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Fins Restaurant

Sometimes we venture outside our beloved Gold Coast but only when we know it’s going to be absolutely worthwhile. Which it certainly was when visiting Kingscliff’s premiere dining spot, Fins Restaurant.

Leading the way when it comes to absolutely incredible seafood dishes, Fins has been around for just over 25 years and in that time, have amassed a slew of honours including a Chef’s Hat 22 years running.

In the last few weeks, Owner and Chef Steven ‘Snowy’ Snow and his team, launched a new menu and we insist you allow yourself the pleasure of sampling it quick smart.

Before we discuss it in detail however, let’s chat about the space itself because it’s one-of-a-kind and with a sweet backstory to boot.

Fins exudes somewhat of a magical, forest wonderland vibe with greenery falling from the ceiling and walls and intricate wooden sections dotted throughout (brought over from an old hotel in Bali). Overhead, decorative silver paneling was salvaged from a beautiful Brisbane pub. It’s sophisticated and earthy with a low-lit, otherworldly feeling you certainly won’t experience anywhere else.

Make sure you start your experience right with their cocktail of the week, made at your table because it’s a very fun time watching the expert bar tender shake it just for you.

Back to the menu. Renowned for sustainable produce sourced locally, Fins dishes are the result of Snowy’s extensive world travels (he’s regularly asked to cook in the best restaurants around the world) and the flavours he’s created are taste sensations to say the least.

The degustation menu is the best way to experience the variety of flavours on offer and we, of course, suggest adding matched wines because the Fin’s team know their stuff in that department too. There’s a four and six course degustation option so choose your own adventure.

We’ll discuss the four course. To start you’ll be presented with the Tian of Tuna Sashimi which translates to Yellowfin tuna sashimi with avocado, tobiko caviar, shiso cress and dashi tapioca bubble. It’s sashimi but not as you know it.

Next is Seared Scallops and they are, without a doubt, the fattest, juiciest scallops you’ve ever sampled. With an edamame puree, spiced Cudgen corn kernels, smoked tomato, yuzu dressing, wakame and black sesame, you must taste it to believe how good it is.

Fish with Sake is the third and possibly most stunning dish with caramelized miso eggplant (be still my heart), pickled purple cauliflower, tempura enoki, crispy seaweed, umeboshu sour plum and a sake glaze. There aren’t enough words to describe it’s deliciousness but it’s up there with the best dishes we’ve ever tasted.

For dessert it’s Milk Pannacotta with fresh goats curd, cinnamon apples, Port wine (love you) and almond crumb. Sweet and silky, it’s an absolute delight. There’s also a 5 Shades of Chocolate dessert and it is an absolute next-level sugar coma.

The team will share their expert knowledge on each dish and, if you’re really lucky, Snowy will stop by for a chat.

Of course, if degustations aren’t your thing you can choose from a menu filled with beautiful dishes and good luck deciding on which to try.

The wine menu is equally impressive with mostly locally sourced wines and be sure to ask the team for their recommendations because they know all of the thing about tipples.

Honestly friends, Fins is the real deal and it’s a dining experience you won’t soon forget.

LOCATION: 5/6 Bells Blvd, Kingscliff
HOURS: 5pm to 10pm Monday to Thursday and 12pm to 3pm and 5pm to 10pm Friday and Saturday

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Bar Hellenika

One of your favourites has come through with the goods again, this time in the form of a sleek, breezy rooftop bar that brings all your European summer holiday dreams to life.

Bar Hellenika is the long-awaited venue perched on top of the Nobby’s institution of the same name (but without the bar part). It’s a fresh, colour-filled space decked out with an abundance of white, grey tiled floors, a marble bar perched right in the middle and yellow umbrellas to give it a very laze-by-the-beach-with-mimosa-in-hand kind of vibe.

Bright, eye-catching art adorns the walls depicting well-known Greek folk and a HUGE wine cellar boasts hundreds of bottles that we will certainly enjoy sipping over the next few years. Maybe months, depending on how 2018 pans out.

A big old olive tree takes pride of place in the front reminding us all how very lucky we are that olives are a thing and that we can now eat as many as we like while gazing out over Nobby’s at our new fave spot.

So, the rooftop bar part. Quite obviously the idea is to be roofless but as we all know, the Gold Coast is going through a (quite annoying) wet season right now. But, because he’s a man of the people, owner Simon Gloftis has that sorted. The roof is retractable and it’s quite the sight to behold so, no matter the weather, you can enjoy a tasty tipple in a semi-outdoor space without a care in the world.

Not only can you drink up there though, you can eat and hooray for that because everybody knows Hellenika’s food is the goods.

The menu, known as a mezze menu, is a share plate style scenario filled with delicious eats along the lines of Tiganito Kalamari (flash fried calamari), Gavros (cured white anchovies) and Arni Sti Schara (grilled lamb ribs) to name a few.

Wash those down with an Ari Onassis made up of Tanqueray gin, elderflower, lemon and cucumber (among other things) or a Pimms Cup and your life may just be complete.

As you’d expect from the man with a slew of the Coast’s best restaurants under his belt, Bar Hellenika is a beautiful space oozing good vibes and promising plenty of fun times. It’s casual chic (sans thongs and singlets thank you) at it’s very best and the perfect spot to spend some time with your crew sipping tipples and thinking yourself lucky you live in this increasingly epic city.

