Brisbane | Gold Coast

4 New Gold Coast Hot Spots

To tick off your 'to-dine' list

4 New Gold Coast Hot Spots

A rise in niche dining experiences creates intimate and unhurried settings

One of the Gold Coast’s greatest properties is the way it balances coastal relaxation with vibrant nightlife. Doors swing open to buzzing streets, electric with the murmurs of Friday and Saturday night.

There’s something for everyone – from collective dining to innovative dishes, brought home from other lands. Just as you thought you had checked all the hottest spots off your to-dine list, a new venue pops up around every corner.

Baskk

A sophisticated air permeates 52 Marine Parade as the Coolangatta social scene turns it up a notch Friday through to Sunday. Beachfront dining creates the difficult task of balancing socialising with relaxation, which is executed flawlessly. The name says it all: Baskk.

The interior boasts earth and wooden elements through rattan lights and stools, sandstone blocks at the bar, a timber bar top and a knotted rope swing. The colour palette was picked with intention, which is clear through earthy tones that melt into the background, allowing the colourful dishes to pop. Flirty cocktails play with fruity and floral combinations and the lack of urgency means you can work your way through the totally secret, in-store only drinks list.

A carefully crafted menu encourages sharing, dining slowly and staying longer. Start with wood fired flat bread or popcorn chilli prawns, move on to Byron Tempeh Tacos and Hiramasa Kingfish and finish with implausible desserts such as Nitrogen Mousse or Nos Flower: lavender ice cream with sugared petals and raspberry dust. Or, choose to share a tableful of pizzas, from Wild Mushroom to Grilled Salmon, with the choice of traditional tomato or confit garlic white base.

With a live music pumping through the restaurant, local beers on tap and a menu bathed in truffle oil, Baskk is a full sensory experience.

Poké Poké

A new wave is barrelling over the Gold Coast, sweeping up the acai-crazed community and carrying them off to the Hawaiian Islands. Salt drenched and sand covered? Stop by, you’re part of the aesthetic here.

She’s the younger sibling of Bonita Bonita and BonBon and she sure knows how to set the mood. It’s cranking as the room swells beneath the pink glow of a signature neon sign: Okey Dokey Time for Poké. Flamingo arches animate the stucco walls and an emerald wall-seat fills the room with life.

Freshness is a central theme, with bowls prepared behind the bar and a hole-in-the-wall that brings the inside out. It’s the perfect spot to hang green bananas and diners get to sit totally backside. Poké Poké, the surfers sashimi.

Pick from fresh bowls with fish and chicken combinations, or opt for something Jamaican style and grab some roti with a vego curry. The Tuna Me On Bowl is a clear favourite, as brown rice, crispy plantains and fresh tuna dance beneath wasabi mayo. Fish bowls never sounded so good.

On a cold winter’s night, opt to warm from the inside out with a frothy from the choka drink menu. Don’t be a Benny, pop by today.

The North Room

Bringing refined European-style dining to Mermaid Beach's seaside, The North Room is a cosy, 28-seater restaurant that offers personalised service. The perfect space for date night; it's Valentine's Day all year round.

The restaurant dresses itself with its own ambience as minimalist design and decor creates a space for intimacy. Crisp, white-panelled walls set the scene and a plush ink blue banquette pairs nicely with chocolate wooden tables, adding to the air of familiarity. Eight diners can sit at the marble-topped bar for a more casual experience, wrapping their fingers around the leathery wine list and enjoying the gentle buzz of discussion.

Dishes are plated in an imaginative way, creating a feast for the eyes. Each dish features locally-sourced produce and the menu will change seasonally, shaped around the intention to use only the finest ingredients. You are encouraged to expand your tastebuds to new combinations and international cuisines, reflected by artistic share plates and a five course tasting menu that is expertly paired with wines.

Current dishes include Whipped Cod with anchovies and rye bread and Green Eggs and Ham, which is highlighted with nettle and kalettes. Beetroot meringue and fresh strawberry sorbet sing together, the perfect way to finish the evening.

The Island | Boutique Hotel

With 98 luxurious rooms, views that stretch across Surfers Paradise and the Gold Coast Hinterland, an Italian bistro and exclusive rooftop, The Island covers all of your accommodation and dining needs.

The freshly renovated boutique hotel is equipped for a range of functions and events, from gala events or product launches to weddings. The pool deck makes the perfect space for corporate presentations, with a stylish alfresco-style setting that seats up to 80 guests. Natural timber decking balances nicely against the rattan furniture and hanging light fixtures.

Stretch out the day with Sundays on the rooftop, kicking off at 12pm and pumping until midnight. Sip an Ocean Breeze or a Strawberry Fields Martini beneath the fairy lights and soak up the live entertainment. Downstairs, The Island Bistro offers an authentic Italian dining experience and fresh, locally-sourced produce. Squid Ink Linguini, Whole Baked Baby Fish and Vanilla Panna Cotta are just a few of the culinary delights on the menu.

Finally, your late-night pizza prayers have been answered. The bistro serves up traditional woodfired pizzas including Capricciosa and Siciliana until midnight.

About the Author

Jamie-Lee Rowley

Jamie-Lee Rowley

I’m a creative-visualist that loves bees, beers and devouring well-written books. A 70s babe, born in the 90s. I appreciate marmalade skies, write poems exploring female sexuality and equality and walk barefoot along off-beaten tracks. You’ll find me searching through vintage stalls, staring at obscure art, helping out at local markets, crowd surfing at live music events and sampling every acai the coast has to offer. As a certified Nutritional Therapist, I advocate sustainable living in the sun, the salt and the studio, a statue in Warrior II.