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Moana Restaurant and Bar

A succulent new seafood haven for Isle of Capri.

We are of the opinion that there can always be more restaurants dedicated to the much-loved culinary group that is seafood.

Perfecting it is an art and one we are very happy to leave to the absolute professionals and also celebrate when it’s done well. Which it certainly is at Isle of Capri newbie Moana Restaurant and Bar.

Taking up space where (sadly) now closed Italian venue Cicchetti once lived at Capri on Via Roma, the newbie is the work of renowned (celebrity) chef Alex Kaihea who hails from our beloved neighbouring country, New Zealand.

Moana Restaurant & Bar (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)

The emphasis here is on the freshest of seafood, all locally sourced and with a focus on the flavours of the Pacific Rim and let us tell you Gold Coasters, there is many a tasty morsel on the menu.

But back to Chef Alex for a sec. He has been the owner of several successful NZ restaurants, appeared on a few food-style TV shows (our favourite) and since making the move to our shores, worked at famed seafood venue George’s Paragon before turning his attention to his very first Aussie venue. Lucky us.

Moana Restaurant and Bar is a 150-seat space with lots of glass and with a sparkly chandelier hanging from above, it’s every bit the sleek, sophisticated venue you’ve come to know and love at Capri on Via Roma.

As we mentioned, the menu is focused on seafood with fresh catches the order of the day, every day. There are small plates to start and the Ota Ika is the go with snapper fillets marinated in lime, cucumber, capsicum, spring onions and with cherry tomatoes, coriander, coconut cream and taro chips. A true Pacific Rim-inspired dish.

Of course, there are MANY types of oysters and mussels in flavour variations but the big plates are where it’s at.

We’re quite partial to dishes that highlight the magic of the Pacific Rim and highly recommend the Tahi, made up of the fish of the day, juicy prawns, scallops, bugs on rice and with white wine buerre blanc sauce. SO good and only $37.

Of course, there are tasty treats that don’t come from the sea, if that is more your jam.

Plus, of course, a drinks list that will having you sipping tipples and sampling succulent eats as the sun goes down every single day.

There are many a lunchtime special on offer too so if a lunchtime treat is something you feel like you deserve (which you do), pop on into Isle of Capri’s delightful newbie and prepare to feast on some of the very best seafood around.

How good is the Gold Coast.

LOCATION: Capri on Via Roma, Isle of Capri
HOURS: 11am until late daily

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Madam Fu

If excellent eats with a side of water views is on your Christmas list this year, get excited, because Christmas has come early to Isle of Capri and you’re on the good kid list.

Madam Fu, sister venue of (also excellent) Fu Manchu Oriental Kitchen on Chevron Island, opened just last week and (since we’re talking about Christmas for some reason), it is all your Christmases come at once.

Found at Capri on Via Roma, right on the waterfront at Isle of Capri, Madam Fu can be found right at the back overlooking the sparkly boats and offering sophisticated but also laidback dining vibes that’ll ensure you never want to leave.

If you’ve ever visited Fu Manchu, you’ll know the menu is packed with modern flavours combining Asian and European influences and Madame Fu offers up exactly the same level of goodness.

The dishes are all share-style (not that you’ll want to share) with a focus on local produce and native ingredients, a lot of which are foraged by the head chef from local areas. We love it when ingredients are foraged.

If you’re not familiar with the term, it means ‘obtained by searching’ and that is exactly what the team do, with their very own hands, to ensure the very best quality makes it to the plate.

All produce on the menu is sustainably caught and farmed and the team ensure they know everything can be reproduced at a sustainable level before taking anything. Which is the way of the future you guys.

Madam Fu

Let’s chat about the dishes though because, like we said, all of the Christmases.

First up, the Hiramasa Kingfish with ginger dressing, apple and nasturtium is both sharp and melt-in-your-mouth and an absolute must-try. If you love an incredible dumpling, the Spanner Crab with prawn and ginger dashi is one of the very best we’ve tried.

Grilled King Prawns with green papaya som tam and toasted coconut is also exceptional with some of the plumpest prawns there has ever been.

Bao are also on the menu and Crispy Ssamjang Chicken with kewpie and cucumber pickle was our favourite (although we loved them all).

Also, for something green, the Fried Local Shishito Peppers with sambal mole and Manchego cheese (LOVE) were probably our favourite. One in 20 peppers is hot and the rest and sweet and delicious and yes, of course, we got a hot one. WORTH IT.

