Street Food in Restaurants

Street food is taking the Gold Coast by storm, not just in markets, on the street fronts and parks via food truck presence, but even in restaurants, street foods are popping up along the coast. There’s a blurring of the line between street food and high-end cuisine, with diners showing a preference for casual fare to share.

We check out a dozen street food dishes you can find in restaurants on the coast and where to find them:

Okonomiyaki

When it comes to omelettes, Japanese come out tops with okonomiyaki. Literally meaning ‘grilled as you like it’, okonomiyaki is a savoury Japanese pancake, its base of flour, eggs and shredded cabbage topped with kewpie mayo and brown sauce. Much like pizza, variations are endless. Its sweet and savoury, spicy and smoky flavours are instantly recognisable. There are a few versions around you might want to try:

Zipang at Currumbin serves traditional okonomiyaki at lunch, while Cutie Cutie Diner at Parkwood make an excellent version in a waffle iron, finished with kewpie, katsu sauce and traditional toppings. Zipang, 31 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters, Ph: 07 5521 0061; Cutie Cutie Diner, Crestwood Plaza, 458 Olsen Ave, Molendinar, Ph: 07 5597 7350

Tacos and Grilled Corn

Sure, lots of restaurants have been practising the Mexican wave on the coast for years, but the only place we know hand pressing their own taco shells is Fire Cue. Owner/Head Chef Adam Dundas-Taylor has the flavours down pat, tacos sold at a street-worthy price of $5 each on Tuesdays. We love to order grilled corn as well, dripping in smoky spice, chipotle mayo and lime, with a rack of ribs to finish off… Fire Cue, 2243 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach, Ph: 07 5511 1504

Halo Halo

If you want to eat a rainbow, we’re talking Halo Halo. With a name meaning ‘mixture’, that exactly what you can expect from this Filipino delight: a large glass dish filled with purple yam ice cream, topping a layer of milk-drenched shaved ice and cubes of fermented coconut water jelly, egg custard, coconut ribbons, fruit and sweet red beans. Our place for Halo Halo is Kubo’s Grill in Australia Fair Metro, but make sure you take a friend to share the huge serving Jake Gutierrez dishes out! Kubos’, Australia Fair Metro, Young St., Southport, Ph: 0449 556 981

Souvlaki

The simple flavours of Greek cooking are often associated with women in the kitchen, but not souvlaki. It’s secret men’s business. Men cook skewered pieces of meat outside over coals, which are then wrapped in pita with salad and tangy tzatziki. On the Gold Coast, you’ll smell the souvlaki before you see it at The Lamb Shop, Broadbeach, an excellent example of souvlaki. Gotta love the souva! The Lamb Shop, Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach, Ph: 07 5539 0973

OmuRice

While Westerners may be envious of okonomiyaki as a staple dish, Japanese shared back the omelette love with omurice. What is it? The name gives the game away, ‘omu’ and ‘raisu’ being contractions of the words ‘omelette’ and ‘rice’; a fusion dish blending a Western omelette stuffed with homemade fried rice, chicken and vegetables with homemade ketchup. Shin Sugiyama, owner of Chanoyu in Southport, says most Japanese would eat omurice for lunch, yet we love it for breakfast at his little café. Chanoyu, 1/19 Alicia Street, Southport, Ph: 07 5532 2442

Bao

Daud Kendall won our hearts in 2014 when he and wife Emmi began making their own bao and trading as Lucky Bao, popping up first in the Miami Marketta and then in the Cambus Wallace on Sunday nights. Daud could not have chosen a better street food to occupy our waiting mouths that this Taiwanese treat. Bao now form the centrepiece of the menu at their Mermaid Waters shop. His soft, pillow-like buns come packed with filling such as confit pork belly and pickle, salt and pepper organic tofu (in the Bauhaus tradition), or tempura soft shell crab, oozing pickles and sauce. If you haven’t tried them, beware that they’re a ‘viral’ food. You too will soon be a convert and bow down to boa! Lucky Bao, 6/90 Markeri St, Mermaid Waters Ph: 07 5679 6517

Gyoza

If there’s a ‘migrant’ food, it would have to be gyoza, the beloved Chinese ‘pot sticker’ that has moved through cultures and time onto our plates. Typical gyoza filling consists of ground pork, chives, green onion, cabbage, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil. Modern interpretations not only include seafood gyoza, but also some complete reinventions of gyoza’s fillings, such as Foie Gras and Beef Gyoza at Torii (Pacific Fair) and the QT Hotel’s Stingray Bar’s ‘Cheeseburger Gyoza’. Our ‘best for the price’ are at Muso Ramen (who also make their own ramen noodles), with a choice of beef, pork or cheese gyoza, either pan-fried or boiled.

Masala Dosa

Hailing from the southern states of India, Masala dosa is a large pancake made from fermented batter, filled with rice and beans, served with sambar and chutney. Our favourite dosa is at Agnee Indian, eaten at lunchtime, the huge rice pancake loaded with mildly spiced potatoes and served with Meen Moilee, fish cooked in coconut milk with green chillies and ginger to share. 137 Scottsdale Dr, Robina, Ph: 07 5575 8365

Roti Chanai

Where would Malaysian curry ever be without roti? Originating with the Mamak (Indian) people, the flaky golden roti has become Malaysia’s favourite bread, mopping up curry from plates throughout the world.  Roti’s texture, crispy and soft at the same time, is achieved by rolling and coiling the dough as it’s being made. The pinnacle of roti on the Gold Coast is Kenny’s Malay. We just can’t get enough of it! Kenny’s Malay, 14 Kalimna Dr, Broadbeach Waters, Ph: 07 5538 6941

Bibimbap

One of Korea’s most adored dishes, bibimbap dates back to the 14th century, its origins founded in a dish called Goldongban. Its literal meaning ‘mixed rice’ is a good description for the dish: a bowl with rice on the bottom, topped with sliced beef, sautéed seasoned vegetables, specific fermented soy and pepper sauces, with an egg cracked over the top just before serving. Cameron Chartres, the adventurous co-owner and chef of Stones Throw in Burleigh, has a delicious bibimbap on the menu, a nutritious brunch or lunch that’s far more interesting than avo smash or eggs bene!  1823 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads, Ph: 07 5576 2504  

Arepas

The arepa, a Venezuelan street food, is the ultimate fast food for the Gold Coast. Made on maize or corn meal and cooked to order, arepas are naturally gluten free, with no preservatives or additives. Filled with your choice of shredded beef or free-range chicken, locally-sourced salad vegetables, onion, rice, black beans, scrambled organic eggs and bacon, capsicum, avocado, fresh herbs and spices or any combination of the above, an arepa makes a healthy, flavour-packed, filling meal that’s easy to grab in two hands. Fiery Deli were the first to bring arepas to the coast, first as a market stall and later in their own shop and food truck. The Kitchens, Robina Town Centre, Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina Ph: 07 5535 1000

Pizza

Didn’t the Italians win the lottery with pizza as their national street food instead of the sandwich! Everyone has their favourite type of pizza, most versions highly adapted to the Aussie palate. Preferences aside, if you want authentic pizza, Double Zero was the first restaurant in Queensland (and the only one on the Gold Coast) to receive accreditation with the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, an organisation founded to protect and promote authentic Napoletana pizza. It’s the place for real pizza Napoletana. 2715 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach Ph: 07 5526 8635

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  1. Jesssica Rose, 2 months ago

    My favorite restaurant in Broadbeach is Osushi. It provides really good food, at an affordable price, prepared by Japanese master chefs.

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