As a child, every year at Christmas my family made the journey down to Burleigh Heads to spend a week in the sun and surf. Burleigh quickly cemented it’s place in our hearts, with its laid back atmosphere, village feeling and beachside parklands. Burleigh wasn’t the tourist mecca of the Gold Coast, and that was just the way we liked it.
However, as the years go by, obviously development happens and places change. While Burleigh has been fortunate to retain its village feeling, it has seen a number of incredible restaurants and eateries open up, replacing long tired or empty shop fronts along James Street. As part of our longing to spend more time on the coast as part of our (soon to be) new lifestyle, I shouted hubby and I tickets for a Gold Coast Food and Wine Tours tour of Burleigh Heads. We headed out last weekend to check out the latest offerings at Burleigh.
Our tour group had 10 people, including the guide, which was a great number for socialising and enabled us to have a group table where ever we went. I believe they cater for up to 20 people in a group, but there is a minimum to run (not sure what it is, probably depends on the tour). We met outside the Burleigh Heads Bowls Club (probably one of the best located bowls clubs in Australia) and started with a brief historical overview of the Burleigh area before we got down to business.
Stop 1: Stones Throw Burleigh
Stones Throw dishes up a surprising menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner eats. Run by brother and sister duo Cameron Chartres and Melanie Windsor, we were told that Cameron has spent the last 20 years working around the world, including training under Gordon Ramsay. The menu has bold, exotic flavours, and we sampled a Beef Rendang with crispy egg, currently available on their breakfast menu. I would normally have never chosen this as a breakfast dish, but I was so pleased as it was absolutely delicious! The menu changes every now and then, and has just undergone a small revamp so it’s a great time to get there and sample the offerings. Word on the street is that they are planning on offering picnic baskets soon, so you can pick up a basket of goodies and sit back and enjoy them while sitting on Burleigh Hill looking out over the surf.
Stop 2: Golosi Food Emporium
Golosi is a foodie’s wonderland, located at the top of James Street. “Golosi”, which means glutton or greedy in Italian, is a food emporium showcasing some of the finest local and international products available. Their produce is ever-changing to reflect the latest and greatest tastes from around the world, and especially those sourced from the local region. This food emporium is bursting with every type of gourmet provision you could think of, from a cabinet stocked with cheese, salami, olives and savoury pastries, to walls lined with oils, vinegars, sauces, spreads, condiments and pastas. We were greeted on arrival with a glass of champagne, and there were two beautiful platters of gourmet goodies on the table for us to sample. Some of our favourites were the Bush Berry Jam and the Roasted Capsicum dip – we may have even purchased a little pot of the jam to take home.
Stop 3: Gelateria Dolce Follia
Sixteen flavours of homemade gelato and sorbet grace the chilled cabinet of Gelateria Dolce Follia in Burleigh Heads. This award-winning hole-in-the-wall ice creamery uses only the freshest ingredients and no artificial flavours or preservatives. Favourites among the locals are the Honeycomb Chocolate Crunch, the Chocolate Nutella Cheesecake gelato and the Coconut Milk sorbet. We were able to sample as many flavours as we wanted, before settling on one to have a serving of. I couldn’t go past the award wining Coconut Milk sorbet – so refreshing and tasty!
Stop 4: The Pocket Burleigh
The Pocket’s food is Mediterranean influenced, with an emphasis on ‘Good food, simply delicious’, free range and locally grown produce, with as much as possible coming from the owner’s own farm. Well appreciated by vegan, paleo and gluten-free patrons, The Pocket’s menu offers smoky babaganoush, creamy hummus and labaneh, soft toasted pockets, and the best falafel in town. We tried a mezzo plate, which had a selection of homemade dips, falafel balls, marinated roasted vegetables, fresh salad and pickles and was served with pocket breads. We also got to try their incredible homemade fresh lemonade, infused with rosewater and mint – some on the tour said they would come back just for the lemonade!
Stop 5: Finders Keepers Bar
With our stomachs stuffed full, we had one more stop on the tour. Finders Keepers Bar is a unique cocktail bar and restaurant, and we were treated to a cocktail making demonstration and a delicious chocolate dessert. When you arrive at Finders Keepers you settle in to a welcoming and relaxed environment, inspired by French provincial and coastal styles, and enjoy share plate dining from their ever-changing menu. Their quality ingredients are carefully sourced and respected, many from local businesses. The experienced bar professionals at Finders Keepers craft classic-inspired cocktails, as well as twists on contemporary favourites. They were mouth-wateringly good and we couldn’t help but stay here for a bit after the tour finished to sample a second cocktail!
Places we visited:
Stones Throw Burleigh
Golosi Food Emporium
Gelateria Dolce Follia
The Pocket Burleigh
Finders Keepers Bar
We didn’t get to try these places, but our guide highly recommended we come back for a visit!
Justin Lane Pizza & Pasta Rooftop Bar
Zullaz Bar and Eatery
Harvest Moon Burleigh
Harry’s Steak Bistro