136 Duringan Street
Currumbin QLD 4223
+61 7 5525 6006
I know I’m not the only Melburnian who thinks that 11 degree days in October is RIDICULOUS. I know legit spring will come soon but for the time being, I’m going to revel in Queensland’s warm weather vicariously with these series of Queensland posts. Because as much as I love Melbourne deep down, you know there is something wrong with your city when one Queensland winter day is twice as warm as a spring day in Melbourne.
Another thing that’s ‘ugh’ is a delayed flight from Melbourne to Coolangatta. I mean, it was my fault for booking a peak period flight but still. Coolie ain’t Sydney and 30 minute delays are pretty unusual, even for Jetstar. I was worried that this delay would mean that Marty and I would miss our 7:30pm booking at Allure on Currumbin but thankfully, the flight time was shortened thanks to good weather conditions and thankfully, Allure is only a five minute drive from the airport so we made it in time.
I’ve never been to Currumbin but from what I gather, it’s a quiet little part of the Gold Coast surrounded by lots of flora and fauna and nary a drunken grommet in sight. And even though Duringan Street is home to many of the area’s restaurants, I still find it odd that one of Gold Coast’s one-hatted restaurants, and a fancy French one at that, is found here.
The lovely owner, Cheryl Fullerton, greeted us when we arrived at the door. She remembered me as ‘the girl who was flying in from Melbourne’ and quickly ushered us to a quiet corner table. Because it was a warm night on the ‘Coast and because I was still in my Melbourne attire of woollen tights and scarves, she poured us iced waters immediately.
Once we had ordered our food, two neat stems of asparagus and cauliflower cream veloute appeared. Marty and I both loved this amuse bouche which was creamy and tasty. I, for one, would not have minded a big bowl of this to myself!
I liked that the wine mark-ups aren’t unreasonable so I was pleased that my Frogmore Riesling from Tassie only cost us $7.50 (if this was Sydney, it would be more than $15, I bet). The menu says that this drop is ‘classic lemon sherbet on the palate’ and I have to agree. It was very fruit and sweet with a bit of a kick. Meanwhile, Marty had a long day at work and decided that he needed a Jamesons on the rocks ($10).
We started our meal off with some oysters. I’m someone who prefers to eat their oysters raw but we couldn’t resist ordering the oysters gratinated with blue swimmer crabmeat, leek and chive Mornay for something a little bit different. I like how at Allure, there is the option to go four oysters in addition to half a dozen and a dozen. We decided that four (for $14) would be more than enough for just a little nibble. We loved the cheesiness interspersed with flecks of crab meat, but give me fresh naked oysters any day.
Allure’s menu has something for everyone, thanks to the oh-so-egalitarian head chef Brad Cooper. While there are odd dishes such as the deep fried camembert ($19) that should have been left behind in the 80s and the seared scallops on confit pork belly ($22) that reminds us that we are, after all, in Queensland, there is bound to be a few dishes that will tickle your fancy.
Marty ordered the blue swimmer crab bisque ($19), which I thought was a weird choice given how warm it was that night and given that we shared some pretty rich oysters. Once I had a sip of it, however, I immediately took my words back. The bisque was delicious; it was super-rich and creamy, perfumed by the crab shells that went into making it. It also contained lots and lots of crab meat, which got two thumbs up for me (there is nothing worse than a restaurant that’s super skint on ingredients).
I had the oxtail croquettes on truffled cauliflower cream and roasting juices ($19), which were also lovely.
Each crumbed pillow held together a mushy blend of mashed potatoes and tender strings of braised oxtail, beautiful on their own but even better when eaten with the truffled cauliflower cream provided.
Given that our first few dishes were rich, it shouldn’t surprise you when I say that we were half full at this stage. Cheryl, whose team had given us nothing but attentive and friendly service, came around with a palate cleanser, a green apple sorbet. And suddenly, we were hungry again.
Marty had the slow roasted rack of lamb on truffled mash and carrot with creamed baby spinach and shallot jus ($42). It was a decently-sized dish and yes, one that was rich, which meant that even the human rubbish bin struggled with it. The lamb was well-prepared and tender but Marty said that he wouldn’t be ordering this again. He didn’t like that the carrot chips on top of the lamb as they were too sweet and secondly, he doesn’t like the idea of mash swimming in jus so he found it hard to fully get into the dish. When I asked him for a soundbite, he went on a diatribe about how he thought that mash swimming in jus is not as awesome as it sounds and how he just didn’t like jus in general. I don’t know what else he said because I stopped listening to him at this point. That said, he did admit that he was erring on the side of ‘too fussy’ and not to take his word for it.
Meanwhile, I ordered the pan-seared Atlantic salmon with truffled mash, grilled asparagus, crisp parsnip and salsa verde ($35). I noticed that truffle played a big role at Allure, which made me wonder whether they were still stuck in 2007 – it was, after all, in most of the dishes I had. That said, they did know how to use truffle very well. Of the dishes I tried, truffle oil was only used sparingly so rather than overpowering the dishes, the oil actually brought out the flavours of the other ingredients. That, I had no issue with.
What I did have an issue with was the fish. It was a well-presented dish, which certainly appealed to my eat-paleo-as-much-as-I-can sensibilities. The truffled mash was beautiful and there was nothing wrong with the grilled asparagus. No, what annoyed me was that the waitress asked me how I would like my fish done and I replied, ‘medium-rare.’ The fish I ended up getting was bordering on well done so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have liked.
We were full but Marty is not one to leave without ordering a dessert. He insisted we ordered our own desserts because there were so many wonderful things on the dessert menu but we compromised by ordering one to share. Given that most of the desserts on Allure’s menu are pretty rich, we chose what we thought was the lightest one, a selection of homemade sorbets and fresh seasonal fruits in a spun toffee basket ($16). It was a work of art. After taking the obligatory iPhone shots to send to our friends, we dug into the beautiful fruit sorbets and the fresh fruits that adorned it, while breaking into the toffee basket. Amazeballs.
Overall, we had a wonderful night at Allure. The hospitality was amazing and the food was decently priced given the portion size (we got all this for around $160). Although there were a few misses (such as my salmon), the food was generally pretty good. I mean, if this is where Currumbin locals get to eat on date nights, then they should consider themselves very lucky. Just like its name suggests, Allure does have a lot of genuine charm which is way more than I could say for most of the fancy restaurants up in Surfers Paradise. We both agree that such charm would please even the most hardened food snobs flying up from Melbourne and Sydney. We would definitely return if we were in the area and definitely recommend it to anyone wanting a place were they could have a romantic date in an unpretentious setting, away from the bright lights of Broadbeach and Surfers.