NOTE: On Fire now has a leaning towards Greek and Mediterranean cuisine.
After a short break in ‘retirement’, one of Broadbeach’s most successful restaurateurs, Asem Othman, is back.
The former owner of Rocks on Broadbeach and Bistro Blanc, which he sold several years ago, has returned to Broadbeach to open a new restaurant, ‘On Fire’, in Albert Avenue.
“I wanted to do something from my own background,” he tells us, adding that he’s come out of retirement to add a different flavour to Broadbeach.
On Fire takes its culinary inspiration from the crescent of land running from the East Mediterranean to North Africa, with a special emphasis on Egyptian food from Asem’s homeland.
The graffiti ‘wall of fire’ by artist Nate Stanbridge references both fire and the spices present in Middle Eastern food, a range of contrasting flavours, colours and textures that add new dimensions to current Broadbeach offerings.
“It’s also about our ‘whole of heart’ policy,” Asem says, “creating an environment that supports its customers and staff alike.”
On Fire takes up the challenge of meeting the market on every front – food quality, price point and service. Its two menus, (breakfast and lunch/dinner), are full of interesting dishes to suit a range of diners, all made in house, at affordable prices.
In a suburb where many breakfasts have crept up past the $20 mark, Asem, the originator of Broadie’s $10 breakfast, offers four great $10 options at On Fire: a Big Brekkie with two eggs any way, bacon, tomato, sausage and hash brown on toasted panini; BLT on panini; Bacon and eggs straight up (including GF); or a Falafel Baladi Pocket starring Asem’s sensational handmade Egyptian fava bean falafel with salad, hummus and tahini stuffed into a pocket. Smashing it!
Of course, we’re drawn to other options as well: the simple but delicious Portobello Mushrooms and poached eggs on a bed of wilted spinach with Persian feta and pine nuts on toasted ciabatta, and Shakshuka baked eggs, a warming winter treat.
On Fire’s lunch and dinner menu features food made to share as a feast: a trio of dips: Baba ghanouj, tzatziki and hummus, all made in house, served with pita bread; the most delicious fava bean falafel we’ve tasted, served with a pungent garlic sauce longing to be mopped up; or Baladi pockets stuffed full of falafel, marinated beef, chicken or lamb $10 – $12 which make a perfect lunch.
On Fire would be an easy vegetarian or gluten-free dining choice as well, with menu options clearly marked and lots of dining choice.
Main courses move into marinated char-grilled meats, such as the delicious Egyptian-marinated butterflied grilled chicken, Slow-cooked lamb shoulder, Chargrilled sirloin with zhoug and Local prawns with house-made gnocchi and merguez sausage accompanied by interesting vegie sides: heirloom Dutch carrots with goats’ curd and cumin seeds, Baked cauliflower crusted in muhammara, and Middle Eastern salads such as Fattoush and tabouli.
Nothing predictable, it’s all about balance: contrasting sweet and spicy, bold and subtle, light and heavy dishes.
No feast is complete without sweets, and the platter of house-made sweets ($25) is a delight. There’s no food envy as we indulge in a taste of everything: baklawa, kanafeh (sweet kataifi pastry), panna cotta, Lebanese ice cream and Turkish delight. Sensational!
Just as delightful is the service from veteran maitre d’ Kader, whose effervescence fills the restaurant, bringing back local clientele who revel in his exceptional service.
We’re so glad to see both Asem and Kader back!
Until we eat again…
Shop 12, 17 Albert Ave Broadbeach Ph: 07 5539 0467
Open Tues – Sat 7am – late, Sun 7am – 3pm
NOTE: Good Food Gold Coast dined as guests of On Fire.