Raijin Palm Beach is the new Japanese cafe that is not fluffin' around.
Raijin Palm Beach is the new Japanese cafe that is not fluffin' around.
We’re all for new and exciting things when it comes to eating experiences. Novel dishes which excite with never-experienced flavours and presentation keep us diners on the edge of our seats. And we will happily stay there if it means we get to experience more new concepts. Cafes in particular love to shake up the status quo at times with eats that just scream innovation and often a lot of painstaking work behind the scenes. The newly-opened Raijin — a modern Japanese café — in Palm Beach is the sort of place where an inventive twist on breakfast and lunch awaits.
The space is found with ease just off the Gold Coast Highway, on tree-lined Fifth Avenue in Palm Beach. Upon approach, you’ll see the venue has a low-lit escape-from-the-world vibe inside, or if you prefer, a scattering of tables street side will keep the sun on your skin as you watch bustling Palm Beach go about its day.
Owner Fuji and his team have put together a striking menu that showcases a cult dish that was stumbled across during a visit to Japan a few years back. The Soufflé Pancake is a piece of culinary wizardry as two entirely separate dishes — pancakes and soufflé — are combined. The result is the softest pillows of wobbling deliciousness which beg you to eat with care: utterly fluffy and light, these must be tried to be believed. An added bonus? Being made with mochi rice flour and brown rice powder, all four available dishes featuring these souffle pancakes are entirely gluten-free.
For those who favour something sweet, the Original Soufflé Pancakes come with lashings of whipped cream, real Canadian maple syrup, strawberries and blueberries. A Tiramisu version is much the same but with hearty additions of mascarpone cheese and a good dosing of fresh espresso.
The other two savoury styles are the Super Feed coming with smashed avocado, beetroot paste, buckwheat (optional smoked salmon and/or bacon to amp things up) or our personal favourite, the steamy Carbonara Soufflé Pancakes with bacon, mushrooms, parmesan! — Dreamy!
The menu also features a showcasing of Mochi Crepes, again completely gluten-free and equally as delicious with an array of toppings for you to choose from like Bacon-Egg-Spinach or the elite Smoked Salmon Sour Cream.
All these tantalising dishes will no doubt require adequate beverages to wash them down with, and Raijin doesn’t miss a beat in the drinks department. Speciality coffee is brought to you from Melbourne Roasters Proud Mary and Seven Miles from Sydney’s Northern Beaches, with the latter’s Wilde Blend, often used as their Single Origin for black coffees.
For tea aficionados out there, rejoice: the selection of premium organic teas is nothing short of worldly. And if caffeinated drinks aren’t what the heart desires, fresh-squeezed juices and a selection of house-made milkshakes should fit the bill.
With plans on the horizon to serve alcohol and open in the evening, Raijin is looking to slot into the Palm Beach dining scene with a casual Australian-friendly take on classic Japanese-style share dishes. Watch this space, my friends!
Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-4pm, Saturday-Sunday 8am-4pm
Where: 2 Fifth Avenue, Palm Beach
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
Over the past couple of years Palm Beach (or Palmy as it’s affectionately known) has well and truly been embracing it’s new found cool kid status.
While we can’t pinpoint the exact moment it officially transformed to ‘it’ suburb, lucky locals have been living large of late, with the emergence of all the beachside haunts to frolic between (though they do have to compete a little more for parking these days).
While in years gone by, the only thing reliably making Palmy a ‘must stop’ destination was a quiet-ish (albeit stunning) beach, and the high chance of catching a red on the way through. With an influx of laidback eateries, noteworthy restaurants, swanky bars and luxe boutiques popping up left right and centre, there’s never any shortage of things to do. These days, we can think of at least 17 epic reasons that make this buzzing suburb THE place to be.
Overlooking the ocean with the perfect pastel palette, Las Palmas is bringing Latin America to Palm Beach with a share-style menu, made up of mouthwatering flavours and a fresh cocktail list to match. Head in there for a Sunday arvo session or long lunch with your loves. It’ll be your new summer fave for sure.
Where: Level 1, 1097 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
The Scottish Prince
Tucked away, all moody low-lit with wild times written all over it, The Scottish Prince, sister venue of The Cambus Wallace and is one of the best drinking holes we have here on the Coast. It’s primarily a whisky bar boasting over 300 varieties of the tasty tipple plus a perfectly complementary menu including Steak & Ale Pies, Scotch fillets, fish and chips and on Sunday nights, an authentic Taste of Scotland tasting menu. All the very best things. Get in.
