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11 belly-filling banquets on the Gold Coast

Mr Hizola's (image supplied)
Mr Hizola's (image supplied)

Banquets are one of life’s greatest pleasures. So much food, so few choices to make. What could be better?

Because we’re all about going out to eat right now, and probably for the rest of time, here’s a list of 11 banquets on the Gold Coast that we highly recommend you sample at the soonest possible opportunity.

Mr Hizola’s
Burleigh’s favourite contemporary Chinese joint, Mr Hizola’s is always a good time and the menu is absolutely packed with choices so a banquet is definitely your best bet here. It’s called The Emperer’s Feast and it’s $55pp (min two people) and you get to choose from every section of the menu. It’s all very yummy and you absolutely won’t go home hungry.
Where: 1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Hideaway Kitchen & Bar
One of the most loved venues on the Coast has the perfect option if you want to try a little bit of everthing. It’s called the Hideaway Street Feast and it’s just $59pp. You get to choose a starter, three small plates, two big plates, rice or noodles and a salad of greens. It’s a little trip around Asia and you’re absolutely going to love it.
Where: 2567 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach

Mamasan Kitchen + Bar (image supplied)

Mamasan Kitchen + Bar
There’s always something tasty on the menu at Mamasan and you guessed it, you can try many of the things with their banquet option. Let Mama Choose is a selection of the teams’ favourite dishes and who would know better than them? Nobody. It’s $79pp and you can add wine pairing for an extra $59pp. Choose this option with a minimum of four people. There’s also a Yin Banquet for $55pp and a Yang Banquet for $69pp. Both for a minimum of two people and with the option to add wine pairing.
Where: 3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach

Nineteen at The Star
Way up high, overlooking the ocean and the cityscape is Nineteen at The Star, led by Head Chef Uday Huja and offering exquisite dishes that’ll absolutely delight your tastebuds. The $96 menu is made up of a fresh oyster entrée paired with Dominique Portet ‘Brut Rosé and from there you get a choice of your first course, main and desserts. All of which are exceptional. It’s available for Friday and Saturday lunch.
Where: The Star Gold Coast, Casino Drive, Broadbeach

Bonita Bonita
A Mexi-feast is the absolute best kind of feast. Particularly if that Mexi-feast comes from Bonita Bonita in Mermaid Beach. For $40pp you’ll get bites like Charred Cauliflower Ensaladas and you can add Chimmichanga’s and Empanada’s for $6 per item. If you’re a group of eight or more you need to go with seven-course option and it’s all absolutely epic.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Miss Moneypenny's (image supplied)

Miss Moneypenny’s
The sophisticated Broady spot is serving up a stunning seafood-laden menu and there’s no way you’re going to able to choose just one dish. Luckily there’s a Chef’s Seven Dish Signature Selection option, it’s just $85pp and you’ll get the best of the best to sample plus you can enjoy a pre-dinner glass of GH Mumm Grand Cordon champagne for $19. The perfect choice.
Where: 50 Surf Parade, Broadbeach

Willow Dining Room
Found on the highway in Burleigh Heads, Willow Dining Room expanded recently due to exactly how loved it is amongst Gold Coast locals. There you’ll get a feast of Mediterranean, European, Modern Australian, Spanish and Asian flavours – share-style – and let us tell you, it’s all absolutely incredible. Banquet options start from $45pp and you get choices of entrees and tapas plates and dessert options if you choose the $49 plus options.
Where: 1957 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Justin Lane
Up high in Burleigh, Justin Lane is a high vibe, good time, every time. Their eats are some of the best around, life-changing pizzas and exceptional cocktails too. The Feed Me menu is one we often choose – it’s $39pp for pizza, pasta and salads and it’s available for two plus people. There’s also a vegan banquet option, which is a really great idea. Ocean views, chilli margs and all the carbs, what more could you need.
Where: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Justin Lane (image supplied)

Maggie Choo
Modern Asian food at its finest can be found at Broady’s new(ish) Maggie Choo. Not only will you love the neon-lit interior and pumping tunes, the cocktails and eats are to-die-for too. The Maggi Tease is $49pp and includes dishes like Thai Beef Tataki and Haloumi Rolls (YUM) and the Maggie Luxe is $65pp and includes the same plus more – including an EPIC Green Curry. Do yourself a favour.
Where: 89 Surf Parade, Broadbeach

