This glamorous beach town is brimming with memorable culinary experiences. Here are some of our recommendations for an appetising time down under.
By RIAAN JACOB GEORGE
Most luxury travellers, today, are seeking something memorable
and experiential when it comes to their dining excursions. Something
more ‘Instagrammable’, perhaps. Think a champagne breakfast in the wilderness, an unconventional restaurant in an artsy district,
a seafood-speciality restaurant on a jetty, a picnic breakfast after sunrise, and more. Well, seek no more. Simply plan a trip to the glamorous Australian coastal city of Gold Coast, situated an easy hour’s drive from Brisbane. This ultra-modern cluster of sea-facing luxe hotels, glass towers, and surfer beaches features a buzzing
arts scene and, as expected, a dynamic food and drink scene. Based in
the trendy Broadbeach neighbourhood of Gold Coast, we spent three
days charting out some of the city’s best experiential dining spots.
Inspiring Indigenous Ingredients
Australian ingredients reign supreme at Gods of the Sea. Located in Marina Mirage, an upscale shopping and dining destination, this seafood-speciality restaurant, with nautical-chic interiors, serves only Australian seafood, paired with local wines from boutique wineries. Through a large glass gallery, one can see the executive chef, Jon Nurminen, painstakingly working on every cut of fish, plating up
a selection of exquisite Aussie vegetables in a range of colours. Interestingly, the menu mentions the provenance of each fish—like the Chargrilled Spanish Mackerel from Double Island Point in Queensland and the Grilled Rainbow Trout from
Goulburn River, Victoria.
The next morning, a short 90-minute drive to the outskirts of Gold Coast takes us to Summerland Camels. Considered to be one of the largest camel farms in the world, this unique retreat breeds camels sustainably and produces dairy and skincare products. Situated on Gold Coast’s Scenic Rim, it features a gorgeous vintage-style bungalow, where travellers can partake of a speciality breakfast. Enjoy a host of camel-milk dairy products—a camel cappuccino, perhaps—home-made pastries, sandwiches, and artisanal coffees. Don’t forget to feed the camels nearby, take a walk to the dairy, or join a tour of the farm.
An Artsy Appetite
We get back to downtown Gold Coast for the afternoon to the
hottest new address in town—HOTA (Home of the Arts). This recently
opened, integrated arts district is a public space boasting theatres, performance spaces, galleries and, of course, highend F&B outlets. Tucked away in a discreet corner of the HOTA complex is the aptly named Palette. A finedining restaurant boasting two Chef Hats (the Aussie equivalent of the Michelin star), Palette is the highestrated restaurant in the city and adopts an art-meets-food philosophy with
its unique menu and plating styles that are quite artsy.
Quintessential Aussie Experiences
A great way to experience Australia’s undulating landscapes is via hotair ballooning. Many operators offer these tours here. At the crack of dawn, you’ll be escorted, to the outskirts of Gold Coast, where hot-air balloon pilots will make sure you take in amazing views of the sunrise—and some hopping kangaroos—from a height, before touching down in a field. Following this, you will be driven to O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard for a magnificent champagne breakfast of freshly baked bread, locally produced cheese, exquisite preserves,
and eggs to order. All this accompanied by a flute of
A visit to Gold Coast would be incomplete without immersing
yourself in the famous Australian beach lifestyle. Two neighbourhoods especially come to mind—Surfer’s Paradise and Broadbeach. Both have buzzing waterfront promenades lined with laid-back beach
bars, cafés, and surf clubs. If you want to truly enjoy a local experience, head on over to one of the cafés for a flat white—it’s practically impossible to get a bad cup of coffee in this part of the world! The local surf clubs are a great way to taste Australian favourites like fish-and-chips or sausage sizzle, at relatively
Related: An Unexpected Safari