There are plenty of vegetarian dishes on offer of course and a wine and cocktail list that will ensure you don’t go thirsty.

All in all, a new favourite has arrived and soon enough you’ll be able to get the ferry to Isle of Capri from Surfers and Chevron Island and there are plans for some fun double-header dinners at Fu Manchu and Madam Fu in the works.

Oh Madam Fu, how we love you. You’re welcome.

LOCATION: Capri on Via Roma, Isle of Capri
HOURS: From 11.30am for lunch and dinner, Wednesday to Sunday

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

BAO Burgers

They’re soft, silky and filled with the tastiest of goodness and they are quickly gaining popularity as the perfect snack on the go. Luckily for Isle of Capri goers, BAO Burgers has recently opened and they are serving some of the best baos around.

In case you’ve never had the pleasure of putting one in your mouth, baos are a kind of Chinese sandwich made with a pillowy steamed bun and filled with anything from bacon and eggs to soft shell crab.

Found inside Capri on Via Roma and set against a sparkling, boat-laden backdrop, BAO Burgers is a street food style of venue with both dine in and takeaway options, a first for the complex.

If you’re a boatie, it’s a great takeaway option for cruising the high seas or a canal cruising picnic. Moor up and hoe down captains.

Owner Shane McDowall (former owner of The Boatshed in Currumbin) aimed to open something unique to the area that would be seen as an easy takeaway option but could also be enjoyed as a sit down meal, paired with fries and a gelato milkshake (yes please).

Obviously though, the most important thing is the baos themselves and the many delicious flavour options there are to choose from.

Starting with a breakfast bao. Choose from fillings of bacon, egg and tomato chutney or something a little bit fancier like the smoked salmon, Japanese egg, spinach and orange aioli.

Stick around until lunchtime and opt for the fried Szechuan chicken bao with coleslaw and sriracha aioli or a vego option featuring salt and pepper mushroom or halloumi.

For those who aren’t keen on the gluten side of things, baos are also available as sweet little salads.

Oh and in perhaps the greatest bao-related news of all time, there’s soon to be dessert baos on offer including a deep fried bao with mango, pineapple, toasted coconut and vanilla bean gelato.

It’s time to bao down to the tasty little morsels that are about to take over Isle of Capri. How many can you do?

LOCATION: Capri on Via Roma, 15 Via Roma, Surfers Paradise
HOURS: 9am to 5pm daily

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

11 family-friendly restaurants in Surfers Paradise

Little Girl eating pizza (stock image)

Hoisting the kidlets into the back of the car to grab a feed can be a varied experience. And by varied, we mean #traumatic. But not at these Surfers Paradise restaurants which are tried and tested by many-a-small person, with a double thumbs-up both from kids and therefore, parentals.

Here’s our rundown on the glitter strip places to take the rug rats for a tanty/whinge-free meal.

If there’s one thing that’ll delight the kids (and the big kids), it’s teppanyaki! Situated in JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa, Misono’s teppan experience brings an inescapable energy and thrill from the highly skilled teppan chef’s intricate knife work and interactive theatrics. Make sure you have your smart phones at the ready to capture every catch….or not (spillage is part of the fun). There’s also a live sushi bar to discover and psst mum and dad – there’s even a sneaky whisky bar for ‘ron!
Where: JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa, 158 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise


Misono, JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa (image supplied)
Misono, JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa (image supplied)

Designed with good times in mind, the kids will go wild for Wahlburgers! The burger chain and sports bar baby of Hollywood superstars ‘Marky’ Mark, Donny, and the wider Wahlburg clan, expect high-quality, simple, down to earth eats! In addition to burgers there’s breakfast, salads, loaded sides, wings, calamari, dessert, shakes and spiders and so much more. It’ll give the whole family Good Vibrations!
Where: Paradise Centre, 2 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

TGI Fridays
Tasty American Burgers, good friends and good times. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, it’s always a recipe for smiley faces. Serving up your all your fave dishes from the US of A right off the grill, we’re talking starters to share, wings, fresh mex, burgers, wraps, salads, ribs, steaks, desserts and a cracking kid’s menu. I mean, who wouldn’t want to go to a place where it’s always Friday?
Where: Paradise Centre, 2 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

