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The North Room

The old adage “you eat with your eyes” is the philosophy behind Mermaid’s latest foodie location The North Room and the European-inspired, tapas-style dishes certainly are a sight to behold.

A bright, naturally lit space sets the scene with navy, natural wood and copper accents giving it a coastal, laidback vibe. Get up close and personal with a seat at the bar or kick back on the blue velvet, booth-style lounge.

The menu is created for share-style dining with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients and will be ever-changing, as will the wine list. The premise is simply based on using the freshest of ingredients and encouraging diners to always try something new.

For the initial weeks, The North Room are plating up dishes to delight all your senses including Green Eggs and Ham consisting of duck ham, scrambled organic eggs, nettle and kalettes (half way between kale and brussel sprouts) and Whipped Cod with white anchovies, pickled onion and rye.

Don’t go past dessert and in particular the Beetroot, Strawberry and Yoghurt that sounds unassuming enough but actually consists of beetroot meringue, fresh strawberry sorbet and sour yoghurt. It’s an absolute flavour sensation.

The North Room was named for owners Tim and Shannon Stewart’s gradual “venture north” from Victoria over recent years and if opening weekend is anything to go by, it‘s definitely been worth the trip.

Probably best to book your spot in advance.

HOURS: Open Wednesday to Saturday for dinner and Friday, Saturday, Sunday for lunch.

LOCATION: 2527 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach (between Ventura Rd and Cronulla Ave)

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

10 reasons locals love Mermaid Beach

Mermaid Beach T-Shirts The Undercurrent
Mermaid Beach (Image: © 2021 The Undercurrent)

It’s the destination we all know and love. Relaxed, a little bit retro and constantly surprising us with new places to eat and play. It’s the much-loved suburb that flies under the radar when visitors come to town but to locals, it’s pure magic.

To show our love for this beachside beauty, here are ten things we locals love about Mermaid Beach.

The North Room
Recent receivers of a very prestigious hat, The North Room is an intimate restaurant serving up some absolutely stunning contemporary dishes that you’ll want to wrap your mouth around ASAP. Bookings are essential and they open for lunch Friday and Saturday and dinner Thursday to Saturday so you’ll want to get in quick. Huge fans of this place.
Where: 1/2527 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Little Mermaid
There’s a lot to be said about infusing a space with tropical, feel-good vibes and Little Mermaid, on the highway, has done exactly that. Decked out with plenty of greenery, a laidback beachy feel, and tons of space for all your friends this is the place to be. The bar and restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which more often than not, is overflowing with folks having the time of their lives as the sun goes down. Little Mermaid has earned the love of locals for their tasty eats, creative cocktails, and generally cool aesthetic – so get there now.
Where: 2557 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

The Borrowed Nursery
Never before has a plant nursery gained such a cult-like following so quickly (or perhaps ever). The Borrowed Nursery draws plant lovers and photographers in droves due to its Instagram-worthy aesthetics and bespoke greenery. While you can certainly purchase the potted petals for your humble abode, you may also like to hire them for an event (which is quite the concept if you ask us). The stunning space also hosts workshops and yoga classes amongst the leafy greens but if that’s not your jam at least pop in for some healthy retail therapy and an Insta-snap.
Where: 42-44 Cronulla Ave, Mermaid Beach

The Borrowed Nursery (image supplied)

Lupo
Italian food is one of life’s greatest pleasures and particularly when it comes from Mermaid’s Lupo. Tucked away in the little complex that’s also home to Bonita Bonita, Lupo’s menu is one you’ll never forget. It’s a quiet, laidback space, low-lit & moody, and did we mention one of the very best spots for drinking incredible cocktails and filling your belly with goodness.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Zeppelin Barbers
This is one for the fellas… Zeppelin Barbers is the best on the Coast if the man in your life is looking for a fresh cut. Jase and the team are absolute weapons with the scissors and they deliver quality chat and a frosty beer while they’re at it. Good vibes always.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Mermaid Beach Surf Club
How good are surf clubs? Mermaid’s is right on the ocean with uninterrupted views, delicious meals that will fill you right up, and of course, a sweet selection of drinks to sip on. It’s an amazing spot to watch the sun go down with the crew and always provides a quality atmosphere with a buzz of people.
Where: 172 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach

Soak Bathhouse
It only opened recently but already Soak Bathhouse has become a firm favourite amongst those who are a little bit partial to some rest and relaxation in a beautiful environment (so everyone). It’s a stunning oasis featuring a magnesium pool, massage rooms, a sauna, spas, and a cold plunge pool. Plus you can get an LED facial and just generally kick your feet up and chill – tried and tested by us and we highly recommend it.
Where: 2532 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Soak Bathhouse
Soak Bathhouse (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

