TØKOH load off, it’s a dinner party and we’re all invited!
TØKOH load off, it’s a dinner party and we’re all invited!
Every now and again, we catch whispers of a brand new venue coming to town that makes us sit up, pay attention and perhaps even put our phones down #gasp (right after we’ve tagged our foodie BFFs), because it promises to bring a totally new experience unlike anything we have on offer. No need to make like it’s 2009 and change your status to ‘it’s complicated’ because Mermaid’s latest newcomer officially makes the question of ‘where to?’ very simple. All roads lead to TØKOH.
You might be forgiven for assuming it’s just another trendy dining destination to pop up in one of the Gold Coasts it-suburbs, but a name derived from the Indonesian word for ‘leader’ is the first hint TØKOH is on a mission to bring a unique experience to the GC eats scene. Taking up residence right in the heart of Mermaid’s bustling strip among culinary heavy-hitters Glenelg, Cantina and Bonita Bonita, you know they’re not messing around.
TØKOH not only addresses the distinct lack of Indonesian-style eats on the Coast, but also promises to reimagine the whole dining experience to something more reminiscent of an opulent, immersive dinner party. Consider us officially brushing up on our dinner party conversation topics (jks, where are all my millennials at *awkward silence intensifies*)
If you’re not already familiar with TØKOH’s owners Maddy Norton and Lachlan Cuskelly, you’ll certainly be well acquainted with their prior experience on the GC eats scene. Having previously worked out of iconic names like Commune and Etsu before going on to bring us much-loved destinations Suzy BBQ and Panchos Mexican, they’re bringing a whole new dream to life and it promises to be a space of ‘absurdity and pleasure’…*ahem* culinarily speaking, of course #notthatkindofplace.
Inspired by the duo’s cherished memories of gallivanting across the vibrant Gili islands, indulging in Jakarta’s colourful street cuisine, and hopping from one bar to another in Canggu, it’s clear they took their research very seriously #dedication. Combine that with a wealth of industry experience and you know our own little slice of Indo, GC style.
While we can all agree to leave the Bintang singlets at home, they are serving Bintang beers and even have a romantic little Bintang Bass bottle opener specially designated for cracking the top of Indo’s finest ale.
TØKOH boasts a bar that’s decidedly, not like the other bars. On arrival, it stands as a welcoming beacon at which to gather while the decision to eliminate conventional fixtures helps to achieve that notion by stripping away distractions – #lessismore. It’s got to be said the light above the bar is a masterpiece/ambience maker.
The inviting feel is continued throughout the selections with a communal table to create a space for authentic connections and that trademark dining party experience, and we have it on good authority Maddy is responsible for painting every inch of the warm textured walls. The addition of a playful yet elegant ‘disco vinyl red room’ will be a visual feast for the senses while no doubt doubling as excellent talking points if the conversation lulls. Plus the vinyl player and huge collection of vinyls will add the sounds.
Before we tease you too much (again, not that kind of place), we’re happy to confirm they’ve also goreng all out when it comes to the eats too. In fact, they’ve taken it a step further with many of their unique flavours and ingredients made on site, from the hot-like-a-sunrise house-made sambals right through to sodas and even crafting their own spirits #thatsonefancydinnerparty.
Chef Mario Georgiou heads a team bringing their respective experience from various Michelin star venues the world over, and bringing to life the TØKOH ethos that is celebration of super fresh local produce and a focus on flavor-forward food.
And starting the night with a cheeky serve of Sardines on crack with Crispy fried mustard seed marinated sardines, pickled cucumber dusted in Tokoh crack salt will undoubtedly deliver on the flavour-forward promise.
Follow it up with the likes of charcoal Chicken skewers with a seductive smoky chicken skin crumb or boujee fillet ‘o’ fish sandos (seriously the best) with Crispy fried coconut crumbed tuna, Pickled cucumber, Papaya slaw and now it’s really a (dinner) party.
For seafood fans, o-fish-al word on the street is the Aromatic Fish Head Curry with Snapper, Yellow curry sauce, Fried sambal matah and peanut mix is an unmissable masterpiece.
