fbpx

LUCIA is the ode to Spain you cannot ignore

Paella De La Casa, Lucia Tapas Garden (image supplied)
Paella De La Casa, Lucia Tapas Garden (image supplied)

We have to give it to our European cousins over there on the old continent. If there is one thing they can do well, it’s getting up close and personal with incredible food, losing themselves in deep conversation and seemingly having a tomorrow-doesn’t-matter kind of attitude. One country that fits this demeanour without any hassle is Spain, particularly the enigmatic and culinary-driven northern part of the country — namely the Basque country. If you’ve paid a visit to the area, you’ll know that the region’s food, wine, and personality is a true one-off: a place you’ll always be sad to leave.

And well folks, it looks like a Gold Coast hospitality aficionado has thought our southern suburb of Tugun could do with a sprinkle of this gastronomic pedigree, alongside a slice of Spanish character for good measure. And this is the very essence of the Coast’s eye-catching newcomer, LUCIA.

Lucia Tapas Garden (image supplied)
Lucia Tapas Garden (image supplied)

Oli Frost has already brought us Burleigh’s ode to Mediterranean cuisine, Maman, admired Vietnamese fused speakeasy bar, Naami, as well as Surfers Paradise’s burger joint, Milky Lane. With the desirable southern Gold Coast in his sights, he and his team have transformed the space formerly occupied by The Craft House and created a venue that oozes Spanish charm at every turn. Mild olive green and soft crimson walls punctuate the main dining space with its cluster of low-down wooden tables and two darker banquettes at either side of the room. Black lantern-style lights give off glowy light illuminating the spattering of framed art deco-style posters. Just like any humble cantina, the attention is on bringing people close together in a fun and intimate manner where people can dig into food, slurp drinks and wave their hands to emphasise each and every point they are making. It’s the European way, after all.

However, the highlight has to be the enchanting courtyard area to the rear, which has some serious Sunday session potential. Warm terracotta hues and abundant bougainvillea flowers with small olive trees frame this picturesque wine sipping and tapas grazing arena to a tee. With the potential to seat up to one hundred people and with whispers of live music, this should be a stunning space for summer merriments.

Lucia Tapas Garden exterior (image supplied)
Lucia Tapas Garden exterior (image supplied)

Across the menu, care is taken to incorporate the Basque country’s gift to the world of food: pintxos. Plates of these tiny bite-sized pieces would usually garnish the tops of bars in the old country here; however, you’re given the opportunity to order as many as you want and have them served to you. Delectable bites such as Quail Egg and Jamon or Tiger Prawn and Tomato Basilico will come served up on crispy pieces of bread. Diners will also discover more tapas inspired eats and more share style plates like classic Papas Bravas with a small collection of Bocadillos (sandwiches), and for a table of four, you cannot go past the Paella De La Casa crammed full of king prawns, mussels, chicken, peas and roasted capsicum. Overall, the menu is a rustic and authentic representation of northern Spain, with some 20+ different pickled vegetables across all of the plates.

No venue of this nature would be complete without a spellbinding cocktail list. Luckily for us, expert mixologist Bree Erica has been brought in by Oli to ensure the drinks lineup is nothing short of stellar. The focus has been on bright, fresh and summery flavours with sips like the Let That Man Go offering up white rum with mango and coconut, and the Bella Spritzer is a fizzy concoction of vodka, rhubarb and lychee you can’t miss out on. And no love has been lost for one of Spain’s greatest drinks; the affable and traditional Sangria is brought lovingly to life with classic ingredients with a sprinkle of local fresh fruit. There’s care taken with a handful of delicious European and Australian wines and a star-studded array of nine different local, national, and international beers on tap.

Lucia Tapas Garden (image supplied)
Lucia Tapas Garden (image supplied)

Because northern Spain and the rest of Europe is still off the cards at the moment, we suggest you take in Tugun’s newest San Fermin and Basque country-inspired eatery when you have the chance. There’s excellent food and atmosphere in spades — and not a single bull running down the street insight.

When: Wednesday – Friday 4pm — late and Weekends noon — late
Where: 1/445 Golden Four Drive, Tugun

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

SOMETHING SIMILAR

RELATED STORIES

© 2022 All Rights Reserved.