Ahh winter, we have big love for you. We swap kombucha and salads for cab sav and actual food, and don our luxe coats for a boujee fix. Speaking of fancy feels, our fave highbrow local dining and retail precinct, Sanctuary Cove, is turning up the heat with special signature dishes to celebrate winter. Plus, they’re going all out and giving away five $200 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Gift Cards. Tell us more we hear you say? Don’t mind if we do….
Pablito’s Mexican Cuisine and Tequilaria
The heat is well and truly on this winter at new kid on the block, Pablito’s Mexican Cuisine and Tequilaria. The authentic eats, cocktails and venue fit out are next level #instagood and we can’t get enough. For the ultimate winter indulgence, the Spiced Fresh Fish Taco with guacamole, chipotle, slaw and corn salsa washed down with a chilli margarita is calling your name. And ours….
Dragon Cove Chinese Restaurant
Trying to choose a meal here is like trying to decide between binging Ozark or Stranger Things – really hard…but you can’t go wrong. The world-class chefs are famous for their authentic Cantonese chow and if you get past the Peking Duck (we never can…), warm up with the Beijing Beef Julienne with oriental sauce and green veg. Pair it with a glass (or two…definitely two) of red for instant winter warmer feels.
With a name like The Fireplace and internationally renowned Executive Chef Hamish Watt at the helm, this fine-dining icon was made for winter eats! Located in InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, enjoy wood-fired cuisine using locally sourced produce, and grape juice from the award-winning wine list! Offset the cooler weather with a hot signature dish, like the 1kg 150-day grain fed Tomahawk Steak from Toowoomba – with a whole Moreton Bay Bug on the side! SIGN. US. UP.
For us, winter equals guilt-free comfort carbo loading, and no-one does authentic pastas and contemporary interpretations of Napoli cuisine quite like Ioesco Cucina. The Steak Primavera topped with a salsa of avocado and bruschetta tomato on a bed of mash potato, with a glass of Side Step Shiraz is destined to float your boat (or your yacht – we are at Sanctuary Cove after all). Bellissima!
Carnivores rejoice! Red Steakhouse is a modern Australian fine dining must-taste, famous for its high-quality cuts of meat. With stunning views of the Sanctuary Cove Marina, it’s the perfect winter date night destination. To complement the chilly temperatures, we’re ordering the Beef Wagyu Wellington with mushroom pate duxelles, spinach, prosciutto, puff pastry and a red wine jus with a glass of Castagna Shiraz Sangiovese.
Dubbed the ‘Best Coffee in the Cove’, you can’t go past a hearty breaky or lunch at Bistro 19. Ok we know we said we’re done with salads, but we’ll make an exception for the signature Asian Salad with greens, fresh chilli, coriander, cashew nuts and grilled prawn in a nuoc charm dressing. Enjoy it with a flat white or treat yo-self to a bottle of Mountadam The Patriarch Shiraz. Wine not!
WIN Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Gift Cards
Sanctuary Cove is excited to announce that Ioesco Cucina, Dragon Cove Chinese Restaurant, Chim Thai Restaurant, Pablito’s Mexican Cuisine and Tequilaria, The Fireplace and Red Steakhouse have joined Gourmet Traveller’s premium selection of Aussie restaurants. Cue the applause! To celebrate, you have the chance to win 1 of 5 $200 gift cards. Cue even more applause!
With all of the above on offer at Sanctuary Cove this winter, we agree with Nelly – it’s getting hot in here (but don’t worry, our clothes aren’t going anywhere – not after all that food). For more information on how you can kick those winter blues at the Cove’s five-star dining destinations, and to get the down-low on how to win a $200 Gourmet Traveller gift card, head here.
Where: 4601 Masthead Way, Hope Island
When: Throughout Winter 2022
Words by Bianca Trathen.
STORY SPONSORED BY SANCTUARY COVE
The way we relax, spend our leisure time and holiday has changed a lot over the recent years. Attitudes have shifted from leaving our great country in search of a tropical oasis to rejuvenate, to instead exploring our backyard!
The staycation has become a staple form of escaping the stresses of modern life whilst not wasting any of your precious time hanging around airports or hours driving somewhere. And at the same time, you’ll experience something quite familiar — but with those elevated levels of luxury that you so need and crave.
Because let’s face it, folks: we live in a pretty impressive part of the world. So why would you go to great lengths to escape this paradise when you can stay here? One luxe location that has been captivating and helping Gold Coasters maximise their downtime is Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove Resort on the northern end of our great city.
There’s no better time to treat yourself to a staycation on our glorious golden Coast than right now, but what might you find at this leading world-class resort you may ask?
