You wouldn’t expect an industrial area to be a new little food and coffee hotspot, but Currumbin Creek Road is becoming a breeding ground for coffee and low cost diners. Check out these four places for great quality at the right price:
Dust Temple 54 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters Ph: 0424 694 153
‘Home to Hinge Gallery, fl.oz Espresso and Dangerous Adventures’, Dust Temple is right at home in its industrial surrounds. Opened by architect John Wilson and his wife Isla, it’s an open plan exhibition space with art pieces for sale and comfy lounge seating for relaxation.
With so few exhibition spaces available on the Coast, Hinge Gallery plays an important role in promoting established local artists who may not be well known in their hometown.
The venue is community-based with a focus on exhibitions including charity events and art classes rather than sales. Hence, Dust Temple is supported, in part, by the espresso bar, fl.oz, at the front of the gallery.
Serving Brisbane roasters Fonzie Abbott’s coffee in takeaway eco cups, there’s also a daily cake (a Banana Cake when we visited) and fresh samosas in a hot cabinet.
I take my coffee on a walk through the gallery. From huge stormwater drains to a whimsical wrought iron boat, from pottery to paintings, the thought-provoking art pieces beg to be photographed. Industrial and raw it may be, but Dust Temple is well worth a visit.
Zipang Shop 10, 31 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters Ph: 07 5521 0061
Former partner at Genki Café, chef Atsushi Mizushima has gone out on his own in a tiny casual Japanese diner. Named after the ancient title of Japan, Zipang, the café is a tiny ‘dine in’ or quick ‘grab and go’ eatery at lunch and a BYO tapas bar at night.
When dining at lunch, fast food is the order of the day. We pass up the boxed curries, Gyoza and Chicken Karaage from the heated cabinet in favour of an Okonomiyaki (seafood pancake laced with ginger and mayo on top) and a cup of green tea. A cabinet of sushi holds Inari and Edamame rolls, wraps, as well as bowls of salads: Edamame and feta salad with roast onion dressing, and Coriander chilli chicken salad on the day we visited. Wheels of lotus root chips sit on top of the cabinet.
While lots of patrons grab a quick lunch, I sit in the restaurant, listening to local banter as they grab a meal, have a quick chat and move on back to work.
The lure of the tapas on offer at night is far too great, so I take along three friends who are also intrigued by the concept, to see what it is all about. Lotus root chips and edamame are nibbled on as we discuss the menu and decide to not order everything as we would like, but to stick to a few tapas and some mains. Of the tapas the fried tofu with chilli sesame wakame is a quick favourite with the sauce being unanimously described as “amazing”. The seared scallops with flying fish roe are an absolute must, with the flavour and texture combinations of the scallops, lotus root chips, roe and sauce making this perfection on a plate.
Mains were ordered soon after and we quickly realised our eyes were far bigger than our stomachs as the dishes are very generous. They also happen to be wonderful to look at, with one friend describing the vegetarian udon as a “rainbow in a bowl”. Of the mains the chicken karaage was a highlight for me as it was both crispy and tender. It is definitely recommended that you check out the specials board when you are there as the fried beans and cashew nuts were absolutely delicious. When you do visit this this cosy spot you will undoubtedly discover, as we did, delightful Japanese food matched with possibly the best service on the Gold Coast.
Froth Coffee Co. 46 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters. Please note. Froth Coffee is now closed.
Jordan Malane, one of Froth Coffee Co’s owner baristas, says that living in Melbourne brought about his sea change back to the surf. Returning to the Coast, he’s opened Froth Coffee Co. with friends Declan (ex Barefoot and Blackboard) and Verity.
“We used to go café hopping when we lived in Melbourne and we wanted to replicate that here for locals.”
Jordan’s just returned from delivering coffee next door. Full of friendly smiles and banter, what he doesn’t tell me is that, as a member of the Bleeding Knees Club, he’s swapped late nights for early openings: 5am on weekdays, 6am on weekends, but what else would you expect from the trio whom Declan describes as being “young and awesome go getters having a go.”
Froth prepares their coffees with Single Origin Roasters’ Yeehah! Blend beans, which lends itself beautifully to the edgy caramel and marshmallow flavoured piccolo and other milk coffees. The nutty aroma of the blend is most noticeable in the espresso, which has a nice sharp acidity, whilst in the long black the lighter berry flavours shine through. Froth are looking to start offering single origins in the next month or so, and are currently developing a single origin black coffee cold brew and an ice coffee, which should become available in the next couple of weeks.
As you sit outside sipping on your favourite cup you can’t help but notice the coffees roll out the door from this simple pine-clad espresso bar as Froth has already built up an impressive fan base that has people coming in from Currumbin Valley to get their caffeine fix. During my visit there are several diners outside enjoying some pastries and smashed avo on Burleigh Baker’s sourdough. It’s a New York bagel for me with smoked salmon, dill and cream cheese. There’s also a Brekkie Bagel, or one of the daily specials on offer, iced coffees or Prana Chai as other options.
With rustic crates and picnic tables for seating, dining’s more ‘beach simple’ than luxurious, but not everyone eats in. Phone or text ahead and your takeaway coffee and bagged brekkie will be ready to go through the front window! With attitude to burn, this place is right on the knocker for local industry and passersby!
Pop Taco 4/42 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters Ph: 5534 4941
Beginning as a mobile ‘honeymoon camper’, PopTaco has morphed into a dual personality: a travelling taqueria available for functions as well as a permanent popup operating from an industrial warehouse space.
There’s honesty to such an unpretentious venue which brings it closer to Mexican street food, just as its owner, Kristal Smith, intended. After spending the best part of four years in Mexico, Kristal returned to Australia as Mexican cuisine was about to take off.
“This is a fair representation of the tacquerias of Mexico City and Central Mexico, but Mexican food is so diverse…this is just one aspect of it. It ranges from street food to fine dining in really upmarket restaurants.”
It’s a cool night as we dine at PopTaco, but the welcome is warm, the food tasty and well-priced, helped along by being BYO. As the name implies, tacos are one of the main menu items: soft double tortillas loaded up with fresh tasty ingredients, made to order and brimming with sauces. The food’s bursting with freshness and flavour, yet not too spicy. It flows from our mouths over our fingers, each drip licked up to catch the flavours. There’s murmuring from table to table, some chatter about the flavours, but mostly we’re just tucking in, hands reaching in, sharing and enjoying this great street food.
Marj Osborne and Catherine Coburn
Read more of Marj’s reviews on Good Food Gold Coast http://www.foodgoldcoast.com.au