The Gold Coast is in the midst of great change in the lead-up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games, motivating the city to truly match it’s beautiful landscape and famously stunning weather with modern, attractive restaurants, cafes, and bars, putting it in the perfect position for the expected increase in tourism. The iconic Jupiters Casino is at the forefront of this change, rolling out a massive $345 million redevelopment which has already seen two acclaimed, well-designed restaurants brighten up the property. The property’s latest big opening does away with the dated Prince Albert pub and replaces it with the sightly Garden Kitchen & Bar, a large 350-seat restaurant that flows into a gorgeous, imposing al-fresco scene and makes use of the large grassy area around the side of Jupiters main entrance.
The entire design of Garden Kitchen & Bar is impeccable, and that’s most evident as soon as you enter the theatrical space, double the size of the former PA pub. Much thought has gone into this layout, bringing together all these natural elements with contemporary furnishing and making them work as one cohesive whole. The most impressive area is the outdoor deck and bespoke conservatory, particularly the covered dining space with a wide long table surrounded by hanging lamps and blue and white lounge-style seating, overlook the expansive garden. It’s distinctive from the cosy Cucina Vivo and moody Kiyomi, taking Jupiters – soon the be renamed The Star, Gold Coast – contemporary facelift more than a few steps forward.
The focus is on seasonal produce with a garden-fresh flavour so the menu – both food and drink – has a lot of refreshing, clean options. You’ll find plenty of salads here, and with the Chef’s Rotisserie set up in the open kitchen, beautifully cooked meats as well, like the Wagyu Sirloin with delicious house-made chimichurri.
The recent celeb-swarmed launch party for Garden Kitchen & Bar had a number of dishes on display in the form of smaller, more manageable canapes, serving up the range that’s on offer here from sweet Mooloolaba Spanner Crab Cakes to a dessert of Fresh Seasonal Fruit with crunchy meringue, passionfruit gel, and garden mint. Many ingredients on the menu are picked from an on-site herb garden, displaying a dedication to an increasing awareness amongst diners that local is best.
As far as drinks go, there is a selection of craft beers, wine on tap, signature cocktails, and shared pitchers available from the two bars. There’s also coffee – including cold brew – available for breakfast. Cocktails seem to lean towards frutier
While the cascading greenery and live foilage is in abundance throughout the space, nothing feels overdone, rather playing with the natural light to do the theme justice and present with a warm, welcoming dining experience that’ open but still offering enough intimacy to continue a departure from what you’d expect from a restaurant inside a property that’s most famous for it’s casino – something that is clearly changing the more people visit these restaurants from themselves.
With plans to introduce even more dining experiences throughout the property, and a redevelopment which extends to current and future accommodation, Jupiters is in a good position to head the new Gold Coast and now stands as must-visit for any food lovers both local and visiting.
Garden Kitchen & Bar is located on the Ground Level of Jupiters Gold Coast and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week from 7am until late.
Related: Also see Cucina Vivo and Kiyomi.