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Five new venues for Surfers Paradise’ Asian foodie precinct.

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

10 must dine Surfers Paradise restaurants

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

Paradise calling… And by that, we mean Surfers Paradise of course. You might have thought it’s all just bikini and booze but there is so much more just waiting for you to rediscover. Whether you’ve been looking for something laid-back to take the whole fam to or something a little bit fancy for that date night you’ve been putting off, and of course, somewhere to have a cheeky beverage – Surfers has it all. Did we mention it’s beachside?

So we’ve done the leg work and found the 10 must-try spots for you to get the best feed in the heart of the Coast.

It’s one of the Gold Coast’s most loved buffets, Citrique takes its reputation seriously. For real, its award-winning seafood buffet is the GOAT for a reason – think fresh prawns, oysters and lobster tails (did someone say boujee) alongside flavours of the world. If breakfast is more your vibe then you’re in luck because they’re dishing up all-you-can eat breakfast and weekend long lunches alongside their signature seafood feast. 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

Akoya, The Langham Gold Coast (image supplied)
Akoya, The Langham Gold Coast (image supplied)

The Langham
If feeling a bit fancy is on the menu then The Langham Gold Coast is the destination. Just as luxe as you’d expect the international hotel to be, The Langham can’t stop, won’t stop on delivering the finest food from the East and the West. Meticulously plated, T’ang Court is where precision meets passion with each dish a show of art for the ultimate Cantonese fine-dining affair. Dine beachfront while you treat yourself at Akoya or pop down to Palm Court for a spot of Afternoon Tea.
Our pick: The Langham’s iconic chef’s menu at T’ang Court
Where: 38 Old Burleigh Road, Surfers Paradise

Palette, HOTA (image supplied)
Palette, HOTA (image supplied)

Palette stormed onto the dining scene just a few short years ago and it’s been a fan favourite ever since. Located within the HOTA Gallery, this dining spot brings art to life with Executive Chef Dayan Hartill-Law using the Gallery’s exhibitions to inspire the decadent degustation menu. The award-winning restaurant has also modestly received Two Chef Hats from AGFG, which is reason enough for us to book a table already. Art you can eat? Yes please.
Our pick: Go all in on the Tasting Menu you absolutely won’t regret it
Where: HOTA, Home of the Arts, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise

Shiraz Persian Restaurant, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)
Shiraz Persian Restaurant, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

Shiraz Persian Restaurant & Bar
Shiraz have been calling their Surfers Paradise corner home for a couple of years now, so I suppose you could say they’ve settled in well. The perfect spot whether you’re looking for a cute date night or somewhere to take the entire family, Shiraz’s incredibly chic interior is big enough (like, 200 seats big) for you to get your authentic Persian fix. Best enjoyed with their namesake’s Shiraz. Ps. If you don’t feel like cooking on a Monday (honestly, who does) then pop in for their BYO day – it would be rude not to.
Our pick: We can’t pick favourites, so go hard on the banquet, we say
Where: Mantra Wings, 2893 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise

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

The Island Gold Coast
This Island has long been a landmark of the Gold Coast and we think the reason locals and visitors on the Goldie love this place is in part thanks to an aptly named spot called, Goldies. With a huge lineup of foodie favourites from steak and seafood through to pizzas and parmy’s there’s something to satisfy everyone’s cravings. If you’re after a tipple then the Rooftop is the place to perch up with a Pina Colada in hand while you soak in the iconic Gold Coast skyline, we just love a dining destination that’s as vibrant as the city itself.
Our pick: Mare e Monti Pizza
Where: 3128 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

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

Yamagen Japanese Izakaya
Tucked away in the QT, this is new generation Japanese for the discerning diner. It’s modern fine dining in a way that ignites all of your senses while celebrating the best of authentic Japanese cuisine. Market fresh sashimi dishes are the hero of the menu, bringing the freshest fare and flavours together to be expertly paired with vast whisky list.
Our pick: Sashimi Moriawase for a taste of it all

Where: QT Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise

The Avenue (image supplied)
The Avenue (image supplied)

The Avenue
Everyone has a story from The Avenue, right? And for good reason. Where else can you go and literally spend all night long there. Pop in for a bite at the restaurant and stay for the vibes at the nightclub or one of the iconic drag shows. Live music venues are becoming harder and harder to find, but luckily for us The Avenue aka the home of live music is doing the heavy lifting so you can sip back and listen to sweet tunes every week.
Our pick: Crispy Pork Belly
Where: 3-15 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Coast Beach Bar, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)
Coast Beach Bar, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

Coast Beach Bar & Kitchen
There’s something about sipping back on a cocktail while you look at the ocean that just makes it taste that much sweeter. Fortunately for you, that view and those cocktails are accompanied by one of the best new additions to the restaurant scene. Coast Beach Bar & Kitchen brings the perfect balance of fancy food with a relaxed vibe, so you can soak up your surrounds while indulging on your choice of steak or seafood, or head out to the Terrace Bar for more relaxed bites.
Our pick: Kingfish Ceviche
Where: Ocean by Meriton – Level 1, 86 Esplanade, Surfers Paradise

Central Lounge
Something you might not know about us is that we love a lounge bar, so you bet we were fans of Central Lounge the moment those glorious doors opened. Massive cocktail list? Check. Epic easts? Check. R&B Sunday sessions? Check. We’ll go ahead and call that a trifecta. If you’ve been hunting for a stylish spot to sip cocktails and people watch, then this the place for you.
Our pick: Crab Linguine
Where: 8/27 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Driftwood Social, Vibe Hotel Gold Coast (image supplied)
Food at Driftwood Social, Vibe Hotel Gold Coast (image supplied)

Driftwood Social
Driftwood Social, tucked just off Ferny Ave brings blissed-out, Miami pool club vibes to the banks of the Nerang River – and if it’s been a while between drinks, this secluded social spot is every bit as lush as you remember. A stacked menu is another real drawcard, and don’t be tempted to assume we’re talking basic bar bites here.
Our pick: Linguine Alla Vodka And Prawns
Where: 42 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Words by Jacqueline Bojanowski.

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