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Ryan Manthey, Mint Designer Kitchens

From kitchen renos to multi-million dollar homes.

Ryan Manthey is the Gold Coast local tradie turned business owner of Mint Designer Kitchens. From kitchen renos to multi-million dollar homes (we’ve heard there’s been remote-controlled drop down bars and showstopping back-lit marble counters), Mint has been specialising in making client’s dreams a reality since 2009. Operating out of a purpose-built, fully-equipped showroom in Southport, clients can be inspired by the full range on display. The recent increase of people spending more time at home has led to Gold Coasters reassessing their living situation and turning their home into a sanctuary, leading to a very busy time for Mint. We sat down recently with Ryan to talk about the company’s success and why Mint is leading the field in custom designer kitchens and bathrooms.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
As long as I can remember. I was born in Mackay and moved to the Gold Coast when I was two. My family lived in the same house on Hillview Parade at Ashmore until I was in my 20’s and since then I’ve bounced around the GC and am now living in Surfers Paradise.

What do you love most about living here?
I love everything about the Gold Coast – the laid back atmosphere, the people, my crew of friends and most of my family are here. On the weekends, when I get any free time, I go boating on the Broadwater or jet skiing with my friends. I love that at the end of a hard day at work I can walk to the beach, put my feet in the sand and the ocean and chill out.

Tell us about your career thus far.
After I left grade 12 at Trinity Lutheran Collage, I did an apprenticeship with a shopfitting company. Following this, I worked at large commercial joinery manufacturer. I started to think about starting my own business and in 2009 Mint Designer Kitchens was born. Mint started out with just me on the tools and has grown to one of the Gold Coast’s largest bespoke kitchen and joinery businesses with a large showroom and factory in Southport.

Tell us about Mint Designer Kitchens.
Mint Designer Kitchens is a leading Gold Coast designer, builder and installer of custom made, high end kitchens, bathrooms, bars and laundries on the Gold Coast and Brisbane. We started out in 2009 as a small business and in the following eleven years, have grown both our factory and our staff to enable us to deliver many different projects per week. Our designer kitchens range from renovations to transforming our client’s homes to new builds and rolling out multiple kitchens, bathrooms and laundries per week for our builder/developer clients.

What sort of projects do you work on?
As we are a large business with salespeople working in multiple verticals, we always have a wide range of projects on the go ranging from multi-million dollar builds to large scale builders and commercial joinery. We are known for our unique and complex designs, often building solutions that other cabinet makers won’t even attempt.

What is the process of creating a kitchen/bathroom from concept to reality?
Firstly, one of our experienced kitchen designers meets with the client to help them visualise and realise the design that would best suit the aesthetic of their house within their budget. As this is what we do all day everyday, we are able to guide them as to the best concepts that will maximise their end product from both a design and functionality perspective. We draw each project up and produce a full 3D render so they can see exactly what it will look like. Once that is signed off, one of our drafters will complete the functional design and embed the drawing to our machinery using the latest technology ensuring our joinery is absolutely accurate. Once the board and stone has been cut, our installers install the finished project ensuring the client is 100% delighted before completion.

What are some of the items that I can save on in the renovation of a bathroom or kitchen? And what should you never do on the cheap?
It all comes back to design and materials. There are many ways to design a functional amazing space to a budget. We could use some standard range materials and highlight some features is a good way .

What does Mint do differently? 
Mint custom makes our clients’ projects meaning that the end product is specifically suited to their environment and style. We believe in using quality products and not cutting corners with cheap materials that save money up front but will cost more in the longer term. We only employ the best of the best, both in our showroom and on the shop floor, so whatever stage of the process, you will be dealing with people who know what they are talking about. Our designers are up-to-date with the latest designs and technologies, so we are able to offer innovative solutions that the client may not be aware exist. We also take pride in letting nothing beat us, so you if you look at our Instagram or in our showroom, you will see projects that other cabinet makers are not able to build (such as our unique drop down bars).

What can a customer expect when working with Mint?
We will not finish a job until the client is 100% delighted with their final product. Most of our work comes from referrals which tells us that our customers are very happy with our process and proud of their new kitchen.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Restaurant for dinner: Edgewater Dining & Lounge
Bar or pub for a drink: Northcliffe Surf Club
Café for breakfast: Koi Dining & Lounge Bar
How does your weekend usually look: Most weekends I work Saturdays and the rest of the weekend I spend as much time as possible with my beautiful one year old daughter Vivi.

