The Gold Coast is best known for its nightlife, it’s golden beaches, and of course, the famous Surfers Paradise that adorns postcards and travel bucket lists worldwide. It’s not exactly known as a world-class dining destination, but a recent boom in the culinary scene has us booking tickets to the laid-back region for an unforgettable foodie adventure.
If we could only visit one beachfront restaurant, it would have to be Rick Shores. Here, local seafood is the focus, with a pan-Asian flair. Sitting on Burleigh Beach, diners have uninterrupted views of the sapphire waters and surfers. Order the restaurant’s famous Moreton Bay Bug Roll, which comes dressed with Sriracha, mayonnaise and lettuce to whet your appetite. As for the rest of the meal, the menu changes regularly, but you can expect to see karaage chicken in tamarind mustard, crispy shrimp wonton, and chargrilled Toothfish on the menu. Don’t forget to grab a tipple from its award-winning drinks list.
Step into the lobby level of The Star to find Kiyomi, a buzzy Japanese eatery helmed by Chef Chase Kojima. Sydneysiders will recognise his striking plate presentation and the flavour bombs Kojima is known for. Expect raw dishes such as ocean trout with yuzu soy and scallop sashimi, tempura veggies and seafood, and a grilled section flushed with king prawns, dry-aged duck, wagyu, and chicken robata options. There is also a selection of sushi rolls or a set menu if you can’t decide.
Miss Moneypenny’s is the overachieving sibling in the family. It has won multiple awards and even has a chef hat for its globally inspired modern Mediterranean cuisine. Inside, diners fawn over the architecturally designed dining room, with a cutting-edge style that is simultaneously relaxed, so patrons can let their hair down. The menu is vast, but the Chef’s Seven Dish Signature Selection is a good place to start. The a la carte menu is packed with the flavourful fare, from Alaskan King Crab Legs swimming in XO sauce, seared wagyu beef carpaccio, and of course, Miss Moneypenny’s Signature Fish Pie, made of salmon and barramundi drowning in mild yellow curry.
Whether you’re looking for a date night or getting together with friends, Social Eating House is designed for sharing. The tapas-style plates are stacked with local prawns, scallops and oysters, along with a range of charcuterie from Australia and Spain. If you’re after something more hearty, the 12-hour slow-cooked lamb shoulder is a hit, along with the chargrilled chicken and twice-cooked pork belly. The bar menu is also inspired, with a range of cocktails from old-fashioned to gimlet and everything in between. The wine list pairs perfectly with the entrees if you want something lighter and low-key.
Experience the Gold Coast’s iconic nightlife at Jimmy Wah’s, a buzzing Vietnamese restaurant mixing a lively night out with flavour-packed dishes inspired by a bike ride around Vietnam. The dishes are designed to share, and the menu is long, so buckle in for a tastebud adventure. Diners will find the usual suspects on the menu, such as spring rolls, Vietnamese pancakes, caramelised pork belly, and fragrant curries. The flavours are homely, but the presentation is artful.