Foodies that we are, we asked Drew Gibbons to take us around the Gold Coast to visit all the best restaurants you haven’t tried (but should). He also introduced us to some well-known contenders. Do yourself a flavour and support the local gastronomy scene, whilst devouring the best dishes of your life. The GC has had a makeover, and she is uber sophisticated.
Here, Drew serves up his raw reviews.
If you’re a fan of beautiful interiors, fresh local produce and modern Australian food then a booking at Labart is a must. This husband and wife powerhouse are killing it with their inner-city style restaurant on the sunny Gold Coast. Their aim? With class and finesse, they use the best local produce to bring joy to their customers through a seasonal share-style menu that will have you talking about your Labart experience for weeks.
The North Room is a brilliant example of how to pull off a small intimate restaurant. This 28-seater has a seasonally-changing food and a wine menu with a focus on fresh local produce. The bar is stunning, the food is explosive and the atmosphere is elegant and coastal. The food is designed to be shared so get your crew together, and make a booking.
If you haven’t heard of Etsu you’ve actually been living under a rock. I can’t put this dinner into words, you’ll just have to try it.
Rabbath opened three years ago and quickly made its way to the top of charts on Trip Advisor for good reason. The place is small and intimate, the staff are friendly and attentive and the food is off the rails. If you’re a connoisseur of Lebanese food, or you feel like you need to be, just make a booking. Also, order a “Garden of Eden” (or six) because they’re to die for.
If you’re feeling lucky and you love Bao, then you’re going to hit the jackpot at Lucky Bao. I take all my interstate friends to this unassuming suburban shopping complex to show off this amazing Asian fusion cuisine. I can’t go past their Yellow Fin Tuna Sashimi, the Twice-cooked Sichuan Lamb Ribs or the Tempura Soft Shell Crab Bao. They offer a 2 Bao for $16.00 Monday to Friday lunch. Grab life by the Bao.
My favourite thing to do at Jimmy Wah’s is sit at the bar, drink, eat and watch the cute barmen pour me drinks. More importantly, the Vietnamese food is modern and delicious. I can’t leave Jimmy’s without ordering the Betel Leaf, Tempura Bug Tail and the Wok Seared Squid.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a plethora of ramen houses on the Gold Coast… but we do have one saviour, Muso Ramen. Round up your mates and head over to Muso ramen to eat your weight in noodles. Enjoy classics like Tonkotsu and Chicken Soy to delectable combinations like Truffle Soy Ramen, that will have you coming back for more.
If you walked past the entrance of this place, you’d miss it. Through an unmarked doorway and down a narrow hall, the place opens up into a busy restaurant. Each table comes with its own BBQ cooktop and utensils where you cook your Marble Score 10 Wagyu, Berkshire Pork and Vegetables. To top this off, you’re brought three delicious dipping sauces to clothe your succulent Wagyu. The almighty chicken Kaarage here is the best I’ve ever tasted. They’re so good at food they don’t even need an insta page or website.
Modern Middle Eastern food, Tabboon is another gem in Robina serving locals exquisite fresh tucker. From stunning dips and falafel, to grill plates, to tantalising tagines you’ll satisfy all your cravings. Top off your dinner with house-made Baklava or Turkish Delight and a BYO bottle of wine You’ll want to leave the kids at home every Friday night. Book ahead online, cause these guys are popular.
If you ever crave legit Italian soul food, you can’t go past Spaghetti and Jazz. This trattoria has been serving up handmade pasta and pizza, and is my go-to Italian restaurant. To accompany the incredible food, they have an unpretentious wine list at very reasonable prices. My pick is the Donelli Lambrusco or the Piccini Raffia Chianti. This place exudes character and charm, with a live jazz band and all kinds of entertainment. Hot tip: From 5-6:30pm their takeaway pizzas are $12.00.
Drew Gibbons is a classic Masterchef case: Lawyer by day, Chef by night. If Nigella and James Dean had a baby, Drew would be it. He spends hours cooking each evening at home, conjuring up a storm of scrumptiousness for himself and his partner; it’s dinner-party-worthy stuff. Drew lives sustainably, picking fresh produce from his garden. His ideal dinner guests are his Mum, Lady Di and David Attenborough.
When he isn’t crafting in the kitchen, he’s frequenting the best restaurants that Queensland and Northern NSW have to offer.
Follow Drew’s hilarous adventures here, but be prepared to salivate whilst watching him cook.