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You’ll Never Guess Where You’ll Find The Gold Coast’s Best Seafood Restaurant

Gold Coast best seafood restaurant

You have to hand it to chef Kuilin William Wu – he’s not afraid to push the boundaries when it comes to sharing his lifelong love of seafood.

He could have opened his spectacular new restaurant Fish Lab – complete with on-site smoking room and ice-packed displays – in a more traditional Sydney or Melbourne precinct and had punters queuing up around the corner.

Instead the Chinese-raised, award-winning chef, has taken a punt on his adopted homeland by showcasing his skills smack-bang in the middle of a busy shopping mall.

Gold Coast's best seafood restaurant is in a mall
Owner-chef Kuilin William Wu shares his passion for seafood at Fish Lab.

But luckily for discerning seafood fans, it’s not just any cookie-cutter suburban food court.

Fish Lab sits in the recently opened foodie heaven, The Kitchens, the $160 million jewel in the mega-mall crown of the Gold Coast’s Robina Town Centre.

Kuilin’s neighbours include a slew of hospitality heavyweights, such as the Honeyeater Kitchen, MasterChef judge George Calombaris’ first Queensland restaurant Jimmy Grants, and an impressive array of purpose-built open kitchens for food-tastings, workshops and masterclasses.

It’s an audacious face-lift for a place more traditionally frequented by clothes-shoppers than foodies.

But Kuilin, an instant hit with his GC debut Twisted Modern Dining, has faith in his fellow Queensland seafood lovers – and the steady stream of local and international tourists, which is set to peak when the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games starts on April 4.

Seafood on the Gold Coast

The Carousel stopped by for a weekend lunch and was immediately won over by the airy fusion of Japanese, industrial and Scandinavian design elements.

The star of the show, however, is undoubtedly the fresh ice-packed catch on display between the seating area and the busy kitchen.

Your menu choice couldn’t get any fresher if you were long-lining it off Broadbeach, just 8km away.

For our main we chose a delicious wild caught fish of the day [Yellowtail Kingfish on our visit] in a white miso and mirin marinate, with vegetables and taro puree ($39). Perfectly balanced and bursting with freshness and flavour.

amazing seafood in Gold Coast mall

There’s something here for every taste and budget, including a bargain takeaway $12 [fresh] fish and chips basket if you’re in a hurry. But, if you are sitting in, don’t leave without at least sampling Fish Lab’s signature fish prosciutto ($24), a dry-aged Hiramasa Yellowtail Kingfish served with a gorgeous ginger honey-glaze and rye chips.

Until then, to get a sample of why Fish Lab has us hooked, try the recipe below that Kuilin has prepared exclusively for The Carousel.

Crispy Fried Fish With Fragrant Herbs, Green Mango, Modern Thai Dressing

seafood recipe from fish lab to try at home

Dressing

Ingredients:

  • Fish sauce – 60ml
  • Red chilli – 3 whole
  • Palm sugar – 80gm
  • Ginger grated – 30gm
  • Lime zest – 1 lime
  • Lime juice – 1 lime
  • Galangal grated – 50gm
  • Water – 100ml
  • Ice – 40gm

Method:

  • Bring water to boil, turn off heat, add palm sugar, stir till sugar dissolve completely
  • Add ice to cool down sugar water
  • Cut chilli length way, scrap out seeds and vines, finely chop
  • Add all other ingredients
  • Stir well and store in fridge

Chef’s note: “It’s best to make this dressing one day before use; the flavour will develop a lot more overnight”

Fragrant Herb Mix

Ingredients:

  • Coriander
  • Vietnamese mint
  • Thai basil
  • green shallot

Method:

  • Quickly wash herbs in ice water to remove dirt, leave on side to drain on paper towel
  • Hand pick all leafs of herbs, finely slice green shallot, mix together and leave on side for later

Fish preparation

Ingredients:

  • Blue-eye trevalla from Tasmania – 600gm
  • Fish sauce – 15ml
  • Light soy sauce – 15ml
  • Potato starch – 50gm

Method:

  • Cut fish into 3cm pieces
  • Marinate with fish sauce and light soy sauce for 15 minutes
  • Coat fish nicely with potato starch and fry until it turns to golden brown
  • Take out of oil and sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • Place on to kitchen paper towel to absorb oil

Garnish:

  • Green mango – cut into thin julienne
  • Beets and reddish – thinly sliced or cut into desired shapes
  • Snow pea tendrils

Plating

  • Arrange fish pieces and mango on plate
  • Sprinkle herbs over
  • Drizzle dressing over ingredients and plate
  • Arrange other garnish over plate

Written by James Graham

With over 20 years as a journalist and TV producer, The Carousel Editor James Graham has a wealth of experience covering the full media spectrum.

James has a formidable reputation as a talented media veteran and worked as a reporter, script writer and as the producer of the TV documentary The Road To Athens.

He has worked across newspapers, radio and the biggest flagship magazine brands in Australia and New Zealand. Previously, James was the News Director at Woman's Day and New Idea.

Whether filing celebrity exclusives, or some of the biggest real-life splashes of recent years, James’ career has always been at the frontline of mainstream media.

When not in the Ed’s chair, you’ll find him at Royal Randwick, his beloved Long Reef Golf Club on the Northern Beaches – or visiting his mum in his native New Zealand.

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