‘The only constant in life is change’ Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, and that’s certainly true of the dining scene in Broadbeach. Restaurants open, close, change owners, staff and cuisine so often that it’s hard to keep track.
Among them, there are several stayers that set the standard of food and service for the rest, their longevity speaking volumes about both their performance and adaptability.
Koi is one of those, an industry leader for the past thirteen years since it opened, garnishing a number of awards. It’s not only critical acclaim that Koi has gleaned but also customers. How do they do it?
Location. With a top location wrapped around one of the most prominent corners in Broadbeach, Koi’s street front alfresco dining beckons to passing pedestrians, “Come on in!” Close to beach, shops and nightlife, there are no barriers to entry, no stairs up or down, no glass doors or partitions. What you see is what you get. Its openness shows off the meals, bar and service to walk by traffic: see the cocktails, check out the meals as they’re served and feel the vibe.
Atmosphere. Despite its open layout, Koi emanates a sophisticated coastal vibe with natural wood, leather, cane and stone offset by brandished copper features. There’s a warmth and earthiness inviting by day, elegant and sultry by night; an unspoken invitation for patrons to hunker down and have a good time. Sunday afternoons are legendary, the band in full swing and partygoers out to finish off their weekends in style before the working week begins. Party central, Koi is where the action is, the place where the ‘Koi Boys’ were ‘made’.
Relevance. “Food culture on the Gold Coast is very competitive,” manager Steve tells us. “We’re constantly revitalising the place. Success is about staying ahead of the curve every step of the way.”
After its latest renovation, Koi 2.0 has emerged sleeker and sexier than ever. The venue has also expanded, taking up the space formerly occupied by Miss Margarita, the back wall removed to expose an open-plan kitchen, a huge wrap-around bar mirroring the flow around the corner, distinct dining areas that can seat 240 when capacity restrictions are lifted, and a takeaway area sporting the double-entendre sign ‘Take me home, eat me later!’
Food and drink. Matching the physical renovation, Koi’s menu has also been swept clean, bringing in smart new meal options. Big on flavour and presentation, many dishes span across lunch and dinner especially in the small and large plates, woodfired pizza and smoky chargrilled premium beef served with garlic and thyme-roasted bone marrow. Lunch sees the addition of gyros and burgers (‘sandwiches’ on the menu), while the evening menu includes larger share plates such as Mussel hot pot with crusty bread, Roasted pork belly with ginger chilli caramel herb salad and Slow-cooked lamb shoulder.
There’s not just ‘something for everyone’ as Koi’s logo suggests, but ‘something great for everyone’. Fish and chips features King George whiting, thrice-cooked fries and handmade tartare, Beef tataki uses Wagyu 7 topped with freeze-dried enoki mushrooms, and there’s a Scandi twist to the Prawn and salmon bruschetta, served Skagen style.
Using fine local produce and house made sauces, there’s exceptional attention to detail and quality. Even the prosciutto used on the pizza is dried in house.
The constant on the menu is the exceptional standard of Koi’s food and drink. Regulars will breathe a sigh of relief that many of the seafood favourites remain, but options for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diners are also clearly marked. With cocktail, beer, wine and spirits to match every menu item, everyone is bound to have a great time.
Service. Steve’s a great believer in the ‘customer is king’ philosophy. Staff, (all with a minimum 3 – 5 years’ experience), are chosen for their professionalism and there’s staff retention rarely seen in a tourist destination.
“Management are always on the floor. Not only that, but every staff member participates. They’re always switched on, ready to go. It’s the personal touch that counts, greeting clients by name, knowing their favourite dish. Yes, we get plenty of tourists here, but it’s the return business of locals that brings in money when times are lean,” Steve says.
With the Gennari Group opening the Asian-inspired Maggie Choo beside Koi, the group’s four diverse Broadbeach dining options (including The Loose Moose and Roosevelt Lounge) raise the bar on quality.
In Koi, the group has nailed the factors which make a true Gold Coast restaurant. A key player in Broadbeach dining, Koi’s success is far from accidental!
Koi Dining Broadbeach, 89 Surf Pde, Broadbeach Ph: 07 5570 3060 Open Thurs – Sat 12noon – late; Sun 12noon – 6pm.