The day has finally come Gold Coasters, long-awaited Burleigh Heads venue Common Ground opened their doors on Hibiscus Haven last week bringing sunny garden vibes and exceptional eats to the people.
You’ll know the site well, right next door to bridal boutique Grace Loves Lace and marked by overflowing greenery and lots of sunlit spots to sit and soak up the atmosphere. All while sampling some exceptional brunch eats of course.
The spot was formerly home to Burleigh Co-op and before that Burleigh Social, both of which were much-loved by locals and Common Ground is already on track for that very same adoration.
For good reason. It’s the work of two local hospo legends Euan and Bella Lovell, part owners of Broady’s Fig + Frankies and their partner Matt Tranter, so not only do they know what’s up when it comes to creating a cracking venue, they are also very well-versed in putting together a menu.
Inside, Common Ground has had a sweet, little revamp with lots of white and natural wood, a sleek coffee machine by Social Espresso glows on the counter top and there are shelves filled with everything from dried flowers to truffle honey (next-level) for you to take home with you. It’s perfection.
The menu is made up of seasonal eats, all beautifully plated and with a little touch of something special.
The Turmeric Paprika Cauliflower comes with Honey Cumin yoghurt dressing, quinoa, cucumber, pomegranate and greens and it’s heaven in your belly. The Roasted Pumpkin and Crispy Kale is placed atop sourdough with cashew cheese, onion petals and crispy kale. There’s Hash Eggs Benny with potato hash, poached eggs and hollandaise with bacon, smoked salmon or mushrooms AND there’s a Whipped Ricotta and Avo Toast dish with cherry tomatoes, cured beetroot and roasted seeds on sourdough.
Mouth wateringly delicious, the lot of them.
To sip, there’s Social Espresso coffee (so good), very yummy Chai, Cold Brews, Kombucha, teas and Cold Pressed juices and you may as well stay awhile, eat a few dishes and sample every drink too.
So, if you’re keen to soak up some of that sweet winter sunshine while also enjoying a brunch experience to rival any other you’ve ever had, look no further.
Common Ground is where you need to be.
LOCATION: 2/2 Hibiscus Haven, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: Weekdays 7am until 1pm, Weekends 7am until 1pm for food and 2pm for coffee
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
There are very few good things we Gold Coasters do not have within our beloved beachside city. Particularly since our dining and drinking scenes have absolutely exploded with beachside bars, world-class eateries and hidden gems created by locals who are as passionate about such things as we are. It’s been a good time.
If there was one thing that was missing though, it was a perfectly put together alleyway bar with lowset seating under the stars that glows under the rays of the setting sun. Specific but true.
That particular good time is missing no longer though friends. Fig + Frankie’s opened their pretty peach doors in the last few days and it is all that and much, much more.
The newbie can found in Broadbeach down a little alleyway (next to Cha Cha’s) we had no idea existed and bringing a sweet, sophisticated new vibe to the bustling suburb.
It’s an intimate, 45-seat space all peachy pinks and whites, cactus accents and a beautiful, lightweight concrete bar. A window swings open to the alleyway outside and you may sit at said bar, in the one interior booth or outside under strings of fairy lights (and of course, the sparkly stars). It’s a magical little fitout and you’re gonna love it.
Now let’s discuss the cocktail menu because it’s one of our new favourites and we’re fairly sure it’s going to be one of yours too.
Drinks are numbered rather than named and each is absolutel perfection to be honest. We particularly loved Number One (aptly named) because it is made up of MAC by Brookies, clarified green apple and house lemonade and we cannot overstate the tastiest enough. We were also big fans of Number Two with Johnny Walker Gold Label whisky, sherry caramel and cascara verjuice.
We’ll stop because surprises are fun but they’re all mind-blowing so prepare to sample a few.
Eats-wise it’s a share plate-style situation but not as you know it.
Think Fig’s on Toast with homemade fig paste, whipped ricotta, truffle honey and fresh herbs on rye bread. Who even thinks of that but WOW what a treat.
There’s also Truffle Honey + Haloumi which is basically the of the love of our lives (haloumi) with rosemary salt that you dip in truffle honey. Life changer.
The Lemon and Paprika Hommus is exceptional too, it all is.
So who’s behind all this magic? It’s the work of four people and two pets; Euan and Bella Lovell, Tom and Sammy Angel, Fig the cat and Frankie the dog and they’re all five-star venue creating geniuses. Except Fig and Frankie, they’re just cute little namesakes.
Anyway, it’s not often venues of this calibre come along Gold Coasters, Fig + Frankie’s is one not to be missed.
LOCATION: 2707 Gold Coast Hwy, Braodbeach
HOURS: 4pm until 12am Thursday to Monday
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
They’re the delightful pair behind your sweet, lifesaving cuppa every morning so, for Mitch and Hayley of Social Espresso, let’s all take a minute to give thanks.
