As the Gold Coast’s foodie scene slowly creeps further south, it was inevitable Tugun would get swept up in the excitement.
An intimate, low-lit space with cosy corner chairs, Hidden is reminiscent of a cocktail bar in downtown New York. Serving up tasty tapas, wines for every taste and some unexpected entertainment, it’s already drawing crowds from across the Coast.
Found down an arcade passageway behind Groove Café on Golden Four Drive, Hidden is a brand new concept for the southern suburb and one that’s bound to change the social scene there.
With free live music Friday and Saturday nights and an artistic performance (think comedy acts and one woman plays) every month, it’ll be up close and personal entertainment you won’t find anywhere else.
Of course, tapas is always a good idea and even more so when there’s something a little bit different to indulge in.
Don’t go past the Pork Belly with pickled apple and a sticky soy glaze or the Tempura Soft Shell Crab with tomato chilli jam.
The wine list is long and luxurious, as expected, and features delicious drops from all your favourites including Italy, France, Tasmania and the Barossa Valley.
A decadent array of cocktails take pride of place on the menu too. The Thyme and Bourbon Mash made with fresh thyme, peach mash and grapefruit juice comes highly recommended as does the Passionfruit Basil Vodka Sour and the Apple Pie (taste it to believe it).
HOURS: Wednesday to Saturday nights 6-12pm.
LOCATION: 255 Golden Four Drive, Tugun (behind Groove Café).
Words and photos by Kirra Smith.
Best known for a pumping, world-renowned surf break and ever-present chill vibes, there’s so much more to Kirra than just waves and a pristine stretch of sand (although that’s motivation enough for us).
Here are 12 reasons why Kirra locals ain’t budging for love nor money, and why the wider GC community can’t get enough of this thriving yet mellow footwear-optional ‘burb.
Who doesn’t love a luxurious homewares store that’s also a patisserie café, and the answer is a unanimous NOBODY. In its beautiful new location, Cotton Living showcases stunning handmade furniture and timeless accessories to make every room in your abode sing. Everything is Insta-worthy with a focus on natural colours and textures, plus you can grab a croissant with your cushion and #WhatsNotToLove. This luxurious space right by the beach is family-owned and the obvs choice for your next coffee date with the gals.
Where: 1 Lord Street, Coolangatta
Once a humble Pizza Hut (and the hottest piece of real estate going around), the iconic and heritage listed beachside Kirra Pavilion has been reincarnated! Founded by local restaurateur royalty Jarrod Kyle and TJ Cianci, Siblings is a modern Australian brunch and dinner showstopper, dripping with 1950’s Miami beach vibes goodness. The menu is infused with fresh seafood and share-plates a-plenty and don’t even get us started on the cocktails! You haven’t lived till you’ve been.
Where: 15 Marine Parade, Kirra
From the brilliant mind that brought us Project Tokyo comes an all new, sandy-shore-dwelling, Mexican fusion dining experience and yep, that was a mouthful. Speaking of mouthfuls, you’ve never tasted better modern Mexican fare, with fresh, delicious dishes infused with dashes of distinct oriental flavours and srsly, the tongue-twisters are coming in hot today. The fit out is bright but totally on-fleek, just how we like our Mexi restaurant and taquerias.
Where: 74 Musgrave Street, Coolangatta
Famous for an overflowing dessert cabinet including, you guessed it, tasty tiramisu, this little gem has become an institution in the beachside suburb. Not only loved for their clever name, Kirramisu serves up a bangin’ breakfast and lunch menu, fresh juices and smoothies, all with a side of multi-million-dollar sparkling ocean views. It’s the little place with the big soul.
Where: 28 Musgrave Street, Kirra
Speaking of institutions, Kirra Surf is a must-visit when cruising into this salty (good salty) seaside suburb. Their range of surfing products and apparel is unrivalled, the staff are super friendly, and there’s always at least (twenty)two things you’ll want to take home with you. Ladies, pop in for a visit and marvel at the larger-than-life posters of your fave easy-on-the-eyes surfer boys. You’re welcome.
Where: 8 Creek Street, Kirra
Bread and Butter
From Spanish tapas, stone baked pizzas, handmade gnocchi to cocktails and a large selection of wine and beer, you’re in for a treat at this Kirra icon. A lively space where the good times always roll, take a seat on the terrace and soak up the delightful ocean breezes and beach views. With $20 pick-up pizzas and $25 gnocchi and pasta until 6pm, it won’t break the bank which is the icing on the cake (or the butter on the bread).
