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6 decadent Gold Coast degustations

Because one dish is simply not enough.

Labart (image supplied)
Labart (image supplied)

Obviously, eating is life. Period.

And sometimes the only real issue with this beloved pastime is having to decide on just one dish when you’re out and about. Sure, there are share plates — but there never seems to be enough of those either. What’s an ever-hungry gal (or guy) to do?

DEGUSTATIONS that’s what. The definition of which is carefully selected dishes focusing on the sensory aspects of eating and often involving a Chef’s selection of signature dishes. Think of it as a culinary journey from the first bite to when you finally lay down your fork. How fancy.

Luckily, we on the Gold Coast have a fair selection of great restaurants which offer degustations to die for. Here’s our rundown of the places you must visit when three courses simply won’t do.

When Chef Alex Munoz Labart strolled into Burleigh Heads three years ago and decided he would open a restaurant; the Gold Coast dining scene would never be the same. From day one the crew at Restaurant Labart have been serving up incredible food with top-notch service and a carefully compiled wine list to boot. The evening set menu of $125pp consisting of nine dishes is ever-evolving and hinges itself on whatever fresh and tantalising produce Chef/Owner Alex can get his hands on. Expect great flavours, seasonality and local produce like you’ve never seen before.
Where: 2a/8 West Street, Burleigh Heads

Little Truffle (image supplied)
Little Truffle (image supplied)

Little Truffle
The Mermaid Beach gem is absolutely adored for its Modern European fare and if you’re yet to sample it, we highly suggest you do so stat. Conveniently, a good way to treat yourself to a variety of dishes is with a degustation and here we are. Little Truffle’s set degustation menu is priced at $110pp. With dishes like Braised beef cheek potato gnocchi with truffle cream sauce and Fried Zucchini Flowers filled with Persian feta and pine nuts, you know it’s going to be a mind-blowing affair. You can also wine match at $60pp.
Where: 2444 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Mamasan Kitchen + Bar
Serving up the perfect blend of modern and traditional Asian cuisine is Mamasan in Broadbeach. It’s a share plate-style situation with many a delicious flavour to try. You can grab yourself a Yin or Yang degustation and each is filled with incredible, must-try dishes. The Yin will set you back $55pp and comes with dishes like Panko Fried Squid and Wagyu Beef Red Curry (YUM). The Yang is $69pp and you get a few extra dishes including Spanner Crab Ravioli Dumplings and Sichuan Salted Duck. Count us in.
Where: 3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach

Kiyomi at The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)
Kiyomi at The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)

When it comes to a deluxe Japanese dining experience there is only one place you need to visit, and that’s Kiyomi at The Star Gold Coast. Executive Head Chef Chase Kojima spares no expense in sourcing the finest ingredients and then delivering an authentic albeit modern taste of Japanese cuisine. For $150pp you start with sparkling sake and dishes like Ocean Trout with Wasabi Salsa and Yuzu Soy before then moving onto the likes of Cuttlefish Tempura, Wagyu Beef Cheek, artichoke and hatcho miso.
Where: Lobby Level The Star Gold Coast, 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach

The Fireplace
At the northern end of the coast, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove is home to a wood fire restaurant like no other. The Fireplace is guaranteed to impress from the word go — and you can expect delicious big flavours all backed by an unmistakable smokiness that has been infused to perfection. Their degustation menu is a six-course extravaganza and includes Moreton Bay bugs and seared duck breast, costing $118pp or $150pp with matched wines. A definite winner with all of you barbeque fans out there!
Where: InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, Manor Circuit, Sanctuary Cove

Everything about the Palazzo Versace is designed to wow you. From the moment you walk through the door until you take your seat at restaurant Vanitas, you can be assured you are at one of the finest restaurants on the Coast. At $238pp the six-course Signature Degustazione is something to behold: with simply some of the finest lobster, quail and Wagyu Australia has to offer. The service here is impeccable, the setting elegant and the matched wines to wash it all down are nothing short of mesmerising. This is the kind of experience you must do at least once… or perhaps multiple times?
Where: 94 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach

Words by Alex Mitcheson

Vanitas, Palazzo Versace (image supplied)