Where: 1176 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Palm Beach Farmers Market
The Gold Coast is home to many an impressive farmers market and one of our absolute favourites can be found in Palmy on Saturday mornings. From 6am at Palm Beach Currumbin High School you’ll find fresh local produce, artisan foods, specialty coffee, epic doughnuts, flowers, dog treats, the lot. The perfect way to spend a weekend morning.
Where: Thrower Drive, Palm Beach
Margaritas and Mexi-eats are some of our favourite things and happily, they’re on offer at Palmy’s delightful upstairs space, Frida Sol. There’s a chilli margarita that’ll knock your socks off and if you perch outside on the deck, a balmy ocean breeze – the combination of which will remind you exactly why you live on the Gold Coast. The perfect time.
Where: Level 1, 1176 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
The Pirate Park
Those with little ones will attest to the fact that the Pirate Park is up there with the best on the Coast. Located right near the water, the park far exceeds anything you ever got to play on as a kid with a pirate ship stuck in the sand and upended wine barrels perfect for all day climbing. If you don’t have any babes, Dune Café is close by as is the sparkling ocean and a dog beach on Currumbin Creek that’s always good for a laugh.
Where: 945 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach (on the left before the Currumbin Creek bridge)
No doubt you’ve already set foot inside The Collective more than once and why wouldn’t you with five restaurants to choose from? Open for lunch and dinner, you can stay all day and, as it’s a communal dining setting, you’re bound to make some new friends along the way. So, if you’re in the mood for pizza and tacos, head to The Collective, order both and wash it all down with a cocktail at the rooftop bar.
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
It’s every local boho babe’s dream come true. Opened in 2013, White Bohemian stocks all your favourite hippy-esque labels including GD brand Kivari, Byron Bay cult-fave labels SPELL and Arnhem. These guys were one of the first to bring us the magic of the laid-back luxe aesthetic before the #boho trend took over the world (and our wallets), so we trust them and their epic curation of all things effortless style endlessly. There’s homewares too so, you know, prepare to spend up.
Where: Cnr Seventh Avenue and Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
It goes without saying that if you’ve ever driven through Palm Beach, you’ve definitely laid eyes on Balboa Italian. The beautifully appointed double-storey brick building is in a class of its own serving classic Italian dishes with modern interpretations and the freshest of flavours. It’s worth a visit just to experience the fitout, complete with overhead Vespa and exposed brick walls. The cocktails are unique and the wine selection varied. It’s all good to be honest, get down there.
Where:1069 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
It’s a cafe crossed with a motorbike workshop and the home of the best banana smoothies on the Gold Coast. That’s right, the best. There is not a single thing not to love about Espresso Moto from their very delicious breakfast goods (the brekky burritos are the bomb), to their use of Allpress coffee and the ever-friendly staff who always say g’day. There’s also a communal dog bed and the beach is right around the corner. So yeah, it’s the best.
Where: 1389 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
A somewhat secret cocktail bar, tucked away on the Gold Coast Hwy, Suga specialises in rum and good times and if you’re keen on either or both of those you should absolutely get down there. They have an impressive cocktail menu plus plenty of epic wines (pet nats, yes please) and beers so no matter what, you’re gonna love it.
Where: 1142 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Good Day Coffee Palm Beach
Launching a cafe in a hip and happening suburb surrounded by competition stiffer than a morning espresso is not for the faint of heart – but ever since they branched out from their OG Tugun location late last year, locals and weary travellers alike have unanimously agreed it’s always a good day for Good Day Coffee Palm Beach. Friendly faces serving Blackboard coffee and other staples like pastries and goat’s fetta laden smashed avo toast – we could easily eat and drink here every day. The epitome of simple eats, and great coffee, done well.
Where: 1073 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Ritual Yoga & Pilates
Found upstairs in a sunlit space oozing chill vibes is Ritual Yoga & Pilates. Owned by sisters Rose and Sophie, Ritual is only a couple of years old but has already become a favourite amongst both Palm Beach locals and those who reside in surrounding suburbs. If you’re in need of some rest and relaxation (or a solid sweat session), Ritual is calling your name.
