Velaa Cafe is a flavour sensation.
Velaa Cafe is a flavour sensation.
Focused on fresh, lip-smacking flavours like mango, zesty lemongrass, creamy coconut and coriander (okay, so we may or may not have lost you on that one, depending on your coriander stance) – but our point remains, pan-Asian fare is a full-blown flavour party for your mouth. Well, Gold Coasters, pucker those lips as Velaa Cafe makes its grand entrance, bringing vibrant, Asian-inspired eats to the lively streets of Surfers Paradise.
Situated on the Alison St crossroads of the buzzing Surfers Paradise Boulevard stretch, Velaa Cafe lies but a casual stroll beyond the shores of the glitter strip, and mere steps from its Thai-centric sib venue, Cocohut Taste of Thailand. Filling tums with top notch Thai since 2017, owners Pattaraporn Suwannayok and Woranot Viboonvoradech have expanded their flavour focus with a broader mix of pan-Asian influences for their new venture.
Mall-goers can swing by the new cafe style sib and get amongst a selection of summery of libations like tropical milk teas and ice-cold, mango and lychee-infused creations that look almost too pretty to drink – while dishes like ice-cream topped Pandan Toast and Acai Bingsu provide a tantalising twist on the cafe classics.
With extensive hospitality backgrounds and a near 20 year stint living on the GC, the duo feels they have developed an eagle eye for filling gaps – and tums – on our culinary circuit. After seven solid years slinging authentic, street-style food out of their neighbourhood Thai joint, the pair have embarked on a new challenge that plays to their strengths, with a venue that was inspired by their adventures abroad.
For Velaa’s vibe, Pattaraporn and Woranot have opted for a chic, minimalist approach resulting in a space that allows the colourful dishes to shine. It’s a choice we have no doubt was intentional since the expert Space Cubed Design crew have again been up to their old tricks here (and by old tricks, we mean designing slick and stunning spaces up and down the Coast that we can’t stop drooling over). The aesthetic of brass sconces, terrazzo tiles, earth tones and organic lines is one that speaks directly to our hopeless, neutral-loving hearts #swoon.
And hey, while we might be in the minority that could happily talk beige all day – a menu like this (rightfully) waits for no one. The cafe’s eclectic mix of savoury main meals married with sweet brunch and dessert style dishes is reflective of Velaa’s lunch–late operating hours – with tantalising, tropical tastes that tie it all together.
Along with Velaa’s array of frosty, Asian-inspired beverage flavours are fresh and refreshing eats contenders such as the Coconut Prawn Salad, Salmon Tartare and Silver Fish Salad that keep it light yet without skimping on satisfaction. Then there’s the likes of the heartier Khai Soi Beef, made with braised beef, aromatic curry broth, ramen, chilli oil, crispy noodles and pickled mustard green, which is enough to incite immediate tummy grumbling.
Or (more like, ‘and’ if we’re being real) tuck in to sweet treats like the Burnt Butter Toast, piled with caramelised banana, ice-cream and caramel lashings, or perhaps iterations of the Korean-style shaved ice dessert, Acai or Mango Bingsu… *sweet cravings intensify*
…safe to say we’ll be seeing you very soon, Velaa Cafe.
Words by Kellie Leader.
Just when we thought the Runaway Bay dining scene couldn’t get any better, along came a (not so) little restaurant named Longtide.
Bringing the flavours of Coastal Pan Asian food to life, Longtide is where the vibes of Southeast Asia meet the coastal cool of the Gold Coast – the ultimate duo.
Behind Longtide’s foodie magic is a team that knows how to create next-level dining experiences.
If you’ve ever dined at Madam Fu on the Isle of Capri, you’ll know what we’re talking about.
Their latest venture, Longtide, brings their expertise to the Northern end of the Gold Coast, promising to be a fresh and exciting venue for locals – you’re welcome.
