You know the saying “all good things come to those who wait”? Well we have waited. And good things HAVE COME in the form of the most hotly anticipated restaurant opening of the year, Michael Lambie’s Rubi Red. Cue the hysteria!
To say we’re excited would be a gross understatement because this place has all the makings of an icon. For a start, Michael Lambie….and need we really say more? This world-renowned chef and culinary trailblazer boosts a resume so impressive, that we literally had to read it three times to take in all the household names.
Secondly, the vision presented on paper by Michael and fit out superheroes Zero 9 Constructions has translated to the real deal with the utmost accuracy, finesse, and wow factor. Our sky-high expectations were exceeded as the it-girl vibes of this two-storey stunner are off the chain. Blending bold and dusty shades of pink and you guessed it, red, with black, white and rich greenery, it’s on-fleek yet unique with just the right amount of oriental accents. From the plush velvety couches, red perspex overhead at the bar accompanied by neon pink strip lighting, to the chinoiserie wallpaper in the private dining room, it’s a feast for the eyes. Offering both downstairs and upstairs seating with the full menu offering on both, it’ll be a hard decision to make. And we haven’t even started on the food yet.
On that note, ohmygawd can we order literally everything please and thank you?! The menu features an exciting array of some of Michael’s much-loved dishes, along with Rubi originals created with local and regional produce. For starters, let’s talk, well starters.
Expect Freshly Shucked Oysters with red nam jim or ponzu dipping sauce; Kingfish Sashimi with green chilli, coconut foam and Thai Basil; Yellowfin Tuna Tataki with Rubi Red ginger and wasabi dressing; Salt & Pepper Chicken Ribs with lemon and kewpie mayo and Rare Breed Sticky Pork Belly with palm sugar caramel, young coconut salad and red chilli to name a few.
The Dumplings & Buns menu will make you salivate with the likes of Crayfish Buns featuring a milk bun with fresh crayfish and Rubi Red cocktail sauce; Singapore Style Crab Dumplings with black vinegar and chilli oil dressing; Korean Fried Chicken Bun with spicy gochujang and pickled radish and Ginger King Prawn Dumplings with chilli and spring onion dressing. Yep, we just wiped our drool away.
If you have room (make room), sink your teeth into the Drunken Free-Range Chicken with Shao Xing wine, spring onion and ginger; Roasted Miso Pumpkin with miso glaze and red curry dressing; Cantonese Style Steam Cod Fillet with ginger, spring onion and smoking sesame oil and a Michael Lambie classic, Crispy Fried 1/2 Chinese Sichuan Duck with water chestnuts and tamarind sesame dressing. These are larger dishes designed to share but as if – anyone who tries to stick their fork on our plate will live to regret it. And if you’re already having a hard time deciding before you’ve even arrived, we love the Let Rubi Choose option of 5 plates for $62pp or 7 plates for $75pp, giving you a fantastic sample of Rubi Red’s best!
You will however need to choose your accompanying drinks, so speaking of our fave liquid treats (another nice segway) you NEED to order the Hahachika with rhubarb, ginger, basil and pomegranate because it pairs perfectly with, well, everything. It’s even dubbed “liquid poetry capturing the essence of living in the moment” and we are here for it. We’re also not saying no to the Mai Thyme with Umeshu, peanut, thyme, pineapple and almond, it’s screaming a little me time! This Rubi chick must love her beverages because the cocktail menu is simply perf, and this is yet another reason we are obsessed with her.
So make your way down to the old Hellenika and Miss Mee ‘hood, pull up a pew (maybe even outside at street level because you can here!) and marvel in the magnificence of the eclectic and intriguing, Ms Rubi Red.
Where: 2235 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach
When: Opens Friday 11th March at 12pm. General opening hours: Tuesday & Wednesday 5pm till late, Thursday 5pm till late, Friday – Sunday 12pm till late.
Words by Bianca Trathen.
When we heard award-winning Executive Chef and hospitality honcho Michael Lambie had relocated from Melbourne to our sunny Gold Coast shores, we high-fived (a lot), licked our lips and waited patiently for him to bring his world-renowned culinary magic to the local eats scene. And thankfully, we won’t need to wait much longer with the unveiling of his brand-new venue inches closer, as Rubi Red Kitchen & Bar will be opening next month at Nobby Beach in the old Hellenika & Miss Mee location. Squeal!!
The inspiration behind what’s set to become the new ‘it’ place in town, is a beautiful Asian Lady named Rubi Red who has travelled extensively throughout Asia, with an enormous passion for delicious cuisine. Rubi naturally fell head over heels for the GC (she’s only human…well, fictitiously human….but same-same), and decided it was THE spot to pay homage to her eclectic Asian dining experiences and open her namesake restaurant.