Charles Dornan

Charles Dornan is the Managing Director of Gold Coast based family business Medical Vita Diet. A local company selling a range of weight loss shakes, soups and snack bars. The company was founded in 1987 by Charles’ late father Peter Dornan and has been in the family ever since. With Charles taking over the reigns along with his brothers James and Jeremy and mother Marilynne, Vita Diet shakes are run out of Molendiner with the products available locally at Chempro Chemists. A recent expansion into the New Zealand market has been successful in making Vita Diet the number one weight loss shake in the country. We sat down recently with Charles to talk about the company’s success and what’s instore next.

What is Medical Vita Diet and how did it start?
In 1987, Vita Tech introduced the Medical Vita Diet to selected Queensland Medical centres as an aid for combating obesity. The first doctor to implement the Vita Diet was Dr Colin Holloway, who subsequently opened another 5 medical Weight Loss and Nutrition Clinics in Queensland, personally treating thousands of patients with outstanding results.

How does the Vita Diet weight loss program work?
The Vita Diet weight loss program works by controlling the amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats a person consumes each day. This is achieved by using any of the gluten-free Vita Diet Shakes, Soups, Bars or Desserts to replace two meals per day, usually breakfast or lunch, and a third meal can be made from the Vita Diet food allowance list which includes proteins, unlimited vegetables, low carb fruit and much more. We make the program really easy to follow with our 5 simple steps.

What are the Vita Diet 5 Simple Steps?

  1. Have any 2 Vita Diet supplements (shakes, soups, bars or dessert) a day to replace either breakfast, lunch or dinner. The preference is yours.
  2. For your 3rd meal of the day, prepare a main meal from the Vita Diet food allowance list. This can be found in the Vita Diet Usage Guide.
  3. Drink up to 8 to 10 glasses of water each day. (Herbal teas do count)
  4. Walk for a minimum of 30 minutes or 10,000 steps each day.
  5. Perform a Ketone test (Optional)

Whilst individual results may vary, if you follow these five daily steps with the Vita Diet, you can expect to lose up to 3kgs plus in your first week and at least 1 – 1.5kgs for every other week you stay on the program.

Does it really make you lose weight?
Yes it certainly does. The combination of the Vita Diet supplements and eating forces the body to go into a mild stage of Ketosis and is the reason why the weight loss results are so quick.

What is Ketosis?
Basically, if you ever restrict your carbohydrate intake, your body naturally will go for its backup energy which is your fat stores. This is known as Ketosis. The Vita Diet weight loss program does exactly that safely and effectively. Vita Diet also has ketone sticks available which allows participant to test themselves daily to see if they are burning fat successfully or not.

What are the health benefits of using Vita Diet?
Being overweight or obese can cause many health issues including; backaches, indigestion, heart disease, hypertension, gastric reflux, varicose veins, arthritis and many other illnesses. The major health benefits of doing the Vita Diet weight loss program is it will not only help a person lose excess body weight and burn fat but it will also educate them on healthy eating and exercise which will help them keep the weight off long term.

What’s the difference between a Vita Diet shake and a protein shake?
The first major difference is the Vita Diet supplements are manufactured under the Australian food standards as a “Formulated Supplementary Food/Meal Replacement” where most protein powders or protein shakes are under the Australian food standard “Formulated Supplementary Sports Food”. Basically they are intended to supplement the diet of sports people rather than be the only or main source of nutrition (Meal Replacement) and therefore are not required to have the 16 essential Vitamins & minerals, carbohydrates, fats that a meal replacement product has.

Secondly, the Vita Diet supplements contain 80% Casein and 20% Whey Protein which is ideal for protecting your muscles while in ketosis however most Protein shakes are made up of only Whey Protein which doesn’t protect the muscles as long as Casein Protein.

Finally and most importantly taste. Vita Diet only needs to be mixed with water and tastes amazing!

Where are Vita Diet stocked?
Vita Diet is now available in over 1200 pharmacies in Australia and 340 pharmacies in New Zealand. On the Gold Coast, simply go ask your local Chempro Chemist.

It’s going into winter now… what other options are there if it’s too cold to have a Vita Diet shake?
It’s a fact, your body uses more energy in winter to stay warm therefore winter is perfect time to lose those extra kgs. Why wait for spring to get ready for summer!

