In the middle of the uniformly pristine beachside suburb of Casuarina, Osteria stands out like a wild and beautiful Italian garden. Earthy and grounded in venue and cuisine, it could easily have been transported directly from the Grounds of Alexandria to land in Kingscliff.
This is a meeting place for family and friends, inspired by Italian family homes, a community hub for both a quiet retreat and for celebration, a rustic shady haven, a shelter just beyond the dunes.
Hidden among the pandanus trees, the building houses a restaurant, deli, function centre and garden, complete with children’s playground. Its rough-hewn timber, iron and tin, gives a feeling of serenity and groundedness, picturesque, with staff gliding through the venue as the early morning sun filters through windows.
Outside the restaurant building are gardens, a children’s playground and a function area used for weddings, parties and events; a place where the community can celebrate small and large occasions. The venue is all things to all people, a planned renovation making it even more so, with construction of a larger function area about to begin.
From a family renowned for their food, Chef Aida Ahmar, who owned Sarkies With Love in Brunswick, Melbourne, brings an international touch to the wholesome food. Though her Lebanese heritage and experience feature little on Osteria’s menus, her down-to-earth ‘hands on’ approach to healthy food does. House-pickled vegetables, her own super seed mix and house-cured trout feature in several dishes, from Smoked trout for breakfast to Buddha bowls for lunch.
What’s not made in house is sourced either hyper-locally from the restaurant’s own kitchen garden straight to your plate, or locally from Palmer’s Veggie Shack or other local producers.
Using as much organic produce as possible, our breakfasts are delicious: Trout with vegan quinoa and zucchini fritters, Simple poached eggs on sourdough from Almond Road Bakery, Caramel banana bruschetta – a different take on French toast and No-grain muesli, a gluten–free alternative brimming with nuts and seeds.
Our dessert is sourced from the finest local producers: Macadamia and raspberry swirl and cappuccino from a local ice creamery, the dragonfruit and acai granita made in house.
On a chef’s tour of the garden, we come across a shipping container housing Grit Ceramics where potter Leila Sherblom makes the restaurant’s plates. There amongst the nasturtium and parsley she works on vases and salt shakers, bowls and cups, each piece a work of art.
It’s here, standing in this garden beside the potter, that we really feel the spirit of Osteria. Literally meaning an inn or tavern where wine and simple food are served, Osteria is more than this; more like a community hub or meeting place that reminds us of the need for nutritious food and drink accompanied by social nourishment and celebration.
Somehow, this earthy haven has slipped through the cracks of uniformity, a reminder to be who we are despite our surroundings, to value what is good for us: being part of a community and eating nourishing, healthy, earth-driven food.
1 Barclay Drive, Kingscliff NSW Ph: 02 6674 9962
Breakfast and lunch daily; Dinner Wed – Sat
NOTE:Watch out for daily specials and events on Osteria’s website.
Good Food Gold Coast dined as a guest of Osteria.