With capacity to seat over 300 guests, this lush Asian sensation will set our foody hearts a-flutter. Currently undergoing an extensive and lavish renovation by the team at Zero 9 Constructions, Rubi Red will feature a stunning restaurant on the ground floor, with dining extending out onto the pavement. Yes, you read that right – we are becoming as cool as our interstate and international neighbours! Because it’s the GC and we heart our rooftop bars, Rubi will also integrate this into her multi-level magic, plus a super-swish private dining room for those special events and celebrations.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, Michael is one of the masterminds behind the likes of Taxi Kitchen (Melbourne CBD), Lamaro’s Hotel gastropub (South Melbourne), The Smith (Prahan) and most recently, Ruby’s southern culinary ass-kicking sista, Lucy Liu (Melbourne CBD). He’s also enjoyed stints as Head Chef at The Stokehouse (St Kilda), Circa at The Prince (St Kilda), and Marco Pierre White’s self-titled restaurant in Knightsbridge. With numerous chefs’ hats and awards under his belt, this man is a culinary wizard and someone we will simply forbid from ever leaving us because, well, all of what we have previous stated.
Patrons can expect nothing less than the best from Michael’s new planned Pan-Asian menu for Rubi Red. His previous hit dishes at Lucy Liu include Soft Shell Crab Jianbing with spicy hoisin, Kingfish Sashimi with green nam jim and coconut and Thai basil and the larger famed Pork Hock with apple kimchi pancakes and hoisin. If these dishes don’t get your mouth-watering of what is instore for us, we don’t know what will.
Accrediting his previous restaurants’ success to a savvy business model offering superior quality at the right place and in the right environment, Michael is one clever cookie in addition to being a world-class food guru. Excited to mentor the up-and-coming chefs of the future (watch this space – anyone who works under him will go places), he has handpicked the crème of the crop to help give Rubi the edge she deserves.
With plusher than it-girl vibes and what promises to be a showstopping menu, we’re calling it – Rubi, you’re destined to be a sight for sore eyes – and our flavour of the year.
Where: 2235 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach
When: March (watch this space for more details)
Words by Bianca Trathen.
We love a suburb with a generous helping of things to do, eat and drink (not necessarily in that order) and thankfully, we are blessed with several such ‘burbs here on the Coast.
One note-worthy standout is the seaside sweetheart Nobby Beach. Whether you’re footloose and fancy-free, or heading out and about with the fam, there is much to love.
Let us share with you thirteen local haunts which have helped gain Nobbys such an unwavering – and ever-growing – staunch following.
Rubi Red Kitchen & Bar
She may have just opened, but Ruby is one helluva lady who’ll leave you 110% satisfied with every bite and sip. With restaurateur and chef extraordinaire Michael Lambie in the driver’s seat bringing his international culinary prowess to the table, you know you’re in for something uber spesh. Between the drool-worthy modern Asian cuisine menu and it-girl feels, it’s simply unmissable.
Where: 2235 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
Zephyr Kitchen & Bar
Its casual yet sophisticated vibe, cool elegance and tropical feel make this newcomer a welcome addition and an instant hit amongst Nobby’s locals. With Mediterranean nosh and cocktails so good you’ll order way more than your PT would like (side note: try the Mushroom Truffle Arancini Balls and ALL the pizzas), if you haven’t already been, off you pop.
Where: 2215 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
This place is a VIBE. The sun-lit rooftop is the perfect setting to sip on signature cocktails & graze on a unique “Florribean” inspired menu, combining flavours of the Caribbean and South America. Promising an ‘overseas’ experience with styling accents from Palm Springs, California, Miami and Florida, trust us – she delivers the goods. And a view!
Where: Upstairs 2215 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
You had us at Mexican. Find us a human who doesn’t appreciate a good Mexican feed and no, this is simply not possible. With eclectic art, vibes-a-plenty and all the quintessential modern Mexican foods you could hope for, this place is a sure thing. It’s laid-back atmosphere and super friendly staff add to its appeal, and any place that serves churros and cocktails can do no wrong.
Where: Level 1, 2223 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
Bine Bar & Dining
Let’s talk Bine. Specialising in craft beer and perfectly matched food, and…need we say more? With 8 rotating taps, a bunch of different bottled beers, a selection of wines and mouth-watering cocktail options matched with a modest yet v decadent menu, there are plenty of reasons to love it….and come back again and again.
Where: 1/28 Chairlift Ave, Nobby Beach
Now there’s a decent dose of Japanese going around our hood, but we can never get enough. Have any of these sushi bars or poke bowl dreamboats failed us? The answer is a hard no. Okazu is no exception, this convenient grab and go spot featuring Donburi, Okonomiyaki and Sushi Rolls is as fresh as it is delicious and it has us coming back every day.
Where: 2223 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
If you’re talking a GC institution, this.is.it. Rare Groove buys, sells and trades records, tapes and CDs of all genres (tapes – eeee!). Step inside and you’re transported back in time with old-school band posters which we recognise from our bedroom wall circa 1999, and hundreds of albums to peruse. Warning: you may end up here for three times as long as you intended.
Where: 2241B Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
Ahh BSKT, you are simply the gift that keeps on giving. With a menu that never disappoints and a cool, confident yet relaxed vibe reserved for enduring supernovas of this calibre, if you haven’t been here yet are you even a true Gold Coaster? Consistently voted one of the best tables in town, there is not a single dish that doesn’t hit a home run.