The Vita Diet soup range are perfect for work or home. Mix in some vegetables and you have a healthy inexpensive lunch. The Vita Diet shakes can also be enjoyed hot or cold which makes them enjoyable all year round.

Why did you decide to locate Vita Diet’s head office on the Gold Coast?
The Gold Coast is literally the best city in the world in my opinion and I’ve seen most. The weather, beaches, people and business in general is just great.

Do you have any advice for people starting a business on the Gold Coast?
Always be a realist and do your market research. The old saying location, location, location is very important and visualising and doing a realistic business plan which in the end will save you a lot of time and money.

What are the pros and cons of working in a family business?
The pros are working in a family business is you never have to worry about trust etc…
The cons are not all family members have the same drive, work ethics or beliefs, like a 5 day work week haha.

Have the recent events of the virus impacted your business positively or negatively?
Coronavirus has definitely impacted our business due to travel restrictions which is not allowing us to visit our interstate/international stores for general training and merchandising purpose but we are very grateful to be in the pharmacy industry as this has keep the wheels moving.

What is in the works for Vita Diet next?
Definitely more brand awareness. Although we have been helping Australian’s lose weight since 1987, I feel we are also Australia’s best kept secret haha. More education, pharmacies, countries and online is my focus for 2020.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast:
Café for breakfast: Forreal Kitchen, Nobby’s Beach
Coffee spot: Nobby’s Beach, Burleigh Heads
Bar for a nightcap: Bine Bar & Dining
Restaurant for dinner: Northcliffe Surf Club
How does your weekend usually look: I love to do anything involving getting out in the sun or on the water from bike riding from Surfers to Burleigh, boating, surfing it’s all possible on the beautiful Gold Coast.

Broady’s beloved Koi Dining undergoes stunning transformation

Here’s some happy news for you and the Gold Coast in general. Beloved Broadbeach institution Koi Dining & Lounge Bar have reopened after a few weeks spent completely transforming the look, menu and general vibe of the space.

After an absolutely huge 13 years of operation the Koi team, led by Patrik Gennari, decided it was time to create something bigger, better and fresher and so here we are to discuss it.

The sleek, new design boasts quite the coastal feel with a combination of wood, stone, marble, copper and cane textures. The space has almost doubled in size with the back wall removed to reveal an open kitchen. There’s a casual bar section at the front and both sit down alfresco and indoor dining areas throughout the venue.

The ceiling is one of the most stunning aspects of the space with woven lights by homewares extraordinaires Three Balls Red grouped together to create a beautiful visual effect.

It’s all very open and inviting and the perfect spot for after-work drinks or a delightful dining experience with the crew.

Speaking of dining experiences, let’s chat about the menu which is all new everything too.

Spanning breakfast, lunch and dinner, the focus is on quality produce with an array of flavours and we would like to eat every single dish possible.

For breakfast, there’s things like Ricotta Pancakes and Salmon Rosti, Pina Colada Bircher and Crab Scramble and of course, a menu specifically designed for the kids.

At lunchtime, the woodfired pizza oven is cranking out flavours like San Danielle, Vegetarian and Wagyu and they’re all some of the best looking pizzas around.

For dinner, start with a Chargrilled Marinated Octopus and then move onto a Chargrilled Premium Beef with a side of Truffle Mash Potato perhaps.

There’s also an array of signature cocktails that you simply must sample and of course, a wide range of wines, beers and spirits.

Koi Dining & Lounge Bar
Koi Dining & Lounge Bar

To sum up, Koi Dining and Lounge Bar is like a whole new venue and one you’re going to want to test out at the earliest available opportunity.

We love.

LOCATION: 89 Surf Pde, Broadbeach
HOURS: Open from 7am until late daily

12 Gold Coast restaurants with epic views

La Luna Restaurant interior (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
La Luna Restaurant interior (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

As it turns out the Gold Coast is quite the good-looking city. With all of our green mountains and beguiling beaches, you’d expect venues to be taking full advantage of the glorious vistas we have on show. And guess what — there certainly are!

We propose you consult our trusty list of scenic dining spots and feast your eyes upon some infinitely more inspiring and soul-fulfilling sights than the mountain of half-folded washing on your dining room table. Or is that just us? 