Kiyomi
The Star Gold Coast’s premiere Japanese restaurant, Kiyomi offers less of a banquet and more of a degustation menu and it is absolutely incredible (as you’d expect). For $150pp you start with sparkling sake and dishes like Ocean Trout with Wasabi Salsa and Yuzu Soy the move onto the likes of Cuttlefish Tempura, Wagyu Beef Cheek, artichoke and hatcho miso. They’re all made up of the highest quality produce and make up an experience you’ll never forget.
Where: The Star Gold Coast, Casino Drive, Broadbeach

Spice Den
While technically not on the Gold Coast, Spice Den is absolutely worth a mention here. Found in Casuarina the Asian fusion restaurant offers a banquet at both lunch and dinner time and there’s a banquet special on Saturday’s for lunch and all day Sunday at $34pp and there are $50 and $60 options too. Dishes at Spice Den include the likes of Pat Prik King Wagyu Beef and Royal Red Curry Boneless Duck Leg and it’s all very delicious.
Where: 9 Dianella Drive, Casuarina

Words by Kirra Smith

Mr Hizola’s

Over the last year or so we have reported on many a game-changing venue swinging open their doors to offer us, the good people of the Gold Coast, tasty eats and even tastier tipples. Until now though, there has been not one single Cantonese cuisine-themed restaurant to report on but HAPPY DAYS folks, the time has come.

Opening on Thursday (June 28th), Mr Hizola’s is the new kid on the Burleigh block, brought to you by the (surely very tired) team behind Hideaway Kitchen, Bine Craft Beer Bar, Soho Place and Nightjar (love you) and it’s a good one.

A low-lit, moody vibe is what you’ll find upon entering the 100-seat space and, as you’d expect from Scott Imlach, Simone Turnbridge, Michael Craighead and the crew, there are plenty of eye-catching features. The ceiling is covered in greenery with colourful paper lanterns dotted throughout, artwork depicting traditional scenes adorn one wall and a dark, somewhat magical laneway is your new favourite spot for Insta-snaps.

Most excitingly of course, is the food. Unlike anything else on the Gold Coast, the menu is straight from the creative mind of Mr Jon Hizola, formerly of Hideaway Kitchen and Etsu Izakaya fame (plus, you know Nobu in Perth) and yes, the man behind the venues’ name.

So the deal is share-style dishes, and good luck because there are way too many to taste. Luckily there’s a banquet for $50 per person so you don’t have to choose if you don’t wanna.

Cantonese food traditionally comes from China’s Guangdong Province (south west) and it would seem the food is quite a treat.

Mr Hizola’s menu is organised into sections including Dim Sum, From the Sea, From the Coop, Noodles and Rice etc. making for ease of ordering.

From the Colds section go the Kingfish Boucit in pickled chilli and aged black vinegar and the Pig’s Ear and Jellyfish salad with celery, cucumber and coriander. We know, but trust us.

Sizzling typhoon shelter Mooloolaba prawns is a dish drawing inspiration from the Mongolian-influenced areas of northern China and it’s laden with chilli and nuts and the prawns are as big as your face. Yes please.

The Chicken Gai Jik Pang (chicken drumstick) with sweet sour sauce has been described by someone who apparently knows a thing or two on the topic as “the moistest wing you’ll ever pop in your gob”. So there’s that.

We could literally list every single thing on the menu but instead, recommend you book yourself a table under the sky garden and eat until your pants pop.

For lunch, it’s a yum cha-style situation with plenty of delicious favourites to fill your belly.

The wine list has been carefully curated with choices made to complement the dishes and of course, a creative cocktail features the usual suspects plus some Chinese-inspired treats you’re gonna love.

Oh, one more thing. The menu has been designed to ignite all five of your senses so expect fire, theatrics and plenty of good times.

Cheers Mr Hizola, see ya Thursday (and every day after that).

LOCATION: 1730 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: Open 12pm to 4pm and 5pm until late, seven days

Words and photos by Kirra Smith.

13 Gold Coast venues with exceptional wine offerings

La Bella Cellar interior (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
La Bella Cellar interior (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

When it comes to wine growing and producing, whether you know it or not, Australia is up there in the world with some of the best. And although we might not have the legacy and history of our European cousins, we still knock out some fantastic drops!

