Prepare yourselves Gold Coast, flavour explosion incoming. Mad Asian Kitchen and Bar, which gets a solid A plus for naming efforts, swung open its’ doors in Robina this week and it’s everything you love about Asian food in the one stylin’, low lit venue.
The space can be found in The Kitchens, Robina Town Centres’ ever-expanding foodie destination of choice but it’s quite unlike any other shopping centre eats you’ve ever experienced.
The vibe of the venue is distinctly Asian inspired with lanterns hanging from the ceiling, dark wooden seating and a backlit bar with all your favourite tipples atop the shelves (and then some). The kitchen is open so you can watch the masters at work and there are two private dining sections, one sunken into the floor and one in a private room complete with it’s own neon sign shining from above. We’re in love.
There’s an outdoor eating area with fairy lights strung above, plenty of greenery throughout and GUESS WHAT – there’s a ping pong table and you can play while you eat (or maybe after, whatever suits).
The menu is of the contemporary Asian persuasion bringing a mix of all the best things from China, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam, offering up an array of exceptional dishes, from gyoza and kushiage to rice and noodle favourites, stir fries, curries, and sizzling specialties.
Definitely taste test the Spicy Tuna and Fried Lotus Root with cucumber, avocado, red onion and chilli mayo and the Vegetable San Choy Bau. So very good.
Keen to risk your dignity for a crack at the Hot Asian Food Challenge? You’ll be presented with a feast of fiery dishes chosen by the chef and your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to finish them in 20 minutes. Let us know how that goes hey.
Of course, the drinks menu is nothing short of sensational with a sweet selection of both hot and cold sakes to get you in the spirit. The signature cocktails are fun too and we think you should sample the Mad Asian – it’s Frangelico and Cointreau with cranberry and yuzu juice served with frozen sake crush. Yes please.
Soon there’ll be themed sake nights and that sounds right up everyone’s alley.
Robina hey, coming up with the goods. Get on it.
LOCATION: Upstairs at The Kitchens, Robina Town Centre, Robina
HOURS: 11am until 9pm Sunday to Thursday and 11am until 9.30pm Friday and Saturday
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Japanese dishes are an (absolutely delicious) art form and one that we are happy to indulge in every single day of our lives. Particularly when they are created by someone who has been perfecting said art form for many moons.
Which is exactly what is happening in Mudgeeraba of late due to the opening of Anekawa – an exceptional new Japanese eatery you are going to want to sample at the earliest available opportunity.
It’s an intimate space, perfectly fitted out with light wooden furniture, earthy textures, raw slabs of stone for tabletops and a light sprinkling of draped greenery. You’ll recognise the work of Owen Thompson who has designed and created interiors for the likes of Project Tokyo, Baked at Ancora and Double Barrel Kitchen (to name a few).
The bar is the feature of Anekawa, again made of a huge piece of stone with a few bottles stocked on the wall behind and piles of ceramics perfectly placed to create a cosy, homey vibe that we could absolutely never recreate at home. It’s perfection. As is everything about Anekawa honestly.
Owner and Chef Koki have gone above and beyond to develop a menu that’s quite unlike anything we’ve ever seen with unusual dishes and cooking techniques designed to get you to step outside of your comfort zone.
The focus is on local produce sourced from growers and suppliers with ethical practices and using organic ingredients as much as possible. Koki is very mindful of where everything is grown and how it’s harvested and the high quality produce is the driver behind a menu that changes often, depending on availability.
For example, at the moment there’s a dish involving a Long Spined Sea Urchin because it’s in season and Apellation Oysters are sourced from premium leases in areas where there are native wetlands and are not mass harvested. How good.
One of a couple of the staples on the menu is the Organic Gotofu with sesame soy and cherry granola, which is probably not a dish we’d usually try but was one of the most delicious combinations of flavours we’ve tasted. Absolutely next-level.
Rice Clay Pots are another staple and you can order those in combinations like beef, coddled egg & chives, snow peas & school prawns or sweet corn & butter.
Chargrilled Fish Heads with Umedare and Chives and Pan Fried Petuna Ocean Trout with green pepper kosho and chargrilled capsicum are dishes that are currently on the menu and ones you won’t want to miss out on.
Chef Koki uses cooking techniques unique to his birthplace of Saga in Japan and they’re not often used across the rest of the country, let alone here.
There’s also a tightly curated cocktail list and of course, sakes, whiskey’s and beers.
Exceptional, in a word. It’s been a minute since we’ve seen an addition to the Gold Coast dining scene as unique and exciting as Anekawa and we are quite thrilled about it. Go see and sample for yourself.
LOCATION: Cnr Swan Lane and Railway Street, Mudgeeraba
HOURS: 5.30pm until 9pm (last orders) Tuesday to Saturday
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
Summer is coming guys and so are all the fun refurbs and slew of new restaurants to match.
Robina has lately had a resurgence of little eateries opening and now much to the delight of locals, their famed local Robina Tavern will be receiving a stunning renovation to the the tune of $4 million.
Tucked away behind the local drive-thru bottle-o and set by a picturesque lake, Robina Pavilion, as it will soon be known, will bring locals a multitude of different dining areas to choose from and revel in by the end of November.
But if you’re looking for the piece de resistance of this makeover, it was what we considered to be the under utilised deck. Well under utilised no longer friends! Ask and ye shall receive. Sunny’s is the new place to be seen in the hood. A sunkissed deck with retractable roof (for you know, on those 5 days a year it might rain) offering woodfired pizza and what goes well with those, Aperol Spritz baby!
If you’re looking more next level, The Lakeside has you covered (but like with no roof) where daybeds will be available with dedicated service to your crew and overlooking the stunning lake, who needs Bali right?
If you’ve got the littlies with you, Marco Polo is the dedicated kids lounge with giant games like jenga… it’s for the kids, we swear.
We can’t wait for Robina Pavilion to be unveiled in late November with it’s impressive upgraded ‘tavern’ experience. 4226 forever.
Written by Carly Snodgrass