‘Social. Def.: Relating to society or its organisation. An informal social gathering, especially one organised by the members of a particular club or group.’
Hey peoples! I’m almost over the word ‘social’.
Really cute the first time we heard it as a café name, by the sixth time it had lost its authenticity.
In this case, however, the definition rings true. In our view, Canteen Social really is a bit of an organisational canteen, albeit open to the public.
A little bit of history…It’s only a couple of years ago that the Loose Moose (yes, you heard correctly) popped up in the Wyndham Building, Bundall to quell the tummy rumblings of ‘office central’.
“Where do they go, those suits?” my girlfriend had asked. She was thinking talent; I was thinking lunch. With over 400 staff in the Wyndham building alone employed by Wyndham Vacation Resorts, “the world’s largest vacation ownership business”, as well as workers from the next door Corporate Centre, there were a lot of suits and stilettos to feed!
They sought refuge in the new smart café decked out in a verdant forest of green. Without it, the suburb at that time was a veritable desert for drinks, eats and a good time.
But the roaring success of Loose Moose quietened a little when Wyndham opened their own canteen upstairs a few months later.
Competition took its toll and, several months after the Loose Moose’s exit, Wyndham moved the canteen, opening Canteen Social downstairs in the untenanted space.
“Newly renovated, with a brand new kitchen and designed interior this fully licensed establishment is tipped to become one of the most popular social spots here on the Gold Coast,” said Wyndham in their ad for a restaurant manager.
Canteen Social’s menu holds smart café fare aimed squarely at daytime workers, with a bet each way between healthy and indulgent.
Coffee starts early, with breakfast an optional extra. Eggs figure highly on the breakkie menu – egg and bacon brioche roll, brioche French toast with spiced pear compote and mascarpone, or ‘eggs your way’ being some of the offerings.
Lunch is a mix of healthy luscious salads (Roast pumpkin and cashew or Vegie garden with feta or goat’s cheese $16, adding chicken or salmon as options $20), burgers or sliders, and lots of seafood such as calamari or fish served with chips and salad. Of course, there are daily specials to entice workers away from their desk.
We choose the Tempura-battered yellowtail snapper with beer-battered chips and Pulled pork sliders, generous serves and popular choices for surrounding diners, along with nachos.
Fresh juices, smoothies, and well-priced Diamantina coffee and tea (a pot of T2 tea will set you back $3.50) as well as a packed cabinet of sweets and food to go, round out the menu.
We eat our lunch under the gaze of some very luscious lips. Red lips, sunglasses and diamonds follow us from the wall to wherever we go in the café. Equate that to holidays and money. Think big bucks and what you could do with it. It’s feng shui (along with the cairns of rocks at the entrance) – positive energy and guidance for Wyndham workers.
By day a place to grab lunch and talk to colleagues, on Friday nights the licensed venue comes into its own. Then it’s time for wind down after a hard sales week with drinks at this fully licensed café, accompanied by platters of tapas. Win or lose on the sales front, they’ll feel like a drink anyway.
Canteen Social? That’s what it’s all about: canteen + social.
1 Corporate Ct, Bundall Ph: 07 5512 8700
Open: Mon – Thurs 7am – 4pm; Fri 7am – 9pm