The clever couple started their business just a few short years ago and, in that time, have amassed a huge following of loyal Gold Coasters in love with their unique blends.
We sat down for a chat with Mitch and Hayley about what it takes to create a brand new coffee blend (yes it’s a lot of coffee) and how they came to be stocked in so many locally loved cafes.
How long have you been Gold Coast locals?
We moved from WA to the Gold Coast about five years ago now for Hayley’s work at the time. Fell in love with it immediately and very quickly made it our home.
What do you love most about living in our beachside city?
We are both from small coastal towns so we love that it has beautiful beaches and that laid back coastal vibe but there is also a great buzz! There is an awesome cafe and restaurant scene (we are both foodies) and so much growth and opportunity for business. We feel there is a great sense of community here where startup businesses are encouraged and small businesses support each other and work together and that’s pretty special!
Tell us how your business, Social Espresso, came about?
Mitch: I’ve always worked around coffee and while on a surf trip through Central America I visited some coffee plantations and my real interest in coffee began. When I moved back to Australia I began deepening my experience as a barista. From there it progressed to managing cafes. When we moved to the Gold Coast I had the goal of eventually starting my own business. I started working for several cafes and I felt there was a gap for local coffee with a strong focus on service and so I just started learning everything I could and took the leap.
What’s the process of creating such a unique blend?
It’s quite a journey the coffee bean takes from crop to cup. But keeping it short and simple; we start with an idea of a flavour profile we want to achieve. We generally find the most crowd pleasing is a full body with smooth caramel and milk chocolate sweetness and a slight berry or dried fruit acidity. We source a variety of beans from around the world and sample them through a process called cupping. Here we look for different characteristics in each bean, some offering body, some sweetness, others a fruity acidity. From there we build the flavour profile through these layers to give our drinkers the best experience.
Why do you think people grew to love it so quickly?
It took time and lots of trial and error to come up with a few blends we are really proud of. We had the Gold Coast market in mind and are constantly asking the public what they look for in their daily brew. I think that’s the most important thing, keeping the end consumer as top priority and not getting too carried away with trying to be too different. We also make sure we work with good machinery and train our baristas thoroughly in weighing and timing each shot in order for them to deliver consistently delicious coffee every time.
What does a normal day look like for the two of you?
Starting bright and early serving coffee in our coffee bar in the Burleigh industrial area. We open from 5.30am to 10.30am for the morning rush – it’s our favourite way to start the day – chatting to our regulars and having a few laughs, networking and solving the problems of the world. Once that shift is done we then pack both cars up, split ways and pop into each of our cafes with their weekly delivery. Mitch looks after all barista training so he may have a few of those booked in each week. The rest is filled in with time at the roastery, machine maintenance, sales enquiries, packing online orders, marketing and back end admin. It’s just a two-man band so we do it all.
How do your beans come to be brewed by some of the most loved cafes across the Coast?
We feel extremely lucky to work with some of the top cafes on the coast. We have formed great relationships in our coffee community and have been lucky enough to get most of our business through these friendships, customers and word of mouth. Service is a priority for us; we make sure we are in our cafes each week checking that everything is running smoothly. We really love what we do and I think that’s the key to a successful business.
What else is involved in the business we might not be aware of?
We partnered up with our friend Jeremy at Raw Earth Organics to start our own cold brew company, Two Amigo’s Cold Brew. It’s really taken off nicely and we are stocked in several cafes, bars, restaurants, markets and supermarkets throughout the coast. That’s been an exciting little venture and one that we are hoping to keep growing.
What’s the plan for 2019 for the two of you?
Further growth hopefully in both Social Espresso and Two Amigo’s cold brew. There are still so many areas we would love to branch into. And a holiday! It’s been a while.
Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Beach: We live right on Talle Creek, so we feel like that’s our little local sanctuary. But our favourite beach has to be Cabarita. For Mitch it’s wherever there is surf.}Cafe: This is a hard one, it’s a little like asking who your favourite child is. Obviously we love all our Social Espresso cafes! But depending on what mood we are in, we usually can’t go past breaky at Cafe Caribou. Cafe Dbar also do a great feed and they have incredible views! Mitch loves a pie on the go at Fuel Bakehouse or on treat day a coffee and donut at D point 10…if you haven’t tried one of their donuts, you haven’t lived! We are also really excited for our newest partnership, Burleigh Co-op who’ll be opening their doors in a few weeks!
Restaurant: Etsu. We love Japanese and this place never disappoints! It’s our go-to when we need to treat ourselves (which is quite often) or impress visitors. We also love Baskk in Kirra. Epic food and cocktails and a really fun vibe.
