Gold Coast food review: Pink Monkey Bar & Grill

1712 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads Ph: 07 5535 9199

Pink Monkey Bar & Grill enjoys a position that has everything. Right next to the busiest corner in the iconic holiday destination of Burleigh Heads, the bold pink two-storey building has ground floor dining plus a rooftop deck where diners can enjoy drinks looking through Norfolk pines to the iconic surf break. It’s a sitter, right?

Located next door to enduring favourite, Justin Lane Establishment, Pink Monkey’s building progress was watched keenly by locals, its sassy pink and black décor leading to a buzz when the doors were finally opened albeit with little fanfare.

But even when you hold all the cards in your pack, not every hand falls your way. Not every multi-million-dollar restaurant is welcomed into its first year with fires, floods and a pandemic, but Pink Monkey Bar & Grill is holding its head high, with food and service bringing attention and critical acclaim.

From the pizza oven downstairs come true Italian woodfired Napoletana-style pizzas sure to delight. Gluten-free and vegan? Not a problem. Local beer and great pizza will always be well received on the coast.

Pink Monkey raised its food claims in May with the appointment of the very talented Braden White as Executive Chef.

Formerly of Miss Moneypenny’s Broadbeach, Bikini, Sisterfields, BO$$ MAN, Sibling, and Revolver Espresso Bali, Stokehouse Brisbane, and Ricky’s Noosa, Chef Braden is turning out classy fare to make heads turn.

“Bar snacks don’t have to be just bar snacks,” Chef Braden had previously told us, his menu containing ‘Snacks’ and ‘Sides’ that are suitable to share. From Freshly-shucked oysters with finger lime dressing to a stunning local Tamborine Mountain stracciatella (AKA the deliciously gooey inside of burrata) with heirloom tomatoes, basil and house-made focaccia, and from tender Crispy squid with chilli caramel and ginger mayo to Korean chicken ribs with sriracha mayo and toasted sesame, there’s plenty to nibble on between drinks.

Mains cover Spanner crab linguine with shallot, garlic chilli and lemon, a slab of tender Coral Coast Barramundi with peperonata, salsa verde and watercress, a Chicken ‘snitty’ coated in parsley and parmesan, and a Lamb shoulder to share.

It’s competent, simple and tasty food, well done with a few frills.

Chef Braden is the magician with a trick or two up his sleeve, capable of so much more! If there’s one dish on the present menu that gives us a glimpse of that it’s one of his desserts.

The description reads: ‘Passionfruit – whipped vanilla cheesecake, passionfruit curd, fresh passionfruit, mandarin granita’. Beneath a simple bowl of ‘cream and orange’ comes a garden of freeze-dried and fresh textures and flavours. Delicious!

There’s far more to this pink monkey than meets the eye.

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