REVIEW: room 81 by Sam Moore – and other places to eat in Gold Coast, Australia

In Food, Lifestyle, Travel by Sara Ann K1 Comment


I don’t often lavish praise on one single restaurant, especially if it happens to be located in a hotel. To me, most hotel dining options are functional – a service to guests. Not necessarily the best, nor the most value for money.

But, on my trip to Gold Coast, Room 81, headed up by the young chef, Sam Moore, located in the trendy Sofitel So at Broadbeach definitely changed my mind about “dining in”.

Let’s put it this way: It was so good, I ate there twice.

If you ever do swing by Gold Coast, this would be one of my #diediemusttry culinary recommendations. From the plating, to the flavours, every single dish served was truly enjoyable.

It is not often that a bar in a hotel is full as well, and during the weekends, it actually did seem like a rather popular choice. Probably pre-game, since the club East, is among several nearby.

That said, the head chef of this place is about as yummy as his food. The green tea smoked ocean trout was TDF. It is presented with flair, first arriving your table in a smoky belljar where the pink flesh is being delicately smoked with green tea vapours. Honestly, not sure how that works, but I don’t mind putting my head in that belljar after tasting this trout.

The duck breast sous vide was delicious. And the veal – so tender it was a crime.

And don’t even get me started on desserts. The sphere is definitely a must try. The whole process was a feast for the eyes, ears and palate. The smoke from when nitrogen is poured into the hole creating drama and mystery as you wonder what the perfect chocolate sphere contains. The smashing of the chocolate, and mashing it up for crunchy bits of honeycomb, blood orange sorbet, a white chocolate cheese and orange gelee cubes. Oh. The joy. It was a #partyinmymouth

Every single dish is well thought out, and well balanced. But as everything is sourced within the region as the chef believes in micro seasonal craftsmanship – the menu is apt to change pretty often.

Impeccable service with extremely friendly and accommodating staff make this definitely a top-notch spot for me.

Another place that I would recommend The Fishhouse

I think my pal Rebecca Saw had the best photo of what I thought was the best dish. (My momma ate this one.) Stupendously delicious.


MELT IN YOUR MOUTH FISH. Also known as Paragonian Toothfish. Also starring my very cool nails by Dollhouse Singapore.

While Rebecca thought that this was done too sweet. My momma and me thought this was perfect. Cod-like texture. And almost like a sweetened, teriyaki like glaze that caramelized nicely on top of the fish.

Fresh fish that you can pick, and done whatever way you wish. Seriously. Two thumbs up.

And usually I’d dismiss any place that didn’t have a chocolate dessert on the menu but that Apple Tartin was amazeballs.

It really isn’t the cheapest place to dine though. On average I would think that it would cost at least AUD$60 per person with either a starter and main. Or a main with dessert. But the place was bustling the whole time we were there, even during the usual post-lunch-lull time, and it wasn’t easy to get reservations.


Providore at Marina Mirage is also a great place we visited that served up yummilicious meals.

It is a bakery/bistro kind of place that served up good food at great prices. Best part – it’s in a picturesque part of town at the Marina. We went there on the day the Farmer’s Market was on. It was small and still gaining momentum, especially since it’s in a premium mall. But it was a nice way to spend the day just walking around.


Providore is actually one of the food outlets in the mall, and it reminded me of Jone’s the Grocer. A high end deli we have in Singapore, or well, Providore, that we do have in Singapore. The salad that had capers and kale and salami was definitely on the salty side, but honestly.. I found that super yummy. But most of the menu was good, solid, comfort food done well at affordable prices. And oh… the cakes and pastries…. *swoon*

Service was also incredibly warm and friendly. My mom was actually eyeing fresh apricots that Providore was selling in the Farmer’s market when they were closing up, and they had told her to get some from the store after. But she was crestfallen when she found that they weren’t selling them back at the store. But guess what, when we got the bill, a sweet girl from the staff ran over to us with a bag of fresh apricots that she got on her own tab. How thoughtful was that?!

Helps the place pull out tops in my book.

Last but not least on recommendations… another unexpected place to grab grub.. Mercure Gold Coast.

We checked this place out after a lesson at the driving range, and I must say, I was surprised the restaurant and bar here doesn’t have a name of its own. While we only had a light pre-dinner here, this place was my introduction to Roo.

By that, I don’t mean that cute motherly character on Winnie the Pooh. Don’t make me feel guiltier.

But, kangaroo meat. Which apparently is popular in Australia and not just a delicacy. To my surprise it was not gamey like I expected. And, I live life saying I will try everything at least once, so, as far as tasting exotic meats go… I’m glad I did it at Mercure.

Though we didn’t have dinner, we did manage to also squeeze in one main – the herb crusted lamb back strap. And can I just say – best lamb I’ve tasted in a LONG time. Since I am not fond of lamb at all.. that is my way of saying – OMG YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS.

The Gold Coast is now so much more accessible to us in SG these days for as low as SGD$68 on Scoot. In fact, heading there is becoming some what of a trend now. And with it’s clear blue skies and beautiful beaches.. and obviously, amazing food…… It’s definitely no wonder at all.

If you want to learn more about the places/read reviews about the food we tried while we were in Gold Coast, check out:

Rebecca Saw’s Eating well in Gold Coast, Australia: Room 81, Sofitel, The Fish House

Irene aka Moonberry’s Hello Gold Coast, Australia

Beatrice’s article The Gold Coast Guide for the Conservative Soul


  1. Pingback: Where to stay in Gold Coast, Australia – Sofitel Broadbeach; Mercure Gold Coast | Sara Ann K

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