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Rosella’s Bar

They say Australia is the lucky country and in particular those of us who call the Gold Coast home (made that bit up, but look around friends). Well, in the last week the lucky country got even luckier and (again) in particular a little place on the south east coast of Queensland, we like to call Burleigh Heads.

The latest little pot of gold comes to us in the form of a brand new bar but not just any brand new bar friends, it’s the kind that dreams are made of.

Rosella’s Bar flew into town just last week ahead of the Australia Day long weekend and it is the refined Aussie-inspired bar you never knew you needed in your life. But need it you do and, as usual, we’re here to tell you why.

It’s the work of local lads Jon Debeere (next-level wine connoisseur) and Jack Connor (ex-Aloha cocktail creator extraordinaire) who are both passionate about all-Aussie adventures and wanted to showcase the work of local wine and craft beer makers, plus do a little making of their own.

It’s an intimate space found on the highway in Burleigh, where a little hairdressing salon once lived, and streuth is it a beauty. Louvered windows open out into the street so you can perch yourself up there and watch the (unfairly good looking) world go by while a couple of booths and high tables line one wall and, of course, you can perch at the bar and have a chat with the boys (or talk their ears off if you’re us).

Brightly coloured, Aussie-inspired artwork is hung throughout, vintage, stained glass light shades hang overhead and Ken Done cloths line the bar. It’s beautifully put together, refined with a side of tongue in cheek and we are absolutely here for it.

Let’s chat drinks though because they are, of course the star of the show. The cocktail menu is unlike anything you’ve seen before with over 10 signature cocktails plus all your old faves. Each one is made with Australian spirits and each one is way more epic than the last.

The Ironman, for example, is made with Beenleigh white rum, Bundaberg small batch rum, lime, banana and a Nutri Grain Orgeat (a housemade syrup type situation) and topped with, you guessed it, our beloved Nutri Grain. It’s a gamechanger and our new go-to tipple.

The Rosella is made with White Light Vodka, rosella jam, Australian bitter, lemon and lilly pilly and served in a rosella shaped glass, all delightful and refreshing. Honestly, they’re all some of the best we’ve ever sampled so do yourself a favour and get there ASAP.

The wine list is equally as impressive, filled with natural, Australian-produced wine made with minimal intervention, many of which you won’t find anywhere else on the Gold Coast (or Queensland for that matter).

Rosella’s are all about showcasing Pet Nat wines (Pétillant-naturel) which refers to sparkling wines produced in the ancient way where the wine is bottled before primary fermentation and finished without the addition of secondary yeasts or sugars.

Sounds fancy, is amazing. We taste-tested quite a few and, let it be known, they are some of the most flavour-filled, clean tasting wines we’ve ever come across. And we’ve come across a lot.

Oh and there’s also Fosters. In a can. Not to mention MANY other Aussie beers you’ve probably never seen before. We’re in love.

Now to the food.

The menu has been designed with a nostalgic nod to the Aussie eats you know and love but minus the throw-it-on-the-barbie-and-hope-for-the-best attitude your Dad was all about.

Think Vegemite Beef Jerky, Bug Sambos, Raw Aussie Beef Burgers and Prawn Cocktails but all made with a refined, sophistication to match the exceptional drinks menus.

Last but not least, there are jaffles. The very best jaffles at that. How does Vegemite, Cheddar and Wattleseed butter sound? Yep. There’s also Onepot Lamb with soft herb cheese and spiced chutney.

Okay we’re done. Seriously just go. Right now. We’ll seeya there.

Love you ‘Straya.

LOCATION: 6/1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: 4pm until late weekdays and 12pm until late weekends

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Iku Yakitori Bar

I think we can all agree Japanese food is a gift from the Gods. Particularly when it’s consumed in a floating, recycled railway sleeper booth and with the sweet smell of charcoal wafting through the air.

There probably aren’t enough words to describe the sensory experience that is Burleigh’s new back alley Japanese Yakitori Bar, but in the name of delivering the news, we’ll give it a crack.

Iku Yakitori Bar is the latest baby of local restaurant dream team Mitch and Nerissa McCluskey (of Etsu Izakaya and Commune fame) who will soon be welcoming an actual baby into the world (because sleep is overrated yo).

The vibe is dark and moody with the aforementioned booths floating a foot off the floor opposite the Binchotan (grill) and decked out with leather cushions and cosy, up-close-and-personal feels. At the alley end of the venue, a low-lit bar and velvet corner lounge await and you may dine in any area that tickles your fancy. With an authentic, somewhat massaging cobblestone floor, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d just stepped off the streets of Tokyo. Alas, work tomorrow.

In case you’ve never heard of a yakitori bar, the gist is this – yakitori quite literally translates to grilled chicken and no part of the chook will escape the Binchotan uncooked. That’s right foodies, your boundaries are about to be tested and you should not be sad about it. Thighs, liver, skin, cartilage and hearts will all be skewered for your tasting pleasure.

