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
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
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
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