You can always tell when there’s an owner/chef in the kitchen. There’s an assurance to the menu, a passion that is evidenced in almost every aspect. Stones Throw at Currumbin is a good example.
Owned by brother and sister duo Cameron Chartres and Melanie Windsor, Cameron had worked his way around the world in kitchens in Canada, France and the UK (to name a few countries, including a few months with Gordon Ramsay).
On his return to Australia, Cam worked in mining before joining the Rick Shores team as a chef. Like most chefs, he longed for his own kitchen and when Mel admitted that she too was at a crossroads, they took the chance to follow their passion, opening Stones Throw with their partners in mid-2016. Its name derived from its location just ‘a stone’s throw’ from where they grew up on Hale Street.
Standing out from the plethora of cafés on the Gold Coast is important, so it pays to offer something different. Unlike the #givethecustomerswhattheywant arguments, we want to be taken by surprise, challenged, even if it is by some familiar foods presented in different ways or in new combinations. To us, dining out is all about the arts, bringing us reprieve from the ‘sameness’ of everyday eating.
On our first visit to Stone’s Throw, I’d noticed that there were no Eggs Bene on the menu and muttered a little ‘Hurrah!’ under my breath. Instead, the menu showed investment. Risk taking, even.
It paid off. Stones Throw soon developed its own loyal clientele.
All good until development ended their lease in Burleigh, their café doomed to be torn down for a new development.
But better things were on the way, with Stones Throw taking over the former Neighbourhood Espresso site in Station Street Currumbin later in 2020.
What the new site offers is a serious verandah overlooking an enclosed backyard with trees and garden, a sandpit, art installations and a cubby caravan.
“The venue has extended our clientele. It’s friendlier to young families, cyclists and dogs,” Cam tells us.
Yes, that’s definitely so. Diners come back for the welcoming atmosphere, friendly service and free parking nearby, but also for Cameron’s food.
Infusing world flavours into the all-day menu, Cam says he’s particularly inspired by Middle Eastern and Indian flavours.
With weekly specials keeping up local interest, passionate fans will never let them take several standout dishes off the menu, including Cam’s version of the modern classic Coconut sugar-cured prawn omelette with smoked chilli sambal, green chilli and spring onion (my personal favourite); Oven-baked ricotta and raspberry souffle pancakes with berry coulis and crème fraiche, and the ever-popular signature dish Saag Aloo Hash. It’s an interactive dish, Cam says, where you rip the naan and pile pan-fried potato and spinach, chilli scrambled eggs and dahl into the warm bread to eat from your hands.
Never content to stand still, the team is intent on improving their offerings. Bunny Chow features on the specials board when we visit and lunch is getting a boost as workers in the nearby industrial areas discover their new favourite café. A liquor license is also pending.
“We’re trying to work on the takeaway lunch options at the moment,” Cam tells us. pointing to the cabinet full of food to go. “The display cabinet is sold out most days.”
With friendly service, the winning Brisbane-based Fonzie Abbott coffee and great food, Stones Throw has already become a local favourite for Currumbin, with many Burleigh diners making the trip to visit.
With fresh and healthy fare, this is a café with interesting twists in almost every dish.
And its name? It may be some way from where Cam and Mel were brought up, but it’s only a stone’s throw from Currumbin Creek!
4/9 Station Street, Currumbin Ph: 07 5650 1781
Open: Mon – Sat 6am-2pm, Sun 7am-2pm
NOTE: An earlier version of this review has also been published in Blank GC.