We’ve taken a good look around our city and put together a list of the very best places you can eat with your eyes.

La Luna
Oozing luxury at every turn, if it’s knockout views you seek, there’s a whole yacht to love about La Luna. Perch up and be mesmerised by all the Broadwater action passing you by as you treat the tastebuds to some top notch Mediterranean and Asian-fusion inspired eats – and soak up some world class marina vibes while do it. With a spot that just screams long lunch, tuck into ocean inspired delicacies like Moreton Bay bug rolls and Kingfish Ceviche and sip the afternoon away on the signature cocktail menu. Pinky popping and fanciest pants, optional.
Where: La Luna Beach Club, Marina Mirage, 74 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach

Hyde Paradiso
A light and airy stunner studded with cascading greenery, spacious ceilings, and of course, uninterrupted views to the iconic shores of our very own glitter strip – Hyde Paradiso is oceanfront, Surfers Paradise dining at its finest. Start – or finish – your day by gazing out to the rolling surf, watching the world go by while you refuel with your choice of breakfast, brunch, lunch and/or dinner at this Euro-chic noshery. And if we *have* to choose, Kingfish Tacos and a Salted Coconut marg sounds like a particularly swell way to farewell the day, no?
Where: Hyde Paradiso, Level 2/8 Esplanade, Surfers Paradise

The Office Knock Offs, Surfers Pavilion (image supplied)
Cocktails at Surfers Pavilion (image supplied)

Surfers Pavilion
Nab yourself a spot on the deck and watch the water goers weaving throughout the canals (aka jetski’s absolutely carving up) as you ponder working your way through the dedicated marg list – perhaps Pineapple or Watermelon to start? Situated on the banks of the Nerang River, Surfers Pavilion is a particularly stunning spot for scenic dining and/or drinking, with a mix of small bites, share plates, seafood and burgers on offer. Grab some mates, chuck in a helping of Bug and Prawn Linguine or a Pav Parmy, and you’ve got yourself a party for the peepers and the tum.
Where: 30/34 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise

Gonna take a little more than some enchanting views to impress you? The Langham Gold Coast’s five-star stunner, Akoya, dishes up an elevated and extravagant experience from breakfast through dinner, daily. Come Friday and Saturday evenings, the seafood-centric menu becomes a full-blown buffet of ocean odysseys inspired by the breathtaking beachfront backdrop. All dished up with that specific, over-achieving brand of Langham indulgence, it’s safe to go ahead and consider those socks well and truly knocked off (we’ll spare you the butchered Berlin ‘Take my breath away’ power ballad rendition, though).
Where: 38 Old Burleigh Road, Surfers Paradise

Akoya, The Langham Gold Coast (image supplied)
Akoya, The Langham Gold Coast (image supplied)

Rick Shores
Excuse us while we don our Captain Obvious pants, but, no waterfront restaurant list worth its salt(water) would dare omit an icon like Rick Shores. Located mere footsteps from the sand and directly underneath The Tropic, this place is certainly not riding on the coattails of its incredible views – an esteemed foodie haven renowned for its equally stunning and inventive array of eats. Get your fix of sensational pan-Asian flavours flanked by panoramic views to the Pacific Ocean as far as the eye can ‘sea’. Their share plate menu is filled with absolute taste sensations and the cocktails are always pure perfection. For us, it doesn’t get much better than dining (and drinking, obviously) at Rick Shores.
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

Rick Shores, Burleigh (image by Mathilde Bouby)
Rick Shores, Burleigh (image by Mathilde Bouby)

The Tropic
It might be one of our worst kept secrets, but there’s no denying there’s something magic in the water at Burleigh – and who hasn’t spent many a weekend scrambling to get a slice of that sweet outlook out to the Surfers Paradise skyline? Capitalising on that million dollar view, The Tropic brings a whole new level of luxe to our long standing weekend hill chill pilgrimage, with a windswept, sun-kissed deck to throw down Freshly Shucked Oysters, King Prawn Pasta and vodka-infused Caviar bumps. With a view like this, it would be rude not to also oblige in sunset inspired sips, like the Lucy Lava, made with Malfy Blood Orange Gin, Spiced Rum, apricot and aromatic rosemary notes.