The Glenelg Public House
Serving up premium steak and boutique wine (among other delicious things), The Glenelg Public House is an absolute must-visit in Mermaid Beach and just generally on the Gold Coast. If for some reason you’re not into steak, everything on the menu is top-notch and they have a selection of some of the best sides we’ve ever sampled. There are also small plate options and it’s all mind-blowing. We vouch for the gnocchi. Just. Trust. Us.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Bonita Bonita
Mexican eats at their absolute finest can be found at Bonita Bonita. Taco Thursdays are a favourite amongst the locals and there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options should that be your thing. Right next door is Bon Bon Bar so you should also head in there for bulk margaritas before sampling all of the epic eats on offer.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Mermaid Beach Bowls Club
Barefoot bowls is never not a fun time and so, there’s plenty of fun to be had at Mermaid Beach Bowls Club. Round up the crew on a Sunday afternoon for bulk beers and a little ball throwing (bowling) and then venture onto one of the many eateries (like those listed above) to round out the night.
Where: 2418 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Surely we have convinced you that Mermaid Beach is the place to be by now?

Words by Kirra Smith.

Bonita Bonita Flat Lay
Bonita Bonita (image supplied)

New: Poké Poké

Radiating good vibes and a tropical, Caribbean theme perfectly suited to its balmy just-off-the-beach location, Poké Poké is bringing brightly coloured bowls of goodness to Mermaid Beach.

Poke bowls have taken the world by storm of late but in case you haven’t heard, the healthy bowls originated in Hawaii and are made up of crunchy salad, tender chunks of fish or meat, mouth watering sauces, nuts, seeds, noodles…any number of things and Poké Poké is leading the charge.

From the street, the first thing you notice is a custom carved front wall boldly enticing you to join the party. Inside the space pops with colour – an emerald green bench seat lines one wall while a neon pink sign beams in the corner declaring “okey dokey time for poké” and bunches of green bananas hang in a wide, sun-lit window.

It’s reminiscent of a tropical island takeaway joint with plenty of space to perch inside and watch the magic unfold or outside on the grass if you’d prefer.

Owner Morgan Walsh, one half of Mermaid Beach favourites Bonita Bonita and BonBon fell in love with the bowls on a recent trip and, as a lover of all things colourful, knew there’d be a market for them here.

At Poké Poké bowl options are abundant. Fresh Off The Boat is made up of the freshest salmon with edamame, zoodles, seaweed and radish on brown rice with wasabi mayo. If you’re in the mood for something warm, the Caribbean inspired roti bowls are for you. Go with the Chicken Curry bowl made up of taro and potato on coconut rice with roti.

Smoothie bowls are a thing too – try the Avocado and Kale with spinach, almond milk and banana.

Of course there are fresh and cold press juices, wine and beer and a soon-to-be-launched cocktail menu. You need never leave.

Don your most colourful Hawaiian get up and your favourite pluggas and get down there, there’s way too much fun to be had.

LOCATION: Cnr Alfred Street and Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
HOURS: 8am to 8pm daily

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Beachside Pavilion

It’s a seafood extravaganza at Beachside Pavilion, the latest addition in a long line of recently revamped spaces in the Broadbeach Mall.

Formerly Alto Cucina & Bar, at the beach end of the foodie strip, the restaurant has been transformed into a bright, airy eatery with a street side terrace area and decked out in suitably cheery beach theme.

With an emphasis on fresh seafood, Beachside Pavilion has brought a unique menu to Broadbeach inspired by their close proximity to one of our most popular beaches.

To start, try the cooked-to-perfection Oven Baked Scallops on the shell with spiced tomato cream, wakame, sesame seeds and fish roe. If you love raw fish go for the Hiramasa Kingfish Ceviche with rockmelon, coriander, red onion, lime and radish.

For a lighter main the Ocean Trout Poke Bowl with quinoa, avocado, radish, sesame seaweed, edamame, red onion, spinach and kewpie is perfectly fresh and oh-so good for you.

Of course if you’re after the cooked variety, there are plenty of options. Try the Baked Whole Snapper with lemon, mustard, olive oil, dill, chips and a mixed leaf salad or Squid Ink Orzo Pasta with blue swimmer crab, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, scampi bisque and chilli.

If you’re out for a special occasion don’t think about ordering anything other than Beachside Pavilion’s Signature Chilli Mud Crab. It’s served with tomato, coconut cream, egg, coriander, special tomato chilli sauce and charred sourdough. It’s everything good about going out for dinner.

Beachside Pavilion is the perfect casual dining space, just a short stroll from the beach and with a soon-to-be-opened takeaway area, perfect for when you need a quick bite before heading back to the sand.

HOURS: 7am until late every day

LOCATION: The beach end of Oasis Shopping Centre Mall, Old Burleigh Rd, Broadbeach

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

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