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The brand-new FISHBOWL Burleigh will bowl you over

FISHBOWL Burleigh (Image credit Niki To)
FISHBOWL Burleigh (Image credit Niki To)

Just when you think Burleigh couldn’t possibly get any better, boom – it does! How is this happening you ask? Let’s dish… After 6 long years of planning and preparation, we’re excited to announce that FISHBOWL is a-comin to town! And no, we’re not referring to the obscenely large drinks we shared every Saturday night in Melba’s circa 2001, we’re talking about Sydney’s freshest fast-food and sustainability supernova.

Opening their flagship GC store on Saturday 6th August, the delicious Japanese-inspired bowls of glorious goodness will be right at home amongst our healthy life loving, PE Nation wearing Burleigh community! To celebrate, they’re giving away free bowls to the first 100 customers, followed by $10 bowls for the rest of the day, and we’re so totally lining up Boxing-Day-sales-style for this.

Nathan Dalah, Nic Pestalozzi, Casper Ettelson of FISHBOWL Burleigh (image supplied)
Nathan Dalah, Nic Pestalozzi, Casper Ettelson of FISHBOWL (image supplied)

With a mission to change the face of fast food, the FISHBOWL phenomenon is built around a customisable base and extras and who doesn’t love an element of DIY. To maximise nutrition, the menu is centred on veggies, alongside ethically and sustainably sourced seafood, meat or vegan options made fresh every day. The chefs carefully break down and prepare the nosh with minimal intervention and maximum love, right down to the dressings. Using a carefully selected range of local and Japanese ingredients free from any artificial flavour enhancers and refined sugars, the proof is in the pudding…or the bowl….that the result is a true blue (or green) taste sensation!

Where possible, these guys even grow produce on their own farms, and any kitchen waste is sent back to these farms to use as nutrient-rich compost for new produce. What begins with a beautiful a-la-natural and green friendly product, is complemented by design-driven spaces, curated music, bold personalities and cultural diversity, and why didn’t we think of this trailblazing concept?!

FISHBOWL Burleigh (Image credit Niki To)
FISHBOWL Burleigh (Image credit Niki To)

Speaking of, who the heck did cook this up? In 2016 whilst at Uni, three savvy young blokes Nathan Dalah, Nic Pestalozzi and Casper Ettelson decided that a healthy, sustainably sourced alternative to fast food could have legs….and well played Sirs, well played. Having self-funded their growth from 1-30 locations in the past six years making FISHBOWL Australia’s fastest growing quick service restaurant, it’s safe to say they’re scratched a nation-wide itch.

Now down to the nitty-gritty – what should you eat and bonus, you can watch the chefs whip up your edible masterpiece in the open kitchen. Well if 10,000 Aussies a week are ordering their signature The O.G., this sounds like a pretty good place to start. It’s packed with salmon sashimi, kale, savoy, beets, shallots, edamame, red onion, roasted sesame dressing, seaweed salad, tobiko and crispy shallots. Or if a warm bowl is more to your liking, how about Beef Brisket with 12-hour braised beef, kale, savoy, carrots, radish, shallots, edamame, lemon olive oil and shoyu dressing, wasabi peas, and wasabi mayo drizzle? Then, add your base like brown rice, sushi rice or soba noodles (to name a few), any extra protein (we’re picking tofu and perhaps some meru miso eggplant), and a trusty Kombucha to wash it all down. Yep, we feel totes Burleigh-esk right now.

FISHBOWL Burleigh exterior (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
FISHBOWL Burleigh exterior (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

So get behind this positive culture change towards food and head to check out the launch on Saturday. As if you need more motivation, in addition to the free bowls there will also be free FELLR seltzers, merch giveaways, live music, and drinks served by local operators Giddy Citizen, Xpressed and Good Happy. We’re calling it now – FISHBOWL is set to become our new Burleigh BFF.

Where: 2 James Street, Burleigh Heads
When: Opening Saturday 6th August

Words by Bianca Trathen.

FISHBOWL Burleigh (Image credit Niki To)
FISHBOWL Burleigh (Image credit Niki To)

8 spots to grab a Poké Bowl on the Gold Coast

Salty Squid & Miss Piggy Poke Bowls, Bowl & Blend (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Salty Squid & Miss Piggy Poke Bowls, Bowl & Blend (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

The only thing we love more than a fish bowl (RIP Melba’s) is a poké bowl. And, unlike the former, poké bowls don’t make us do dumb stuff like text our ex at 2am, or bust out the Macarena amongst people who weren’t even born when it was a banga. Bursting with flavour, fun to eat and full of healthy ingredients, what’s not to love about this native Hawaiian cuisine turned worldwide taste sensation?!

