Pangaat Indian Restaurant & Bar tikka’s all the boxes.
Pangaat Indian Restaurant & Bar tikka’s all the boxes.
If you also subscribe to the ethos that few problems can’t be solved with a comforting curry (and, obligatory buttery cloud of naan bread) you’ll be on cloud ‘naan’ to hear about the new spice-slinging dahl-ing shaking things up on Mudgeeraba’s eats scene. Taking on the tongue-tingling flavours of India with a modern twist, Pangaat Indian Restaurant & Bar is absolutely worth ‘currying’ on about.
Not your average neighbourhood Indian nosher, Pangaat is coming in like a good Vindaloo – hot – with a mouth-watering selection of crafted cocktails such as the signature Bombay Blossom, and contemporary flavours to complement the requisite collection of spectacular and soul-hugging curry dishes.
On the menu, familiar faves like Curry Puffs and Mango Chicken mingle with tantalising combos like Pangaat Fried Chicken with Tamarind-infused Aioli, Crispy Stuffed Mushrooms and charred Saffron Lamb Cutlets.
Inspired by the Sanskrit word ‘Pankti’ – which represents the ritual of converging over food, irrespective of caste or creed, Pangaat has taken up residence in Mudgeeraba’s historical Railway Street strip. A joint venture by owners Rokeya Rima and Akash Sarkar, the duo selected the township for its tight-knit community feel, whilst maintaining a close enough proximity to handle the hankerings of the city’s heaving central suburbs.
Something that, we can only surmise is no accident, since Akash brings some hefty culinary chops to the role of Head Chef – racking up some ten years in high-end restaurant across the globe before deciding to pour all that expertise into Pangaat. For his first solo venture, Chef Akash’s vision was to create a venue that ‘encompassed the essence of India by combining tradition with contemporary touches’.
This ethos is also evident in the space, with the pair opting for a pared back, light and cosy fit out that still embraces all the welcoming village-vibes of its locale. The menu, meanwhile, tikka’s all the boxes – with a showcase of Akash’s ‘sophisticated cooking with the simplicity of style’, that offers an extensive and tantalising mix of Indian dishes to pick between.
The specialties here are plentiful, so we’d suggest gathering your crew for a good, ‘ole fashioned share-style feast. And if this sounds like your jam, or chutney, rather – the Chef’s Special Banquet Menu is where it’s at, where you can tuck in to a curation of mouth-watering classics such as Onion Bhaji and Tandoori Chicken Tikka sans pre-dinner mental gymnastics.
Or perhaps you and your crew prefer to go rogue with the classic, choose-your-own-adventure style feast, piling the table with a haphazard mix of fragrant, communal plates like Malai Kofta and Cauliflower brazule alongside staples like Butter chicken and Vindaloo lamb. Mmmm, our tastebuds are already tingling at the thought… (better grab some Raita, just in case).
The artfully crafted cocktails also offer plenty of choice, though if we absolutely must pick one, the Ink gin & lavender syrup-based Velvet Sour is as pretty as they come… and keep them coming, please and thank you.
Or maybe we’ll throw in a mango-infused Mumbai Margarita finished with chilli-salt rim, for good measure… they say variety is the spice of life, after all.
When: Lunch 11.30am to 3pm and Dinner 5pm–late, Wednesday–Sunday
Where: Shop 3, 59 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba
Ok so there’s pizza places and there’s pizza places, and this newbie sits confidently in the pizza places camp. With pizza royalty as owners (more on them shortly #BendTheKnee), a cracking menu and a heritage feel location brimming with character, Lenny Pizzeria & Bar in Mudgeeraba is a real pizza work. We’re talking rockstar status woodfired pizza perfection and this seems fitting with a name like Lenny and heck yes, we’re gonna go your way #KravitzBanger.
