The Gold Coast fine dining scene has evolved during the past few years — and now includes some real treats. Here’s the top 10 sure to get your tastebuds salivating as voted by goldcoastbulletin.com.au readers.
2235 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach
A first-ever tie here. Hellenika is the second restaurant by Simon Gloftis of Fish House fame. This Greek eatery has a large charcoal grill to do all its meats. Give the five-hour slow-baked Junee Lamb Shoulder or the charcoal-grilled octopus a try.
9. Moo Moo
/2685 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach
Readers voted Moo Moo the top steakhouse late last year. Famous for a menu stacked with 18 different cuts, it has stood the test of time after being started more than 10 years ago by Steven Adams and wife Autumn, with an aim to serve up great steak in modern, glamorous surrounds.
Level 21, Royal Pines Resort
Offering European styled a la carte dining, offers a degustation menu with wine matches. You can also drink in the views of the hinterland, surrounding golf course grounds and Gold Coast cityscape. It was judged the winner of Queensland Hotels Association best restaurant award in 2014 for hotel accommodation division. Offers high tea on Saturday and Sunday at 11am, noon and 1pm.
Q1 Building, Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise
French cuisine by Frenchman Meyjitte Boughenout who came to Australia 20 years ago and ended up on the Gold Coast via stints in Sydney and Tasmania. Known for it’s degustation menu, it offers up six courses for a special $68 per person. Among the signature dishes is cured beef with raspberry and eggplant salad. Opens Monday to Saturday for dinners only from 6pm.
7. (equal) Ten Japanese
Meriton Pegasus Building, Cnr Elizabeth Ave and Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach
Run by head chef Daisuke Miyake, who is steeped in Japanese cooking tradition, Miyake was a foundation member of the team overseeing the layout and menu when it opened in 2008. Open for lunch Thursday to Saturday noon until 2pm, and dinners Tuesday to Saturday, 6pm to 9pm. Oh, and ‘Ten’ in Japanese translates to ‘heaven’ … you get the idea.
Soul building, 8 The EspSurfers Paradise
Among the newest additions to the Gold Coast fine dining scene, this place just across the road from the Surfers Paradise beachfront opened just nine months ago. Elston offers up what it calls a “delectable, holistic and rustic menu” that features fish, lamb and duck dishes plus an extensive grill listing and options for the kids.
5. Social Eating House & Bar
137/3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
This popular tapas bar and restaurant was opened two years ago by award-winning chef Matt Jefferson, the brains behind another top Broadbeach dining experience ROCKSALT. Specialty dishes include a slow cooked — and we mean slow — lamb shoulder, done for 10 hours overnight, and Tweed Valley king prawns. Open seven days for lunches from noon and dinner from 6pm.
4. The Fish House
50 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
Specialist seafood restaurant with a menu that changes daily. The two-year old venue, with capacity for 70 people, is part of the stable of Simon Gloftis and boasts a sommelier team to help with the wine selection. Has the honour of being included in the Gourmet Traveller’s Good Food Guide as one of its top 100 restaurants. Office manager Rachael Nicholson says it boasts “the freshest seafood probably on the Gold Coast … it’s flown in daily from Melbourne — that’s where you get the steadiest and freshest supply”.
Level 2, Soul building, Surfers Paradise
Award-winning executive chef Steve Szabo is the man behind the menu — both food and drinks — at this signature eatery in a signature building. The dishes on offer change regularly depending on what Steve can source from around the country. They’ll be showcasing a new menu soon and are bringing back $39 two-course lunch specials, which are more about quick, good meals than fine dining. Open for breakfast seven days, lunches Tuesday to Sunday and dinner Tuesday to Saturday.
136 Duringan St, Currumbin
Four-year old Allure does the classics with a modern touch via all-Australian produce and fresh seafood including prawns straight off the trawler at Main Beach. The brainchild of Brad Hooper, a former executive chef at Hilton Sydney and Couran Cove on Stradbroke Island, it was recently voted the number two restaurant in Australia — yes, the whole country — on TripAdvisor. Opens for elegant casual dining Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 3pm and for dinner from 5.30pm on the same days.
1. Little Truffle
2444 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Owner and chef Daniel Ridgeway wants you to know the name of his restaurant is a bit of a play on words. Just like truffles occupy a special place in the world of fine cuisine, so too does Little Truffle on the Gold Coast dining scene.
His four-and-a-half-year old baby is a “little gem”, he reckons — as do our readers who voted it first this week.
“Truffles are like the diamonds of the kitchen … and we found our own little corner where we wanted to open something special for the locals of the Gold Coast.”
Ridgeway has been working in kitchens since he started at one while still in school aged 14 before a year later getting an apprenticeship at a five-star international resort.
Little Truffle boasts a menu line-up that’s modern Australian with European influences. Among the more popular, signature dishes are any form of confit duck — done in a sous vide machine which cooks it via a water circulator; the Moreton Bay bugs with prawn tortellini, which has been on the menu since day one; plus a vegetable tempura zucchini flower full of Persian feta, toasted pine nuts and parsley with Ridgeway’s own tomato relish — “we make that in-house”.
A favourite for the sweet tooths is its vanilla bean panna cotta with raspberry jelly and raspberry and rose granita. Ridgeway says that and the Moreton Bay bug dish are the two things he can’t take off the menu.
The place is open for lunches on Wednesday through Saturday from noon until 3pm — and dinners from Monday until Saturday, 5pm until late.