Fiddlers Green Irish Bar

If there’s one thing you can count on as a traveller, it’s this: you’re going to have a good time at an Irish pub. For many, it’s a home away from home; a place to stop for a warm welcome and hearty refreshment.

Considering the number of Irish among us, it’s surprising that the Gold Coast has only a handful of established Irish bars.

Fiddlers Green is one of the most central of these, the only Irish-owned bar in town, located in the heart of Surfers Paradise. The former longstanding Bavarian restaurant turned Irish pub has been in the hands of ex-Dubliners, the Tormey family, since opening its doors in 2007.

Named after the mythological Fiddler’s Green afterlife where everyone is happy, the fiddle never stops playing and dancers never tire, the name rings as true for travellers to Surfers Paradise as it does for sailors.

We join the regulars and tourists who make their pilgrimage to Fiddlers Green, welcomed by Graham Tormey before we sit on the front veranda overlooking the street.

It’s a large dimly-lit venue with people gravitating to the front dining area overlooking the street or along the sprawling wood-panelled sports bar to one side. Early in the evening, things are quiet and dark inside; different to later on, when live music begins and the night crowds gather.

It’s been a working day for us, so we’re here for an early dinner, intent on relaxing, having a drink and soaking up the atmosphere.

There’s a fair choice on the menu ranging from starters through burgers, mains, steaks and desserts, plus daily specials. We’re taken with the ‘Taste of Home’ section – mains around the $20 mark which reflect true Irish fayre.

Starting with some rings of tender lemon pepper crumbed calamari ($9.90), we follow manager Jenny Mooney’s recommendations and order Beef & Guinness pie as well as an Irish-style Chicken Curry for mains, courtesy of Head Chef Tyler Holdz.

Yes, it seems that curry is Irish, at least it has been since McDonnells started making curry sauce in Drogheda in the 1980s! Now it’s one of Ireland’s favourite dishes. Reminiscent of Japanese-style curry, the tasty Irish version is served on top of chips and rice ($22.90). Easy eating.

Intriguing though the curry is, the Beef and Guinness Pie is a fabulous dish, hearty enough to ‘warm the cockles’ of my heart. Flavoursome and tender, the stew is served in an open crisp pie crust ($20.90). Little surprise that it’s Fiddlers Green’s best-selling dish! It’s our pick of the night – a nostalgic journey for the Irish in us.

Large slabs of Sticky date pudding and Baileys Irish Cream cheesecake served with cream and ice cream ($7.90 each) are large enough to share, demanding a takeaway.

After finding their welcome in Fiddlers Green with a pint of Irish stout or Guinness, downed as Irish rugby games play on the big screen, many travellers have left their mark on the pub, their county clubs’ rugby jerseys now arranged as a roof panel above the front bar.

It’s only one of the special touches that has led to the bar being honoured with wins at the Irish Pubs Global Awards in 2017.

There’s a fine choice of Irish beer on tap as well as aged whiskey and bourbon but, settled in the middle of the bar between the sports bar and the back bar over-lit by traditional stained-glass, lies Graham’s gin bar with a menu all its own.

Six different gins including Ableforth’s prohibition-style The Bathtub, and Rogue Society featuring New Zealand botanicals, and our local Husk Distillery’s Ink Gin lit by the butterfly pea flower come in 45ml serves with Fever tree tonic, garnished and served in a Copa de Balon gin glass. Unexpectedly, the range and service of gin here smacks of a lot more knowledge than we’d give credit for in a bar specialising in Irish beer and whiskey!

I doubt that sailors in the mythological Fiddlers Green were gin drinkers, but we finished our dinner happy, our hearts warm and bellies full. The gin bar was an added delight! We may not have travelled far tonight, but we have travelled well. Who could ask for more?

39 Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise, Ph: 07 5538 9122 Open: Mon – Sun 10am – 3am

NOTE: Good Food Gold Coast dined as guests of Fiddlers Green.

Fiddler's Green Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

BTW, McDonnells Curry Sauce is famous enough to have its own ad. Hope you find it as funny as we did:

 

Atmosphere Breakfast Coffee & Tea Dessert Dinner Food Nightlife Irish Licensed Live Music Lunch Main course $15 to $25 Restaurants Steak & Ribs Surfers Paradise Tourist attraction , , , , , , , ,

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