can thank us later.
Our pick: Lobster and Blue Spanner Carb Lasagne
Where: Level 1 & 2, Soul Boardwalk, The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise

Seascape Restaurant & Bar (image supplied)
Seascape Restaurant & Bar (image supplied)

Yamagen Japanese Izakaya
Tucked away in the QT, this is new generation Japanese for the discerning diner. Executive Chef Adam Lane brings a tantalising Omakase experience, offset by a whisky list filled with the most refined Japanese distillery drops, and an incredible sake selection. The glossy enamel black finishes frame the venue’s eye-catching details which scream “insta me”.
Our pick: Sushi and Sashimi Platter
Where: QT Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Words by Bianca Trathen.

Yamagen Japanese Izakaya (image supplied)
Yamagen Japanese Izakaya (image supplied)
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