Where: 4 Lavarack Rd, Nobbys
If health food is your jam (sugar-free jam of course), one would hope you’ve cottoned on to The Shack Superfood Café and if not, it’s about time you convert. With tasty eco-friendly meals like smoothies, acai bowls and wraps in a breezy, non-pretentious environment, the brand spanking new version of the previous fave The Shack Superfood Café, lives up to its predecessor’s high standards…and then some.
Where: 2221 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
The Backyard Café
Although tears-a-flowed when Yard Café closed (RIP), the silver lining is that it was reborn as the new-you-beaut Backyard Café. Serving up scrummy brekkies and brunches, don’t even start us on the actual ‘backyard’ area (hot tip: kids will love it), or the after hours Tex Mex with a side of many margies!
Where: 17 Lavarack Rd, Nobby Beach
A nautical-themed rum and whisky bar delivering old school service and quality, it’s a long-standing crowd pleaser for good reason. The space is low-lit, close-knit and always pumping. Swing in for some delish share plates, a drink or two and soak up the intimate ambience. Add live music to the equation and voila – it’s a recipe for amazingness.
Where: 4/2237 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
Speaking of Mexicali and epic art, a notorious and much-loved part of the Nobbys highway strip is the eye-catching mural adorning one side of the restaurant. Designed and painted by local legend Luke Day, the colourful creation and all its pinky bluey goodness has become a favourite Insta-snap opp. Say cheese…or churros!
Where: The north side of Mexicali (you won’t miss it)
SOMM Wine Store
Yeah we’ve talked a lot about foody joints (how unlike us – said no-one ever) but there is absolutely no denying that SOMM Wine store is a firm local favourite of the vino variety. Owned by husband and wife duo Joe and Natalie, their backstory is reflected in the carefully curated wines begging to occupy real estate at your next dinner party. Specialising in a boutique wineries, you’ll find a winner (or five) every visit.
Where: 2245 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
Words by Bianca Trathen.
We could eat Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and drink cocktails every night of the week and literally no-one is surprised to hear this. With such unwavering commitment to the cause, our ecstatic reaction upon hearing that Nobby’s new kid on the block Zephyr Kitchen and Bar was about to open was a given. Yep, We.Were.Shooketh. And so were the cocktails (more on that later…), with a unanimous “hells yeah” as we packed our appetites and told Mr Uber to step on it.
Born from a vision to create a different kind of dining experience within the much-loved Nobbys precinct, there’s a lot to heart about Zephyr. As soon as we laid eyes on this casual yet sophisticated space, its cool elegance, tropical feels, light and bright walls, flecks of gold and pops of on-trend greenery spoke to us. And guys, the plants, ferns and vines are actually ALL real, and can we just move in already coz our obsession with foliage is unrelenting.
Owners and triple threat Jimmy Tantsis-Hall, Nathan Favro and Alex Ghazarian (Jimmy brought us Tropic Vice last year, and Nathan and Alex also recently brought us Toro’s Pizza) are the ultimate hands-on business operators…and we don’t mean that figuratively. Nathan (who if you’ve got a keen eye, you’ll see featured on Netflix’s new Byron Baes) and Alex share the Head Chef hat combining their culinary wizardry, while Jimmy and his impeccable eye for detail are to thank for the cool interior styling. Special shoutout to the neon Zephyr Bar sign, hugged by vines and packing an almighty punch on the white exposed brick wall. It’s a vibe.
The open-plan layout is welcoming and lends itself to some epic people watching (guilty pleasure 101), with your choice of indoor or outdoor dining. Accommodating 35 bods inside with another 15+ standing at the bar, plus seating for 24 people outside, the size and design delivers atmosphere and ambience, without sacrificing the intimate feels.
Everything about Zephyr is carefully constructed to provide an all-in experience, from the food and drinks to the music. On that note, the place seamlessly transitions from dining destination to bustling bar, with DJ’s and live tunes. And sorry, but who doesn’t love a venue with chameleon superpowers.
If you can’t pick a dish, let us. The signature Mushroom Truffle Arancini Balls marry 3 of the best things, like ever, and we strongly suggest you order multiple serves. The oh-so-fresh and flavoursome Calamari Fritti also deserves a nod and yes, best you order a few of those too. Don’t forget the authentic Italian Style Pizzas because if one thing is fo sho, these guys give good pizza. And by good, we mean expletive upon expletive good. Plus, if you can’t be bothered cooking during the week (same), get on board with their $25 per person all-you-can-eat pizza and $5 tapas plates. We are ALL about this!
Now back to the cocktails because… priorities, and let’s just say 007 has never experienced a martini quite like this. We’re talking White chocolate passionfruit and no sir, we did not make that up. They are terrifyingly easy to drink and our heads are bound to hurt tomorrow but #WORTHIT.
Where: 2215 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
When: Tuesday to Friday 4pm til late. Saturday & Sunday 12pm til late
Words by Bianca Trathen.