From beach to rainforest, discover a foodie tour of the Gold Coast
Alana Lowes, The Flying Foodie, has designed the perfect escape on the Gold Coast, with a weekend of feasting by the beach and the lush green forests of the Gold Coast hinterland.
Search and book for flights now to start planning your escape!
VIDEO https://www.virginaustralia.com/static_files/Images/Images2/320x220-ff-g..." style="float: right; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 50px; margin-right: 50px;" width="320">Pre-dinner</strong> – From your Broadbeach accommodation, take a sunset stroll across to the newly refurbished <strong><a href=" http://www.jupitersgoldcoast.com.au/restaurants/garden-kitchen-bar">Jupiters casino</a></strong> for a cocktail at the luscious <strong>Garden Kitchen & Bar</strong>. The signature cocktails list is where to go for the pick of the aperitifs, some spectacular flaming theatrics as well. The Rock cocktail with its 5 liqueur blend of vanilla infused Bacardi, Licor 43, Grand Marnier, Hennessy VSOP, Crème de Cacao and caramel syrup topped with orange juice is positively dramatic. The mixologist flames the citrus oils from the peel and drops it into the warmed liqueurs. The toasty flavours of the scorched peel and caramel syrup fused with the liqueur blend coats the tongue leaving a lingering dark caramel orange taste, totally delicious.</p>
<p><strong>Evening</strong> – It’s time to get your modern Asian swagger on at <strong>Mamasan <img alt="" height="200" src=" https://www.virginaustralia.com/static_files/Images/Images2/320x220-ff-g..." style="float: right; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 50px; margin-right: 50px;" width="320">Kitchen & Bar</strong> in the Oracle Boulevard in Broadbeach. The flavours on the menu stay true to the unique South East Asian cuisine with a sprinkling of fun infusion from other cultures. The Sashimi Tostada, inspired by the Latin American dish where they use a toasted ingredient as the base, uses finely diced sashimi ocean trout with a daikon salsa and Korean red sour sauce piled on a crispy wonton wrapper. It’s fresh, crunchy and creates an Asian salsa dance in your mouth. No matter how full you are, or what other dishes you have ordered, you have to definitely try the glazed lamb ribs. Sweet and sticky soy glaze coats your fingers and you mouth with a hit of chilli to remind you you’re alive.</p>
<p><strong>8am</strong> – Indulge in a sleep-in as yoga doesn’t start until 8am on a Saturday. After last nights feast, yoga will aid in digestion, wake up a sluggish body and will get it ready for another day of indulging. <strong><a href=" http://www.bskt.com.au">BSKT</a></strong>, located at Mermaid Beach, is both yoga studio and health <img alt="" height="200" src=" https://www.virginaustralia.com/static_files/Images/Images2/320x220-ff-g..." style="float: right; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 50px; margin-right: 50px;" width="320">conscious café all rolled into one funky corner offering. They have the philosophy about fuelling the body and mind with the highest quality food available. As a regular yoga devotee, I can’t argue with the facts that beginning a day with yoga is great for the digestive system, particularly if you are embarking on a food tour of the Gold Coast. </p>
<p>From the yoga studio, just head down stairs to the café. The breakfast menu is aimed to deliver food of superior nutritional integrity. While I did feel a little naughty ordering pancakes to start the day, the super berry cacao pancakes with crushed macadamia nuts, yoghurt and coconut sorbet is probably the healthiest pancakes I have ever eaten. Luscious amounts of crunchy texture and a balanced sweet/savoury flavour is just the perfect way to wake up. My obsessions with cold pressed juices with turmeric continued here, I loved the spicy hints in the apple, ginger, turmeric and carrot juice.</p>
<p><strong>Morning</strong> - Grab a takeaway coffee from <strong><a href=" http://www.bskt.com.au">BSKT</a></strong> and head to Burleigh Head and stroll along James Street where you can window shop beach inspired homewares. If you are after some morning tea, Cocowhip (Vegan soft serve) is served up at Hele’s Heavenly Wholefood Café or head up to the rooftop at Justin Lane to soak up the sun and mingle like a local.</p>