12 of the best Gold Coast buffets

Harvest Buffet, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)
Harvest Buffet, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)

The history of buffet style eating is a mixed affair. Its origins could be said to hark back to a mixture of cultures — from Asia to Europe. The ‘smorgasbord’ became internationally known as such at the 1939 New York World’s Fair exhibition, because the Swedes had to invent a new way of showcasing the best of Swedish food to large numbers of visitors. And the rest, as they say, is history…

Whoever can claim to have been responsible, we’re not fussed! The point is buffets — and smorgasbords — are amazing ways to reach newfound eating goals, and we’ve got quite a few exceptional ones right here on the Gold Coast. Happy binge eating, folks!

Terraces, Sheraton Grand Mirage Gold Coast (image supplied)
Terraces, Sheraton Grand Mirage Gold Coast (image supplied)

Terraces Restaurant
It’s the seafood buffet extravaganza in Main Beach that locals keep returning to time and time again, and as one of those locals, we can tell you it’s got all of the very best things you’ll love. Yes, fresh seafood galore but also a whole charcuterie section, an excellent Asian dish section, and so many delicious desserts to choose from. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Where: Level 1, Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, 71 Sea World Drive, Main Beach

Harvest Buffet
Not only does Harvest Buffet treat their diners to top-notch eats, but they also allow patrons to feast on glistening poolside views as well. The stunning indoor and outdoor spaces are seriously as enticing as the food, and the private dining room screams “have your birthday/celebration here” and ok, if you insist…Open for breakfast and dinner daily, as well as lunch every Saturday and Sunday so you can get stuck into their famed prawn and oyster buffet, you’ll be sure to leave this place bursting at the seams. We must make special mention of their dinner offering which includes the freshest seafood like oysters, prawns, sushi, roasts from the carvery as well as crowd-pleasers like pizza, pasta, curries, soups and salads. Should we also mention they have a decadent dessert bar? Yep, complete with a chocolate fountain! It’s our buffet dreams answered!
Where: The Star Gold Coast, Broadbeach

Harvest Buffet, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)
Soft serve at Harvest Buffet, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)

Horizon Sky Dining
Buffet in the sky? No probs. Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise is where you’re find this gem, nestled above the city skyline so you can (literally) take your dining experience to new heights. Think breathtaking views of the city skyline from ocean to hinterland and of course, the most incredible seafood feast curated by award-winning chefs. They’ve also got vegetarians covered with a huge range of options to make sure every leaves well and truly full. All that buffet-ing is thirsty work of course, so why not treat yourself to an expertly crafted cocktail (or mocktail) to seal the deal. Open for lunch and dinner from Thursday through Sunday.
Where: Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise, 2807 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise

Horizon Sky Dining, Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise (image by Markus Ravik)
Horizon Sky Dining, Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise (image by Markus Ravik)

Il Barocco
It’s a quality over quantity affair at Il Barocco, it’s long been a favourite dining spot for buffet lovers for obvious reasons. After all, this is a 5-star luxury property we’re talking about! The team uses only the very best, locally sourced seafood and the aim of the game is to create a fresh, diverse-looking buffet — which they nail. Besides exceptional seafood, there are hot and cold meats, vegetarian dishes and the prettiest dessert section. Treat yourself to the most luxe buffet setting on the Coast. Open for breakfast and dinner daily.
Where: Imperial Hotel Gold Coast, 94 Sea World Drive, Main Beach

Frenzy’s Food Court
Catering to the entire family, Frenzy’s at Southport Sharks is open for dinner and offers an extensive buffet selection featuring dishes inspired by cuisines from around the world. The all-you-can-eat buffet offers a tasty range of meats, salads, international dishes and desserts, all available between 5.30pm and 8.30pm, 7 nights a week. Yep, we don’t know about you but we have our plates ready!
Plus, Frenzy’s is now serving up a mouth-watering, heart-warming all-you-can-eat breakfast feast every Sunday! The scrumptious selection includes all your brekkie favourites (as well as cheese and charcuterie, yes please) AND includes bottomless Bun coffee – they’ve really got everything covered.
Where: Southport Sharks, Olsen Ave & Musgrave Ave, 

