It’s the Gold Coast suburb with a unique feel; somewhere between a rural farm town and quaint historic village. And although Mudgeeraba seems forever away for some, especially from the hustle and bustle of the beachside ‘burbs, when it comes to it, this secluded corner of our city is much closer than you think.
Once you pull up and stick the handbrake on, the tree-lined streets and cruisy locals ensure welcoming laidback vibes are everywhere you look. Throw in some tasty eats, a bit of history and a few drinks and well, you’ve got yourself a winner.
We’ve studied Mudgeeraba closely to round up the eight things locals love about their locale. Because, quite frankly, we’re pretty sure you’re gonna love ‘em too.
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it till we’re blue in the face, Japanese cuisine is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy. Anekawa was created by Japanese chef Koki Anekawa (ex Rick Shores), who set out to marry traditional cooking techniques with ethically sourced local and Australian produce. The whole food and service of this place are utterly polished. Dishes include bonito-crusted bamboo shoots with lemon aspen and sansho salt, as well as pan-fried ocean trout with green-pepper kosho. The drinks list is a play by play of carefully considered whiskies and minimal intervention wines — pre-order your Uber home right away.
Where: Corner of Swan Lane & Railway Street, Mudgeeraba
Skirmish Gold Coast
What could be more fun than firing high-velocity balls of paint at your mates while they squeal and run away? Nothing at all is what. You can have exactly that good time in Mudgeeraba and seriously, what are you waiting for? Grab your ‘friends’ and go book right now. Pleasure and pain await.
Where: 42 John Rodgers Road, Mudgeeraba
The Oak Café
With some ultra-cool interior vibes, The Oak Café is cooking up all of the delicious, nutritious goods (including some EPIC cakes and cookies). Their approach is with a healthy spin, as you may have seen in our previous story, we ate one of the best breakfasts ever there, so we implore you not to miss this one. Great place to pit stop if you’re adventuring off into the hinterland also.
Where: 19 Robert Street, Mudgeeraba
The Wine Barrel
The name says it all really and as you well know, anything to do with wine and you’ve got our attention. Not only is there quite the selection of tasty tipples, but there are also many tapas dishes like Mexican style pulled pork spring rolls with jalapeno salsa and popcorn panna cotta for those with a sweet tooth. Yep. The high tables are old redundant wine barrels — so that’s fun!
Where: 59 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba
Earth and Skin
Stop by organic beauty spa, Earth & Skin and trust us, your body will thank you later. The spa is a delight, comprising itself of a stunning Queenslander-style cottage at the entrance to Mudgeeraba: let it be the first or last thing you do — but be sure you pay a visit! Offering a range of blissful and rounded treatments including organic facials, sugaring, eyebrow shaping, eco spray tans and a whole lot more.
Where: 2 Regency Place, Mudgeeraba
If smoked meats are your thing, look no further than the Woodchoppers Inn. With a state-of-the-art meat smoker machine — which would impress NASA — they end up creating the most mouth-watering flavours in the form of tender and moreish meats. Think 12 hour cooked pulled pork burgers and ribs that’d make any vegan think twice.
Where: 64 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba
Formerly Tea Topia, this place is so beyond pretty you’ll be asking yourself why you’ve never been before. Found in another big old Queenslander under the mountain, Bon appa’Tea offers one of the most delightful High Teas you’ve ever seen, so good you might think you’re been whisked off to the jolly old England. Cast your eyes outside though, and all the surrounding beautiful sub-tropical greenery will no doubt bring you back to your senses
Where: 7 Johns Road, Mudgeeraba
The Barn at Mudgeeraba is the casual yet rustic venue you just have to experience for yourself. Hidden away at the base of Springbrook National Park, you’ll come across the welcoming little barn at first and think you’ve taken a wrong turn. But you haven’t — this is it! An outdoor deck and beer garden sit right beside native bush meaning you can take in all that serenity, whilst enjoying some incredible paddock to plate inspired dishes with a peppering of Italian influence. Should you opt to bring the kids, don’t worry, there’s a baby animal pen with a brigade of friendly goats, ducks and chickens for them to make friends with.
Where: 5 Boomerang Road, Mudgeeraba
Words by Alex Mitcheson
In case you’re somehow unaware, whisky is the one tipple that will cure almost anything that ails you. Feeling a little melancholy after a long day at work? Whisky. Unable to leave your house to go to work? Whisky. Thirsty? Whisky. It’s a gift from above honestly.
Now we hear what some of you might be saying, “whisky only tastes good with Coke” or “it’s rocket fuel” etc. Well friends (who are probably called Karen), you’re wrong and/or you’ve been drinking the incorrect type for way too long.
Which is okay really because we are here today to inform you of both the recent opening of new venue in Mudgeeraba that is both the Coast’s first bar dedicated to whisky AND why you need to get in there and sample some of the good stuff ASAP.
Now, Whisky Lounge Mudgeeraba as it is aptly named opened only a few short weeks ago and is the work of two lads who moved all the way up from Melbourne (smart) to bring us this lovely newbie. Donald and Uwe had the dream of opening their own bar a few years ago and after Uwe moved his family up to the Coast and found the space, Donald decided to do the same and now we all get to drink whisky all the time. Perfect.
It’s a cosy little venue tucked inside the Village Precinct on Railway Street with plenty of natural light streaming through, comfy armchairs to kick back in and a bar absolutely stacked with sips from across the world.
The idea was to create somewhere with a strong community vibe where you can pop in for a drink or three, have a chat and learn a thing or two about delicious, delicious whisky from the pros. And that it is.
