Food review: SaltWater at Currumbin, a local haven

2-4 Thrower Drive, Currumbin Ph: 07 5659 1423

It was a dream come true for Lauren Hogg, a dream she had carried since her teenage years. Growing up in Palm Beach, every day Lauren walked home from school past the Boatshed Restaurant.

“One day I’ll have that restaurant,” she said to herself. And in August 2018 it was hers.

The venue has gone through many transformations since the 1950s when it traded as former Thrower’s Petrol Station ‘Purr-Pull’, but none are more beautiful, both visually and soul-wise, than its present persona.

Buying into the business with a silent partner, Lauren has put her own mark on the place, maintaining the beachy feel but adding little touches such as fresh flowers to the tables.

“I dreamed of having a place where locals could come, feel welcome and relaxed; a place to meet,” she tells me as we sit looking out across sparkling water.

Today a quiet backwater, it’s hard to believe that until the 1970s the Gold Coast Highway passed just in front of the venue and across the bridge in Thrower Drive.

Beside SaltWater, in the lower reaches of the estuary, dolphins visit, frolicking in the water. Paddle boarders glide past as cyclists and walkers hurry along the riverside walk.

There’s something calming about the water here, away from the restless tide.  It’s refreshing, sweeping away the old and ushering in new life.

For Lauren, too, the venue is a new start, beginning life as a first-time restaurant owner. With Alex Sneesby as Head Chef (ex-Avvia and Burleigh Social), the meals are generous in size, light, accomplished and well-suited to the clientele, spread across different menus covering breakfast, lunch, dinner and tapas.

With local regulars the restaurant’s main clientele, favourite dishes fit in with an active Currumbin lifestyle, including the healthy start breakfast, brekkie tacos and salads.

“Our Queensland scallops with prosciutto are really popular, and families keep coming back for our traditional fish and chips; especially on weekends,” says Lauren.

“We try to source local ingredients as much as we can – local fruit and veg, Norco milk, Australasian fish and Vittoria coffee’s smooth Nero blend,” she tells me.

There’s capacity to hold group functions in separate areas, too.

“For me, it’s all about our community and our people,” says Lauren, describing how she is open to supporting local groups and fundraisers, such as the Christmas in July event held this year.

“People love coming to our Sunday live music sessions too. It’s pretty special to see people enjoying themselves here,” she says, adding that in the joy of sharing great food and good times in this beautiful space, she hopes that people will build a lifetime of memories.

In this ‘place of tall trees’ (one of the meanings of ‘Currumbin’ in the Yugambeh language) and quiet water, Saltwater at Currumbin is a unique local haven.

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NOTE: Marj dined as a guest of SaltWater at Currumbin.


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