Top honours for your faves.
Top honours for your faves.
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.
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).
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
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.
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.
Burleigh’s hidden gem, La Bella Cella also got a nod (12).
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.
Friends, they’re the family we choose and worth their weight in gold. But LBR, don’t we all kinda fancy ourselves as the group authority on where to go for the best nosh, vibe and cocktail list? Well stick with us kids, we’ve got this!
Here are our tried and tested (on repeat) recommendations to elevate you to Queen Bee status. XOXO.
Anyone who’s someone is eating modern Vietnamese, and no-one does it better than Jimmy Wah’s. Named after Robyn Williams’ charismatic character in ‘Good Morning Vietnam’, it’s sure to get a thumbs up from your squad. If you really want to nail the dish recommendations, we suggest you handball this conundrum to the chef with the ‘Feed Me’ option. Choosing his top choices for 7 courses (plus a side), you’re guaranteed to please the posse.
Where: 1724 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Srsly, the mere mention of The Langham will have your mates nodding in approval. The bougee T’ang Court honours its Michelin-star sister restaurants specialising in fine Cantonese dining. Reflecting the timelessness of the Tang Dynasty, China’s golden age, score extra points for the epic cultural nod. The authentic Cantonese dishes are complemented by the high-end, contemporary fit-out. In the words of Nike, just do it.
Where: The Langham Gold Coast, 38 Old Burleigh Road, Surfers Paradise
Dripping in coastal-styled furnishings and high-quality on-fleek accents, COAST is the restaurant with the most! This spectacular $2.5 million-dollar venue adorning the first floor of the brand-new Ocean by Meriton is all about fine modern Australian shared cuisine, and breathtaking uninterrupted views of the big blue. Sink a margi with your gang at the 14m marble bar, a second one outside on the stunning terrace, and the next (several) with your designer dinner in the main dining room.
Where: Ocean by Meriton, 86 Esplanade, Surfers Paradise
Occupying arguably the most iconic turf on the Coast, Siblings packs wow-factor for days. This modern Aussie brunch and dinner hot spot at Kirra Beach Pavilions is dripping with 1950s Miami beach vibes from pillar to post. Beautifully styled with a colour palette and décor celebrating its glorious surroundings, a meal here should be on every Gold Coaster’s to do list. The food is on-point and there are 52 signature cocktails to enjoy with your chums. Nuff said.
Where: 15 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
When The Australian Good Food Guide awards you 14 points and two chef’s hats, you’ve officially arrived. With accolades like this, your fancy friends will be all over it like Pro Hart on a Stainmaster commercial. Situated in the stunning HOTA Gallery, Palette takes inspiration from artworks on display and major exhibitions to show just how naturally art and food blends. Fresh ingredients sourced locally where possible create a showstopping modern Australian menu guaranteed to woo.
Where: HOTA, Home of the Arts, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
There just aren’t enough stars for this Burleigh blockbuster. Another modern Australian restaurant to dine for, it is fine dining at its, well, finest. The work of passionate husband and wife team Alex and Karla Munoz Labart, Labart offers a seasonal, share-style menu made with only the best produce and a sustainable wine list to match. The earthy, refined and understated interior creates a warm and welcoming ambience, providing the perfect setting for an intimate meal with friends.
Where: 8 West Street, Burleigh Heads
Focusing on fresh, locally sourced produce with the intention to share, soz but we don’t want to #TooGood. At one with the ocean, the infamous Rick Shores overlooks beautiful Burleigh and serves up some of the very best eats in town. With awards up the wazoo, it’s a sure thing when you want to impress. Speaking of, insist your mates order the Fried Moreton Bay Bug Roll and don’t be surprised when they weep tears of joy. Wash them down with a few of Rick’s cocktails and this is not the time to volunteer for DD duty. Happy days.
