Reminiscent of hawker-style street food, Mei Wei Dumplings brings a unique flavour to Jupiters Casino.
The fit out is raw and industrial with Asian-inspired artwork gracing the interior and giving the restaurant, combined with the fact that you can see the chefs preparing the dishes, an entirely authentic feel.
The array of menu options certainly live up to their name (Mei Wei translates to delicious) and there are flavours to suit every palette.
Entrée options include (to name a few) Pot Sticker Pork and Steamed Dumplings and the choice of a perfectly steeped Jasmine tea or an alcoholic beverage.
Mains range from Prawn and Pork Wonton Soup, BBQ Pork Buns (a standout), Lo Mein, fried rice and an array of BBQ and roasted meats.
The Soya Chicken is tender and flavour-filled and Sautéed Green Beans a fresh and crunchy accompaniment.
There are several flavours of refreshingly fruity Bubble Tea, perfect for balmy summer nights. .
To finish up there are Egg Tarts. There are no words for the deliciousness that was warm custard and flakey, melt-in-your-mouth pastry.
Those little guys, along with the rest of the menu, are available to take away in vast quantities.
Run don’t walk.
When visiting Jupiters, whether you’re in need of a street-food style feast or a late night snack, give Mei Wei Dumplings a try for a quick, affordable dinner, it’ll be sure to tickle your taste buds too.
Hours: Sunday to Thursday 11am to 10pm and Friday and Saturday 11am to 12am.
Where: The Star Gold Coast, 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach (where Spinners used to be found).
Words and photos by Kirra Smith.
A Gold Coast institution for over 30 years, Yamagen is set to re-open on July 28th to the delight of the Japanese Izakaya’s countless devotees.
After quietly closing its doors, the venue at QT in Surfers Paradise, has undergone a dramatic makeover fusing a traditional Japanese style of eatery with an eclectic, upbeat, Tokyo-style vibe. Yamagen pays homage to the old maintaining the soul of the restaurant it once was, while introducing modern dining concepts never before seen on the Gold Coast.
Diners enter through a dimly lit bar stocked with an impressive range of Japanese whiskey, sake and of course, a cutting edge cocktail menu.
Jordan Melling, co-creator of said cocktail menu, lists his personal favourite as the Kyoto Old Fashioned made with Japanese whiskey, yuzu bitters (a Japanese citrus fruit) and gelatin foam made with Gyokoro green tea, honey and Nikka from the barrel – phew. You’ve been told.
While you’re sipping watch the Chef whip up Sashimi Tacos and Master Kobe Wagyu from the kushiyaki grill set in the centre of the room. The space mimics a traditional Japanese home where the kitchen or tea is the centerpiece.
When it’s time to eat, there are a couple of options. First, sit yourself around the sushi bar and watch Sushi Master Mitsuo Yoshino work his magic. Think Spicy Jalapeno Hiramasa Kingfish and Yellowfin Tuna Tatare. It’s an all-encompassing experience and the perfect opportunity to get some one on one time with the Master.
Of course, the candle-lit dining room also beckons if you’re after a little sophistication. In an interesting progressive dinner-style spin, you’re welcome to start your night at the sushi bar and then move on in to the dining room when you’re ready to re-ignite your tastebuds.
The menu is sensational, including Tempura Crispy Bugs (Moreton Bay ones!), Steamed Prawn Noodle Dumplings and, in perhaps the best news of all time, Halloumi Skewers with smoked honey and bonito flakes (smoked, dried tuna).
For dessert you must taste the Miso Caramel Chocolate Fondant with goma ice cream and, because what’s overeating, also try the Yonuts – fried sweet donuts with yuzu curd and sesame sugar. Yes, those are real.
The entire experience smacks of traditional Japan while cleverly infusing a dining experience that is the epitome of QT-cool. It’s your new Surfers Paradise go-to. So go.
HOURS: From 5pm seven nights a week
LOCATION: QT Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Ave, Surfers Paradise
Words and photos by Kirra Smith.