Where: 76 Musgrave St, Kirra
Kirra Beach Bakery
A visit to Kirra isn’t complete without hitting up the local bakery and this is a fact. Whether you’re in need of a post-surf pie, sausage roll, quiche or pastie, a healthy salad or sandwich for the road, or some pre-dinner cake, slice or a sweet treat (don’t judge), Kirra Beach Bakery is the place. Get down there early in the morning for fresh-out-of-the-oven bread and enjoy a slice or two with the local ‘gulls while watching the sunrise. Best.
Where: 100 Musgrave Street, Kirra
The poke bowl phenomenon has taken the Gold Coast by storm and why wouldn’t it. Originating in Hawaii, poke bowls are made up of protein and salad combinations artfully arranged in bowls and perfect for both consuming and Instagram snaps. Of the signature bowls, we’re all about the Karaage Chicken with edamame, carrot, corn, sweet chilli mayo and lotus root chips. Satisfying and healthy, the entire menu is preservative free and all seafood is sustainably sourced. How good!
Where: 48 Musgrave Street, Kirra
Kirra Surf Life Saving Club
Located right on the beach, this old boy has been around longer than you (est. 1916) and is a firm fave amongst all Gold Coasters. It’s the perfect spot for an afternoon cold one overlooking the ocean or an affordable dinner with the crew. Sit yourself on the deck and let that balmy sea breeze take you to your happiest place.
Where: 15 Marine Parade, Kirra
Kirra Hill Lookout
Where better to feast your eyes on the world-famous Kirra beach! Trek to the top of the headland and prepare to be wowed by views from Main Beach to Snapper Rocks and everywhere in between. Pack a picnic or fire up the barbie (you’ve earned it after that walk), and thank your lucky stars you get to live in the best place on Earth. No bias, just #truth.
Where: It’s on the big hill, you won’t miss it!
Gold Coast Skydive
Jumping out of a plane is all kinds of a fun time, and jumping out of a plane and landing on Kirra Beach, even better. The good folks at Gold Coast Skydive are based in Kirra and once you’re out of that plane hurtling toward the sand, Kirra is exactly where you’ll land. After that adrenaline rush you might want to calm yourself with a beer or two. Luckily, the surf club is right there to assist.
Where: 1/78 Musgrave Street, Kirra
Kirra Beach Pavilion
While driving around the headland, you may have noticed the cute little shelter overlooking the ocean. It’s a great place to hide from the scorching sun, and has certainly seen a lot over its lifetime – more than a century to be precise. Early photos of Kirra Beach show the shelter in place by around 1916 and we love ourselves some GC history. The Kirra Shelter Shed makes for a great viewing platform and is the perfect spot to watch whales frolic out in the big blue.
Words by Bianca Trathen.
On June 13th each year we raise a glass to World Gin Day and the spirit that has certainly had its come up over the last little while. The Gold Coast boasts our very own gin distillery plus a host of bars making magic with local gins. All of which you won’t be surprised to learn we’re big fans of.
In honour of that, here are the best spots to get your gin fix on the Gold Coast this World Gin Day (or anyday for that matter). Happy sipping.
Tamborine Mountain Distillery
Tucked away on Mount Tamborine is one of Australia’s smallest and most unique distilleries with over 280 International Awards. Their gold medal award winning gin is the Lilly Pilly Gin, a pot still gin using botanicals such as Australian Lilly Pilly (Riberry), Juniper, Angelica root, Orris root, Citrus peel, Caraway, Coriander, Aniseed Myrtle, Elderflower, Mistletoe, Passionflower, Shepherd’s Purse and more. The best part about it, it’s got a delightful pink hue.
Where: 87-91 Beacon Road, North Tamborine
The Island Rooftop
It’s always a good time on the rooftop in Surfers Paradise, overlooking the city and with guaranteed good vibes. While all the sips are sweet, our recommendation is the Clover Leaf made with Beefeater gin, raspberry, lemon and egg white, so good.
Where: 3128 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise
Aloha Bar & Dining
How does a Saturn Juniper Uranus sound? Cool right. That’s exactly what you should order at Broady’s most colourful alleyway bar, Aloha Bar & Dining. It’s got Four Pillars gin, sloe gin, orgeat, passionfruit, lime and rosemary and it’s out of this world. The bar itself is decked out in full colour, with hidden rooms and moody, good time vibes aplenty. Follow the music down the alley and you’ll find yourself in a magical world of tiki goodness.
Where: 18 Main Place, Broadbeach
Fig & Frankies
Another delightful Broadbeach bar dedicated to exceptional sips and very good times is Fig & Frankies, also newish on the scene and also very well-loved amongst Gold Coast locals. Their cocktail list is tight and filled with delights made up of local spirits and you’ll want to try them all. Drinks are numbered rather than named and each is absolute perfection to be honest. We particularly loved Number One (aptly named) because it is made up of MAC by Brookies, clarified green apple and house lemonade and we cannot overstate tasty enough. Gather the crew and sip up a storm.
