Founded by Peter Gloftis in 2016, No Name Lane began as a tiny hole-in-the-wall café in a nameless laneway off Oracle Boulevard. Its trade consisted mostly of coffee, gourmet wrapped sandwiches and slices. Not anymore!
“The only constant in life is change,” said the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, and this quote is as true for the Gold Coast’s hospitality industry today as it was in Greece in 500 BCE.
Four years into its life and now on its third set of owners, the location, branding, and excellent Black Sheep coffee are the main reminders of the original No Name Lane. Apart from that, the café is almost unrecognisable.
Keeping pace with dining culture, new owners Kevin and Karissa Maxwell, who took over in March 2020, have renovated the space and menu to achieve their vision of what a great café could be.
“We wanted to provide an upmarket breakfast and lunch experience that matched the level of food already on offer in Oracle Boulevard,” Kevin explains, “a place that locals could call their own. There are some fabulous restaurants in the area, but we saw a gap in breakfast and brunch offerings that we want to fill.”
Using the time during lockdown when there was only takeaway trade, the couple renovated the restaurant, moving the bar to create a more open, inviting space. It’s a marked improvement, the Y-shaped venue uncluttered and bright, populated with gorgeous Uniqua chairs and copper-detailed tables.
The rare luxury of full table service in a café allows us to relax and dine in comfort. It’s a little thing that speaks volumes.
Food, too, has settled into a brunch-style menu bridging daytime dining. With talented young chef Josh Roberts in charge of the kitchen, each dish is exceptional. Josh may be only 26 years old, but this is his third role as Head Chef and rightly so. Dishes that sound inviting and accessible on the menu astound us with their detailed presentation.
Avocado toast was never like this, elegantly presented with shards of house-made kale chips and whipped Meredith Farm goats’ cheese, stepped up with pickles adding an acidic bite to the otherwise rich and creamy combo.
The Open Mushroom Omelette is perfectly wobbly inside, a rare feat. It is served with pan-fried sage, leeks and a medley of mushrooms.
Pancakes gain cherry sauce, cherry pearls and matcha crumble, splashed Picasso-like around the plate, dark chocolate mousse and cherry sorbet bringing depth and flavour, with maple syrup to pour over the dish at the table.
French toast made from chocolate-soaked brioche is a masterpiece, served with banana chocolate crumble, salted caramel, chocolate crème pâtissier and ice cream. While there are no items irrelevant to the taste of the dish (and neither should there be), the crunch of candied walnuts and the tang of good salt take this dish to next level status.
Brunch dishes extend into substantial lunch dishes such as 11-hour marinated Lamb shoulder pie, Korean chicken burger, the Goodness bowl and Pan-roasted salmon served on a pea purée with baby chat potatoes and a mustard-dressed watercress and herb salad, all clearly marked for dietary preferences.
As a café, No Name Lane has gone from strength to strength. Finally, four years after its beginnings, it has found its mojo, achieving on all fronts: great coffee, food, service and ambience.
No Name Lane, Elizabeth Ave, Broadbeach Ph: 07 5538 5221 Open daily 6am – 4pm
NOTE: Good Food Gold Coast dined as a guest of No Name Lane.