Whether you’re a fan of Euro classics or enjoying wines from our very own Terra Australis, we think a well-rounded wine list, and therefore drinking experience, should be celebrated. So next time you feel like the wine selection should be just as good as the food, we’ve gone to great lengths to find the Gold Coast venues with great wine lists and cellars where you can sip to your heart’s content.

La Bella Cellar
If you haven’t come across this humble ode to all things Italian and delicious, then we suggest you go about booking yourself a table pronto. One sentiment many people share through gastronomy is to match a country’s food with their wine. Here at La Bella Cellar, you have countless opportunities to do so with a carefully curated list displaying hard-to-find Italian regions and varietals. But if you feel like Australian wine is just as good — and it is — they have a clever section where you can experience the same grapes and styles but from good ol’ Straya.
Where: 9/3 Deodar Drive, Burleigh Heads

Nineteen at The Star (image supplied)
Nineteen at The Star (image supplied)

Nineteen at The Star
A five-star venue overlooking the ocean and 19 floors up is the perfect place to enjoy an exceptional wine, and Nineteen at The Star is precisely that. Not to mention they have a walk-in, glass window wine room filled with hundreds of bottles of the very finest wines from across the world. Of course, the team at Nineteen are absolute stars when it comes to wine knowledge, not to mention pairing said wines with their dishes. Treat yourself to a delicious time at Nineteen; it’s pure magic.
Where: The Star Gold Coast, Casino Drive, Broadbeach

Palette
Combining art and food in a brand-new opulent setting, HOTA’s Palette restaurant hinges its menu closely on what is featured within the current exhibition in the adjacent gallery, meaning you’ll be eating with your eyes as well as your mouth. Executive Chef Dayan Hartill-Law believes strongly in freshness and seasonality, mirrored by their Australian/New Zealand dominant wine list, showcasing some fantastic producers in our own backyard. If you feel the need to keep things as close to home as possible, you’ll just adore their ‘local list’ with wines exclusively from nearby Granite Belt and Mount Tamborine regions.
Where: Ground Floor, HOTA Gallery, HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise

Social Eating House + Bar
A casual, fine dining venue in the heart of Broadbeach, Social Eating House + Bar is the perfect place for an-award winning feast plus a glass of wine or two to match. The wine menu is broken down into easy-to-choose sections, including light and aromatic whites, light to medium body reds and bigger shiraz, to name a few. The team are highly knowledgeable and can certainly help you find something to suit your tastes.
Where: Shop 137-138, 3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach

The Glenelg Public House (image supplied)
The Glenelg Public House (image supplied)

The Glenelg Public House
Long loved by Gold Coasters as the place for sophisticated home-style cooking and consistently excellent service. And it isn’t just the wine list you should be excited about; start things off with one of their superbly made house cocktails, and you’ll peruse the sizeable collection of select wines a little easier. If you’re a fan of red wine and matching it up to a melt-in-your-mouth steak, this is the place where all your dreams can — and will — come true.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

The Wine Barrel
As you might expect, a restaurant called The Wine Barrel has quite a selection of wine for your tasting pleasure. The Mudgeeraba gem boasts one of the very best wine lists around, and the gurus behind the bar will ensure, yours is an experience to remember. From Margaret River to Tuscany and sparkling to sherry, there’s sure to be a tipple that’ll tickle your tastebuds (and the food is the goods too). We love this place!
Where: 8/59 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba

Glass Dining & Lounge Bar
The shimmering waters and reflective hulls of nearby superyachts hopefully won’t dazzle your eyes too much when you open the drinks menu at Main Beach’s Glass Dining & Lounge Bar. Take in the extensive collection of worldly drops, and you’ll realise there is great emphasis on stellar Champagne and Australian Shiraz. So, how does starting with freshly shucked oysters and finishing off with free-range grass-fed steak sound to you — because from where we’re sitting, it sounds marvellous.
Where: Marina Mirage, 74 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach

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

Orzo
Firmly settled as a prime lunching spot, Orzo can be found at The Oracle Boulevard Broadbeach, serving up exquisite modern seafood dishes and, of course, a wine list to match. As you might expect, the wines are of the Italian variability from various regions, and each is stunning. Whites, reds, rosés and sparklings, anything you could want to sip, and each paired perfectly with the impressive menu. Ask the team for their recommendation and prepare to be dazzled by the goodness.
Where: 1N-02, The Oracle, 12 Charles Avenue, Broadbeach