Coz we can’t get enough, here is a list of some of the best poké bowls on the Gold Coast from North to South, so you can up your ‘gram game!

Poké California
With a philosophy like “Love Yourself” and a commitment to serving up healthy poké-a-plenty with only the freshest local ingredients, who could resist this resident and tourist fave. Never short of customers, do yourself a favour and try the Pork Katsu Poke Bowl with fried pork katsu, rice, mixed salad, cucumber, sweet onion, carrot, cabbage, edamame, sweet corn and your choice of toppings and sauces.
Where: Southport Central Apartments, 56 Scarborough Street, Southport & Circle on Cavill, 9 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Pork Katsu Poké Bowl, Poké California (image supplied)
Pork Katsu Poké Bowl, Poké California (image supplied)

Finn Poké
Born and bred in Byron, Finn Poké are masters at putting their own spin on the humble Poké bowl. Creating super healthy, get-in-ma-belly style meals, they are as focussed on sustainability as they are flavour. The Okinawa Beef Bowl is a Finn specialty, with premium wagyu brisket on rice, caramelised and marinated onion, pickled ginger, Okinawa special sauce and red pepper blend.
Where: Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, Hooker Boulevard, Broadbeach & 1/11 James Street, Burleigh Heads

Aloha Bar & Dining
The fact that it’s hidden makes us love it even more! This tropical tiki bar serves up the yum factor with Hawaiian nosh, including some fierce Poké Bowls! Once you’ve sampled their insane cocktails, the Szechuan chicken with crispy onion an Asian slaw Poke Bowl will be just what you need to give you that hearty fix to kick on all night long!
Where: 18 Main Place, Broadbeach

Finn Poké (image supplied)
Finn Poké (image supplied)

Okazu Sushi Bar
Okay so while Poké Bowls may be Hawaiian, they are rich in ingredients associated with Japan and therefore make a welcome appearance on many Japanese menus. Okazu has a spread of drool-worthy bowls to choose from, but we can’t go past the original Poke Bowl with tuna, salmon, edamame, brown rice, cabbage, ginger, crispy shallots, wakame, chilli, soy sauce, cucumber and sesame mayo. Bliss!
Where: 2223 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach 

Poké Poké
Specialists in fresh, fruity, fun vibes and all the delicious and healthy tropical delights you can poké a stick at, Poké Poké offers up generous and tasty poké bowls, decadent roti wraps and next level super smoothies! Our pick is the Snap Her Up with mouth-watering cooked coconut snapper, brown rice, carrot, edamame, cucumber salsa, radish, mesclun, fresh chilli crispy shallots and sesame.  Drooling!
Where: Mermaid Beach Village, 2375 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Poké Bowls, Okazu Sushi Bar (image supplied)
Poké Bowls, Okazu Sushi Bar (image supplied)

Bowl & Blend Co
Ex Sydneysider and award-winning restaurateur Kim Udomdej brings us high-quality, organic, ethically sourced eats in her cute tropical boho space, Bowl & Blend. It’s difficult to pick a frontrunner, but we’re giving a shout out to The Salty Squid Poké Bowl because we always say hells yes to anything involving squid, and get some pork on your fork with the popular Miss Piggy Poké Bowl.
Where: 70 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

HiPoke brings an authentic blend of tropical culture and fresh food built for active lifestyles…and we’re fans! Their mission is to provide a wholesome, fast-food alternative that makes both your bod and the community sing amen! We’re obsessed with the signature Marinated Tofu Bowl with quinoa, marinated tofu, wakame, cherry tomato, enoki mushroom, spring onion, purple cabbage, pickled ginger, ponzu sauce and crispy shallot.
Where: Kirra Village, 18/48 Musgrave Street, Coolangatta

Tofu Poké Bowl, HiPoke (image supplied)
Tofu Poké Bowl, HiPoke (image supplied)

Niche & Co
Giving the 4224 folk the good vibe infused healthy feed they need, Niche & Co is a 2021 Travellers Choice Award winner and an absolute must see (or taste!). The Roast Turmeric Cauliflower and House Spiced Tofu Poké Bowl will knock your nickers off with roast cauli, turmeric tzatziki, spiced tofu, pickled onion, kim chi, seasonal greens, sweet radish, avocado, spiced cucumber, sesame carrot and crispy shallots.
Where: 449 Golden Four Drive, Tugun

Words by Bianca Trathen.

