George’s Paragon Seafood Restaurant at Sanctuary Cove has always been seen as one of the places to eat on the coast, giving patrons the winning formula of ambience, service, food and price. Going to George’s was seen as a half day weekend experience. Part of the ‘must do’ factor was the drive through landscaped gardens flanked with palm trees, the cute seaside village feel of the shops surrounding the restaurant, and finally the restaurant itself. Clad in bright blue and white, George’s always looks crisp and fresh. You are seated at tables decked with crisp white tablecloths and cloth napkins, waited on by well-groomed efficient staff and of course there’s the fabulously opulent outlook through floor to ceiling windows or from the verandah outside over multi-million dollar boats moored in the marina. You really could be anywhere in the world! It’s superb!
The menu, too, brings a taste of Greece to the Gold Coast. Juicy saganaki topped with roasted peppers drizzled with balsamic glaze, crunchy spanakopita, thick luscious steaks, but most of all, George’s is known for its seafood: sparkling plump oysters, smoky barbequed bugs and the freshest prawns and delicious fish. To top it all off, the half price lunch and early dinner menu has made the experience highly affordable.
There was only one downside: everyone knew about it and the place was notoriously busy. Arrive after 11.30am on any weekend and you were likely to face a queue that ran out to the street. George’s had been so busy that they had undertaken an expansion programme, with restaurants and a function centre popping up in different locations across both the Gold Coast and its hinterland.
The Sanctuary Cove waterfront restaurant has remained George Tassis’ most showy and highly frequented venue, so it was very surprising to arrive soon after midday on Saturday with no queue in sight.
The reason soon became obvious. In the few months over winter, some changes had taken place: presentation of entrées had improved, but prices had risen and main meal portions had decreased. So too had the quality of the seafood. It’s surprising how such changes affect numbers, especially when times are tough.
Is George’s still the ‘must do’ experience? It’s still got one of the most fabulous views on the coast, attentive service and some good Greek food, but expect to pay more for what you get.
46 The Promenade, Marine Village, Sanctuary Cove Ph: 07 5577 8420