At the helm of Longtide’s mouth-watering menu is the talented Chef Woody Zen, a seasoned professional who’s known for elevating the Asian flavours you know and love to new heights.
With an extensive background in Asian cuisine, Chef has mastered the craft of creating dishes that aren’t just a feast for your appetite, but also your eyes because we all know insta-worthy food is a non-negotiable.
We know it’s what’s on the inside that counts, so not only is the food next level – so is the décor. Step into the Southeast Asian inspired oasis and you’ll feel like you’ve popped on a vacay to one of your fav destinations, sans the jetlag and flight delays – winning.
The menu is a treasure trove of Asian-inspired share plates that will take your taste buds on a journey. Signature dishes like the Seafood Tartar, a perfect combo of kingfish, salmon, tuna, and prawn, or the Lamb Shank Massaman Curry if you’re looking for something a little heartier.
Now we all know a food journey makes for a thirsty journey, so of course the team have a huge range of tropical-inspired cocktail list for you to sip your way through – they’re so good that if you close your eyes for a second you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re kicking back poolside for a sundowner.
If you really want to lean into the coastal holiday energy (who doesn’t) the Tom Yum Yum is a must-try for all of its ginger and coconutty goodness.
More than just a restaurant, Longtide delivers big not just on food and flavour, but the overall experience whether you’re looking for an intimate dinner with your nearest and dearest or big celebrations with the whole crew there’s quite literally space for everyone.
Surely you don’t need more reason to get down to Longtide Coastal Pan-Asian, right?
Get among the coastal vibe so you can feel like you’re on Island Time all day long.
Plus, this might be the easiest trip you make to the flavours of Southeast Asian.
Where: 21 Bayview Street, Runaway Bay
When: All-day dining from 11.30am Wednesday-Sunday
People of the world, or more specifically.. Gold Coasters, prepare to ‘spice up your life’ in the very best of ways.
With Miami this week welcoming a luxe new eats and sips spot you need to Thai ASAP – it’s high tide you say sawadee to Tide Bar and Kitchen.
Miami residents are treated to the unmistakable and irresistible aromas of Southeast Asian cuisine drifting down the street as newcomer Tide Bar and Kitchen takes up residence along the suburb’s bustling Gold Coast Highway strip.
Tide will be enticing lucky locals to tuk in to the tantalising tastes of modern Thai influenced by our beachside proximity – with the GC’s bounty of fresh, local ocean produce featuring prominently on the seafood focused menu.
Which may well leave inhabitants from the other corners of the Coast feeling rather green (curry) with envy.
For owners Parada ‘Mint’ Leelaworaphong and Porramate ‘Toto’ Kidsoda, Tide may mark their first foray into the realm of restauranteur – though they’ve certainly pulled no punches with a stunner of a space to debut (and side note, if Mint & Toto doesn’t sound like the most wholesome super duo out, we don’t know what does).
Though they’re certainly no strangers to dishing up indulgent experiences, with the venture a culmination of their collective hospitality experience from across the globe.
Mint brings 5 years of local hospitality to the table, while Toto’s impressive stint as Chef at Bangkok’s 5 star Grand Hyatt Erawan is certainly worthy of banging on about.
The duo made the move from Melbourne earlier this year citing irreconcilable differences with the southern climate (#same), excited by the prospect of basking beachside and non-stop noshing on Thai style fresh seafood.. only to find the latter proved impossible to track down.
Which thankfully for our tastebuds, inspired the pair to get to work on making their seafoodie dreams a reality.
The new space boasts an elegant fit out that is quite an upscale departure from the lairy decor oft favoured by our beloved neighbourhood Thai haunts.
An abundance of warm, rustic finishes and timbers have been balanced with light and dark elements as expertly as a cracker of a Thai curry, #nailing the recipe for an intimate and inviting experience with a perfect hint of moodiness.
