One day, if I’m lucky, there may be a place named after me…
A place just like Ms Margot’s, the bar and eatery at The Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel & Residences.
The name of this eatery means a lot. It’s not named after one of the owners, as you might expect, but after a loyal patron, Ms Margot. Every weekday at 8.15am for the past ten years the elegant Ms Margot, now aged 91 years, has come to the café to eat breakfast, the same order each day: a long black coffee accompanied by four pieces of sourdough served with butter and preserves.
Late in 2020, unveiling the ground floor lobby bar as part of its $9 million refurbishment, the Hilton has paid tribute not only to Ms Margot but also to loyal locals.
Situated just a block from the beach, Ms Margot’s is an informal dining area and bar straddling the hotel foyer. On one side of the eatery, floor to ceiling glass faces out to Orchid Avenue.
It’s a casual enough place to stop for a cup of coffee or a cheeky nightcap, but don’t underestimate the food exiting the kitchen. It’s just as likely that you’ll dine there for a gourmet breakfast with your partner, lunch with a work colleague or a romantic sojourn on date night.
When we visit for a weekend lunch, we are very pleasantly surprised by the range and quality of the all-day menu, by the attentive service and the vibrant energy gained from Ms Margot’s position overlooking Orchid Avenue.
Outside those windows when we visit there’s a lot going on. The passing parade are leaving for the Lunar Electric music festival on the Spit. Judging by the brevity of the costumes, it’s Supanova on a price budget, the skimpier the better, the full on ‘selfie’ treatment providing onlookers with an illuminating spectacle.
Inside, in the sleek marble-clad bar we’re having our own (less exhibitionist) good time, enjoying service that is refreshingly attentive and genuinely friendly without being cloying, speaking volumes about staff training.
Finding it difficult to choose from an ‘all-star’ menu we share several dishes for fear of missing out. We skip the antipasto plates and cheese boards in favour of soft Charcoal bao buns loaded with Asian slaw and crispy pork belly, fried chicken or soft-shell crab, one of the best Tempura bug rolls we’ve eaten, stunning Grilled King Prawns with green papaya, peanuts and a kaffir-lime and coconut dressing (a combination made in heaven), and a deliciously fresh Rocket, feta and candied walnut salad with a light verjuice dressing.
Every dish we try is a standout, but fortunately we save room for an exquisitely sweet indulgence, a shared dessert of Arancini with vanilla creme patissière and pistachio, topped with a knot of Persian fairy floss. Yum! Such an inventive dish!
What’s an indulgent lunch without a beer! Ms Margot’s showcases award-winning Sydney Brewery’s draught beers and ciders along with a list of delicious specialty cocktails, all inspired by Surfers Paradise. The Sydney Brewery tasting paddle provides an interesting taste journey for just $10. But I’ve already spotted the wine list, including such gems as the lusciously earthy Freycinet Louis Pinot Noir from Tasmania. How could I go past that!
Thinking about it, the name Ms Margot’s has as much to do with the quality of food, drink and service at the venue as it does about the patron herself. It speaks of consistency of experience and of respect, of being a place where you can go at any time of day or night, and whether you order a feast and a bottle of Dom Perignon or something as simple as coffee and toast you will still be valued as ‘a queen for a day’.
These are exactly the qualities I’d like in a place named after me: Ms Marjorie’s.
Ms Margot’s Bar & Eats, Hilton Surfers Paradise, 6 Orchid Ave, Surfers Paradise Ph: 07 5680 8100 Open: Sun – Thurs 7am – 9pm, Fri – Sat 9am – 10pm