Winter is upon us and we’re here to tell you it’s time to eat up, big. If there’s ever a time to indulge in rich, heart-warming and slow-cooked food, it’s now. Here’s some of our favourite cold weather comfort foods.
While it rarely gets cold for our neighbours in northern Queensland, in the southern reaches of the state we start reaching for the woollies as soon as the mercury dips below 20°. This round up of delicious winter food ideas is directed at our friends getting ready to face the chill in the south.
From indulgent wagyu beef to slow-cooked lamb shoulder, steamy soup dumplings and oh-so-tasty wood-fired pizza and flame-grilled oysters, here are our favourite winter comfort food dishes to try at The Star Gold Coast.
1. Lamb shoulder
Where to try it: Garden Kitchen & Bar
Rich, delicious, and slow cooked for five hours, the Milly Hill lamb shoulder is the signature dish at Garden Kitchen & Bar. “It’s one that people have come to know and love,” says chef de cuisine Chris McLeay. Chris and his team source the free-range Milly Hill lamb from Milly Hill Meat in the New England tableland region of NSW. The dish is served with truffle-scented potato puree, roasted garden carrots and a selection of speciality sauces. “It’s simplicity at its very best,” says Chris.
Where to try it: Mei Wei
Every day is a dumpling kind of day in our eyes, but when you think winter comfort food, nothing quite says it better than a warm and steamy basket of freshly made dumplings. At Mei Wei Dumplings, creating this hawker-style dish is a fine art – and thanks to the venue’s open kitchen, you can watch the team work their magic before your eyes. Whether it’s pork, beef, chicken or veggie, these mini parcels of deliciousness cannot be beaten. Our pick in winter: soupy Xiao Long Bao or pillowy pork buns.
3. Wagyu beef with seasonal sides
Where to try it: Kiyomi
Wagyu beef is the crème da le crème of fine dining: think meltingly tender, indulgent tasting beef that is marbled to perfection. It’s every meat connoisseur’s dream dish, which is why it makes our list of top winter comfort food ideas. Nothing tops a tender steak and a big, bold glass of red wine on a cold evening. Kiyomi Chef Winson Law has served up Stockyard Beef wagyu at Broadbeach institution Kiyomi for nearly three years now. The Queensland farm has earned global gourmet plaudits for its grain-fed wagyu, and it’s yours for the tasting at Kiyomi.
4. Flame-roasted oysters
Where to try it: Nineteen at The Star
There’s no need to give up on your favourite fresh seafood in winter. Chef Uday Huja keeps his charcoal grill cranking in the Nineteen at The Star kitchens over the colder months, with roasted oysters one of the most popular dishes coming out of the custom wood-fired oven. The oysters are flame-grilled over ironbark and applewood with barbecue sauce, bacon and garlic and served in the shell in all their smoky, mouth-watering glory.
5. Wood-fired pizza
Where to try it: Cucina Vivo
This classic Italian dish is a favourite any time of year, but it takes on a whole new meaning in winter when diners can delight in its heart-warming flavours straight from the oven. Our favourite wood-fired pizzas to indulge in this season include Cucina Vivo’s interpretation of the classic capricciosa pizza, made with ham from boutique Queensland butchery Gilly’s, fior de latte, mushrooms and olives, plus the deceptively simply Focaccia Romana topped with rosemary, garlic olive oil and sea salt.
6. Sizzling beef with black pepper sauce
Where to try it: Imperial at The Star It doesn’t get much better than a sizzling hot plate filled with the best-quality steak and a rich mushroom and black pepper sauce to warm you up from inside out. Chef Song Yao Su from Imperial at The Star serves up traditional flavours, ingredients and cooking styles from different regions of China. He loves combining traditional Mandarin and Cantonese ingredients to produce inspired interpretations of Asian classics – and his sizzling beef dish is the ultimate example of his craft.
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