Along with those enchanting aromas, expect to be greeted by chic olive feature tiles framing the pass, and adjacent, panoramic mirrors flanked by floor to wall rustic tiles low key giving cork revival (in the best way).
And honestly, we could gush about chic fit outs all day, but lbh.. we’re all just here for the menu.
To start, the Duck Pancake – Cucumber, chili, spring onion, sesame will definitely succeed in tide-ing us over until the main event, with the Thai Beef Tataki Rump – steak beef, Thai dipping sauce where the modern take really starts to make itself known.
If you find you’re struggling to narrow the mouth watering mains selection down, head directly to the Chef’s Recommendations, with the Grilled King Prawn or Crispy Pork Hock both served with Thai dipping sauce, for a full-blown party in your mouth.
Or say Phuket, leave it in Toto’s expert hands, and go for one of three tantalising Set Menu options for total satisfaction.
Though the show stopping signature dish, the Tide Pad Thai made with Fried tofu, sweet radish, dried shrimp, bean sprout, chive, egg, grilled lobster will also be an absolute must Thai, if you ask us.
Where: 1916 Gold Coast Highway, Miami
When: Sun-Thu 12pm – 8.30pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-9.30pm
Shiro Gelato & Snack is Southport’s new HQ of sweet and savoury Japanese small bites (and licks) you Japaneed to be acquainted with, like now, arigatou gozaimasu.
Perched just a hop skip and a yum from the G’s Southport tram stop, the conveniently positioned new venue is a #snaccident waiting to happen for lucky passersby. For owner Kei Okamoto, a well-placed location was the main priority when selecting the new spot for Shiro Gelato & Snack. His former experience dishing up street food style Japanese eats at markets, combined with head chef Shodai Kawakami’s ten-year culinary expertise is the ultimate matcha made in heaven.
The two-legged fuzzy ball mascot featured throughout the shop’s signage is your subliminal sign to leg it on in to discover the array of treats that await. The interior fit out was handled by the Shiro crew (what can’t they do), with a simply-appointed and welcoming space framed by classic crisp-white subway tiles – while the seductive glow of those house-made gelatos glisten from the cabinet beyond. The intimate, corridor style space offers limited casual seating to lick, sip and savour until the #hanger safely subsides.
For those not familiar with Japanese fare, you might be wondering just want you can expect from the Shiro Gelato & Snack menu. Think authentic light Japanese bites worthy of quashing the most serious of snack attacks (though, with a couple of Onirigi’s under the belt, you may still feel a lot like rolling on out of there).
The aforementioned savoury specialty Onigiri, is a popular Japanese rice ball lunch and snack dish, as tasty as it is convenient to nom on-the-go. The Shiro offering includes six signature flavours such as a classic salmon and takana, made with Japanese leafy green mustard pickles and spices promising a slightly spicy and tangy flavour. Though we also like the sound of the Negi Miso – Shallots, miso, citrus chilli paste a shal–lot.
For sweet tooths, curb your cravings by sinking your teeth into the beloved jelly-like, traditional Japanese sweet treat that is Warabi Mochi.
Though we’ll never miss an opportunity to gush about gelato (umm hello, we live for this), and the Shiro Gelato & Snack selection of Japanese flavours does not disappoint. Japanese eats enthusiasts will be soy into the Kinako – a roasted soybean flour flavour most commonly compared to peanut butter. Joined by yet more mouth watering contenders such as Black sesame, Matcha white chocolate, miso caramel, and the vegan friendly Yuzu and lemon flavour.
Can’t decide which sweet treat you’re in the mood for? Same. Might we suggest a thinly Mochi-wrapped (and/or topped!) gelato scoop for the ultimate best of both worlds action.
There’s no doubt lucky northern locals will bento-ver backwards to get their Shiro Gelato & Snack fix, while for everyone else this little Southport side quest is a tasty snackrifice well worth taking.
Where: 50 Nerang St, Southport
When: 11:30am–10pm daily