2 Gooding Drive
Merrimac QLD 4226
+61 7 5530 5236
Marty and I spent a good portion of last night checking out some photos on a Gold Coast Facebook page. The page was called ‘So Have You Seen the Old Gold Coast?’ and it was full of old photos taken by various people on the Gold Coast. While I had a bit of a giggle at the 80s fashion and Marine World photos, I had a few questions to ask. Why were Gold Coast girls so pretty and classy back in the day? Why did 1960s Surfers Paradise look so idyllic and pretty? Why was Southport so hip and happenin’ back then and why is it now full of tumbleweeds and junkies? And most importantly, who thought it was a good idea to build a castle-themed shopping centre, complete with mini Tudor-style huts and all, in the middle of Broadbeach?
Those questions may have been left unanswered – and probably for the better – but seeing those photos reminded me that I need to get my Gold Coast eatery backlog out of the way. So here is my first of not-too-many reviews of places I’ve dined at up in recently-not-so-sunny Gold Coast in the last four or five months.
The first cab off the rank at OOL is Mike’s Kitchen, a family restaurant in the greater Robina region. Their specialty is steaks and ribs but they also do pastas, seafood dishes and parmas. And judging by the names of Afrikaans-sounding dishes on the menu, I’m guessing the owners are probably more Sewt Efrikan than Daniel Craig’s character in Munich.
What’s with Tudor buildings everywhere in sunny Gold Coast? And especially in the middle of nowhere too?
We arrived just after 8pm to a dining room of rowdy families getting together for a meal on a Thursday night. Knowing that I was going to have steak, I ordered a Bibliotheque Shiraz from South Australia ($7) while Marty was quick to order a Windhoek lager ($7), a South African beer which I thought was not one for beer connoisseurs given its watery taste. Bleurgh.
After we ordered our steak and ribs, our waitress attached a bucket on our table – they were for our rib bones.
Marty ordered the 1kg full rib rack and chips combo ($48.95). And yep, those of you playing at home would be right in guessing that this is the same picture that appears as my blog header.
I ordered the half ribs and steak combo, which also came with chips. There is a list of steak cuts (and weight) you can choose from and I opted for the 200g eye fillet ($53.95).
My steak was beautifully cooked in all its medium-rare glory and while it was decent, it was not the best steak I’ve ever had. It wasn’t a particularly tasty piece of steak which is odd given that the steaks at Mike’s are grain-fed so you’d think that tastiness would not be an issue. Thank goodness, then, for the tub of mushroom sauce ($2.50) which proved to be a handy flavour aide.
The ribs, on the other hand, were FANTASTIC. Stuff Channing Tatum, this was Magic Mike right here! Marty reckoned they were just as good as, if not better than, Squire’s Loft ribs. Me? I’d say that they’re not AS good but a close second – only because the sauce they use at Mike’s was sweeter than Squire’s Loft’s and because I don’t like terribly sweet things, that gets a -1 from me. Apart from that, the ribs were melt-on-your-mouth tender and juicy. I can certainly see why they were unofficially given the title of Gold Coast’s best ribs.
We also shared some onion rings ($5.95). They weren’t horrible but I did find the batter too thick. The outside was crispy but the inside was a little bit soggy, thus spoiling the rings just a little bit.
Pretty soon, we filled the bin up with bones. We dubbed it the ‘carnage bucket.’
Our dinner certainly filled us up – but that didn’t stop Marty from insisting that we I order a melktert (South African milk tart, $5,95). Not just one melktert to share, but TWO so he can have one for himself. The greedy farkhead. I can understand why he wanted his own though. The melktert is essentially a shortcrust-like pastry bottom filled with a very creamy milk custard that’s been laced with cinnamon. I’m not usually into heavy desserts, especially after a big meal, but this was pretty good.
While I wouldn’t say that Mike’s is better than Squire’s Loft, it does come pretty close. I like its relaxed family atmosphere and their famous ribs are fantastic. Next time, I’m going to stay away from the steak and just order half a rib rack and chips with a tub of mushroom sauce to dip the chips in. Mmm. On that note, I need to book my next flight to the Gold Coast now.