480 Casuarina Way, Casuarina
A journey into the country to check out the Gold Coast’s food bowl and the Northern Rivers will not only provide you with fresh local produce to take home, but also fuel for the journey and inspiration. A stop at the right local café or restaurant can turn a daytime adventure into a perfect road trip, an experience to be treasured.
Tucker, at the Commons in Casuarina, is one such eatery. Opened in April 2018, Tucker is owned by Nick Pearce, founder of Blackboard, with business partners Phil Czerwonatis and Jordan O’Brien.
Tucker is a display showcase of the best of local: “Tucker is our local community focused cafe. We are serving up produce focused ‘Tucker’ and celebrating what this beautiful Northern Rivers region has to offer,” the team tells us.
What we find is a ‘100-mile table’ and what an apt name ‘tucker’ is, binding together connotations of local and native food with classic and iconic Aussie heritage.
Sourcing the best local produce from surrounding farms and artisan producers, most of Tucker’s menu is made in house, while still featuring some exceptional local artisan producers on their menu: Bread Social sourdough and pastries, Heven-Yah gelato, Shroom Brothers mushrooms, Husk Distillery gin and of course ethically sourced Blackboard Coffee Roasters coffee, to name a few.
The all-day menu features some top dishes including Shrooms Brothers mushies with scrambled eggs on Bread Social sourdough sprinkled with Persian feta and chives, a local favourite on the menu, House made granola with maple-glazed nuts and oats, chia coyo, nashi pear compote, strawberries and yuzu, or Green eggs with oregano and red onion vinaigrette, salsa verde and cress on a slice of gluten-free house-made quinoa chia loaf. Whole food, prime ingredients, a garden of colours and textures on every plate including elements of interest and surprise.
Lunch is catered for with a range of dishes on sourdough or tartines, as the French would say, as well as several burgers. Go light with smoked rainbow trout with crème fraiche, dill, pickles and capers or hit a Kamikaze burger filled with karaage chicken, kimchi, pickled zucchini and miso mayo, all made in house.
Known staples are given a fresh modern twist to become new classics. Beautifully presented with care and attention to flavour combinations and seasoning by the team of chefs, this is inspirational dining.
Every piece of Tucker’s well-conceived design and food adds up to form the story of our cultural landscape in a way that few have done. “This is who we are,” Tucker tells us, “our land, our food, our artisan creators. Come and join in the feast.”
Follow Marj @foodgoldcoast