Frenzy's Food Court, Southport Sharks (image supplied)
Frenzy's Food Court, Southport Sharks (image supplied)

Skypoint Breakfast Buffet
Not a morning person? Well breakfast up in the clouds might be the closest you’ll get to staying snug in that cosy bed of yours and to be honest, I’d say this brekky is worth the wake up. With all the classics you know and love on offer to build your own big breakfast, seasonal fruits (because, summer) and even cereal if your inner child is begging for coco pops – we won’t judge. You can indulge in the food and then indulge in the view of the GC because it always looks a little prettier from up above.
Where: Q1, Level 77 Hamilton Ave, Surfers Paradise

SkyPoint Observation Deck, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)
SkyPoint Observation Deck, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

Shoreline Restaurant
Many things may have changed over the years, but the yum factor of Shoreline Restaurant’s famous buffet isn’t one of them #phew. Located in the Sea World Resort, treat yourself to a balanced and plentiful breaky smorgasbord from 6.30am to 10am daily, or all-you-eat-dinner from 5pm to 8pm every Friday and Saturday (no judgement if you do both). Special dinner shout-outs go to the Queensland prawns, wide array of international dishes, juicy Chef carved meats, and delectable desserts. And let’s not forget the coastal ambience and live entertainment, satisfying all the senses.
Where: Sea World Resort, Seaworld Drive, Main Beach

Cove Cafe
Wake up with an expansive selection of season-inspired breakfast classics at Cove Café’s buffet.  Recently reimagined with a tropic-inspired aesthetic reflecting the natural beauty of Sanctuary Cove, it’s the perfect place to start your day. Hit the live omelette station for eggs cooked your way, seasonal fruit, international dishes and naughty but oh-so-nice delicate pastries. Wash your ten outta ten breakfast down with fresh juices and Vittoria Coffee, then saunter around the glorious Sanctuary Cove shops to burn off your brekky. At least that’s our excuse…. Open seven days a week from 6.30am until 10.30am.
Where: InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, Manor Circle, Sanctuary Cove

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

There are buffets and there are buffets and this my friends is the latter. A boujee buffet if you like (yes, we like!), Akoya is located inside The Langham Gold Coast, our go-to for luxury stays and plays. Serving up beautiful coastline views and some of Australia’s finest meat, fish, and poultry, this is a buffet connoisseur’s dream. Offering a buffet feast every Friday and Saturday night from 5.30pm to 10pm, or their signature breakfast buffet daily from 6.30am, it’s a must for any local or visitor. The only thing more delicious and high rent than the fare is the strikingly contemporary interiors, and bespoke open kitchen. Swoon!
Where: The Langham Gold Coast, 38 Old Burleigh Road, Surfers Paradise

Waves Buffet Restaurant
Described as THE place for people who love buffets, it simply had to make the list! Enjoy eggs cooked the way you like them (#AllTheWaysThanks), seafood-a-plenty (our pick: whole prawns and rock oysters on the shell), plus platters overflowing with tropical fruit. Plus there are Asian, Indian and Mediterranean dishes, seasonal options, and holy happy kids Batman, a dessert bar. Combining fresh eats for a mix of healthy and hearty, it’s perfect for a special occasion or just because. Available between 6.30am and 10am seven days a week, and every Friday and Saturday if you’re down for a seafood buffet dinner, in the words of Nike – just do it.
Where: voco Gold Coast, 3032 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise

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

One of the most beautifully presented buffets around is Citrique at the JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa. Recently renovated, they are renowned for a next-level, seasonal seafood selection, and folks; it is the goods. Every dish you could possibly want is available at Citrique, including yum cha, sushi, curries, antipasto, European dishes, and speciality plates you’ll fall for in a big way. If the delish food offer wasn’t enough, the view of their iconic pool is the ultimate for giving holiday vibes while you fill up on the fare. It’s open for buffet breakfast daily, with Friday and Saturday buffet sittings in the evenings and lunches Sunday.
Where: JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa, 158 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise

We would like to boldly state that QT Gold Coast’s Bazaar is exceptional, and if you have not been, no excuse will suffice! Feel like a steak cooked perfectly medium-rare? Not a problem. Their helpful chefs can create made to order dishes right in front of your eyes, bake pizzas, and dish up fresh and cooked seafood, slow-roasted meats, epic salads, an Asian food section and easily the most delectable dessert offering on the Coast. It’s an absolute must-try and is open for breakfast and dinner daily. For extra indulgence, we highly recommend their Sunday Brunch.
Where: QT Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Ave, Surfers Paradise

Words by Bianca Trathen and Jacqueline Bojanowski.