Roast turmeric cauliflower & house spiced tofu poké bowl, Niche & Co (image supplied)
Roast turmeric cauliflower & house spiced tofu poké bowl, Niche & Co (image supplied)

20 reasons locals love Burleigh Heads

Oh Burleigh you little beauty, what’s not to love right? Since the dawn of time (or the dawn of the GC at least) Burleigh has been one of the most-loved suburbs amongst a slew of strong contenders.

Sure, the beach is beautiful and James Street boasts all the best eats and acai bowls galore but it’s more than that, Burleigh has a soul of its own born of cruisy, barefoot, salty seabreeze vibes you simply won’t find anywhere else.

Gushing aside, here are 20 solid reasons why the locals love it and you should too (or else). And yes, we understand there are many more, hold your horses for list 2.0.

Restaurant Labart
The fine dining venue is only a couple of years old, but in that time has become one of the Gold Coast’s premier dining destinations. Tucked away on West Street, the five-star, seasonal produce-led restaurant is an absolute must-visit and your dining experience there is one you won’t long forget. The produce is sustainable and the wine list is filled with some of the most stunning natural wines in the world. The service is impeccable too, but in a fun, not-too-formal way. We LOVE.
Where: 2A/8 West Street, Burleigh Heads 

It’s the good time, slightly fancy Australiana bar of your dreams and it is perfectly at home in Burleigh Heads. Rosella’s very quickly became a firm local favourite when it opened last year and with both a drinks and food menu made up entirely of Australian produce, we are in love. There are cocktails made with Nutri Grain, some of the tastiest toasties around and all the very best Aussie beers. It’s refined, beautifully decked out and created by a couple of absolute legends. Love.
Where: 6/1734 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Mr Hizola’s
Yum, contemporary Cantonese food, we love you. Mr Hizola’s is dishing up the goods in the form of tasty share-style dishes and we are here for it. Particularly the sizzling steak dish that is all kinds of delicious and an array of epic cocktails to match. Mr Hizola’s is by the gang who brought you Hideaway Kitchen and Bar, Nightjar (see below), Bine, Soho Place and Nightcap, so it’s fair to say they know what’s up.
Where: 1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Hill
Well hasn’t this simple little piece of Mother Nature become a local legend. No matter the day of the week (but particularly Sunday arvos) “the hill” as it’s affectionately known is packed with picnic rugs, ball games and groups of revelers basking in the sunshine. Looking out over the ocean and with the city in the distance, it’s the perfect spot for a late afternoon lemonade or early morning coffee date with the crew. If you’re feeling energetic, take a stroll around the hill to Talle Creek for some Insta-worthy scenery.
Where: The south end of The Esplanade, Burleigh Heads

It’s the good old-fashioned party bar Burleigh has welcomed with open arms and there’s absolutely no doubt that all the best things go down behind Nightjar’s spray painted roller door. Inspired by wanderluster Sailor Jerry and with very few rules, the back alley bar is home to epic live jams, crazy cocktails and guaranteed good times.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads 

Iku Yakitori Bar
Yakitori translates to chicken on a stick, simple enough to describe, but much more intricate in nature. As for Iku, ask the crew when you stop in. Also found in Burleigh’s bustling back alley, Iku is even better than you’d imagine it to be. Skewers are the name of the game and no part of the chicken is left behind. There’s also veggo ones and some ridiculous edamame dip and plenty of tasty cocktails too.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads 

Jimmy Wahs
The stunning space offers incredible Vietnamese dishes inspired by Head Chef Jakes’ trip through Vietnam and a desire to eat some of the very best street food in the world every single day. Same. It’s a refined style of dining paired with mouthwatering cocktails and a sleek, paired back vibe. Jimmy Wahs is one of the Gold Coast’s most impressive eateries and we are big fans.
Where: 1724 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Sean Scott Boutique
Gold Coast local Sean Scott is a world-renowned surf and nature photographer and his gallery on James Street is filled with his stunning images and the coolest of clothing and accessories. The gallery has been open for five years and is the perfect spot to stop in for some creative inspo or grab yourself a piece of Sean’s incredible art. Read our interview with the man himself here.
Where: 21 James Street, Burleigh Heads