A traditional Japanese alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice with additions of water, yeast, and koji, the legend of sake surrounds the story of a prince who once used the beverage to intoxicate a dragon to save a princess. Not your average fairy tale, but a clever prince nonetheless.
Originating in Japan over 1,300 years ago and traditionally revered as an offering to the Gods, it has become popular worldwide thanks to its unique hot and cold varieties and its ability to enhance the tastes of our beloved Japanese food. Always on the hunt for flavour, we found the 11 best sipping spots of sake on the Gold Coast in honour of the sacred brew.
Misono Japanese Steakhouse
An in-house speciality, sake is much loved at Misono. Served solo in six varieties and with detailed explanations of each on the menu, Misono’s sake options all fall within the range of the four main designations of the drink (dependent on how much the rice grains are polished). Not only can you drink it straight, but Misono also specialises in cocktails incorporating sake for something totally unique. Try the Kiwi Sparkler with sake, muddled kiwifruit and lime on ice topped up with sparkling wine.
Where: JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa, 158 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Eddy + Wolff
The intimate little venue hidden away in Robina, Eddy + Wolff are the masters of contemporary Asian eats, tasty tipples and an interior like no other. You’ll love the rounded, polished concrete ceiling, neon sign and soft pink hues that make up the stunning space. Of course, the team have chosen only the very best sakes to complement their menu, including one reminiscent of Limoncello that we can’t get enough of. The perfect spot to share a sake with your pals.
Where: 12/217-219 Ron Penhaligon Way, Robina
Masters in the art of sake service, the team at Kiyomi have been through a rigorous training program to ensure they know their stuff. Offering a sample from each sake category, flavours range from earthy mushroom to citrusy and floral in both still and sparkling varieties. Kiyomi serves their warm sake at 46 degrees, the traditional temperature, and present it in a stone Tokkuri, handmade in Japan. Cold sake comes in a mouth-blown Tokkuri made with a large divot for holding ice spheres to keep it at the correct temperature. If sipping sake on the Gold Coast is a must for you, you have to visit Kiyomi.
Where: Lobby level, The Star Gold Coast, Broadbeach
Iku Yakitori Bar
Iku Yakitori Bar is a Burleigh favourite boasting many a delicious Japanese dish cooked over Binchotan coals and with lots of extra smoky flavours. Of course, there’s a handpicked selection of sakes on offer of the absolute highest quality possible, as is the way of the Iku team. Ask for the story behind each and prepare to be dazzled by their knowledge and the unique flavours on offer.
Where: 1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Tucked away in Robina Quays is Cocotte offering a fusion of Japanese and French dining and plenty of sake options to complement the delicious dishes. Eight opportunities await from the popular Hyogo, Yamaguchi and Fukui regions, both by the glass and the bottle. A favourite is the Dassai Junmai Daiginjo, made with rice milled to just 23% of its original size and boasting flavours of grapes, flowers, strawberries and the freshest mineral water.
Where: 16A Robina Quays Shopping Centre, Corner of Robina Parkway and Markeri Street, Robina
At Etsu, they say sake has something to give that wine can’t, most notably texture and umami (the flavours that’s neither sweet nor sour). With over 16 varieties of sake from seven different regions of Japan on offer, Etsu has one of the most diverse ranges on the Coast. Keen to try them all? Ask for a Sake Flight – three, 40ml samples of selected sakes. Add a little fun to your dinner with a selection of one cup sake, take-home souvenir cups printed with popular classic Japanese cartoon and Disney characters.
Where: 2440 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
If opulent plates of the freshest hunks of sashimi matched elegantly with crisp and refreshing sake sound like a flavour party you want a piece of, then may we suggest you look no further? Cafoo has been wowing Palm Beach locals for a while now with excellent displays of off-the-charts Japanese cuisine and is often booked out. If you manage to grab a spot, you must try one of their signature sake cocktails — to freshen your palate, of course — or an ingenious twist on a European favourite: Sakegria.
