Psst, want to be the ‘oh-so-now’ one in your crew who can name-drop all the hot-off-the-press eats spots? Stick with us kids – we’ve got you. In fact, here’s one we prepared earlier, and it has all the makings of a hit. For a start, the cuisine is a crowd fave and here’s a song-based clue: “Well this food is aromatic. It’s charismatic. It’s yumomatic. Why it’s GREECE-d lightening!!” Ok, that was fun, and yes it’s Modern Greek goodness for the win at Homeworld Helensvale’s newest restaurant. It’s called Oh My Greek Kitchen and Bar and OMG, we’re greeking out over here!!!
This place just ‘ouzos’ amazing food, drinks and feels, with everything – even the sauces – made fresh on-site. Bringing innovative Greek nosh to the northside using local produce and fresh ingredients, how did we get ‘souvlaki’? We’ve also got a sneaky bit of intel and all we can say is you should definitely watch this space as there are soon-to-be belly dancers every Friday and Saturday night and we don’t think we could be any more excited.
Now let’s took looks, with an aesthetic capturing the traditional vibe of its homeland, executed tastefully with modern and a-la-mode highlights. The colour palette is blue and white which is exactly how we like our Greek restaurants, but with lashings of yellow and beautiful wood accents. The bar area is adorned in stunning mosaic tiles with eye-catching floating wood panels overhead. There’s dining both indoors and outdoors with a mixture of marble tables, chairs and an extended canary yellow booth-style couch and yellow subway tiles underneath. The main feature wall is white with Greek archway outlines, and there are clear pendant lights creating ambient lighting. Just blue-tiful.
Owner Mirza Sheraz Sarwar, an experienced Greek restaurateur, has enlisted the culinary prowess of Head Chef Arno Olliver to ensure his patrons leave with happy bellies. And there’s certainly a lot to be happy about here…and we haven’t even made it onto the cocktail list yet!
Our recommendation is the Porn Star Martini (insert girly giggle) with vanilla vodka, passionfruit and passoa. Or, if you’re doing the whole Dry July thing, you simply MUST have a Seabreeze mocktail with Blue Curacao, Mint, Pineapple and Orange. They look and taste sensational so we’re ordering two and make no Apollo-gies for this because #boozefree.
Now it’s time to eat, and isn’t it always? We’re kicking things off with the pinky creamy dreamy goodness of their Taramasalata, made from traditional fish roe, garlic, lemon and EVOE served with house made Greek bread. Then, we’ll move into an entrée (or “Mezedez” coz when in Rome…or uh, Greece…), and we’re going with the Solomos Kai Halloumi which is grilled salmon with halloumi and apple chutney. I mean, who could resist?
For the main (literally) event, as if we could go past the Meat Moussaka because there is nothing more satisfying than layers of potato, eggplant, beef ragu and Bechamel sauce, served with Greek salad and pita bread. And finally for dessert, it’s a tough call but the Trigona Panormatos have it in the bag. We’re talking crispy, golden, buttery phyllo triangles soaked in syrup and filled with the most rich and creamy custard, served with coffee ice cream and excuse us while we wipe the drool from our mouths.
One thing’s for sure, you’ll definitely be baklava.
Where: Homeworld Helensvale, 59/503 Hope Island Road, Helensvale
When: 12pm – 2.30pm & 5pm – 9pm Wednesday – Sunday. Closed Monday & Tuesday
Words by Bianca Trathen.
Greek nosh is something basically all of us love, but there actually aren’t that many places in the melting pot of cuisine that is the GC giving us our authentic (keyword here) souvlaki hit. So, you can imagine our delight when we caught wind of a new Euro neighbour spreading its glorious Greeky goodness around Mermaid Beach. Cue plate smashing (not really…please don’t do that) and prepare to feast your eyes – and mouths – on the aptly named SOUVGC.
Owners of the iconic Café on Hedges, Stavros Likiardopoulos and Bill Sibonis decided it was high time to branch out and bring some of the mouth-watering traditional bites they grew up with in Melbourne, to our sunny shores. Teaming up with Head Chef Jan Cadagdagon, they use only the best fresh and natural ingredients, sourcing their meat and veg locally (hoorah!) every day, and adding REAL Greek flavour with their house-made drool-worthy Mediterranean seasoning.