Where: 9b Palm Beach Avenue, Palm Beach
Palm Beach Ave
PBA is one of those gems that so quickly won our hearts that we seem to forget this pretty-in-pink art deco stunner is only relatively new to Palmy’s ever-growing strip of uber-cool beachside hangouts. One of those venues where it’s 10’s all round, the tropical luxe, chandelier-laden interiors have us swooning every time, and we can never seem to get enough of the knockout food and cocktails (no matter how much we regret it the next morning). Plus they do bottomless brunch, so, need we say more?
Where: 6 Palm Beach Avenue, Palm Beach
Tank Bar & Dining
We can never seem to talk about Tank without the urge to get, well… tanked, which is some fairly genius subliminal marketing if you ask us. In our defense, what else are we supposed to do in a cracking little craft beer bar? We’re certainly not there to lick stamps.
The 10 rotating craft beer taps offers a nice mix of local and international brews, and the laid-back vibes of a modern beach shack style bar a hops, skip and a jump from the ocean are pretty hard to beat. Plus, with two levels, there’s plenty of primo spots to perch up, catch the sea breeze and watch the GC Hwy go by.
Where: 1166 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
As we’ve probably already well established by this point, us Gold Coasters are big suckers for a cute fit-out. It’s hard to tell if it’s the perfectly peachy-pink interiors, or the Italian aromas wafting from the kitchen that keep us coming back to Toro’s Pizza like moths to a flame. And spoiler alert: it’s definitely the latter, since there are few smells that compare to that of a freshly baked, still bubbling wood-fired pizza. Carbs, cheese, more cheese, and BYO – this place is what Italian dreams are made of.
Where: Shop 7/2 Eighth Ave, Palm Beach
Overcoming the momentary temptation to leave this one out (in hopes of greedily keeping more of those highly coveted tables all for ourselves) – but no list about epic Palmy spots would be complete with such a glaring omission. Dishing up authentic Mexican eats, the menu is short but sweet, sticking only to their specialities with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients. Any day featuring beachside, street-style tacos like the zesty Birria Beef (complete with signature consommé to dip), and a coconut marg (because marg) is a very bueno day indeed.
Where: 1136 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Canvas Palm Beach
Who doesn’t love starting their day with a visit to their friendly local barista, with a leisurely peruse of some hand crafted homewares on the side #theperfectmorningdoesexist. And hey, if some of the latter – such as a candle that smells like bliss in a jar, or some cute ceramics – happen to come home with us along with a great cup of coffee, we’ll happily take the dopamine hit while we’re doing out bit to #supportsmall.
For Palmy locals the cute digs and delightful café fare are a definite draw card, but for parents the park proximity makes this spot unparalleled – along with the blissful moment’s peace and quiet babycino buys.
(And yes, we stopped being cool right around the same time we started caring about babycinos and where the good parks are.)
Where: Shop 3, Magnoli Building, 1338 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Words by Kellie Leader.
We’re all pretty much up to speed with how the ever-evolving Palm Beach scene is something to behold. However, it’s not only novel and ultra-modern apartments we’re witnessing popping up, but also new and exciting hospitality ventures: from on-trend cafes to scintillating nighttime hangouts and about everything else in between.
But, what about a down-to-earth bakery where you can grab yourself a well-poured coffee, some incredible pastries and breads and a space where you can catch up with a friend to watch the world go by? Sounds a little too good to be true, yet it isn’t. Say hello to Well Bread & Pastry — Palm Beach’s newest euro-infused bakery!
South African husband and wife owners Michelle and Stefan spent a great deal of time working and living in Europe whilst in their twenties, and amongst their adventures and discoveries in food, there was always a strong love for bread. After many years of perfecting the art of baking the perfect loaf, chef Stefan decided it was about time he let some fortunate members of the public enjoy his efforts. And after moving from Melbourne only a few months ago, the couple has decided Palm Beach is where they intend to make this happen.
The shop space oozes French countryside bakery vibes, warm exposed wooden features with a serene and sophisticated olive green throughout. There’s some serious window benchtop action going down as well, so if you like to people-watch or grab something and have some space to yourself, you’ll be smitten. Otherwise, there’s a handful of tables for you to take a load off and enjoy yourself something a little bit tasty.
The guys here aren’t on a mission per se, but they do want to dispel the myth that bread isn’t good for you. By using live cultures in the baking process and avoiding heavily refined grains for sustainably sourced and organic flours, you can be assured that their fresh-out-the-oven breads aren’t going to spoil all those hours you’ve spent in the gym. There is a sizeable collection, including Whole Grain Sourdoughs, Milk Loaves, and Pumpkin and Soy Rolls — freshly baked and all deliciously golden brown.