Desserts at Bazaar Marketplace, QT Gold Coast (image supplied)
Desserts at Bazaar Marketplace, QT Gold Coast (image supplied)

21 hatted Gold Coast restaurants in 2024

Rick Shores, Burleigh (image by Mathilde Bouby)
Rick Shores, Burleigh (image by Mathilde Bouby)

Look we’re all partial to a good hat but if you’re a chef, a hat is all that and a bag of chips. Each year, the Australian Good Food Guide awards hats to the crème de la crème in the restaurant world. Although many of our neighbouring states and cities may have once turned their noses up at the GC dining landscape, sir, times are a’changin!

This year, a whopping 21 of our fave local eats destinations scored at least one hat, and we are proud as punch! The AGFG rates each restaurant out of 20. No restaurant has yet achieved the holy grail of a perfect score.

Social Eating House + Bar kitchen (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Social Eating House + Bar kitchen (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

In a twist everyone saw coming, Broadbeach cleaned up with seven venues receiving hats, including Social Eating House and Bar, which scored 14 and once again earned a special mention for its award-winning share plates.

Newcomer kōst Bar + Grill burst onto the dining scene with fanfare in August with its sleek and sexy venue and equally enticing menu, so it’s no surprise they have earned a mention (12).

Interior of kōst Bar & Grill, Broadbeach (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Interior of kōst Bar & Grill, Broadbeach (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

Of course, a couple of The Star Gold Coast’s restaurants collected gongs, including Japanese sensation Kiyomi (15) and Modern Australian go-to for a fancy night out Nineteen at the Star (14). Miss Moneypenny’s marvellous Mediterranean menu (say that a few times) earned 12, as did longstanding steak restaurant, Moo Moo The Wine Bar and Grill

Rounding up Broady’s winners are grinners list with a score of 13 is The Oracle’s melting pot of Asian goodness Mamasan Kitchen and Bar.

Little Truffle, Mermaid Beach (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Little Truffle, Mermaid Beach (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

Moving slightly south now to Mermaid Beach and the recently reopened Little Truffle has scored 15, while boutique dining superstar The North Room scored 14 and esteemed Japanese restaurant Etsu Izakaya earned a 13.

Nobby Beach also served up a winner in the form of Ally Chow (12) in all her amazing Asian glory.

Robina’s Eddy + Wolff represented with a well-earned 13. It just goes to show that the ‘burbs can cook up a winner too, not just the Insta-set-favoured pockets. Speaking of, Mudgeeraba’s intimate Japanese (and under-the-radar superstar) Anekawa, earned itself a 14.

Anekawa (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
Anekawa (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Now let’s talk Burleigh and again, there are a few to unpack here. Rick Shores scored 13 for its delectable contemporary pan-Asian cuisine, along with Vietnamese pin-up boy Jimmy Wah’s.

Burleigh’s hidden gem, La Bella Cella also got a nod (12).

Palm Beach’s ever-popular Balboa Italian was shown some love with 12.

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

Let’s journey back to the central neck of the woods, starting with Surfers Paradise’s Modern Australian superstar Palette located at HOTA, Home of the Arts, who proudly scored 15.

The QT’s Japanese phenomenon Yamagen scored 12, while the JW Marriott Gold Coast’s seafood superstar Citrique earned a 13.

Neighbouring Main Beach’s modern Australian relative newcomer La Luna scored a 12.

La Luna Restaurant interior (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
La Luna Restaurant interior (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Anyone who still says we’re lacking in the quality eats department here on the Goldie, now is the time to concede defeat because this list of local victories confirms what we already knew – our foodie scene has officially become a force to be reckoned with and there’s plenty more to come…

Words by Belinda Symons.

Eddy + Wolff (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)
Eddy + Wolff (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)
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