Where: 4/2707 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach
A must-visit cocktail bar in Broadbeach, Roosevelt Lounge is one of the city’s sexiest spots for a cocktail, capturing the seductive style and glamour of decadent New York. For World Gin Day try the Down the Rabbit Hole Signature Cocktail made up of Ink gin, in-house chimmer liqueur (pink moscato, pisco, peach & orange blossom), blueberry vinegar, citric acid and life of cha crystal tea. Delightfully served in a tea pot, this cocktail is an Instagram dream.
Where: 75 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
The Gold Coast’s first gin distillery Granddad Jacks are, quite obviously king when it comes to gin cocktails (and gin in general). Our number one on their list is the Seymour Street with their very own Greenhouse Gin plus Eucalyptus and fresh lime juice because it’s the ultimate in Aussie-inspired freshness and it tastes top notch too. Love your work mates.
Where: 45 Lemana Lane, Miami
Oh Rosella’s, little love of our lives. A refined Australiana bar in the heart of Burleigh Heads, Rosella’s is bringing all Aussie eats and tipples to the very appreciative people. On a list of cocktails that will 100% improve your life (especially the Pet Nat Slushie – love you) but for the purposes of this article let’s chat about the Kylie Minogue Martini with Vickers Gin from Beenleigh Distillery no less, vodka, elderflower, verjus and pink peppercorn. It’ll have you spinning around in no time.
Where: 6/1743 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Tucked away down Justin Lane behind a red velvet curtain is Lockwood Bar. They a serving up a sexy sip titled Brookie’s Aviation which fuses Brookie’s Dry Gin, lemon juice, Tempus Fugit liqueur de violette and Luxado Maraschino liqueur. Topped off with a maraschino cherry, you know it’s a goodie.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads
An intimate little space down Palmy way is Suga, a cocktail and rum bar open until late and serving up cocktails that are quite unlike anything you’ve sipped before. On World Gin Day we recommend a Gin Lippy with Larrikin Gin, citrus syrup, housemade lemonade and a whole lots of tastiness. A very tasty tipple indeed. Pop on in for a few of those this weekend.
Where: 1142 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
The Collective Palm Beach
The Rooftop Bar at The Collective Palm Beach is a gin-lovers paradise with beloved gin-based cocktails including the Rose Hip Martini with Poor Toms Gin, hibiscus syrup, lime and grapefruit and the Unnamed Sympathy served Tiki-style with macadamia-infused Nobel Cut Gin, Bushfire Botanic Australis Gin and pine-lime allspice. Both of which are tried and tested by us and both of which are really very delicious.
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Saint Helen’s Kitchen + Bar
If sipping cocktails seaside is your thing (and we know it is), you’ll love Saint Helens Kitchen + Bar signature slurp The Gin Thruster. It’s got gin, blueberry and tonic. It’s bright, refreshing and super Insta-worthy – if it lasts that long.
Where: Shop 2/78 Musgrave Street, Kirra
Words by Kirra Smith
A laidback garden wonderland awaits in Main Beach.
Fresh greenery abounds, juxtaposed with bright, colourful artwork, a spacious open deck and an impressive bar to rival any other on the Coast.
Offering a vast modern fusion share plate menu, with dishes from around the world, N3 Tapas Bar’s focus is on fresh, local ingredients and it shows.
Each dish offers unique flavour combinations and there’s an abundance of options including street food, small bites, small and large share plates and a banquet menu.
Kingfish ceviche with Amazonian chillies, tiger’s milk and plantain chips;
Charred butternut squash with pistachio pesto, Persian fetta and pomegranate seeds;
Grass fed eye fillet beef tartare with confit egg yolk and potato crisps and;
The pièce de résistance…Peruvian alpaca ragout with celeriac remoulade, watercress and Tasmanian horseradish.
In the spirit of keeping things interesting, N3 have created a fitting cocktail menu with fresh, garden-inspired beverages.
The Secret Garden perfectly fits the theme – a combination of apple cider, apple liqueur, ginger wine, mint and cucumber – and is delightfully presented in a watering can.
The Bees Knees, Watermelon Martini and Pineapple and Sage Margarita are on the list for the next visit.
Of course, there’s an extensive array of beer and wine on offer along with milkshakes (Fifty Shades of Delight please) and the usual soft drink suspects.
If you’re hungry for something a little bit different, head to N3 Tapas Bar, your tastebuds are sure to thank you.
Hours: Monday to Sunday 11.30am to 9pm
Address: Shop 33 Marina Mirage, Seaworld Drive, Main Beach.
Words and images by Kirra Smith.