4/1 Douglas Street, Kirra
Ph: 5599 4779
It’s Sunday lunchtime and I’m sitting in a pew. A Catholic church pew to be exact. You’d expect it to be hard and uncomfortable but I’m very much at home. With a cushion behind my back I’m chilled out, paying homage to the sangria in my hand – the best I’ve ever tasted!
I gaze out across the beach across the road, famous for its iconic surf breaks: Kirra, part of Gold Coast’s surfing soul. We’re at The Outcider, figuring that it has the makings of becoming a close insider!
The OutCider is a funky joint full of vintage furniture, and eye-catching artwork. The chef Todd Arnell has done time in some of our best cafés, and the wall is full of exciting drink choices.
Only ten minutes ago we’d walked in past a table of girls busy with their Skipjack wine. “But why drink wine when you could get ciders here that are unprocurable elsewhere?” I muse.
I check out the board of cider choices, so boutique that I haven’t heard of many of them. What to drink! On the side wall there’s a green smoothie special with chia and raw cider vinegar boasting a long list of benefits – aids digestion, skin, sinus, cholesterol, blood sugar and weight loss. It would be a tempting lifestyle choice to down a curing glass of goodness… If only it were that easy!
Of course there’s beer and wine as well as some tempting cocktails, such as the Salted Caramel Margarita (a traditional margarita made on caramel tequila over a salted nut toffee rim); but I’d truly be slush if I drank that at lunchtime!
“Focus!” I tell myself. This is a cider bar, our only one on the Gold Coast committed to the cause, so I must choose a cider…but which one? A hard decision, that is until I turn back to the bar and see the tasting paddle: four different glasses of boutique ciders for $10. Sold!
We order lunch: a trio of Sliders (which are actually delicious little sandwiches on toasted sourdough), Coconut chicken skewers, and a Beef salad with raspberry vinegar and a kick of chilli to share. Herb-strewn, it’s one of the most interesting salads we’ve had in a while! We’ve only dabbled in a menu which is inspired by wholefood goodness without alienating the mainstream diner: mezze boards, small plates, stone oven pizza, salads and skewers. And there are homemade cakes and raw treats to accompany the great Marvell St coffee.
Haloumi chips waft by and we suffer major food envy. How did we miss those crisp little parcels of goodness? Sure, everyone’s here for a session – that’s the point – but the food firmly holds its own!
The tasting paddle of ciders proves to be a great sampler (for the two of us): Westons Stawford Press (a traditional aged ferment medium dry cider from Herefordshire – my grandmother’s home region), Cheeky Rascal Berry and Apple Cider (a sweet infusion of berries balances with a crisp apple bite – from Mornington), Kelly Brothers (tasted unfairly after the sweet Cheeky Rascal, but it’s easy drinking for a long sessions – the one I came back to) and Batlow Cloudy Apple (a full mouth feel with a smooth finish – from the Snowy Mountains).
But my drink of the day? It’s the Cider Sangria. Made on freshly squeezed fruit, and citrus and orange liqueur mixed with cider, it’s topped off with freshly cut fruit and a lift of fresh passionfruit. It’s dangerously delicious territory calling for a long summer afternoon – by far the best sangria I’ve ever tasted.
And the pews? According to Todd, who owns the Outcider with wife Amy, they were discards from the Tumbulgum Catholic Church. The church’s loss is the cider bar’s gain! A seasoned chef with a passion for restoring vintage furniture; Todd’s skills are well displayed in this venue!
The Outcider is on our list for a definite return visit, maybe for live music on a Sunday afternoon. Only trouble will be working out the designated driver. I know my cider sangria will be waiting…
Read more of Marj’s reviews on Good Food Gold Coast http://www.foodgoldcoast.com.au