See Yö for the best GF sourdough in town

See Yö for the best GF sourdough in town

Bread is a staple food, named ‘the staff of life’, with some type of bread included in the diet of almost every culture in the world.

Imagine, then, if you could not eat bread or were limited to store-bought gluten-free products which contained many additives such as colour and stabiliser. Dining would not only be more difficult but it’s likely that you would feel limited for choice and even discriminated against when you dined out.

Fortunately, See Yö Café has taken up the cause of gluten-free and coeliac diners, producing the best gluten-free sourdough we have tasted.

In 2022, Charles Qian and his partner Linda Sun purchased the former Marie Anita’s Café from its founding owner.

“Although we lived and worked in hospitality in Brisbane, we always loved the Gold Coast and longed to be down here. So, this is where we chose to open our first café,” says Charles.

In 2024, they decided to rebrand their business ‘See Yö Café’, indicating a change of orientation to a gluten-free/coeliac café and to acknowledge their many return customers. Though the café is no longer fully vegan, their menu acknowledges their roots with 40% of dishes being vegan or vegetarian. The name denotes both a greeting (Good to see yo’) and a goodbye (See yo’ later).

“We are now coeliac friendly,” owner Charles tells us, “Because we use no gluten at all,” he says of the kitchen where the entire café menu, sauces, baked almond feta, bread, wraps, cakes and desserts are made, entirely without gluten.

Two displays advertise GF cakes available to order as well as the rustic loaves of gluten-free sorghum-based bread baked to order in the shop. Recently, Charles and Linda have added new products to the bakery menu, such as gluten-free croissants, cinnamon scroll as well as a gluten-free sourdough.

Having some gluten intolerance himself, Charles says: “Our emphasis is on making gluten-free dishes that are as close to mainstream as possible so that there’s no stigma attached to being gluten-free. For us it’s about the quality, texture and taste of our bread. We want each loaf to taste as much like mainstream bread as possible,” he adds.

So, Charles spent weeks of experimentation perfecting his own gluten-free sourdough recipe so that everyone could enjoy it. It’s this GF Sourdough and the GF Seed and nut bread that get our attention. Gluten-free sourdough is a rarity, and this loaf is incredible – light and fluffy with a crisp outer shell and delightfully spongy texture in the middle. Unsurprisingly, Charles’s sourdough is now the most popular bread in the store.

The GF seed and nut bread is also noteworthy for its high protein and fibre content and healthy fats (nuts and seeds), yet it is a delightfully light and filling bread. It is perfect to use instead of rye bread, especially toasted as a base for open sandwiches or smørrebrød. To store it, we sliced the bread thinly, then put squares of baking paper between each slice, freezing it in sandwich bags for later use.

The café menu encompasses a wide range of dishes with clear dietary markings. From light meals such as an Egg and bacon roll or a Pulled pork cheese toastie to brunches of Piggy rush Bene, Strawberry feast pancakes, Chilli crab master (scrambled eggs with chilli and crab on sourdough) and Crispy Vietnamese crepe, the eclectic menu has something for everyone, gluten tolerant or not. There’s even a kids’ menu. Coffee (Tim Adams’ Northey St) with the milk/plant milk of your choice, organic teas, milkshakes, raw juices and smoothies accompany your meal.

With the rebranding comes a new look, the pastel shades of the former café giving way to bright lime green, vibrant blue and yellow. Together with the retro menu, we get an ‘old school’ milk bar vibe.

See Yö is quiet and peaceful. Situated right beside Turtle Beach Resort, the café is well placed to service lots of units around the area. There’s parking nearby under Metro on Markeri Street and the new Mermaid South light rail station will be right outside when completed. Sunny and light with comfortable dining chairs, bench seats and banquettes, See Yö is a pleasant, welcoming space. While the large garden out the back was not in use the day we visited, it is available for functions, weddings and group dining by prior arrangement.

Without a lot of walk-by traffic at present due to the light rail construction, the quality of the food and keen price point have led to a regular clientele. As See Yö Café’s trade continues to increase, word is slowly spreading: this is honest to goodness, healthy and tasty food…and the best gluten-free sourdough bread in town. See Yo’.

See Yö Café, 2/2364 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach QLD 4218, Ph: 07 5572 3224 Open: 7.30 – 3pm Friday – Wednesday. Closed Thursday.
Open: 7.30 – 3pm Friday – Wednesday. Closed Thursday.
2/2364 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach QLD 4218