Named after world class rower Thomas Clifford, Clifford’s Grill & Lounge in the newly launched voco Gold Coast (formerly the Watermark Hotel), is a classy open grill restaurant and upmarket city bar. One wall is dotted with Bakelite radios, overlooking the central focus of the restaurant: the ten-burner grill where chefs are on display preparing meals. The opposite side is open, giving a panoramic view of the Surfers Paradise streets and the Surfers Paradise light rail station, conveniently placed right outside.

Executive Chef Daniel Smith (ex-Stamford Plaza, Maldives and Indonesia) is responsible for the menu. When asked about his food philosophy and the influences on the menu, he answers emphatically: “No fusion! I’ve travelled extensively and gathered recipes from my travels. I was given the slaw recipe, served with your chicken, by the American Ambassador’s wife! It’s just how she makes it for Thanksgiving. The pork, cooked for five hours, is authentic Balinese, and the Veal Milanese recipe was given to me by an Italian chef. My wife is Thai, so we cook an authentic Thai Pla Thod; fried fish, except we grill it here. Of course, we have access to some better produce here as well; that makes a difference. Finally, as we put the dish together, we needed the lift of ginger and chilli; the detail’s really important.”

The Salt and Pepper Squid served in Clifford’s is soft and tender with a light crust, brightened by the richness and acidic tang of aioli and lime. There’s a secret ingredient in the recipe which may surprise you!

Cliffords Grill, voco Gold Coast, 3032 Surfers Paradise Blvd., Surfers Paradise, Ph: 07 5588 8333 Read our review of Clifford’s here.
Photo credit Bevin Reijkaart @sensorysavours

Print Recipe
Salt and Pepper Squid with Aioli and Lime
  1. Cut one edge of the squid tube and lay out flat with the inside facing up. Score the squid in a diamond pattern. Cut the squid into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Peel the kiwifruit and puree in mortar and pestle. Marinate the squid in the puree for 30 minutes then rinse and dry.
  3. Whisk together cornflour, potato starch and milk.
  4. Dip squid into above mixture, then dredge in plain flour.
  5. Fry squid pieces in vegetable oil at 180 degrees until crispy.
  6. Season heavily with salt and pepper and serve with lime and aioli.

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