A great catch on the Gold Coast
People have often looked at the Gold Coast with some scorn and derision. Sure it aint Melbourne or Sydney but lovers of the Gold Coast love it and others love to visit. And while it may not be a shrine to culinary adventure of artistic pursuit, it does have some great spots to eat, drink and be casual.
Gods of the Sea is one of those places. Its located on the Gold Coast Highway at Mermaid Beach, a quick stroll away from Nobby's Beach SLSC where you can stroll before your feast to work up an appetite or walk off your dinner when you are done. Chef Jon Nurmimen lends touches of his Finnish heritage to the menu, and there's some pretty clever technique here.
While there is plenty of seafood on the menu, there are non sea creatures for those not able or willing to dive in. I can't go past a tartare of anything , and the wagyu beef is darn good, flavoured with roasted onion, mustard seed and an egg yolk. We also tucked into some crispy whitebait with a dust of shiso and native davidson plum (I wanted more of this) and a saltbush dipper. A terrific use of native flavours. Some grilled octopus with capsicum confit, shallot and tomato vinaigrette was all about the dressings while missing as much of the flavour as I wanted from the octopus. A tiny minor blip in an otherwise adequate meal.
The stand out of the starters were pan seared scallops, with caramelized onion and apple puree, burnt leek and some crispy serrano ham. Sweet, salty and scrumptious, with the scallops perfectly done. With a bottle of Otelia Riesling from the Coonawarra quickly down the hatch, we moved onto the next round with a Latta Rattlesnake Blanc from Ballarat. This is a mad melange of a wine and can handle anything we throw at it.
We shared some mains, including a superb whole smoked rainbow trout, oily but not too unctuous with a simple lemon butter sauce and some herbs. A dish of grilled king oyster mushroom with roasted buckwheat and a mushroom foam was wickedly good but the thing we loved the most was a generous slab of tender swordfish, cooked MR as we asked, and with braised mushroom and leek, and chicken fat butter. You could have painted me with that butter. The combination on the plate was sublime.
There is an element of clever here. It is a step above a well executed but simple seafood restaurant, there is a lot of thought in the menu and drinks list and the service effortlessly combines casual and attentive, without compromise on quality and lacking any pretension. It's a great fit out, dishes are artfully plated and there is little to be bothered by. Now, I need another bottle of that wine.
Find them at 2215 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach 4218
Open for lunch Fri-Sun 12-3pm Dinner Weds - Sunday 5.30 -9.00pm