Where: 43 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
The Glenelg Public House
If your peeps are fangirling/fanboying over perfectly cooked, juicy steaks of the highest quality (paired with the tastiest sides to level up the yum factor), look no further than Glenelg Public House in Mermaid Beach. The vibe of the low-lit space is relaxed and welcoming, encouraging you and your crew to settle in – with a glass of red in hand of course – for the long haul. May we recommend the banquet for a well-rounded, standing-ovation-worthy nosh-up. You’re welcome.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
The North Room
An intimate little beauty tucked away in Mermaid Beach, The North Room is the ultimate pocket rocket. Seating a maximum of 20 people, you feel extra spesh with super attentive service and food that embodies the ‘ole ‘you eat with your eyes’ adage. The seasonal menu encourages you to try something new each visit, with a focus on fresh, ever-changing dishes crafted from the highest quality produce. Add a sophisticated fit-out and Mind = Blown vibes are a given.
Where: 2527 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach (between Ventura Road and Cronulla Avenue)
Words by Bianca Trathen.
Been wanting to get the gang together for the ultimate dinner party but the six-seater dining table you’ve got at home isn’t cutting it? Allow us to introduce the private dining room. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to host the family, your besties or work colleagues, the private dining experience is the ultimate for high impact and low effort so you can outsource the wining and dining.
We’ve scoured the city for the best private dining spaces at some of the city’s top-tier restaurants so that you can sit back and relax (without prying eyes) for a fab meal that you and your guests won’t forget in a hurry. And even better, no dishes to clean up – consider us sold.
It’s the largest private dining room on the northern Gold Coast in one of our most loved pizza and pasta joints, so obviously, Mozza Mozza had to make the list. Holding up to 18 guests makes it the perfect space for your fancy Italian feast, because we’re all about a chance to carb load. The crew have pulled together a ripper-feasting menu with all of the restaurant’s favourites, plus they’ve got spritz packages on offer if you’re in the moody for a cheeky Aperol moment alongside your cheese wheel pasta.
Where: Southport Sharks, Corner Olsen Avenue & Musgrave Avenue, Southport
Glass Dining & Lounge Bar
Elegant and refined, Glass is many people’s go-to place for delicious bites in Main Beach. And it’s relatively easy to see why; with sumptuous seafood and exquisite meat dishes, the incredible view of million-dollar yachts across the Broadwater is merely the cherry on top. Their private space sits up to 10 guests and is prime champagne and oyster territory!
Where: 74 Seaworld Drive & Marina Mirage Waterfront, Main Beach
Misono Japanese Restaurant
If you haven’t been to Misono then where have you been, honestly? While you’re probably familiar with the uber entertaining teppanyaki experience, you might not know they’ve got an adults only private dining space. If the sound of an elevated teppanyaki experience, even more theatrics and paired sake sounds like your vibe then say no more – this Gold Coast institution is here to deliver.
Where: JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa, Level 3/158 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise
When it comes to superb views of our spectacular skyline and unadulterated servings of all things delicious, Edgewater Dining is very high up on the list — if not at the very top. Great seasonal Australian produce meets with a twist of traditional Italian style cooking, and the colossal drinks list is truly something to marvel at. Book in for a function/event to their private dining room for an exclusive setting (with an adjacent private balcony) and see what all the fuss is about.
Where: Shop 3 G7, Capri on Via Roma, Surfers Paradise
If boujee is the brief, the Gold Coast’s crown jewel – The Langham – is here to deliver. Bringing to the party not just one, but two, private dining rooms they’ve got something to suit both your vibe and your size. Akoya’s private dining space seats up to 16 so you can spread out as you tuck into their iconic buffet, with seafood the star of the show along with global flavours, even your fussy friends will be satisfied. If Cantonese and fine dining is more your vibe, then T’ang Court’s private dining space is the place to be for you and nine of your nearest and dearest. It’s won an AGFG Chef Hat for good reason, so if you didn’t already trust us – trust that.
