“…there is no greater exercise for the heart than reaching down and helping someone up.” Ron Workman, Currumbin RSL Chairman
There’s a lot to love about Currumbin RSL.
Currumbin RSL was founded in 1947 soon after World War II ended. Overlooking the creek, it faces north to the Gold Coast, a strong sign that after the war was over there was a peaceful place for diggers to meet and be supported, a commitment that war widows would be looked after.
Over time, the club has kept its original charter, providing veteran home and hospital visits and support, but its goals have extended to the support of local groups and charities ($10 million given back to the community in the past five years), running fundraiser events, a food and wine society, and providing work experience programs for local teenagers through Ignite Education.
More recently, the club has been working hard towards environmental sustainability. All glass, aluminium, plastic and cardboard is recycled and electricity conservation is also a priority.
The RSL’s main restaurant, Alleys has also undergone a transformation. Its logo, “Locally sourced, seasonal, fun and absolutely delicious”, focuses on the change: much of the produce used in Alley’s is sourced from local suppliers (Salumi antipasto, hormone-free Rainbow Meats, letusgrow produce) whose products are featured on the menu. Some produce even comes from the club’s own gardens, begun in 2011, where vegetables and all the herbs used in the restaurant are grown. Food scraps are used to feed the worm farm, whose castings are used as compost on the gardens. In total, the club has reduced waste by 10 ton per year, with the added benefit of cutting costs!
So it’s not surprising that in 2011 Currumbin RSL received the Best Environmental Practices Clubs Queensland Award, and in 2012 the Gold Coast Business Excellence Award for Environmental Practices, as well many dining reviews!
We headed off to dine at Alleys on Remembrance Day weekend, replete with poppies in our lapels. We were not alone!
It’s obvious that locals love the place. It was busy, but as they entered, people headed off to different areas of the club. We passed the latest restaurant addition, La Bocca (Italian for ‘the mouth’), where delicious gourmet specialty pizzas were being prepared for patrons to eat in the lobby or to take away, picking up a boutique beer or fine wine as they go. The pizza names (La Groucho Marx, La Bocca Grande, etc.) are enticing enough, let alone the aromas wafting through the lobby! We’d dined at La Bocca previously. Our La Chuck Norris pizza had been simply delicious – a crispy base smothered in a topping of prawns marinated in lemon and garlic, roasted capsicum and fresh bocconcini, laced with rocket and roasted garlic aioli. Yum! You can take it outside to comfortable seating with an amazing view of the estuary. Hard to go past a pizza like that, but there’s also an option to get take away food from Alleys’ kitchen if you want to dine elsewhere in the club.
Alleys is a comfortable relaxed casual dining restaurant, divided by wood panelled booth seating brightened by feature colours and carpet. It looks out through floor to ceiling glass across lawn to the Currumbin estuary. We note a cocktail bar down one end of the restaurant advertising cocktails, but most patrons were seated with family in the formal dining area.
We ordered a Black Angus Rib on the Bone, a generous serve of steak with fresh seasonal steamed vegetables and mushroom sauce, together with a Pan-cooked Salmon fillet, a modern lighter take on the classic, served on a deconstructed ‘Nicoise’ salad with an interesting anchoiade sauce. For dessert, we shared a Coconut Creme Caramel with lemongrass, its mild creamy taste supplemented by freshly shaved coconut and King Island Cream. There are daily specials, and functions can be catered for from the same kitchen. Although the meals are restaurant prices, dining here is a good option for people who enjoy a club environment, particularly for members, as discounts apply. Wait staff move around with purpose, and we were very ably served by Melanie, who took our orders with ease, brought and refreshed water pleasantly and efficiently. By 8.30pm, most diners had finished their meal and moved off to other areas of the club.
Although we enjoyed our evening, we prefer dining at Alleys during daylight. Perhaps next time we’ll go for a late afternoon drink before an early dinner to enjoy the picturesque view of rowers sculling by, the tranquil peace of water flowing, broken only by the chatter of birds!
165 Duringan Street, Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Ph: La Bocca 07 5534 0908 Alleys 07 5534 7999
NOTE: Good Food Gold Coast was a guest of Currumbin RSL.