Brisbane’s Gambaro Group unveils Pipi’s, first of two within view of Point Danger

The Gambaro Group has long been synonymous with elevated epicurean experiences in Brisbane, boasting a portfolio of some of the city’s most notable restaurants, including Gambaro Seafood Restaurant, Gambaro Hotel, the Black Hide Steakhouses and Italian restaurant Persone. Last year, the hospitality family announced it would be opening not one, but two new venues on the southern Gold Coast – Mediterranean restaurant Pipi’s and casual noshery Awaken Cafe, both taking prime position atop Point Danger overlooking Rainbow Bay. At long last, we’ve got our first taste of Pipi’s – here’s everything you need to know …

Mar 01, 2024, updated Mar 01, 2024

Nestled on level two of the recently completed $42-million Awaken Complex, Pipi’s is the first of the Gambaro Group’s southern Gold Coast venues to spring to life. The location is simply unparalleled, offering panoramic views over Rainbow Bay, Snapper Rocks and Duranbah Beach.

As you make your way up the stairs, you are greeted by Pipi’s bright, ocean-inspired interior, a collaboration between the creative folk at BYculprit. and S.SHYNE. The interior has been designed to emulate the sand-dwelling pipi shell, with warm tones and soft textures throughout including plush cushions and sheer curtains, creating a comfortable backdrop to while away an afternoon with a wine in hand.

At the heart of the 100-seat restaurant sits an expansive open kitchen and bar that offers a glimpse into the restaurant’s engine room with an open-flame Josper grill taking centre stage. As beautiful as the restaurant is, and it is, the 180-degree ocean view is the real hero.

When it comes to the menu, Pipi’s draws upon the hospitality dynasty’s incredible 70-year history to deliver a sophisticated dining spot inspired by the healthy and wholesome elements of Mediterranean cuisine. Taking the helm as executive chef is Thomas Boisselier, who opened the group’s Black Hide venue at Treasury Brisbane.

“Our culinary team will use the proven Montague broiler, working in tandem with the Josper grill, to create distinctive flavours,” John Gambaro says of the new menu. Sustainable meat, seafood and vegetables – a highlight at both Gambaro Seafood Restaurant and Black Hide Steakhouse – are front and centre on the Pipi’s menu.

Opening with oysters and caviar bumps, it’s clear you’re in for a memorable dining experience. The snacks portion of the menu is influenced heavily by seafood, with swordfish skewers, seared scallops and crispy prawn rolls vying for your attention. Entrees include the likes of Mediterranean crudo, chargrilled squid and Mooloolaba king prawns, but if you’re keen for a little taste of everything, the Pipi’s Seafood Platter is the way to go.

The mains meander from handmade lobster linguine, to grilled spatchcock and a selection of steaks. Bring your feast to a sweet finale with a selection from the dessert menu, which features a luxe Valrhona chocolate tart, a rhubarb and raspberry tart, and the classic strawberries with yoghurt sorbet.

As for the wines, John says the cellar list spans the key regions of Australia known for producing exceptional wines as well as a curated selection of European wines hailing from Italy, Spain and France.

Still to come is Gambaro’s 40-seat Awaken Cafe, which will sprawl out onto parklands beneath Pipi’s restaurant. We’ll bring you all of the toothsome details oh-so-soon.

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