Where: Shop 6, Fifth Avenue, Palm Beach
A hidden gem out the back of Burleigh, Wazen is serving up incredible Japanese eats at VERY affordable prices. The menu is extensive, so go there at a starving time of the day and, of course, don’t forget to sample a few sakes while you’re there. There are several authentic varieties to try, and the staff know exactly what they’re talking about: ask what will best go with your favourite dishes, and you’ve got yourself a tasty time.
Where: 1/33 Tallebudgera Creek Road, Burleigh Heads
Tucked away in the residential backstreets of Miami should by no means put you off dropping into a haven of Japanese delicacies. And when you do drop in, be sure to try some of their fantastic fresh oysters or deftly made nigiri with a crisp and well-matched sake that will leave your tastebuds all shook up. It doesn’t end there. If you have the space, be sure to ask about their desserts not found on the menu: if you know — you know!
Where: Shop 6, 110 Mountain View Avenue, Miami
With playful vibes of Tokyo’s most notable suburb throughout their Broadbeach venue, crispy gyozas and the freshest Japanese craft beer are eternally flowing at Harajuku Gyoza. But it’s the hard-to-find sakes — served both warm and chilled — that round out a taste adventure not worth missing. Grab your gang and request a cheeky round of sakes to up the ante on your evening out — kampai!
Where: G66 The Oasis Shopping Centre, Victoria Avenue Broadbeach
Mamasan Kitchen + Bar
This Gold Coast favourite specialises in an enticing blend of modern and traditional tastes, and offers a range of sakes from house to premium and speciality sweet blends. Ranging from dry to delicate and fruity to floral, flavours include apricot and marzipan, mandarin and lime, tropical fruits and banana and savoury and nutty — to name a few! Mamasan also offers a Sake Flight served chilled and made of three 30ml choices from the menu.
Where: 3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
We’re pretty spoilt on the Gold Coast with an average of 245 warm and sunny days a year and a laughable 100 days of ‘winter’. However, as soon as those temperatures drop (which it has been recently, boo), you’ll be diving into your doona and pulling on your scarf and UGG boots quick smart.
To make sure you’re as warm as can be, we’ve found the top spots to get souped up this season.
Soup might not be the popular choice at your local Chinese restaurant but at SIFU, it’s a must-taste. In particular the Hot and Sour Seafood Soup with Mooloolaba prawns, squid, scallops, shiitake mushrooms and carrots is to die for and will certainly warm those chilly insides.
Where: Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise, Cnr Gold Coast Hwy and First Ave, Surfers Paradise
It’s a well known fact that Irish people are quite fond of soups and stews filled with tons of meat and veggies to keep their energy up for those epic Guinness drinking sessions. As expected the team at D’arcy Arms serve up a mean traditional Irish Stew, served with crusty bread. It’s perfect for those chilly nights to be sure, to be sure.
Where: 2923 Gold Coast Hwy, Surfers Paradise (between Aubrey and Frederick Streets)
The Sandwich Bros
The best soup you’ll find on a budget, The Sandwich Bros are serving up the goods for a measly $8 a bowl with a side of crusty bread. Could there be anything better? They change their flavours up daily and have featured the likes of pumpkin and potato and bacon of late. Run don’t walk.
Where: 38 Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise (the Gold Coast Highway end)
While bone broth might not be something you’d usually go for, it’s actually pretty damn good (particularly at Brio Emporium) plus its super healthy and the best immune booster you’ll find this winter. Grab a cup for on the go or stock up your pantry and by a saver pack for the whole family.
Where: 5/2623 Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach (opposite Pacific Fair)
Double Barrel Kitchen
For an intriguing twist on the humble soup head to Double Barrel Kitchen. Their version is a Gumbo Cob from the Chefs’ family recipe book. It’s Creole Chicken Broth with Cajun spices, chicken okra, chopped chorizo, veggies and rice served INSIDE a crusty cob loaf. What more could you want this winter?
Where: 64 Karbunya St, Mermaid Waters
The Fish House
If you’re keen to splurge on a spectacular soup, The Fish House is the place to go. A crowd favourite is their super tasty Lemony Fish Soup with John Dory, dill and extra virgin olive oil. Get a group together and go for the banquet because who could ever stop at soup!
Where: 50 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
By Kirra Smith