Here’s what a feed at SOUVGC might look like; Start with an appetiser of Saganaki (grilled haloumi’s delicious cousin) and some Pita Bread with Hummus, Eggplant Dip and Tirokafteri (spicy fetta) dip.
Don’t fill up too much though as The Souvlaki Bar awaits because when in Rome…or Greece…well it would be rude not to order this Greek staple. We’re calling it early – The Stevie Special is set to become the hero dish here with lamb, taramasalata (that stuff is goooood), lettuce, tomato, onion and chips, because no Souvlaki is complete without chips!
If an open plate main is more your thing, the Falafel Plate or Kalamaki Plate (skewers) will transport your tastebuds to their happy place, and why not order a Greek Salad on the side (don’t we all feel healthier with a bit of green stuff to even out the playing field?!).
The venue offers indoor/outdoor dining for up to 70 peeps and is fully licenced (happy dance). Speaking of drinks, a trip to SouvGC isn’t a trip to SouvGC without popping the top off a few of their imported beers straight from the motherland. Start with a Mythos, move into a Fix Hellas Lager and finish it off with an Alfa Lager. Oh and of course there are non-beer-drinker-friendly refreshments on offer too, with wines and… do we really care what else because, well, wine.
There is an impressive takeaway menu in addition to their dine-in offerings and good news if you have a soiree coming up, because they can cater for any occasion large or small. You’ll score some serious party planner brownie points, with everyone thinking you’ve got Ya-ya slaving away in your kitchen!
Describing their restaurant as “A collective of amazing people striving to build delightful Greek cuisine” SouvGC is precisely that. It’s a Big Fat Greek…winner!
Where: Shop 2/32 Lavarack Rd, Mermaid Beach
When: Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 9pm. Closed Mondays.
Words by Bianca Trathen.
Happy days Helensvale, your quality coffee and epic ears prayers have been answered in the form of a brand new brunch spot, Bear Boy Espresso.
Having only opened their doors in the last week, the new space on Hope Island Road (just off the motorway) has already become a firm favourite amongst locals and if you’re not a northern dweller, we suggest scheduling in a little trip ASAP.
Bear Boy, named for owners Brodie and Andy Howard’s love of the name Bjorn (meaning bear in Scandinavian), can be found on a corner block and it’s open and spacious with high ceilings and both indoor and outdoor seating.
A peachy terracotta bench inspired by travels through India is the centerpiece of the newbie with greenery dripping from the ceilings and a neon bear face on the back wall bringing it all together. We love.
The menu is filled with the breakfast and lunch staples you know and love but all with a little bit of extra goodness and some boasting a little Asian twist.
Come 2020 (so like, tomorrow), the menu will be changed seasonally so you can probably manage to try something different every time you go.
For now there are tasty treats like Mango Bao made up of a cinnamon spiced, fried bao with fresh mango, compote and coconut ice cream. So good.
There’s also the Big Bear Benny with a crispy potato waffle – made in-house, two poachies, housemade hollandaise, wilted spinach and your choice of bacon, garlic and thyme mushrooms or Tasmanian smoked salmon. Also very tasty.
For lunch, the Skinny Bear Salad Bowl was quite special with a house falafel, quinoa, kale, pickled red cabbage, radish, avocado, sweet potato, ginger puree, edamame beans and drizzled with sesame oil. LOVED this.
There are also lunchtime burgers and a chorizo linguine that sounds like absolute heaven on a fork.
Coffee-wise the crew are using Single O out of Surry Hills for two reasons; the first being, it’s excellent and the second being the brands’ ethical practice when it comes to paying farmers properly and ensuring dollars go back into the farms to continue the quality of bean growth. Great.
Bear Boy’s house roast is called Killer Bee but they’ll also be featuring micro roasters throughout the year and will focus on educating folks on specialty coffee including hosting cupping events.
All in all it’s a beautiful space with both quality food and coffee and will no doubt lead the charge in the northern Gold Coast’s growing foodie scene.
Get up there and show them some love.
LOCATION: Shop 66, 502 Hope Island Rd, Helensvale
HOURS: 6am until 4pm daily
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
The Gold Coast foodie scene has been a place of profound change and transitions in recent years. We may be bias, but we think our café culture is very much in line — if not surpassing — our southern neighbours.