You’ll be seeing us there A LOT.

LOCATION: 2235 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
HOURS: 5pm until midnight every day throughout the Commonwealth Games and 5pm until midnight Wednesday to Sunday after that.

Words and photos by Kirra Smith.

Nineteen at The Star

Picture this: you’re 19 floors up nestled into a plush velvet booth overlooking the Broadbeach cityscape with the ocean sparkling invitingly in the background. At your back is a low-lit kitchen, the length of the restaurant, where you can watch some of the best chefs in the world working their magic.

With a glass of Ruinart champagne fizzing softly in front of you, you’d be forgiven for thinking you had stepped off the elevator and into one of New York’s finest establishments.

Not so. Nineteen at The Star is the epitome of understated sophistication and the restaurant slash bar slash nightclub has taken the Gold Coast’s dining scene to a whole new level (the nineteenth in fact) since its recent unveiling.

The food, of course, is what we’re here to discuss and should you feel like treating yourself to an unrivalled dining experience, this is the place to do just that.

Begin with caviar because a. if you’ve never tried it before, why not start with the best and b. if you have, why not start with the best. Nineteen source their Russian Beluga Caviar sustainably through the Caviar Ambassador for Australia.

Head Chef Kelvin Andrews suggests spooning the caviar onto the back of your hand and allowing it to warm to room temperature before tasting to bring out the flavours (of which there are many). It’s a difficult experience to explain but one that you must try for both deliciousness and eating-from-your-hand-in-a fancy-restaurant purposes.

Foie Gras is a dish some of us had not had the pleasure of sampling but what a pleasure it was. Kelvin and the team serve their corn-fed, Roast Highland Duck with a hint of wasabi, sprayed with organic soy sauce and topped with an onion ghost (yes, that’s as fun as it sounds). There are snack and main options so choose your own adventure.

The Tasmanian Rock Lobster Bolognese entree has quickly become a popular dish because it’s all the good things in the world. The shell is roasted over fire for up to four days to create some incredible smoky flavours (among other techniques that ensure the utmost deliciousness). It’s a game changer, you won’t want to go past that one.

A Peking and White Duck dish is served with golden hazelnuts and while we do love all of the foods, this one was a favourite. Particularly because you can add the creamiest, tastiest mashed potato there has ever been. No exaggeration. It’s called fifty-fifty because it’s half butter and half potato. Yes. It. Is. Feed us that every day for the rest of our lives please and thank you.

Dessert lovers aren’t left out with White Chocolate and Caviar the must-try dish. Yes you read that correctly (don’t forget salted caramel was once a foreign concept too). Single origin white chocolate from Ecuador is transformed into ice cream and topped with Caviar smoked with applewood and drizzled with gold flake-infused olive oil made right here in Burleigh. Nineteen at The Star are the first venue in Queensland to boast this magical elixir and the only one on the Gold Coast. Eat it.

Sustainability and minimal wastage are the name of the game here and the team work closely with local farmers to ensure the highest quality produce is available at all times.

The bar menu is equally impressive with, of course, only the highest quality ingredients on offer.

Nineteen have also carefully selected creative cocktails with equally thought-provoking names. One of which pays homage to the Gold Coast’s Aboriginal heritage using the original name of Broadbeach Island, Loch Door. Who knew?

That’s a lot of words to describe an experience that is, quite simply, indescribable. Nineteen at The Star is elegant and refined with every single detail perfectly executed.

World-class dining, right here on the Gold Coast, what’ll they think of next.

(Love you fifty-fifty).

LOCATION: Level 19, The Darling at The Star Gold Coast, Casino Dr, Broadbeach
HOURS: From 12pm Wednesday to Sunday

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

The Fish House

Burleigh Heads beachfront seafood restaurant The Fish House has recently added several decadent new dishes to their already impressive menu.

Famous for offering the freshest and best available seafood, flown in from around Australia every day, The Fish House is five star dining with a five star view of beautiful Burleigh beach.

A salty sea breeze swirls in through the wide front windows ensuring the entire experience is centred on the ocean and it’s offerings.

The menu, printed daily, is all encompassing, from Italian Oscietra Caviar to start to a Citrus Tart with burnt toffee and mascarpone for dessert, each dish is more exquisite than the next.

To begin, Port Lincoln Octopus grilled with oregano and chilli is the perfect balance of melt-in-your-mouth flavours. The Scallop Risotto with chives and Bottarga (salted, cured fish) is beautifully buttery and can be ordered as both an entrée and a main.

Inspired by his recent trip to Thailand, Head Chef Grey Dent created a new dish, the Whole Crispy Snapper. Cooked in rice flour, giving it its crispiness, the Snapper is served with a Thai style mixed salad and Nam Jim sauce. The dish offers a beautiful balance of textures and flavours with the perfect combination of Asian fusion.

Try the Blue Eyed Trevalla – a deepwater fish – firm and mild flavored with large flake flesh and a succulent medium oiliness. It is a beautiful tasting fish served with a Spanish style saffron sauce.

For dessert, stunning flavours abound in the form of Chocolate Fondant with vanilla bean ice cream and Coconut Pannacota with mango, blueberries and honeycomb.

The Fish House is more than simply delicious, fresh food, it is an experience that must be seen to be understood.

HOURS: 12:00PM to 2:30PM and 5:30PM to 8:30PM daily.

LOCATION: 50 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

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