Opening mid-March, this new pizza slinging icon-in-the-making is the genius work of household names, Robert Morwood and Oliver Botha. Along with his business partner at the time, Rob started Justin Lane in Burleigh…and ‘nuff said #LegendInOurLunchBox. Not bad for a fella who as a teen Pizza Hut employee, was never allowed to work on the pizza section and yeah, it’s safe to say he showed them.
Fellow owner / chef Oliver has cooked at the likes of Justin Lane, The Fish House, Hellenika and Rick Shores and srsly, is this not the who’s who of the GC eats scene. If these two blokes can’t launch a flourishing noshery, then everyone else can just pack up and go home.
Offering alfresco dining for 100+ people (eventually), the space reminded the gents of Justin Lane when it first opened. That is, an old building in the middle of town bursting with charm and potential, and just begging to be repurposed into something fresh and new. Interestingly enough, one of the main reasons Rob and Oliver chose this particular location was due to the landlords who wholeheartedly bought into the vision. Allowing them the freedom to utilise the extensive street frontage overlooking the beautiful village green, it was a no-brainer decision.
Turning to Interior Designer Ben Sampson to take charge of the fit-out, the space is as inviting as it is enticing. As Mudgeeraba has a classic heritage feel, they leaned into this as much possible with a small but elegant six-seater bar. Outside, which is still a work in progress, will be the heart of the venue, with big plans in store for landscaping and lighting.
Already bursting with warm and welcoming goodness, we are here for it all! Set in one of the most naturally beautiful areas of the Gold Coast, once all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed, this place will be the greatest thing in our life since sliced pizza bread. And LBH, it already is with pizza so good we went up a dress size merely perusing the menu.
The real hero of Lenny Pizzeria & Bar is the 72-hour fermented dough the lads use to make their pizza bases, which we reckon is three days VERY well spent. The result is a taste and textural sensation which when combined with the delicious toppings, is pure pizza paradise.
We’re especially partial to the Prawn Pizza with lap chong, confit garlic, fermented chilli, parsley and lemon, and the Butternut Pumpkin Pizza with fresh mozzarella, spiced kale, whipped feta and salsa verde. Other winners include the Aleppo Spiced Lamb with smoky red peppers, fresh mozzarella, parsley, dill cream and fresh lemon, and just get in our belly already please and thank you.
Also on the menu are various small plates like Arancini with porcini mushroom, pecorino and aioli, salads such as the Buffalo Mozzarella with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and balsamic, and to finish it all off, a serve of House Made Icecream. Scrumdidillyocious.
So pizza lovers (AKA every human), get a wriggle on and make your way down to meet Lenny. No matter how you slice it, this joint can’t be topped.
Where: 58 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba
When: 4.30pm – 9pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Closed Sunday & Monday.
Words by Bianca Trathen.
Images by Brittany Kreskas.
Look we’re all partial to a good hat but if you’re a chef, a hat is all that and a bag of chips. Each year, the Australian Good Food Guide awards hats to the crème de la crème in the restaurant world. Although many of our neighbouring states and cities may have once turned their noses up at the GC dining landscape, sir, times are a’changin!
This year, a whopping 21 of our fave local eats destinations scored at least one hat, and we are proud as punch! The AGFG rates each restaurant out of 20. No restaurant has yet achieved the holy grail of a perfect score.
In a twist everyone saw coming, Broadbeach cleaned up with seven venues receiving hats, including Social Eating House and Bar, which scored 14 and once again earned a special mention for its award-winning share plates.
Newcomer kōst Bar + Grill burst onto the dining scene with fanfare in August with its sleek and sexy venue and equally enticing menu, so it’s no surprise they have earned a mention (12).
Of course, a couple of The Star Gold Coast’s restaurants collected gongs, including Japanese sensation Kiyomi (15) and Modern Australian go-to for a fancy night out Nineteen at the Star (14). Miss Moneypenny’s marvellous Mediterranean menu (say that a few times) earned 12, as did longstanding steak restaurant, Moo Moo The Wine Bar and Grill
Moving slightly south now to Mermaid Beach and the recently reopened Little Truffle has scored 15, while boutique dining superstar The North Room scored 14 and esteemed Japanese restaurant Etsu Izakaya earned a 13.
