Food Review: Nest

Tree Tops Centre, 1/3 Classic Way, Burleigh Waters Ph: 07 5522 1002

With the sale of Griffith Street Larder, it was time for the Blackboard crew to give Burleigh’s Larder a rebrand. Not only that, but with the menu exiting stage left with the name, ‘the larder was empty’. Consequently, a whole new concept and menu was born.

Nest.

Fresh and new, it’s as though the place has finally found itself. With beautiful branding comes a meaning and purpose.

Birds. Home. Nest. In Treetops.

This is a place where you can stop and rest awhile, nestle in and replenish, before you ‘fly’ off again. It’s comfortable, quiet and, dare I say, beautiful. Feminine but simple. Not over-tricked. The new artwork on the wall takes in birds and books (two of my favourite things), the nest allusion continued in lampshades, menus, windows… subtle and welcoming…

Somehow, in building their Nest, the crew have come up with a more grounded, mainstream menu. Gone is the Cornmeal crusted soft shell crab for breakfast on a bed of Vietnamese salad and mayo, a Soft serve cookie sandwich for a snack with lunch… Righteousness for brekkie with a jar of Chai chia pudding in the morning, then Fried chicken with hand cut bad boys for lunch. It’s gone. Gone too are the donuts, but the cronuts remain.

The menu has landed with the obligatory Smashed Avo, Granola and Bene for Brekkie; Salads, bowls and burgers for lunch. Safe territory, with nothing over $16… Yes, I’m being flippant, but on the upside, the menu is a lot more self-explanatory and oh so trendy in its brevity and expression. Short menus are the go, it seems. No room for food envy.

‘Crunchy Granola – Hung yogurt. Season fruit. Nut mylk……$12′

We indulge in a couple of ‘Brunch’ dishes: Birds in a Nest (basically a reincarnation of Eggs bene in a hash brown nest $16.5) and Beetroot Brekky (think Avo smash made from beetroot relish with two poached eggs $16). Haloumi and greens optional. Both delish, of course, because these guys really know how to make their stuff… and this menu fits the clientele perfectly.

Then too, of course, there’s the excellent Blackboard coffee, made particularly well at Nest by Justin.

But I’m still in mourning. Pout!

I’m missing my ‘Perverted tastes’, as the Main Squeeze calls it, shaking his head dismissively at the mound of green which regularly populates my breakfast plate.

It seems that not many of you share my passion for green mornings, for clean, fresh and salty. You’ve told me via Instagram: sugar is still your queen! Whether you have a quirky obsession about particular dishes or the way you like to eat them, we all have our own perversions. There’s not much sugar on this brekkie menu for you except as smoothies and shakes – no Acai or Pitaya bowls – but not much green either, unless we add it as an extra or dip into the lunch menu.

Maybe that’s the answer! The lunch menu contains a bit more excitement, such as the Crispy lamb bowl with hummus and tabouli served on a pannikin, or the Fresh chicken salad with quinoa, greens and stone fruit.

I’m in mourning for my Crumbed zucchini on a bed of mint, crushed pea, feta, chilli and watercress salad laced with garlic yoghurt. Sitting pretty in a metal pannikin before me, it was a green feast; a delicate and exciting balance of textures and flavours achieved through new combinations. Clever! No more.

But, as it turns out, the dish was one of Larder’s least popular dishes.

Who would have guessed? It seems that I stand alone in my contempt for Smashed Avo and Eggs Bene. Nobody else wore green to the party.

But what I’m missing most is the Kiwi-born quirkiness Larder’s menu held; an unexpected random inventiveness that we can’t get enough of on the Gold Coast. It was an edginess that’s brought us new dishes and fresh approaches to modern food. Innovative cuisine washed down with local Pickled Pig cider and Stone & Wood ale (which are still available). No, it seems we’ve come back towards the table of righteousness with Nest’s menu because you asked for it.

After all, it’s your nest.

Read more of Marj’s reviews on Good Food Gold Coast http://www.foodgoldcoast.com.au

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