Where To Eat, Drink and Stay According To An Actual Gold Coast Local
Australia’s answer to Hollywood, the Gold Coast has become the ultimate playground for the stars. It has the glitter and gold in the luxury hotels, Cristal and caviar in its five-star restaurants, and more than its fair share of glamorous bars to both see and be seen.
If you’re in the mood to discover all that glitters on the Gold Coast, this is where to do it.
Where to eat
The Fish House, Burleigh Heads
As celebrity hotspots go, The Fish House is up there with the best of them. Situated on the waterfront overlooking the beach at Burleigh Heads, this seafood mecca is one of the most awarded restaurants on the coast – and it deserves all the praise.
Patagonian toothfish with a miso sake sauce, John Dory with a white wine braise… it’s heaven on a plate. Johnny Depp, Cate Blanchett, and Dwayne Johnson are just a few of the celebs to indulge at The House.
Hellenika, Nobby’s Beach
The Gold Coast dining scene has changed. No longer confined to Surfers, it now stretches along the coast to areas such as Southport and Nobby’s Beach. One venue which helped drive that change was Hellenika, an award-winning Greek restaurant and rooftop bar.
Though off the beaten path when it opened in 2010, it proved diners were willing to venture outside the dining precincts of old. Hellenika recently opened a second venue at The Calile Hotel in Fortitude Valley, but Nobby’s is the place to experience where it all began.
Little Truffle, Mermaid Beach
A feast for the eyes as well as the stomach, Little Truffle is an award-winning gem from Chef Daniel Ridgeway. The modern European menu, extensive wine list, first-class service and intimate vibe have made this one of the city’s best fine-dining venues.
The five-course degustation with paired wines is an absolute must try, with signatures such as the herb crusted eye fillet and kingfish carpaccio guaranteed to send you into a state of dining bliss.
Where to drink
Nineteen at The Star, Broadbeach
One bar to rule them all. Since opening in March 2018, Nineteen at The Star has taken the Gold Coast bar scene to dizzying new heights.
The sophisticated restaurant delivers a high-end, produce-driven menu, while its glamorous rooftop bar has become a mecca for local and visiting stars including Jamaican Olympian Usain Bolt and actress Jessica Marais.
The Scottish Prince, Palm Beach
Whisky fans are in for a treat at The Scottish Prince, a dark yet inviting Palm Beach hotspot boasting a wall of more than 150 whiskies from around the globe. Like a piece of Edinburgh transported to the Coast, the bar features shadowy timbers and racing green walls, vintage artworks and more than a few yellowed maps of Scotland. In less experienced hands it could have easily fallen into the realms of style over substance, but this bar is pure Scottish fire.
The Collective, Palm Beach
Another Palm Beach favourite is The Collective, a foodie hangout with five restaurant kitchens – including a Japanese, Italian, and Mexican – under the same roof. The diverse food is sensational, the cocktail list inventive, and the rooftop bar a fantastic place to sit back and indulge while enjoying the Coast’s legendary sunny days and balmy nights.
Where to stay
The Darling, Broadbeach
What’s better than a five-star hotel? An all-suite six-star hotel, of course. The Darling in Broadbeach is such a place, offering the perfect combination of boutique design and luxury, with dramatic views and suites that are larger (and considerably more luxe) than most houses.
The Southern Penthouse Deluxe Suite, for one, boasts 328 sqm of space, two bedrooms, its own billiard room, and sheets that are reportedly the same as those used by The Pope. A night at The Darling doesn’t come cheap, but it’s worth every single cent.
The Island, Surfers Paradise
If there’s one hotel which sums up the new Gold Coast, it’s The Island. Located in the heart of Surfers Paradise, this now-glamorous 4.5-star boutique hotel was known as The Islander in a past life.
Completely gutted and reinvented from the ground up, with beach-chic styling throughout, it’s now one of the hottest new hotels in the city. The rooftop bar on level one is a top spot to kick back and enjoy a few drinks as the city hums below.
QT Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise
Boring cookie-cutter hotels are a dying breed, particularly with hotels such as the glamorous five-star QT Gold Coast bringing some much-needed personality back to the hotel scene.
Like QT Sydney, the Gold Coast is a kitsch, quirky and technicoloured dream where rooms are more than just four walls and a bed. Also located onsite, the delectable Japanese izakaya Yamagen and buffet restaurant Bazaar will tickle your taste buds in all the right places.
The change in the Gold Coast runs deeper too than its Hollywood-class hotels and dining– it’s a destination reborn, now offering the right mix of natural wonder, urban escape and heart. Easy to get to and easy to love, the Gold Coast is a city worth rediscovering.
(Lead image: The Fish House / Facebook)
Published 07 January, 2019