To cut a really long and involved story short (because quite frankly, I'd bore myself retelling it) even though I live in Brisbane, my car is still registered in NSW. Let's not go into details. Basically, every year when registration is due, I have to drive down to NSW to get a pink slip.
Usually I have to go during the week because the mechanic I go to is fully booked out on weekends, and I always, ALWAYS leave it to the very last minute. I had to take a day off work anyway, and so decided to make a day of it rather than the quick up and back trip that is the norm. Luckily my friend Em.Ch was in town so she decided to come for the drive too.
AS you avid G.G. readers would know, I spend most of my weekend time on the Sunshine Coast, rarely venturing south. As a result, I'm afraid to say, even though the Gold Coast, Tweed, Coolangatta are a short drive away, I really have no idea where to go to eat.
Em.Ch and I decided to drive down through Kirra, where I know of a clothing boutique called Lush Designs that stocks some really cool stuff. Make that stocked. When we arrived we realised that the little shop on the esplanade that had previously given me a gorgeous olive green top at the bargain price of $50, had now closed. So sad!! I always find the best clothes in boutiques, and this boutique had cute clothes for really reasonable prices- argghhhh!!! If anyone knows of such a place in Brisbane or on either coast- please let me know!!
Luckily, all was not lost. Whilst we were searching for the shop, a little place caught our eye with their vivid aqua decor. It looked a little different than the rest of the shops, much more cosmopolitan but somehow still in theme.
We had a quick look at the menu out the front and realised it had tapas style dishes, which was just what we were after. Just as I noticed the amazing mobile below, the waiter came to offer us a table. I admit I did feel a little underdressed, as by this stage, I had been able to sneak a little peak into the back of the restaurant, and the place was brimming with serious Gold Coast style. The waiter didn't seem to mind at all and we chose to sat outside in the beautiful sun.
The very informative waiter came out to give us the menu and explained that he usually worked at one of Mist's sister venues but had come down for the day to help out the owner. When he named Bellakai, I realised that Mist must have been the new project of Gold Coast Restaurateur sisters Kylie and Shonel Simpson. I have heard about their venues Bellaki at Coolangatta and Perle in Surfers, but have never had the chance to visit. When we visited, Mist had only been open for about six or seven weeks, so they were still getting into the swing of things.
For me, the venue was obviously stylish but also deceptive. It looked day friendly, but upon peering in, became apparent there were cool lounges, a wine storage area and some areas that would really lend itself to a night time session.
The menu was varied.The wine list had some great options but didn't house very many local options. Most impressive was the cocktail and spirit lists, which were incredibly extensive. If only I didn't have to drive home!!
The waiter came back to take our order, and I must say, his service was impeccable. Even though he didn't know the menu very well (as he was just filling in), he was attentive, polite and very helpful. We had a question he didn't know the answer to, he apologised for not knowing, spoke to the chef and came back within 3 minutes to let us know the answer. Pretty impressive.
What struck me about the menu was that they had obviously tried to go a different style with their tapas. E.Ch and I ended up settling on four dishes but it was a really hard choice.
To start, we ordered the house made dips with wood fired bread and Himalayan salt @ $10. The bread was also house made and arrived as three round little round rolls- one cheese and onion and one if I remember correctly, was capsicum. The dips looked impressive, the hommus arriving in a cute jar, the pepper butter in a frosted cylinder and the solidified balsamic butter in a square dish. The bread was still warm, really fresh. The dips were interesting, and I was really pleased to see some different styled 'dips' on offer. I particularly like the balsamic/butter combination but feel the hommus could have done with an extra hit of flavour.
The wood roasted chicken wings with an oriental glaze ($15) arrived next, looking very rustic in a terracotta plate. The accompanying gorgonzola sauce helped ensure that these wings were some of the best I've ever had, and believe me, I know, I'm a bit of a chicken wing fiend. They were sweet, rich and sticky and we couldn't get enough and polished off the whole plate a little too quickly. Thank heavens for the quick waiter who bought extra napkins and a finger bowl when needed.
How many times have you seen calamari on a tapas menu? Yep, me too. Possibly something that is totally overdone. Except when you take an old classic and give it a new twist as Mist have done. Calamari smoked spice fried with black pepper, cinnamon, and caramel with lemon myrtle ($16). E.Ch loved this combination and I thought it was good, despite being perhaps a little too sweet. I did love the presentation, a cute jar also made an appearance with this dish.
Last and probably least was the wild mushroom ragyu with triple cheese sour dough crust, parmesan and truffle crostini also $16. For me, this dish was a little disappointing. The ragyu texture indicated that it had not been cooked long enough for the different mushrooms to blend well. The cheese topping was a little too hard, but on the flipside, the crostini was crispy and perfect.
This venue is something new and exciting. It offers innovative cuisine and brings a little bit of prestige and pizazz to the coast. The website touts Mist as being a destination for Haute Cuisine, and I think they may have just earned that title. I'm now interested to go and check out the Simpson sisters other venues, but advise you to go to Mist if you after something sassy.
Tell me readers, do you like chicken wings or is it just me that has a weird obsession?
When to go: For tapas on a sunny afternoon, or for a birthday celebration with the girls.
1 Douglas Street
07 5531 5177