On the pastry front, you’ll find drool-worthy Croissants, Pain Au Chocolats and Biscuits galore, but if you prefer something a little more substantial, you’re in luck. They’re also putting together ready-made sandwiches and their own piping hot home-baked pies right out of the oven.
For appreciators of only the best coffee, you’ll be pleased to read two different Paradox products are being utilised. The lauded Surfers Paradise roastery’s much loved Penny Lane blend will be the go-to and a rotating Single Origin for all the black coffee fans out there.
Having been open for less than a week, it seems Palm Beach has truly welcomed Well Bread & Pastry since their opening day — by turning out in huge numbers and buying bread like it’s going out of fashion. We say get in on the action and enjoy your reason to fall back in love with bread again!
Where: 6 Fifth Avenue, Palm Beach
When: Tuesday — Sunday, 6am – 2pm
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
There are some breakfast dishes just worth leaving to the professionals. We’re talking perfectly poached eggs, carefully crafted acai bowls and pancakes worth getting excited over.
So save yourself the hassle: here is where you can have a heap of perfectly cooked pancakes on the Gold Coast placed right in front of you with an impressive medley of toppings and extras.
What’s there not to get in a crush over at the Milkman’s Daughter? Apart from pouring epic coffee and being one of Mermaid Beach’s best hangouts, they are serving up pancakes you just have to see to believe. The Lemon Ricotta Pancakes are bathed in vanilla turmeric custard, passionfruit reduction and topped with pistachios and edible flowers. Possibly the healthiest AND tastiest pancakes ever to exist? Quite possibly!
Where: 2/43 Alfred Street, Mermaid Beach
Pancakes on the Rocks
As the name suggests, Pancakes on the Rocks is — guess what — all about pancakes. Sweet or savoury? They have got you and everyone in your group covered with a hefty list of delicious creations for kids and adults who haven’t grown up. Be prepared to loosen that belt a notch!
Where: The Esplanade, Shop T1.31, Surfers Paradise
The entirely plant-based menu at Blendlove doesn’t have even one crumb of refined sugar or highly processed food at all. Zip. Nada! That also includes their — always available — Summer Pancakes which are gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan topped with date/caramel sauce, strawberries, sweet dukkah and seasonal fruit.
Where: 1/253 Ferry Road, Southport
At Barefoot Barista, they call them hotcakes and they’re gluten-free, and hey — they are a must-try. The Ricotta Hotcakes are served with fresh fruit, toasted seeds & nuts, Canadian maple & organic coconut ice cream. All the hotcakes are baked to order, so you may have wait a couple of extra minutes, but these insta-worthy morsels are worth it!
Where: 5/10 Palm Beach Avenue, Palm Beach
BSKT Cafe is living proof that pancakes can indeed be healthy and addictively delicious. Why not indulge yourself in the Nana Choc Nut Pancakes with a base of Vegan Choc Chip Pancakes and drenched in Banana & Nut Dukkah, Nut Butter & Chocolate Drizzle. You know you want to…
Where: 4 Lavarack Road, Nobby Beach
This nestled away residential area café is a must-visit. Aside from a vibrant breakfast menu that reads straight from your wildest dreams, their Vanilla Pancakes come topped with lashings of mascarpone, almond crumble and only the most authentic Canadian-made maple syrup — what a way to start the day.
Where: 100 Burleigh Street, Burleigh Waters
Espresso Moto is now double the fun with two locations to enjoy some tasty pancakes. Their pan-cooked seasonal hotcakes are fat and fluffy and covered in berry goodness, smothered in caramel and topped with ice cream! We have to say, some of the very best around in our opinions.
Where: Shop 1/88 Markeri Street, Mermaid Beach and 2/1389 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Stable Coffee & Kitchen
Ok, so we cheated a little here, technically speaking, this hotspot’s take are crêpes. You’d be forgiven for thinking these are just pancakes but with a French accent. And you’re partly right; however, the Banana Banoffee Crêpe are seductively thinner, made with buckwheat and crammed with coconut yoghurt, grilled banana and chocolate pecan crumble. If this already doesn’t sound divine, add that these are Vegan and gluten-free, we think you’ve already started planning your trip to Tugun!
Where: Cornerstone Stores, 570 Gold Coast Highway, Tugun
Words by Alex Mitcheson.