And with it, we have variety: from gorgeous beachside espresso drop-ins to laid-back chic industrial spaces which effortlessly ooze coolness. We reckon anyone from the big cities that have visited in recent times has likely left feeling a tad jealous — so they should, right?!
The northern end of the Gold Coast has been no exception to this building momentum of late, with venues regularly setting the bar high with only the best coffee and premium café dishes. So, when it’s time to break the fast, and you find yourself at the northern end of town, we’ve kindly compiled a rundown of the best places, where we implore you to make that happen. Enjoy!
From the owner of cult coffee stop, Good Day Coffee in Tugun comes this reasonably new addition to the Helensvale circuit. Aesthetically from the outside, this open café space screams minimalistic eye-catching vibes that will make leaving this spot rather tricky, especially when the staples are yummy Acai Bowls, Coconut Porridge and Eggs Benedict of both the regular and vegan variety.
Where: 2 Laurel Drive, Helensvale
The ever-admired Chirn Park (just north of Southport) is a little hive of foodie goodness that the northern side of the Coast was certainly due. Daark Espresso sets the bar high, from its uber-friendly staff to its sumptuous breakfast menu littered with favourites like the dessert-for-breakfast Panna Cotta boasting peach, mango, & coconut with a crunchy granola & seasonal fruits. Ohh and make sure not to make plans for the rest of the day because their lunch menu will make you want to stay!
Where: 2/41 Musgrave Avenue, Labrador
Chirn Park has gone and done it again with a café that looks like it has just waved goodbye and walked itself out of a Melbourne laneway; it hasn’t though, it’s just the ultra-vibrant WavyBone, of course! The Wavy B & E Roll is a winner and goes down a treat with a perfectly poured Blackboard Coffee, one of the Gold Coast’s original coffee roasteries. Throw into this mix a turntable forever pumping out sweet rhythms and a chance to grab yourself some dashing WavyBone branded apparel: we think you’ve likely found your next favourite breakfast hangout.
Where: 1/36 Musgrave Avenue, Southport
Anchor Bouy Café & Bar
The aptly named Anchor Bouy is where you are guaranteed some finely poured Elixir coffee and a great breakfast menu, all whilst you stare lovingly at the array of boats in the marina and wish to yourself you lived at Sanctuary Cove. One dish you MUST try is the Breakfast Bruschetta. It’s to die for with your choice of bacon or house smoked salmon, avocado, cherry tomatoes, poached eggs all served on top of lightly toasted sourdough and drizzled with hollandaise.
Where: The Marine Village, Masthead Way, Hope Island
Can we just say, how good is a seasonal menu? It keeps things interesting and fresh in our eyes! And with that in mind, the team at Substance Espresso has their menu hinge on seasonality, with specials aplenty and the added acceptance that dessert for breakfast is a bonafide thing. Oh and to top it all off, the barista’s there accept nothing but consistently good coffee, which means the first drop of golden liquid is as good as the last. We’ll meet you there!
Where: Shop 2/10/12 Lae Drive, Runaway Bay
Bear Boy Espresso
Coffee is well and truly the ultimate focus at Bear Boy Espresso. Speciality blends coming from Market Lane in Melbourne are regularly featured with the added addition of pour-over and batch brew as well as your standard espresso-style coffees. Caffeine aside, the venue is a feast for the eyes and somehow more reminiscent of Northern Europe than Queensland. The menu brags some usual flavoursome suspects as well as a dedicated section to the little ones. We can’t go past their self-proclaimed ‘OG’ the Big Bear Benny. A crispy potato waffle, two poached pggs, house hollandaise with sautéed greens and your choice of garlic thyme mushroom, smoked bacon, pulled pork, or smoked salmon. The options are endless!
Where: Shop 66/502 Hope Island Road, Helensvale
Cross + Feather
Situated on one of the forever-bustling little streets of Paradise Point, Cross + Feather dishes up all your favourites with quirky little spins. And because breakfast is for champions, the team at Cross + Feather generously serve it all day. We cannot recommend enough the Crossed Avo which includes fresh avocado, heritage tomatoes, Persian fetta, purple basil salsa verde, native dukkah, smoked green tea salt on a sprouted wheat sourdough. YUM!
Where: 2 Grice Avenue, Paradise Point
Words by Alex Mitcheson.