And when we start seeing all the tropical suspects like coconut, pandan, guava and pineapple gracing the cocktail menu, our eyes light up like a tourist during beachside happy hour. Either the Disco Spritzo with Orange, Peach nectar, Chrysanthemum or the Mango Cruiser with complete with Buttered brioche, Vanilla, Benzoin will surely taste like island vacay in a glass, but you should probably sample both just for good measure.
Zac & Kaden, the geniuses behind the bar are absolutely masters of their craft. Be sure to leave room for dessert because the Egg Nog Affogato is un.for.gettable!
So if it’s tantalising tropical-inspired fare and an indulgent, immersive experience that’s in order, come and TØKOH load off when the doors officially open on Saturday, because this is one dinner party that is guaranteed to be a bore-free zone.
Case in point, our night may or may not have ended with a round of Danger Margs. Ask for a round if you dare, but beware they’re not for the faint of heart!
When: Wednesday – Sunday from 5pm – late
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Words by Kellie Leader.
Here on the GC we’re a spoiled bunch – and no we’re not talking about the age old stereotype that forever haunts the only children among us #justiceforonlychildren – we’re referring to the the untold options for fun that basically smack us in the face anytime time we leave the house.
We know we’re preaching to the choir here, so we’ll cut to the chase with an admission that’s a little difficult to cough up – that the one thing our southern rivals, ahem – friends, have over our superior Queensland lifestyle is the late night eats scene leaves us.. a little wanting.
When it comes to a top notch bevvy, the Gold Coast sure know’s what’s up, and with over 15 years experience in the industry, owners Bella & Euan Lovell obviously also know when they are on to a good thing too.
So much so, that running joke and a convenient opening in the very same building led to the inspiration to open a second bar.
When a massage parlour above Fig + Frankie’s shut down due to allegations of, er, suspicious activities, it quickly became lore among staff and well, one thing led to another and now there’s Happy Endings for all! By way of a totally legit, luxe new bar, that is.
While we know the cheeky name will make this bar hard to go past, step inside and you’ll be greeted with an atmosphere that will make it equally as hard to leave.
With mood lighting that’s a solid 10/10, the abundance of warm finishes and lush Japanese architectural selections have created an intimate and inviting experience that feels more like you’ve just walked in off the streets of Tokyo. And who doesn’t love a bar with an aesthetic that’s as instagrammable as it’s fare?
Of course the impeccable vibes and Asian influences don’t stop there, as you’d expect they’ve dic-tated the menu too.
Luckily for us, the institution that is the late night kitchen, borrowed from the hospo culture of our Southern states has also formed a big part of the Happy Endings ethos, which can only be considered a win for us all because #hungry #bringbackthemidnightsnack.
The kitchen dream team bring experience from GC dining icons such as Moo Moo’s, Paddock and Elk, so as you’d expect after peeping the menu – #canconfirm it’s a solid 16-way tie between the eats options (and can we just say it’s lucky for the late night kitchen coz it might just take that long to decide).
Nibble your way through the Lotus Root with nori sesame mayo, Chicken or Spicy Mushroom Yakitori or Whisky Cured Salmon with mandarin + soy dressing. Something tells us the Katsu Sando (tofu or pork) and Crispy Rice + Cured Yolk with a kombu marinade will also be on high rotation.
But try to restrain yourself, because we haven’t even got to the cocktails yet and you’re going to need to save some space – if you catch our drift.
When it comes to sips, you’ll be wanting as many Tokyo Drift’s as there is Fast & Furious movies – with wasabi infused mezcal, housemade melon liqueur + pineapple oleo, 100% of surveyed critics (it us, we’re the critics) agree this cocktail is an absolute must-try.
Also, if you’re still thirsty the Wohmango! – vanilla infused gin, mango oleo, lime and Thai basil will convert even the staunchest mango objectors with it’s delightfully citrus-y notes.
There’s also beer on tap, soju, and sake for those who prefer their liquor on the.. harder side.
It’s clear that the Happy Endings crew aims to ensure everyone finishes their night satisfied, and they’ve sure got the unbeatable location, vibe and fare to pull it off.
Words by Kellie Leader.
Images by Belinda Symons.