The Food Store @ Hilton Surfers Paradise
Simon visits the new deli-style shop inside the Hilton at Surfers Paradise.
To be honest with you, I initially wasn’t to sure about the idea of a deli placed within a hotel… but the more I thought about it, the greater my curiosity became about the delivery of the concept. Over the years, I have frequented a number of “delis” around Brisbane and the Gold Coast, but those that have remained true to the ideal of a delicatessen have become fewer. Many of them have slipped into becoming coffee shops that happen to serve a selection of fancy condiments and imported goods, usually at overly inflated prices.
The concept of a “European Deli” has always been one of quality produce and products, sourced both from afar and, much more importantly, from local producers. This however is something that is seen less and less now in Queensland, sadly enough.
So, I ventured to the relatively new (opened in Sept 2010) Hilton Surfers Paradise and was greeted by the lovely Chelsea. After giving me a quick tour of Luke Mangan’s signature restaurant Salt Grill, and the mixologist Grant Collins’ stylish Fix Cocktail Bar, we returned to The Food Store.
The Food Store stretches the length of the lobby walkway, from the Hilton’s Orchid Avenue entrance through to reception, providing easy access to both curious public and hotel guests alike. Featuring rich dark wood paneling, stainless steel floor-to-ceiling chilling cabinets, and shelves of delicacies from around the world, ones’ eye is immediately drawn to it. Whether you find yourself perusing the multitude of gourmet delights or taking a seat to savour a selection from the cabinets with a glass of wine, you easily slip into a little moment of indulgence.
I sat down with The Food Stores’ executive chef, Thomas Pirker.
As he stepped me through a beautiful selection of sliced meats, cheeses and antipasti, he went into great detail about each item on the board and how it had been sourced. Many of the products are produced by local farmers and suppliers established around the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Byron Bay regions. Thomas strongly believes that we have some truly incredible produce here in Australia, which he has gathered from as far north as the tablelands, west of Cairns, and as far south as Tasmania. All of these quality Australian delectables share pride of place with cheeses from France, ham from Spain, and sausages from Italy.
As my taste buds were seduced by the rich marbling of dried Wagyu beef, the gentle aniseed flavour of the fennel seed encrusted salami, and the smooth creaminess of Fromager Des Clarines (a french cheese), I was impressed not only by the quality of the food before me but also by Thomas’ passion for what he has brought to life. The concept was to provide a place where people could select quality produce from an extensive array that is not readily available anywhere else on the Gold Coast. The expert staff of The Food Store are enthusiastic about what they are serving and are incredibly helpful when choices are to be made from the vast selection on hand.
Customers have the option of building a tasting board of cheeses, antipasti, meats and patisserie items to dine upon at the long communal table or to take away for a quiet night at home. For guests of the hotel, they can choose to have their selection delivered to their room with a chilled bottle of wine. In addition to this, there is also a cafe-style menu of temptations – if you find selecting from the towering cabinets of charcuterie and cheeses a bit overwhelming.
Whether you want a late afternoon meeting over a cheeseboard with a glass of wine, a light meal complemented by some great coffee, or you need to collect some beautiful ingredients for a gathering of friends at home, The Food Store lends itself to all of these situations and many more. It is this combination of fine food, passionate staff, and comfortable ambiance makes it a desirable destination for anyone who truly loves food. I doubt it will be long before I find myself there again.
The Food Store
Hilton Surfers Paradise
6 Orchid Avenue
Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast
(07) 5680 8000
Simon was a guest of The Food Store. Many thanks!