In the iconic makeover of The 4217, Paradox Coffee Roasters takes up the western end of the building, straddling both sides of the central walkway. With soaring ceilings and exposed brickwork accented by wood and brass, it’s reminiscent of stylish eateries in Sydney’s Alexandria or Melbourne’s Bourke Street morphed with Masterchef Kitchen.
The venue is sophisticated. It’s a chic modern warehouse suitable for a catch up meeting or business lunch with a choice of seating in cosy booths, at secluded tables beyond the bar, or crowd watching under vines on the outside verandah overlooking the street.
‘Coffee Roaster’ has been Paradox’s main selling point, the huge 5 metre tall Italian industrial roaster dominating the corner of the building, its hypnotic presence felt as aromas float through the open space. A batch takes 15 minutes to roast, 15kg at a time – a scientific yet sensory process of blending beans, watching and tasting, that requires a master roaster; in this case Head Roaster Matt Trow, ex Wellington’s renowned Havana Coffee Works.
My flat white is a double ristretto, smooth and ultra-strong, the house blend of Nicaraguan and Ethiopian Sidamo Coffees. There’s also a range of mocha, cold drip and iced latte on offer, with nitro coffee, its Guinness-like head looking beguilingly innocent, and nitro tea, new additions – not for the fainthearted!
“You can see here the sacks on display, and people can watch the roasting process. Everything is exposed. There are no secrets. It’s about education, so that people are not intimidated by coffee culture,” he adds. “The more people are involved, the more they’ll be a part of it.”
There’s as much to learn as you could wish for – appropriate roasts and origins for different brew methods, how to recognize flavours in coffee… With the space adjoining the roaster used for barista courses and cupping classes, there’s flexibility of vision plus a space which is also available now for evening functions.
Look from the roastery across to the restaurant. On one side you’ll see baristas at work at the bar; on the other, look straight into the kitchen where the chef is hard at work.
Head Chef Stuart Long joined the team early in 2017, a great addition! Happily, the food has moved up several notches due to Stuart’s insistence on quality locally-sourced produce, with everything made in house. Hurrah!
Having worked in the London Hilton for a number of years, Stuart was chef in a 2-rosette (hat) restaurant in Bristol, managed a gastropub in Surrey, before emigrating to New Zealand, where he was Head Chef at Rydges, Queenstown. He comes to Paradox via Oskars at Burleigh, eager to bring a menu of wide appeal to diners.
Paradox’s all-day-breakfast and lunch menu features superbowls, eggs your way ($9.50), bagel and brioche options, through to the Old Fashioned Breakfast (read Big Brekkie) with all the goods – eggs your way, pork and fennel sausage, crispy bacon, roast mushies and tomato with a house-made hash brown. Can’t decide between savoury and sweet? Then a Breaky Board carries both; a 3-course meal on one slider board! For locals, a specials board offers well-priced interesting options.
We dine at lunch on a weekend, making the most of the cooler weather to grab a cosy booth inside. My Hawaiian Poke Bowl is right on trend, a delicious mix of tuna, avo, radish and cucumber topped off with sesame, lime and wakame for a Japanese twist. It’s a delicious light lunch, surprisingly filling.
The Main Squeeze goes the whole hog (literally) with a Slow-Braised Pulled Pork Burger on brioche, the pork shoulder marinated, braised, then re-marinated for 24 hours, the bun loaded with slaw and apple sauce, the rich jus coating the succulent pork a real delight. Who’d settle for an average burger and chips after that? Not us, I say, stealing a bite.
We’re excited too to see weekly blackboard specials, takeaway brekkie wraps to bust the budget and more substantial brunch items such as Slow-cooked Pork Belly with cauli and bacon jam, and Hot-smoked Salmon and sea trout Fishcake with wilted spinach and dill cream sauce ($15 each). This is real food at a keen price. Throw in a $5 beer, guys, and the locals would be breaking down the door for a business lunch!
Yes, the venue is licensed. You just have to ask!
Easy to get to, easy to park next door, Paradox is a little gem hidden in plain sight. More than just a coffee house, don’t forget to get the staff to validate your parking ticket for two hours free parking!
Wake up Surfers! Paradox is back for a neat brekkie or lunch.
Take it away, chef!
10 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise Ph: 07 5538 3235
Open: Mon – Sun 7am – 4pm
NOTE: Good Food Gold Coast dined as guests of Paradox on this occasion. This is an updated review.