<p><strong>Lunchtime</strong> – <strong><a href=" http://www.rickshores.com.au">Rick Shores</a></strong> sits at the base of the Burleigh Beach headland with sweeping views up north along the Gold Coast beaches and soaring skyline. If you are familiar with Longtime in Brisbane, you will be excited to know Nick and the team have venture south to open the fabulous Rick Shores, perfecting modern dishes of Thai, Indian, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisines. I couldn’t go past the fresh Coles Bay oysters and the betel leaf with poached prawns. Both creamy in texture and as fresh as the ocean view. The light pink hued Bird in Hand D & B Pour Les Amour pinot noir rose was lively with fruit but a delicate style, the perfect match to seafood. As it was only lunchtime, I opted for a salad of soft shell crab, green apple som tum with kim chi and peanuts. A super fragrant Thai inspired salad, leaving enough room for desert. If your appetite is larger, there are plenty of aromatic curries on the menu and a lamb shoulder rubbed in five-spice.</p>
<p><strong><img alt="" height="200" src=" https://www.virginaustralia.com/static_files/Images/Images2/320x220-ff-b..." style="float: right; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 50px; margin-right: 50px;" width="320">Afternoon</strong> – Head to <strong><a href=" http://www.burleighbrewing.com.au">Burleigh Brewing Company</a></strong> a place where Hawaiian and Australian beer and surf collides. Founders Brennan and Peta Fielding brought their successful Hawaiian beer brewing skills back to Peta’s homeland, settling in Burleigh Heads, where the perfect village atmosphere breathed life in the Burleigh Brewing Company. Most beers share a story; the popular 28 Pale Ale pays homage to the 28-day swell that amazed Burleigh Heads in 1975. The newest member to the range of beers, the Hassle Hop, is every brewers dream. The brew was formulated when five of the brewers got together to debate their favourite hops and of course, there were five different types. Not to be biased to any one brewer, they decided to create a brew to combine them all. My expectation was to taste a hugely hoppy beer with big robust flavours, but the brewers have managed to find the balance and bring out the best quality in each hop without overpowering another. The bonus of visiting the taphouse is the opportunity to sample their “bit on the side” their specialty small batch brews. The current Oak ESB is my favourite with a great balanced malt taste.</p>
<p><strong><img alt="" height="220" src=" https://www.virginaustralia.com/static_files/Images/Images2/320x220-ff-g..." style="float: right; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 50px; margin-right: 50px;" width="320">Evening</strong> - An unassuming brick building overlooking Burleigh Beach houses <strong><a href=" http://www.thefishhouse.com.au">The Fishhouse</a></strong> and, in my opinion, one of Australia’s best seafood restaurants. You might be able to grab some fish and chips from down the road for 15 bucks, but I can assure you, the fish there hasn’t just been caught the night before and shipped directly to the restaurant where Head Chef, Kelvin Andrews, works his magic. The setting is unpretentious, the food unadulterated with just the flavours of the ocean shining through. The king of the menu is the Patagonian Tooth Fish. The highly prized fish is sourced from the isolated deep icy Antarctic waters, some 4000kms from mainland Australia. Buttery snow-white flesh melts in your mouth leaving a lingering sweetness. It is definitely worth opening your wallet for this dish; even if you only try it once in your life, try it at The Fishhouse.</p>
<p><strong>AM</strong> – grab a quick breakfast at <strong><a href=" http://www.instagram.com/elkespresso">Elk Espresso</a></strong> in Broadbeach before hitting the road towards the rainforests of the Gold Coast Hinterland. Elk serves up your typical chilli scrambled eggs and egg and bacon rolls, but the highlight on the menu is the beetroot panacotta with grain free granola and loads of fresh fruit. It puts the mind in a bit of spin, eating dessert for breakfast, but they are spot on with the balance of sweetness and it is all round healthy healthy healthy!</p>
