The Gold Coast gained a touch of European style when Sofia’s Broadbeach opened on the ground floor of The Oasis late in 2020.
Owner Henry Hunt brings us an all-day dining venue oozing the casual sophistication of coastal Italy yet accessible enough for a weekday lunch. Arms stretched wide in welcome, Sofia’s open-faced bar and kitchen look out to the alfresco dining area, the gardens and playground of central Broadbeach just beyond.
Naming the restaurant after a family relative, Henry draws inspiration from his Italian heritage, his time growing up as a teenager in Florence and New York, before returning to Australia where he worked his way up in the Merivale Group to managerial roles at Establishment and the 2-hatted Bert’s Bar and Brasserie. He also worked with Seagrass on the opening of 6 Head 1788 overlooking Sydney’s Opera House.
With Head Chef Damien Styles on board, the food more than matches expectations.
Serving house-made pastries and coffee for breakfast, by lunchtime Sofia’s is in full swing. In true Italian style, fresh produce is the hero, simply prepared to maximize flavour.
A large part of the menu is made up of items to share, either singly or in combination. Yes, you could dine here by massaging your schedule to fit in a quick lunch, however there’s much more joy in a rendezvous at Sofia’s where you take a little time.
In true Italian style, you could begin with an aperitif or Henry’s favourite Basil Smash cocktail, Luca’s burrata or stracciatella, an heirloom tomato salad with basil and balsamic truffle glaze sandwiched into house-made wood-fired bread.
But let’s not stop there! Expect to share more plates of food because you’ll want to taste everything!
“We decided to put lots of small dishes together so that everyone can enjoy the same experience,” says Henry, “simple small plates of salumi, seafood, vegetables, all with a focus of bringing people together through good food and wine.”
Henry has gathered an eclectic mix of classic artisan Mediterranean antipasto. Choose several to put together, perhaps Jamón Ibérico and Wagyu Bresaola accompanied by a Triple Brie and Smoked Mozzarella with Fresh figs and vincotto to sweeten the palate; these would sit well on my plate.
If Mediterranean style dining is king here, then the freshest seafood certainly is queen. Steering away from trendy to classic, seafood provides many of the memorable dishes on the menu due to their expert handling by Chef Damien, well known for his food at The Fish House and Etsu, as well as Berardo’s and Altitude on the Sunshine Coast and Mr Percival’s at Howard Street Wharves.
From Grilled Mooloolaba king prawns to Kingfish crudo with blood orange dressing, from live Oysters opened to order to Grilled Mooloolaba King Prawns, from Linguine with king prawns, garlic and chilli to Grilled whole baby snapper, Styles is a master of the art of minimal intervention maximum flavour, each dish simply dressed so that the seafood can shine.
While some may choose a parade of smaller dishes in succession, others may choose just a few, moving on to larger dishes such as Pappardelle with mushroom and truffle or the succulent 850g Grilled Rangers Valley T-Bone.
For those who prefer a ‘single plate’ meal, other options include Green pea risotto with mascarpone cheese, or a 200g Tajima MS6 Wagyu Striploin with vegetables or salad sides.
Pair your food with some of Henry’s personal favourite premium Italian and local wines, or cocktails based on house made juices and syrups. Our tips are to look at Sofia’s wine by the glass and leave room for a limoncello, handmade in house, to finish. It’s superb!
Accessible for many levels of dining experience, Sofia’s is a great restaurant for anyone who appreciates great food. It’s a venue that would be equally suitable for a classy casual meetup and drink, a business or weekday lunch, a romantic dinner for two or a special family celebration. Whatever your dining intention, let Henry and his team spoil you in this most romantic setting. Sofia’s is an experience not to be missed.
Sofia’s Broadbeach, The Oasis Shopping Centre, 75 Surf Parade, Broadbeach Ph: 07 5531 5390 Open 7 days 6am – late