Scotland, Donald’s homeland is very well represented with brands like Aultmore, Macallan, Glen Grant and Glenmorangie on the shelf. Of course there are Japanese favourites like Matsui and Kensei, as well as bottles from the US, Canada, Ireland and indeed, Australia.
Yes friends, Australia is home to several world class whisky distilleries and we obviously recommend trying those first. Lark is a Tassie fave, along with Starward from Melbourne and Nant, also a Tassie drop.
There are over 130 to try right now, each with a distinct flavour and all aged uniquely and for varying amounts of time. More are added all the time so you might as well either plan to settle in for the long haul or go back time and time again.
Whisky Lounge is the perfect addition to Mudgeeraba and we absolutely guarantee you’ll find at least one (but probably 10) sips you adore. Oh and you can BYO food so that’s a good time too.
Pop and in pay the boys a visit, they would love to have you.
LOCATION: Shop 2A, 58 Railway St, Mudgeeraba
HOURS: Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday from 3pm to 9pm, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 3pm to 11pm
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Japanese dishes are an (absolutely delicious) art form and one that we are happy to indulge in every single day of our lives. Particularly when they are created by someone who has been perfecting said art form for many moons.
Which is exactly what is happening in Mudgeeraba of late due to the opening of Anekawa – an exceptional new Japanese eatery you are going to want to sample at the earliest available opportunity.
It’s an intimate space, perfectly fitted out with light wooden furniture, earthy textures, raw slabs of stone for tabletops and a light sprinkling of draped greenery. You’ll recognise the work of Owen Thompson who has designed and created interiors for the likes of Project Tokyo, Baked at Ancora and Double Barrel Kitchen (to name a few).
The bar is the feature of Anekawa, again made of a huge piece of stone with a few bottles stocked on the wall behind and piles of ceramics perfectly placed to create a cosy, homey vibe that we could absolutely never recreate at home. It’s perfection. As is everything about Anekawa honestly.
Owner and Chef Koki have gone above and beyond to develop a menu that’s quite unlike anything we’ve ever seen with unusual dishes and cooking techniques designed to get you to step outside of your comfort zone.
The focus is on local produce sourced from growers and suppliers with ethical practices and using organic ingredients as much as possible. Koki is very mindful of where everything is grown and how it’s harvested and the high quality produce is the driver behind a menu that changes often, depending on availability.
For example, at the moment there’s a dish involving a Long Spined Sea Urchin because it’s in season and Apellation Oysters are sourced from premium leases in areas where there are native wetlands and are not mass harvested. How good.
One of a couple of the staples on the menu is the Organic Gotofu with sesame soy and cherry granola, which is probably not a dish we’d usually try but was one of the most delicious combinations of flavours we’ve tasted. Absolutely next-level.
Rice Clay Pots are another staple and you can order those in combinations like beef, coddled egg & chives, snow peas & school prawns or sweet corn & butter.
Chargrilled Fish Heads with Umedare and Chives and Pan Fried Petuna Ocean Trout with green pepper kosho and chargrilled capsicum are dishes that are currently on the menu and ones you won’t want to miss out on.
Chef Koki uses cooking techniques unique to his birthplace of Saga in Japan and they’re not often used across the rest of the country, let alone here.
There’s also a tightly curated cocktail list and of course, sakes, whiskey’s and beers.
Exceptional, in a word. It’s been a minute since we’ve seen an addition to the Gold Coast dining scene as unique and exciting as Anekawa and we are quite thrilled about it. Go see and sample for yourself.
LOCATION: Cnr Swan Lane and Railway Street, Mudgeeraba
HOURS: 5.30pm until 9pm (last orders) Tuesday to Saturday
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
It seems many Gold Coasters are keen to spend time away from the city, amongst the trees with very little noise, excessive peace and quiet and happily, there are a few restaurant owners around that have been paying attention.
The latest of whom are the team who owned Marina Mirage’s stunning Italian venue Fellini, who as it turns out, also own a little place called Ecostudio Fellini in the foothills of Springbrook that has been a wedding and accommodation venue for quite some time.
As of last week, it also became the home of a new restaurant called The Barn and that friends, is what we’re here to discuss.
The Barn opened recently and already, local folks are scrambling to get a table and it’s not hard to see why. It’s set within the bushland of Springbrook and it’s literally a barn that was once home to the landowners and has since been transformed into a restaurant complete with fireplaces, a mini antiques museum, a sprawling outdoor deck overlooking the bush and the baby animal pen (more on that later) and a soon-to-be-opened private dining room.
Out the back you’ll find a veggie garden and a baby animal pen within which there are baby goats (so cute), ducks and chickens.
There’s another animal enclosure where adult chickens live and those young ladies provide the eggs for the restaurant along with the fresh produce grown in the veggie patch.
As we said, it’s a paddock to plate dining experience and the Italian slash Japanese menu is packed with high quality, tasty eats.
Think dishes like Beef Carpaccio, Charcuterie platters, Chicken and Asparagus Tortellini, a Tuscan-style Sirloin Steak and a Seafood Pasta that looks divine.
Pair any one of those with an Italian wine and you’ve got yourself quite the time.
Soon enough, the team will be opening a store where you can pick up fresh pasta and sauces and there’ll also eventually be a mini farmers market where local producers will be selling their fresh goodies.
If you’re one of the those Gold Coasters who feels the need for some fresh air and you don’t mind a delicious feast at the same time, The Barn is for you.
LOCATION: 5 Boomerang Road, Mudgeeraba
HOURS: Open for breakfast Saturday and Sunday, lunch Thursday to Sunday and dinner Thursday to Saturday