Nineteen at The Star on the top floor of the Darling Hotel.

Straight to the Top

The Gold Coast has added another jewel to its crown, Nineteen at The Star, setting a new standard for gastronomy in Queensland. Sitting majestically on the top floor of the Darling Hotel, an opulent Art Deco establishment, the restaurant has spectacular views. High ceilings and glass walls, marble surrounds and plush circular booths provide a salubrious setting in which to be taken on an exquisite food and wine journey.

After a year of travel and researching the finest produce, owner Simon Gloftis (also of Hellenika) and head chef Kelvin Andrews have created a masterful menu that is beautifully simple, yet stunningly curated. Old classics sit comfortably beside modern molecular creations with unique dishes on offer – wood-fired damper served on puffed barley made from grain supplied by a local brewery, oyster in an edible shell, a duck dish using a bird that was handfed strawberries, and smoked white chocolate with caviar (a play on salted caramel).

A two-storey glass wine room sits in the middle of the restaurant, where you can admire the bottles before picking your favourite. With a growing list that has more than 500 Australian and international wines, including a focus on Ruinart, Grange and Rothschild, there is something here for every budget. Bottles are also under Coravin and sommelier Nikki Does is only too happy to pour a glass for that perfect food pairing. Head for lunch to enjoy the sunshine, remember to book and ask for a table with a view.    

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