First off is the stunning and secluded location at Sanctuary Cove. Fringed by the Coomera River and with manicured lawns, blooming tropical gardens, abundance of grazing kangaroos and pristine water features at every turn; if this doesn’t set the scene for tranquillity, then we don’t know what will! For the budding golfer, there are not one but three immaculately presented golf courses to which guests will have exclusive access to if they wish to hit a few balls.
And for the ardent beach lover (let’s face it – that’s all of us), the 1-acre beach lagoon area will be the ultimate place for you to relax with a good book and wholly unwind with nearby sounds of native birds. No wayward frisbees or blasting bluetooth speakers here! The resort features over 250 recently refurbished rooms and suites, offering guests a selection of packages with every taste and budget in mind. You don’t have to wander far to start your day off with breakfast at the much-loved Cove Cafe, before taking in lunch at the Pool House, and then make grand plans for an evening of divine food and drinks at the resort’s signature dining destination, The Fireplace.
Explore a little further and you’ll find yourself aptly positioned within walking distance to Sanctuary Cove’s Marine Village. A brimming retail precinct with a superb selection of specialty shops of beautiful homewares and clothing boutiques, as well as some of the Gold Coast’s best places to enjoy brilliant food with amazing marina views. If you’re looking for cocktails and lighter bites in-between mealtimes, you’ll also discover a plethora of exciting venues to indulge yourself in. Because why not? You’re on holiday, right?!
Returning to the resort, the hallmark has to be the Great House, a colonial-style Queenslander that exudes the kind of charm you’ll be hard pushed to find elsewhere. Sign up for Club Intercontinental and savour the delights of their lauded High Coffee experience, the perfect way to round off an afternoon of taking things at a much-reduced pace.
Whether you’re a family with an inkling for a weekend away or a couple who simply wants to reconnect after a busy work period, leave the long airport queues and endless hours behind your driving wheel behind. Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove Resort is prime staycation material in our books!
Book your staycation now via: intercontinentalsanctuarycove.com
Where: Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, Manor Circuit, Hope Island
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
STORY SPONSORED BY THE MARINE VILLAGE SANCTUARY COVE
There’s just something uber appealing about a cosy woodfire restaurant, and we don’t care if it’s not winter. We warmly (wink wink, nudge nudge) welcome an intimate, homely yet wee-bit-fancy feed all year round!
As soon as you walk into this Northern GC treasure, you’re engulfed by the amazing woodfire aromas and high-class atmosphere. We must warn you, a drool sitch is entirely likely. For those who haven’t figured which location we are referring to yet, we’re talking about InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort’s spectacular signature dining destination, The Fireplace.
The restaurant’s name is enough to give you a solid dose of the warm and fuzzies, but the space takes that notion to a whole different stratosphere. A tastefully designed modern rustic beauty, the stone tiled flooring, moody lighting and open kitchen ensure that The Fireplace experience is as rich in the ambience as it is in flavour.
Showcasing locally sourced wood-fire cuisine at its finest, meals are seasoned with produce from the restaurant’s very own herb garden! (Side note; why does our home-grown herbs always seem to hate us so much #RIP.) Dishes are then placed inside the onsite wood-fire oven where they’re infused with irresistible smoky goodness, and where is a napkin because Houston we have a (salivation) problem – again.
It’s not just the magnificent wood-fire oven that makes this place so popular, it’s the genius line up of talent in the kitchen….and the cellar. Executive Chef Hamish Watt and Head Chef Randy Tablan cook with such heart and passion, and how we wish we had even 1/1000000th of their cooking panache. Elevating the dining experience to the next level, you can select a vino from the 200-strong wine library and can we just have all 200+ cellar of our own please and thank you.
The proud recipient of the Two-Glass accolade in Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards last year (for the fifth year may we add), the restaurant’s master Sommeliers Sean Robertson and Sacha Kansky clearly know the A to Z of grape juice. Their award-winning wine-list offers a diverse, appealing and well-balanced ensemble cast of vinos, showcasing Australia’s finest wine regions and premier ranges from across the globe.
Let’s unpack the menu which is positively LIT, and would we expect anything less with a name like The Fireplace? We recommend starting with an entree of Charred Field Mushrooms featuring lentils, sauteed spinach and sherry vinegar dressing.
Then, move on to a main and wait, we’ve just spotted a fusion of our two faves; seafood and pasta! Not an unusual combo by any means, but when you find a restaurant who can do this ‘power couple’ justice, it’s a moment. The Linguine Seafood Pasta with Moreton Bay bugs, prawns, cherry tomato, zucchini, chilli and baby basil hits all the right notes, and is it excessive to order another helping? Throw a bottle of chilled Aquilani Pinot Grigio into the mix and again we ask, if it’s OTT to order two, and the answer is always a hard no.