How does your weekend usually look: Getting up early (cant sleep in to save ourselves), Mitch usually goes for a surf, I go to yoga and then meet at home to make a cold brew coffee, throw the mattress in the back of the van and cruise down the coast for an adventure. We love finding cool new cafes, a quiet beach to surf and relax and a nice spot to park up for the night (preferably with ocean views)
Ahh brunch, not quite breakfast, not quite lunch and allowing us the opportunity to squeeze in a guilt-free meal between the two. BEST.
Do you know what’s even better than brunch, though? A boozy brunch. Because drinking in the morning is never a bad idea, particularly when accompanied by five-star foods from some of your fave local venues. And here they are, indulge away!
Everyone’s favourite ocean-view venue, Burleigh Pav offers bottomless brunch on the last Saturday of every month. Taking place specifically in The Tropic side of the space, you’ll not only get to gaze lovingly at the ocean but also indulge in some of the freshest seafood and innovative plates by imaginative Head Chef Guillaume Zika. Pair everything with bottomless NV Chandon and NV Chandon Rose for $129pp, or up the ante, and for an additional $30 you can be sipping Veuve Clicquot. Amazing. We’ll see you there every month then?
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
Luckily, we have a lot of love to give because there are so many Gold Coast venues worthy of it. It goes without saying Elk Espresso is one of those that have been in our hearts from the start. And they just cemented our (and your) love for them with a bottomless offering available every day from 10am (with no booking required), where you’ll have your favourite dish paired with one hour of bottomless mimosas (classic, strawberry or lime) for just $45pp. Not to mention, the menu at Elk is always absolutely incredible, so plan ahead: wear your stretchy pants.
Where: Shop GO44, Oasis Shopping Centre, Broadbeach
Ok, so it’s ‘tehcnically’ a Bottomless Lunch at Broadbeach’s Miss Moneypenny’s — but once you try it, you’ll see why we had to include them in this list! Roll up every Saturday or Sunday from 12pm to 3pm with live entertainment from 1pm (Sunday) and indulge in a three-course set menu and two-hour beverage package from $90 inclusive of selected cocktails, spritzers, bubbles, wine and beer. If you feel like getting fancy go for the Chef’s Signature Selection with seven courses and a two-hour beverage package including the above sips from $125pp. You may also upgrade both packages to include French Champagne – we are here for it.
Where: 50 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
Nineteen at The Star
This sophisticated dining experience features an exquisite menu complete with Executive Chef Uday Huja’s brunch favourites, as well as highlights from the grill. Plus, you can pair your brunch with a premium two-hour champagne package while you take in the stunning views – now that’s a brunch worth getting out of bed for. It’s on every Sunday with two sittings – 11am until 1pm and 1.15pm and 3.15pm. With sweeping views overlooking the ocean and the city, it has to be one of the most stunning brunch options around.
Where: The Darling, Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach
The Island Gold Coast
It’s a grazing-style lunch situation at Surfers Paradise’s beloved The Island Rooftop. Snack on a $69pp all-inclusive package with dishes like salt and pepper squid and garlic and char-grilled rosemary lamb cutlets – all delicious, obviously. To drink, there are selected tap beers, house red, white and sparkling wine, the Rooftop Spritz range, select cocktails, soft drinks, and juices all included in your package. Head in every Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 2pm to get involved in this one.
Where: 3128 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise
Your favourite contemporary Cantonese spot is now boasting weekend bottomless brunches, so prepare to get boozy. Available from 12pm – 4pm Saturday and Sunday (min of 2 ppl), you’ll each receive a delectable lunch bowl with choices like Kung Pao Chicken and Vegetable Spring Rolls and, more importantly, a 2-hour limitless drinks package featuring spiritizes and tap beers! It’ll set you and your guest back a very affordable $55 each.
Where: 1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Gods of the Sea
For ardent seafood lovers, Gods of the Sea is a solid IYKYK situation, meaning if you crave foods from the deep and haven’t checked out this place yet, where have you been? Every Saturday, book in for a 2-hour bottomless brunch anywhere between noon and 3pm for a magnificent ocean-orientated five-course degustation with the likes of pan-seared scallops and grilled swordfish. And don’t forget the boundless pouring of bubbles at your disposal. Just $89 per person! But make sure you get in before Saturday 20 November as this will be the last of their Bottomless Brunch series!
Where: 2215 Gold Coast Highway, corner of Lavarack Road, Mermaid Beach
Ally Chow in Nobby Beach brings you all the Asian fusion you can fill your belly with. Our new favourite thing is the Margarita Lunch Banquet though, including all the tastiest eats plus unlimited Asahi beer, Prosecco and MARGARITAS! So yes, that’s a thing. Best of all, it’s just $99 per person — that’s pretty much your Friday through Sunday lunches sorted for the rest of the year, no? And if you’re more of a vodka gal (we all have that one time tequila got us good), the Chow Out banquet for $79 features bottomless Thai Basil Caipiroskas! Delish.
Where: Lavarack Road, Nobby Beach
Words by Alex Mitcheson.