Robina’s Eddy + Wolff represented with a well-earned 13. It just goes to show that the ‘burbs can cook up a winner too, not just the Insta-set-favoured pockets. Speaking of, Mudgeeraba’s intimate Japanese (and under-the-radar superstar) Anekawa, earned itself a 14.
Burleigh’s hidden gem, La Bella Cella also got a nod (12).
Anyone who still says we’re lacking in the quality eats department here on the Goldie, now is the time to concede defeat because this list of local victories confirms what we already knew – our foodie scene has officially become a force to be reckoned with and there’s plenty more to come…
Words by Belinda Symons.
Focused on fresh, lip-smacking flavours like mango, zesty lemongrass, creamy coconut and coriander (okay, so we may or may not have lost you on that one, depending on your coriander stance) – but our point remains, pan-Asian fare is a full-blown flavour party for your mouth. Well, Gold Coasters, pucker those lips as Velaa Cafe makes its grand entrance, bringing vibrant, Asian-inspired eats to the lively streets of Surfers Paradise.
Situated on the Alison St crossroads of the buzzing Surfers Paradise Boulevard stretch, Velaa Cafe lies but a casual stroll beyond the shores of the glitter strip, and mere steps from its Thai-centric sib venue, Cocohut Taste of Thailand. Filling tums with top notch Thai since 2017, owners Pattaraporn Suwannayok and Woranot Viboonvoradech have expanded their flavour focus with a broader mix of pan-Asian influences for their new venture.
Mall-goers can swing by the new cafe style sib and get amongst a selection of summery of libations like tropical milk teas and ice-cold, mango and lychee-infused creations that look almost too pretty to drink – while dishes like ice-cream topped Pandan Toast and Acai Bingsu provide a tantalising twist on the cafe classics.
With extensive hospitality backgrounds and a near 20 year stint living on the GC, the duo feels they have developed an eagle eye for filling gaps – and tums – on our culinary circuit. After seven solid years slinging authentic, street-style food out of their neighbourhood Thai joint, the pair have embarked on a new challenge that plays to their strengths, with a venue that was inspired by their adventures abroad.
For Velaa’s vibe, Pattaraporn and Woranot have opted for a chic, minimalist approach resulting in a space that allows the colourful dishes to shine. It’s a choice we have no doubt was intentional since the expert Space Cubed Design crew have again been up to their old tricks here (and by old tricks, we mean designing slick and stunning spaces up and down the Coast that we can’t stop drooling over). The aesthetic of brass sconces, terrazzo tiles, earth tones and organic lines is one that speaks directly to our hopeless, neutral-loving hearts #swoon.
And hey, while we might be in the minority that could happily talk beige all day – a menu like this (rightfully) waits for no one. The cafe’s eclectic mix of savoury main meals married with sweet brunch and dessert style dishes is reflective of Velaa’s lunch–late operating hours – with tantalising, tropical tastes that tie it all together.
Along with Velaa’s array of frosty, Asian-inspired beverage flavours are fresh and refreshing eats contenders such as the Coconut Prawn Salad, Salmon Tartare and Silver Fish Salad that keep it light yet without skimping on satisfaction. Then there’s the likes of the heartier Khai Soi Beef, made with braised beef, aromatic curry broth, ramen, chilli oil, crispy noodles and pickled mustard green, which is enough to incite immediate tummy grumbling.
Or (more like, ‘and’ if we’re being real) tuck in to sweet treats like the Burnt Butter Toast, piled with caramelised banana, ice-cream and caramel lashings, or perhaps iterations of the Korean-style shaved ice dessert, Acai or Mango Bingsu… *sweet cravings intensify*
…safe to say we’ll be seeing you very soon, Velaa Cafe.
Words by Kellie Leader.