Or, for those craving a meat fix, the Bangalow Pork Belly with apple, brioche, red wine shallots and kaffir lime puree is cooked to perf. The crackling on this bad boy is phe-nom and we won’t judge if you try and steal your date’s helping coz, crackle. Pair it with a bottle of Donnhoff ‘Estate’ Riesling which, friends, IS the (now not so) secret sauce.
A meal minus dessert is like cheese sans quince paste, so do right by your tastebuds and order the 54% Dark Chocolate Parfait with whisky & vanilla sauce, chocolate biscuit and roasted nuts cream. Divine.
So now that your next date night is sorted, your only conundrum will be finding a frock that conceals the evidence of a three-course feed so good, you couldn’t part with a single crumb…or sip.
Where: InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, Lower Level, Manor Circle, Hope Island
When: 6pm – 9pm Wednesday to Friday; 5.30pm – 9pm Saturday and 6pm – 9pm Sunday. Closed Monday & Tuesday.
Words by Bianca Trathen.
STORY SPONSORED BY INTERCONTINENTAL SANCTUARY COVE RESORT
When a new venue specialising in quality, authentic Mexican cuisine and tequila launches, we drop everything. Especially when it opens on the Northern GC because halleluiah, this end of the Coast is finally getting its quota of fresh, modern and very ‘now’ eats spots. This particular establishment, the spec-taco-lar Pablito’s Mexican Cuisine and Tequilaria, calls the luxe (yet casually cool) Sanctuary Cove home, and is the new frontrunner on your ‘restaurants to try stat’ list.
With an emphasis on fresh produce presented simply, Pablito’s serves up a very on-trend predominantly plant-based and gluten free menu, with just enough non-planty goodness to keep the meat eaters happy. Offering indoor outdoor dining with capacity to seat 45 inside and 50 outside, it looks the part of the quintessential Modern Mexican cantina. But, it also has a slight Caribbean influence and holy guacamole, is this not the union of the two coolest vibes ever and we are already obsessed.
Speaking of obsessed, there’s a cactus at every turn which really speaks to our unrelenting fascination with these prickly must-haves. Our terracotta fetish is also well and truly nurtured, with gorgeous terracotta tables set against venetian walls and exposed concrete. The Virgin Mary herself resides within, in the form of several statues lit up with soft, flickering mood lighting creating a warm, authentic Mexican ambience. Clui Design and Northcoast Building and Maintenance certainly understood the assignment by creating a space that feels intimate and fun and best of all, like you’ve just swapped continents and stepped into Mexico City itself.
Owners Peter Baumgart and Paul Hodgkinson have outdone themselves on the big sister to their first-born Mexican restaurant, Caracara in Tugun. Looking to cut their teeth on something bigger and swisher, they patiently waited for the perfect location to present itself for a premium dining experience. Naturally when a spot at Sanctuary Cove became available, they were all over it like jalapeños on a taco.
Head chef Luke Corvin cooks up a show-stopping variety of delectable plates, designed both to share or hog all to yourself. Using only the highest quality produce and suppliers, sink your pearly whites into his signature Red Snapper Ceviche, enjoyed most when washed down with one (or more) of the many margaritas on offer. Our infatuation with this iconic Mexican cocktail is well documented, so any chance we have to knock back a few of these bad boys, we’re there before you can say muchos margis grazias. We’re ordering both the coconut margarita and the watermelon margarita because we can’t choose and why should we? The house tequila is made with wild agave and they only use organic, freshly squeezed lime in all their cocktails. Or, if you’re into sipping tequilas and mezcals (or shotting, like us circa the early naughties), there are over 50 on the menu and we dare you try them all. Actually, maybe don’t do that… because it really won’t end well for anyone involved.
We’re also fans of the Crispy Mushroom Tacos with cashew cream, charred white cabbage and hibiscus onion, and the King Prawn Lettuce Tacos with Persian feta, sauerkraut, egg, peas, hibiscus onions, and Yarra Valley salmon caviar (fancy!). And let’s not forget the Chicken Burrito Bowl with Mexican rice, house beans, salsa verde and roasted red capsicum sauce and slaw. Top it all off with the Dessert Nachos with salted caramel bananas, coconut yoghurt and peanut brittle and you’ve officially died and gone to foody heaven.
So if you’re keen to escape the mass produced, sour cream laden tex-mex style of chow and experience authentic and genuine Me-hi-co, Pablito’s is the real deal.
Words by Bianca Trathen.