Rick Shores
Literally opening out onto the sand at Burleigh beach, Rick Shores is loved (not only locally) for its stunning sunset views and those tiny little taste sensations otherwise known as Bug Rolls. If you’ve never tasted one, you’ve been wasting your life, make a booking RIGHT NOW and order them all. Wash them down with one of Rick’s signature cocktails and you’re a bonafide Burleigh-ite.
Where: Shop 3, Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Bowls Club
A relaxing little beachside club loved by young and old alike, Burleigh Bowls has been around since 1937 and is certainly a prime piece of real estate these days. Barefoot Bowls roll on from 12 to 5pm every Sunday and it’s a measly $5 per person including coaching and bowls (AKA ball whipper snappers). Live music can be heard on Sunday arvos from 2 to 6pm. Get down and support your local while sipping on a schooner.
Where: Connor Street, Burleigh Heads

The Village Markets
Our beloved boutique fashion and lifestyle market, The Village Markets, is home to hundreds of local makers and has helped to launch the international careers of countless creatives. Head down for an early morning coffee and breakfast while wandering through the stalls until it’s time for lunch. Oh and there’s always live music if you need a breather. It’s the best way to spend a sunny Sunday
Where: Burleigh Heads State School, Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Baker
The baked goods that come out of this friendly little bakery are honestly something else. Owners Geoff and Lisa are passionate about baking and opened Burleigh Baker to provide us with the best tasting and most nutritious Artisan Sourdough and boy do they deliver. They use only the finest ingredients and the traditional process of fermentation. Do not buy bread anywhere else. You’re welcome.
Where: 13/50 James Street, Burleigh Heads

Freedom Float Centre
Floating in an enclosed tank of water may not seem like the most freedom-inducing activity in the world but trust us, it is. It’s the perfect place to experience the deepest of relaxation for the mind and body and literally involves floating weightlessly in a concentrated salt solution in a specially designed lightproof and soundproof pod. You’ll be shut off from the entire world. Sign us up!
Where: 105 West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads

Justin Lane Rooftop
Don your finest frock and rally up your girlfriends for a Sunday session and a spot of people watching on the roof at Justin Lane. With cocktails in hand and a balmy breeze blowing in through the windows, you need never go anywhere else again. After a few hours, pop downstairs for one of Justin’s famous pizzas and that’s your Sunday sorted.
Where: 1708 – 1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Pavilion
Absolute beachfront views and balmy ocean breezes aside, Burleigh Pavilion is a real treat. The interior is all pastel hues with greenery dotted throughout, two distinct sides including a sit down restaurant (The Tropic) and a more casual beach bar-style situation (The Terrace) for the best of both worlds. There are tasty eats on both sides and many a refreshing cocktail. Not to mention their new baked goods-filled van. Get involved in all of that.
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Pavilion (image supplied)
Burleigh Pavilion (image supplied)

Ze Pickle
The OG of giant, gourmet burgers, Ze Pickle’s Burleigh Heads store is all the best burgery things. Opened by friends Joey, Nathan and Aaron in 2012, the concept has spread around Australia and is now loved nationwide. Paired by your favourite local craft beer or a tipple of primo tequila and you’ve got yourself a good time.
Where: Corner Park Avenue and Connor Street, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Farmers Markets
Everyone’s favourite Saturday morning market adventure. Get up early, grab your basket and set out in search of fruit, veggies and of course, your first coffee of the weekend. These days the farmers market also boast locally made clothing and homewares, flowers, meat and seafood and delicious breaky and lunch options. There’s also live music and plenty of laughter floating around. Happy days.
Where: Burleigh Heads State School, Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

David Fleays Wildlife Park
Nestled in the heart of Burleigh Heads, David Fleay’s is a wildlife park with a difference. Stroll through the tranquil surroundings to experience some of Queensland’s most iconic natural habitats and meet the resident wildlife — all in just one day. Explore the park solo or join the dedicated Park Rangers at the daily wildlife shows.
Where: Corner of West Burleigh Road and Loman Lane in West Burleigh

Burleigh Brewing Co.
If there’s one thing Burleigh deserves (the big legend), it’s a brewery and Burleigh Brewing Co. certainly delivers. After opening in 2006, Burleigh Brewing Co. has produced nine delicious drops with delightful names such as ‘My Wife’s Bitter’ and ‘FIGJAM’ – perfectly Burleigh. Get a sixer for Netflix and chill or head into the brewery from Wednesday to Sunday afternoons to get amongst it. There’s live tunes too, what a combination.
Where: 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads

Lockwood Bar
A somewhat hidden little speakeasy in the heart of Burleigh Heads, Lockwood Bar specialise in all of the very best varieties of whiskey along with many a local tipple transformed into tasty cocktails. It’s a laidback, jazz bar kind of vibe, low lit, often with live music and once you’re inside, you likely won’t want to leave. We dig it.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads

Words by Kirra Smith

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