The southern end of the coast gets a taste of the successful Bin 12 concept in Bin 72, award-winning local chef/restaurateur Daniel Ridgeway’s third eatery. With Little Truffle and Bin 12 well established, it was time to expand south, snapping prime position in the Strand development, a bird’s eye posse upstairs overlooking the beach.
The bar seems quietly poised and cool, a darkened inviting space after the bright and gaudy beach scene. As the pines wave to us from beside the beach, we could be worlds away.
The beautifully lit recycled timber bar, accented by shades of copper, runs from the entrance back towards the beach. Well-stocked, it’s the site of liquid action of every description – local beers poured from tap, a shakeup on the cocktail front, and some great vintage wine emerging from the cellars. Matched by tables handcrafted from recycled timber and stone accents, the venue’s an example of thoughtful concept design; earthy, grounded and timeless. Bin 72 marks a move to sophistication that Coolangatta has not seen until now, a grown up retreat that’s smooth and jazz-sexy, despite its location as part of a shopping centre.
The food’s design interests us as much as that of the venue. Open at both lunch and dinner, Bin 72’s menu is built around small and large plates, supplemented by specials. Share plates of exciting contemporary food exit the kitchen with seemingly effortless ease. It’s in the ‘need to try’ category – some of our best casual cuisine on the coast.
We share a single Pulled pork taco with pickled wombok (8), sensational Crab-filled fried zucchini flowers (18) and rich, met-in-the-mouth Beef cheek with green beans, tahini sauce, fennel salad and fried shitake mushrooms (28). It’s a mere taste of food that will demand many return visits because of its quality and ‘surprise’ factor; the work of two great chefs bringing the influences of West and East together: Chef Daniel’s classical training in counterpoint with Head Chef Adam Lane’s skills gained at Sake in Sydney.
With the Strand’s eateries opening in concertina fashion throughout the summer period and southern diners unused to such an influx of culinary talent, Daniel’s partner, Ruggie, says that they’re in for the long haul.
But if the early response is anything to go by, locals have already heard about this classy bar with its amazing food and it won’t be long before the quiet drinks and meal we enjoyed will be delegated to week nights only! But slower nights are taken care of as well, with a specials menu extending through the week.
This is a smart professionally-run eatery with the highest quality food and drinks; a place that both locals and tourists can enjoy.
Shop 121, 72 – 80 Marine Parade, Coolangatta; Open: Mon – Sun 11.30am – late; Ph: 07 5536 9903
NOTE: This review has also been published on More Gold Coast.