Come for the water views – stay for the… *insert absolutely any item from the menu, here*
Where: 3b/43 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

The Tropic, Burleigh Heads (image supplied)
The Tropic, Burleigh Heads (image supplied)

Currumbin Beach Vikings SLSC
Sitting right on the sand in one of our most sought-after suburbs, the vistas extend the entire coastline from Surfers to Tweed. Though more specifically, it’s the mouth-watering, modern pub-style fare and frosty bevvys they’re consistently churning out breakfast–dinner that makes this surf club gem both worth a mention and a visit. An old-faithful that’s always a sight for sore eyes.
Where: 741 Pacific Parade, Currumbin

Tommys Italian
The epitome of la dolce vita vibes – Tommy’s Italian in Currumbin has so much more going for it than incredible Italian eats, courtesy of some killer ocean views. Housed in the heritage ex Beach Shack Cafe site, its breezy beachside abode is a dreamy sun-drenched spot for lazy afternoons spent slurping down grilled seafood, woodfired pizzas and hand-crafted pasta. Two levels of absolute beachfront bliss are backed up by an enticing and extensive sip menu of shaken cocktails, wines, spritzes and jugs. A trip to Tommy’s truly is a treat for all the senses.
Where: 818 Pacific Parade, Currumbin

Italian sausage rigatoni, Tommy's Italian (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Italian sausage rigatoni, Tommy's Italian (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Kirra Beach House
With a whopping 1200 sqm of sweeping surf views, newcomer Kirra Beach House was not messing around when it came to capitalising on the suburb’s relatively untapped surf frontage. And the uninterrupted, panoramic ocean views are just the beginning – equipped with not one, but three bars, an oh-so instagrammable mix of indoor and cabana-studded alfresco spaces, and chic beach club vibes aplenty. The epitome of elevated seaside dining, the vaycay-inspired sips like the Champagne Piña colada and ‘Cancun’ spicy watermelon margarita are complemented by a Mediterranean-style grazing menu, purposefully crafted to share with your crew as the waves roll in and sun sinks low.
Where: Level 1, 2 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Champagne Pina Colada, Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)
Champagne Pina Colada, Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)

Bringing a fresh face to the iconic Kirra Beach Pavilion with some slick 1950s Miami vibes, Siblings is another vantage-blessed stunner at which to simultaneously treat the eyes and the tastebuds with Modern Australian style eats, available anytime from lunch onwards. Those lucky enough to snag a waterfront table can soak up uninterrupted beach views flanked by swaying pandanus palms, and people watch to our heart’s content. Pineapple salsa studded Steak tacos and share platters of Moreton bay bugs & king prawns go down an absolute treat surrounded by the salty sea air, as do cocktails like the Sicilian Summer – a frosty concoction made with Mulberry gin sour… and, er, what were we saying again? We were momentarily distracted by… *gestures vaguely at entire menu and IRL Baywatch unfolding in front of our eyes*
Where: 15 Marine Parade, Kirra

Siblings Kirra, Coolangatta (image supplied)
Siblings Kirra, Coolangatta (image supplied)

Cooly Breeze
Sitting pretty on the 13th floor of the Beachcomber International Resort, Cooly Breeze is our only fine dining restaurant that boasts unique views to the southern coastline and the Tweed River surrounds. Easily one of the southern GC’s best kept dining secrets, the hidden rooftop gem channels an intimate, Amalfi coast experience with moorish Mediterranean-inspired eats from a sky-high vantage hidden in plain sight. The cosy ambience and sweeping surf vista is coupled with a fresh menu, such as the Seared Scallops da Costa and an azure-toned Rainbow Martini as vibrant as the view. Plus, there’s always the chance to catch a spontaneous whale show during migration season. Neat, huh?
Where: Level 13 of Beachcomber International Resort, 122 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Interior of Cooly Breeze Restaurant and Bar, Coolangatta (image supplied)
Interior of Cooly Breeze Restaurant and Bar, Coolangatta (image supplied)

Greenmount Beach Surf Club
With surf clubs calling dibs on some of the most epic beachfront real estate the GC has got to offer, it will come as no surprise to find another SLSC gracing this list. Looking for waterfront dining, served surf club style? Look no further than Greenmount Beach Surf Club, a laidback watering hole beloved for many reasons – including its breathtaking outlook. As you’d expect from a SLSC, this place is situated just metres from the sand so you can perch up and tuck into pub-style classics and watch all the action unfold on the beach below.
Where: Marine Parade, Coolangatta

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