Tenderloin, seafood and veggies will also be stuck on sticks and there are other delightful things such as edamame dip and raw fish to consume too.

Bar manager extraordinaire Adam Bastow was brought down from Etsu to work his magic in the Japanese whiskey-focused space. He and the team will also be creating a new, fresh produce focused cocktail menu each week to keep you on your toes. Ambitious lot aren’t they.

Charcoal for the Binchotan is imported from Japan and everything from the plates to the leather menus and napkins have been handmade by the team (read: Nerissa). It’s tiring just reading that.

So many words, so many reasons to go. Thanks for reading.

LOCATION: 1730 Gold Coast Hwy (front entrance) or head in through the back on Justin Lane (next to Lockwood Bar).
HOURS: 5pm until late daily.

Words and photos by Kirra Smith.

BKA Vegan Restaurant & Bar

Oh hey, we’re here to chat about Burleigh Heads again – the fastest growing foodie scene in Australia (made that up but it wouldn’t surprise us if it were true).

The latest exciting eatery to join the ranks of Burleigh’s rapidly expanding restaurant extravaganza (dramatic) is BKA Vegan, a stylish plant-based venue found underneath Ambience on Burleigh and open as of right now.

BKA Vegan has moved into the spot once occupied by The Local and it’s got that low-lit, moody industrial vibe we know and love. A sign splashed across the wall reads ‘Be Kind Always’ (which is what BKA stands for) and that, friends, is the entire premise of the newbie.

Earthy tones, exposed bricks and raw unpolished timber makes up the bar area and it’s a welcoming, edgy and delightful addition to beautiful Burleigh.

You can sit inside to soak up the good vibes or sidle up to a footpath table and watch the world pass you by.

Quite obviously, the menu is of the entirely vegan persuasion and every single thing on it (besides the bread) is made in house. Let it be known however that yes, it’s a vegan restaurant and while the food is indeed plant based, it is also simply food that is tasty, comforting and full of surprising, delightful flavours.

Owners Kylie Wood, a vegan of eight years, and Ryan Jacob wanted to create a space that offered hearty, tasty food and to educate people about being kind, both to one another and the planet. Ryan has been a chef for over 30 years and brings his expertise to a menu filled with unique flavour profiles that we shall now discuss.

There are many dishes worth mentioning here starting with small plates. We were particularly fond of the Spring Rolls (best we’ve ever tasted) and the Stuffed Crumbed Mushrooms. More please.

The larger plates were even better. Highly recommend the Mushroom Satay Ramen (flavour sensation), the Eggplant Cannelloni with spinach, cheese and lentil ragu and the Black Bean Noodle Salad with edamame, pickled ginger, wakame and spicy black bean dressing. Especially the Eggplant Cannelloni, what a treat.

The drinks menu is filled with vegan wines and beers (FYI Burleigh Brewing’s beers are all 100% vegan) and the cocktail menu is as good as you’ll find anywhere.

The entire crew are passionate about creating a conscious, ethical space and it shows both in the food and on their smiling, stoked-to-be-there faces.

Good food and good vibes, two of our favourite things. Get down there and give them some love Gold Coasters.

LOCATION: 1/1837 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: 10am until 11pm Wednesday to Sunday

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Green Folk Botany Shop

If you ask us (and also every single scientist), there can never be enough plants. As if it wasn’t enough that they create the oxygen we need to breathe, they’re also very pretty and make your house all cosy and natural looking.

With this in mind, we bring you exciting news. Burleigh’s favourite/only back alley, Justin Lane, is getting a new store filled with all the loveliest indoor plants imaginable, because of course it is.

Green Folk Botany Shop is said to be an urban jungle atelier (which is a fancy French word we had to look up, meaning workshop) stocked with lush foliage, plants, designer pots and hand crafted vessels. Who doesn’t love a good vessel?

It will be a modern boutique akin to the plant nurseries your mum used to drag you to as a kid except beautiful and with art and books and all our favourite things really.

Green Folk’s founder Emily Cloke is a Horticulturalist and Landscape Designer and if we ask nicely maybe she’ll come and transform our entire house into a jungle style scenario.

Her adventure began with creating a bespoke range of Kokedamas and handmade concrete pots filled with unusual succulents and interior plants before opening a collaborative pop up shop in Palm Beach.

Now, she is bringing the plants to the people and the people should not be sad about it.

Emily chose Burleigh for her venture because obviously Burleigh is epic but in her words, it’s the heart of the Gold Coast, and with a cool little community vibe unlike anything else around, we are pretty sure Green Folk is going to be a hit.

Green Folk Botany Shop is due to open mid April so you’ve got a bit of time to get your life in order before you blow all your money on indoor plants.

LOCATION: Justin Lane (next door to Lockwood Bar), Burleigh Heads

Words by Kirra Smith

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