Where: The Langham, 38 Old Burleigh Road, Surfers Paradise
Social Eating House
It’s the home of casual fine dining and since its recent reno, the team at Social Eating House have created the most beautiful private sanctuary for small groups. The intimate dining space seats eight and is meticulously styled (no surprise there) so you can really immerse yourself in the Social experience. We’ll take any excuse to tuck into their puffed sesame rice cracker fish tartare or lamb empanada en masse without judgement.
Where: The Oracle, Shop 137/3 Oracle Blvd, Broadbeach
Garden Kitchen & Bar
Between incredible drinks, great regular live music, and generally just being an all-time place to hang out and relax in, The Star’s Garden Kitchen Bar can also tame fits of hunger with an impressive menu of fresh and seasonal produce. They’re pretty big on a farm to fork and fish to dish way of operating, and the proof is well and truly in the pudding. There are several private dining rooms that can be sectioned off from the main dining room, so be sure to chat to the team next time you want to experience great food and company — without any distractions.
Where: The Star Gold Coast, Casino Drive, Broadbeach
How does a large-scale exclusive dining and event area in the heart of bustling Broadbeach sound? The Rimini Room at Miss Moneypenny’s is a decadent space completely separated from the rest of the venue and even has its own bar, private outdoor terrace and elevator access. (How cool?!) Perfect for intimate dinners and gatherings — but with the potential to host 70 people if needed.
Where: 50 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
The vibrant street hawker foods of Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpar are lovingly brought to the Gold Coast in deft fashion at Maggie Choo. Apart from amazing cocktails and a colourful atmosphere any time of the day and any day of the week, you can book yourself into their secluded dining space for a cosy meal with colleagues, family, even your running club if you must! There’s space for 14 people, and you have the choice of their Maggie Tease and Maggie Luxe banquets to tuck into.
Where: Shop 105/89 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
Mamma Mia, if you haven’t checked into this hotbed of Italian goodness in Palm Beach, then you need to rectify that — STAT. If the graceful standalone building and décor aren’t enough, then the stone-baked pizzas and handmade pastas should quash the pain from not being able to visit the old country! Their private dining space is upstairs and seats you and eleven of your nearest with your very own dedicated servers for a superb taste of Italy.
Where: 1069 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
It was a sad day that we farewelled the GC’s last Pizza Hut buffet, but the building’s resurrection as Siblings Kirra is a triumph. Now a modern Australian brunch and dinner destination, dripping with 1950’s Miami beach vibes goodness from pillar to post. There’s no endless soft serve, but there is a stunning private dining room. The perfect choice for your next shin-dig this room seats 26 guests, with a small private deck attached for a long lunch or intimate private dinner.
Where: 15 Marine Parade, Kirra
Words by Jacqueline Bojanowski.
We’re all partial to a spot of fancy feasting from time to time. Whether it’s an anniversary, birthday, special celebration, or none of the above and you just feel like getting dressed up and playing swish, thankfully the GC has some cracking fine dining options. Once upon a time, our hood may not have exactly been praised for its culinary prowess, but that was so 1990 and today’s Gold Coast eats scene has award-winners at every turn.
So don your special occasion finery and refresh your memory re. which cutlery matches which meal coz here we go!
If you’re vibing a unique and tantalising Cantonese fine-dining affair, then it’s T’ang Court for the win. The esteemed Surfers Paradise restaurant inside the swisher-than-swish The Langham, Gold Coast is so divine it’s been awarded an Australian Good Food Guide Chef Hat for 2023. Presenting elevated culinary masterpieces using local produce and paired with a bespoke wine list, it’s a nod to a dynasty that shaped a nation.