Jafa
Up Southport way is the stunning little space Jafa – a wine and pizza bar boasting quite the unique array of vinos that pair perfectly with the menu. Have you ever tried an orange wine? There’s some on the menu here; trust us, it’s amazing. Not to mention an impressive array of reds from Syrah to Nebbiolo and some we’ve never encountered.
Where: 7/253 Ferry Road, Southport 

Destino
Suppose your heart misses the Mediterranean Sea, as ours does. Might we suggest you take a visit to Sanctuary Cove and drop anchor at this perfect, white-washed afternoon grazing spot? Enjoy the dappled light and spoil yourself with cocktails, select dips, and imported cheeses — but make sure you have selected a suitable glass of wine to go alongside these morsels. Choose something delectable and European like French Provencal Rosé or Spanish Tempranillo, and imagine you’re on the Amalfi, even just for a short while!
Where: 38C Masthead Way, Sanctuary Cove

Gemellini (image supplied)
Gemellini (image supplied)

Gemellini
An institution adored by a league of perpetually hungry fans out there on our coastline. Gemellini (and the OG Gemelli) has been bringing classy Italian mealtimes to Nobby Beach for a little over five years now and shows no sign of slowing up. For wine lovers out there, you’re in for a treat. If you go by the glass, you can match great examples of European classics with their drool-worthy handmade pasta dishes. If you feel like delving into their hefty bottle selection, you can sip away and sample the best pizzas this side of Naples: sure to take you straight to Italian cuisine nirvana!
Where: 2247 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Jimmy Wah’s
The Burleigh Heads gem has a carefully crafted wine list of some of the most iconic producers around, along with small and innovative winemakers making their own unique type of magic. Most of the list is available by the glass, so you’re invited to sample something unique from around the world. Each tipple is a perfect match to the exceptional modern Vietnamese food menu. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of spending time at Jimmy Wah’s, they simply must be next on your list.
Where: 1724 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Moo Moos
Often touted as the best steak restaurant on the Gold Coast, if you’re in need to satisfy the carnivore within you, then look no further. Indulge your thirst for something more refined and work your way through their vast vintage and non-vintage Champagne collection and start a lunch/dinner you won’t forget in a hurry. And if you need a follow up, their list is extensive and informs the reader on styles and grapes with a handy little introduction to each section.
Where: 2685 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Jimmy Wah's (image supplied)
Jimmy Wah's (image supplied)

Raise your pinkies for an all-new High Tea Brunch

Aviary Rooftop Bar cocktails (image supplied)

Over the last few months, we have missed doing many of our favourite things and right at the top of that list was catching up with our crew at a beautiful Gold Coast bar to sip tipples while tasting seriously good looking food.

Bonus points if that bar was of the rooftop variety with magical views overlooking the city and if said tipples were sipped in the late morning via a delightful brunch-style situation.

So of course, it makes us very happy that Southport’s stunning Aviary Rooftop Bar is back in business and with that, a brand-new offering for brunchtime drinking with the crew. And a very exciting one at that.

Yes, it’s a High Tea edition of a Brunch, and you’re going to want to book yourself, and your people, in right now.

It’s on one Saturday a month, and you not only get to dress up in your prettiest frock, but you will also enjoy an array of delicious eats and plenty of fun sips too.

Aviary Rooftop Bar pizza (image supplied)

To eat, there’ll be mouth-watering High Tea towers filled with both sweet and savoury goodies, authentic Italian pizzas freshly served out of the pizza oven from Italian Chef Stefano.

And to drink, you’ll be able to indulge in beer, wine and soft drink plus welcome cocktails poured from teapots.

How lovely.

Tickets are just $49 per person if you’re an early bird and $59 per person if you’re not.

Either way, that’s excellent value, and you can book now for both Saturday 14th November and Saturday 12th December. Each event runs from 11am until 1pm.

It’s a delectably good brunch event and you absolutely need to gather your favourites and get on it right now.

LOCATION: Aviary Rooftop Bar, Cnr Musgrave and Olsen Aves, Southport
WHEN: 11am to 1pm on Saturday 14th November and Saturday 12th December

Aviary Rooftop Bar high tea brunch (image supplied)
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