TGI Fridays, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)
TGI Fridays, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

Kids will love the Victorian-era décor, friendly service and most importantly, wide variety of all the chow our small people dream of. The usual suspects like woodfired pizzas, loaded chips, burgers, steaks and ribs etc all make an appearance on the menu, plus there’s a kiddywinkle menu suitable for those up to 16. They’ll go loco for the supershakes and if you’re in a rush (isn’t EVERY parent), you can skip the queue and order via the app! Genius.
Where: 3113 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Longboards Laidback Eatery and Bar
If the kids are hungry, do not pass go, do not collect $200 – go to Longboards. One thing’s for sure, both you and your ankle-biters will leave choccas (no other meals required). The burgers here are legendary and dad, if you wanna impress the fam, give the 30 minute Phat Bastard Challenge a crack for your chance to win a $150 tab prize. There’s a kids menu to boot, plus $3 play packs to keep them entertained. Sold!
Where: Q1 Resort & Spa, Corner of Hamilton Avenue & Northcliffe Terrace, Surfers Paradise

El Camino Cantina, Paradise Centre, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)
El Camino Cantina, Paradise Centre, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

El Camino Cantina
Mexican is the new Maccas in terms of universal appeal for kids, and El Camino is forever Mexcellent. Slinging tacos, nachos, loaded nachos, fajitas, wings and sombrero-filled party vibes, there’ll be no whinging whatsoever from the small folk. Head on down for $2 Taco Tuesdays, 10-cent Wing Wednesdays and half-price Fajita Thursdays. How spec-taco-ular!
Where: 2 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

BMD Northcliffe SLSC (image provided by Destination Gold Coast)
BMD Northcliffe SLSC (image provided by Destination Gold Coast)

BMD Northcliffe Surf Club
Ok, so we all know kids love surf clubs – especially award-winners like BMD Northcliffe. For a start, it’s absolute beachfront making a pre or post-meal dip super duper easy. There’s plenty of room in the spacious restaurant, filled with sunlight by day and boasting a magical outlook by night, a stunning deck, and one of the best surf club menus you’ll ever find. All Little Nipper meals come with a small soft drink and a gelato. Winning!
Where: 51 Garfield Terrace, Surfers Paradise

Vapiano Restaurant (image provided by Destination Gold Coast)
Vapiano Restaurant (image provided by Destination Gold Coast)

Vapiano is Italian for kid-foody-heaven and whilst that’s a fib, it still rings true. We dare you to find a kiddo (and parent for that matter…#Don’tTellThePT) who doesn’t love a meaty, hearty pasta or a palette-pleasing pizza and yeah, nah, it’s not possible. Choose from the kids’ menu or the standard menu for small people with a BIG appetite! This is no impasta friends.
Where: Soul Boardwalk, Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Hogs Breath Café
The very pinnacle of family-orientated eating venues has to be the original and much-loved Hogs Breath Café. You’ll find consistently yummy and unassuming food served up in a friendly atmosphere, setting the benchmark high for other family restaurants to follow. Your little ones will be loving life with their own (sizeable) Hogster’s Kids Menu, which offers uncompromised value for money as each dish comes with its own drink and even dessert. Sorted!
Where: Soul, Building T2/9 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Hogs Breath Restaurant (image supplied)
Hogs Breath Restaurant (image supplied)

Crazy Cat Café
This cute setup is the purrfect place to drop by for an afternoon pit stop and, of course, to mingle with some feline friends. Apart from a mob of the friendliest cats you ever did meet, the hefty café style menu offers a host of appetising treats to boot. Worth noting is the venue’s setup which also has a separate section for those who want to witness the cats at paw’s length – a great option for the kiddies who need a slow introduction to the furry ones.
Where: 3131 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Pancakes on the Rocks
There is no mistaking; pancakes are a good time, every time, particularly when they’re being pumped out of specialty restaurant, Pancakes on the Rocks. Based in the heart of Surfers Paradise, they are a dead-set family vibe. All about family dining, you can’t go wrong with the obvs (pancakes), plus there are pizzas, salads, crepes, and the now famous beef and pork ribs. Littlies will adore this joint. Cross our hearts.
Where: 31 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise

Words by Bianca Trathen.

Kids Pancakes at Pancakes on the Rocks (image supplied)
Kids Pancakes at Pancakes on the Rocks (image supplied)
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