Where: The Langham Gold Coast, 38 Old Burleigh Road, Surfers Paradise
Coast seamlessly blends casual elegance with a celebration of contemporary Australian cuisine. Using only the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients, feast on a curated selection of share plates, as well as local seafood and signature steaks, dry-aged in-house and cooked to perfection in the famous Josper charcoal oven (#BBQsmokyheaven). An elegant and sophisticated space with warm lighting, plush seating, an all-time wine list, and exquisite views of the big blue, it’s fine dining and its, well, finest!
Where: Level 1, Ocean by Meriton, 86 Esplanade, Surfers Paradise
Penning a fine dining list without Rick Shores would be a criminal. Another icon focusing on fresh, locally sourced produce with intention to share, this Pan-Asian institution has awards for dayzzzz. The multi-gazillion dollar ocean views from within are simply unparalleled and don’t even get us started on the world-famous Bug Rolls. IYKYK and if you don’t, drop everything and try them now. You’re welcome.
Where: 43 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
As the name suggests, expect cosy feels and epic wood-fired cuisine. Executive Chef Hamish and fellow culinary lord Randy Tablan showcase the finest locally sourced produce. And we’re not just talking about firing up the ovens with any ‘ole wood here – redgum wood is the chosen one, infusing each dish to perfection. If ever there was a (classy) party in your mouth, this is it.
Where: InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, Manor Circuit, Sanctuary Cove, 4601 Masthead Way, Hope Island
With not one but two chef’s hats to its name courtesy of The Australian Good Food Guide, need we say more. Situated in the stunning HOTA Gallery, Executive Chef Dayan Hartill-Law draws inspo from the artworks on display and major exhibitions to show just how naturally art and food blends. Our tip: order the Line Caught Coral Trout with leek cannelloni, teardrop tomato, micro cucumber. Insert (fancy) drool here. You can’t go wrong here.
Where: HOTA Gallery, Home of the Arts, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
With a menu created by visionary Executive Head Chef Chase Kojima (and awards up the wazoo), Kiyomi gives diners a modern, yet authentic taste of Tokyo – sans the long-haul flight! As you explore the innovative dishes, you’ll quickly see why it has earned itself a reputation as one of the town’s most talked-about restaurants. Our tip: order the Scallop Sashimi, Spanner Crab, Compressed Watermelon and Yuzu Honey, and pair it with one of the signature sakes.
Where: The Star Gold Coast, 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach
Famous for its breakfast buffet, weekend-long lunch, award-winning seafood market experience buffet, and exciting Modern Australian a la carte dishes, it’s the ultimate fine dining experience. Calling the beautiful Gold Coast home, JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa’s Citrique restaurant is a stunner. Let Executive Chef Paul Smart show you why is a master of his craft…and his craft is crafting unforgettable five-star meals.
Where: JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa, 158 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise
The North Room
At The North Room, the mantra is to always keep guests intrigued with an ever-changing food and wine list. They believe we eat with our eyes (same), so the incredible eats here not only captivate the tastebuds, but activate an unparalleled multi-sensory experience. Smaller, share style dishes focused on a few primary, seasonal ingredients create a relaxed, contemporary fine dining experience to remember.
Where: 1/2527 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Social Eating House
This award-winning local treasure has emerged bigger and better since its sleek, New York luxe makeover, eclipsed only by its incredible menu. The back-to-back recipient for the People’s Choice ‘Chef of the Year’ Award, owner and Executive Chef Matthew Jefferson along with Head Chef Youngkyu “YK” Reu, treat diners to the epitome of modern Australian and international cuisine perfection. An absolute MUST.
Where: The Oracle Boulevard, Shop 137/3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
This Australian cuisine specialist offers a small, frequently changing menu showcasing the best seasonal, local produce – and we’re superfans. Delighting tastebuds with sophisticated and perfectly balanced flavours, everything from the warm rustic ambiance to the staff’s impeccable knowledge of every morsel they serve up, the experience is faultless. Do yourself a favour and opt for the wine pairing. It’s worth its weight in grapes.
Where: 2a/8 West Street, Burleigh Heads
Words by Bianca Trathen.