<p><strong>Morning</strong> – It’s time to hit the road and drive to the beautiful Gold Coast Hinterland. It’s never too early for wine tasting and <strong><a href=" http://www.oreillys.com.au/canungra-valley-vineyards">O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards</a></strong> is the perfect first stop on your tour through the Scenic Rim. Situated adjacent to the World Heritage listed Lamington National Park, O’Reilly’s is a spectacular 1859 homestead delicately relocated from Warwick to the magnificent acreage block in 1993. The block currently boasts 6000 vines of Shiraz, Verdelho, Semillon and the French-American hybrid variety Chambourcin. The O’Reilly family believes Queensland is the ideal climate for growing the Chambourcin grape, as it loves a wet summer. There are also picnic hampers to be enjoyed by the Canungra Creek, which runs behind the homestead.</p>
<p><strong><img alt="" height="200" src=" https://www.virginaustralia.com/static_files/Images/Images2/320x220-ff-g..." style="float: right; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 50px; margin-right: 50px;" width="320">Lunchtime</strong> – <strong><a href=" http://www.songbirds.com.au">Songbird Rainforest Retreat</a></strong> is buried deep in the heart of the rainforests of the hinterland, a 50-acre hideaway with luxurious villas and dining using some of the best produce Queensland has to offer. Interesting uses of textures, aromas and flavours fill the menus. The tuna tataki, with radishes and cucumbers direct from the chef’s garden with salmon pearls is vibrantly fresh. The unexpected creation of small black pearls created from soy is something I have never tried before and it was a standout for lunch. Other light plates of pacific oysters with pickled green melon and a light vinaigrette are a great starter. The hearty meal of hay smoked lamb shoulder is delicately balanced with sweet pickled pumpkin ribbons, ideal to share. The chef’s garden is overgrown with nasturtiums and the chef experimented in creating a sorbet. The results being a peppery sweet floral sorbet that leaves a lingering spiciness on the tongue and is perfectly paired with the star anise crumble which is lightly salted and the rhubarb and wine poached pear.</p>
<p><strong>Afternoon</strong> – Complete your food tour with afternoon tastings at<strong> <a href=" http://www.witchesfalls.com.au">Witches Chase Cheese, Tamborine Mountain Distillery and Witches Falls Winery</a></strong>. </p>
<p>Witches Falls Winery sources premium wine grapes from the Granite Belt region to produce premium quality hand made wines. Varieties of co-inoculated and wild ferment wines make for an interesting range along with their Prophecy wines. The Prophecy range is created from selected parcels of fruit that the winemaker deems exceptional and not necessarily seen every vintage. Their handpicked wild ferment sauvignon blanc is fresh with citrus notes with just a touch of oak from their time in French oak barrels. A lovely clean wine without the typical astringent flavour you get from other sauvignon blancs, a great drop. The spicy black pepper of the wild ferment Garnacha wasn’t to my palate, I would love to see it blended with a soft Syrah, maybe we might see it next vintage, this gives me a great excuse to return and tour the Gold Coast again and again.</p>
<p>Alana Lowes was a guest of Gold Coast Tourism and stayed at Peppers Resort Broadbeach.</p>
<p>Virgin Australia flies direct to the Gold Coast from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra with connections available from other destinations. <a href=" http://www.virginaustralia.com/au/en/specials-offers/flight-specials/vie...">Search and book for flights now to plan your escape</a>! </p>
<h2>More about Alana</h2>
<p><img alt="" height="260" src=" https://specials.virginaustralia.com/sites/default/files/400x260-alana-f..." style="float: right; margin-left: 20px;" width="400"></p>
<p>Alana Lowes is a celebrity cook of MasterChef pedigree, and has travelled the world as The Flying Foodie for Virgin Australia. Read more of her articles on <a href=" https://travel.virginaustralia.com/au/flying-foodie">The Flying Foodie homepage</a>.</p>
<p>She also launched the Alana’s Pantry range of products and is the Editor for lifestyle magazine, Life Begins At.</p>
<p>To see where Alana is jetting off to next or what is on her dinner plate, follow her on <a href=" http://instagram.com/alanalowes" target="_blank" title="Link opens in a new window">Instagram</a> and <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/AlanaLowesTheFlyingFoodie/">Facebook. </a></p>
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