All aboard! Holy Ship brings a new kind of floating restaurant concept to the Gold Coast

Dining with a view of the water offers its own kind of sensory enjoyment. The closer you are, the greater the sense of satisfaction, in our humble opinion. The Gold Coast’s newest bar and restaurant is taking this notion to the extreme, inviting you to experience the gentle rock of the ocean and the salty sea breeze as you dine aboard two completely refurbished trawler boats that are moored at Marina Mirage. Here’s everything you need to know about the new floating restaurant that’s making waves on the Gold Coast …

Mar 28, 2024, updated Mar 28, 2024

After three long years, Holy Ship Bar & Restaurant is ready to set sail, figuratively. Moored at Marina Mirage, the new nautical noshery softly launched on the weekend and officially opened for bookings on Wednesday March 27. Inspired by the undeniable allure of dining on the water, Holy Ship promises a culinary experience unlike any other.

Imagined by husband-and-wife duo Kane and Yvette McCarthy, who are no strangers to navigating the restaurant seas with ventures like Tonic on Chirn, ELV525 Café/Tapas on Mount Tamborine and Café Open in Ashmore, alongside co-owner Jake Ruttley, the trio have grown up around the Gold Coast waterways. The idea, Kane tells us, was for a seafood restaurant off the back of a trawler.

With a background in restaurant fit-outs through their other company Open Projects Group, you just know it wouldn’t be any old fishing boat. To realise their very specific vision they scoured the seas to find two vessels that matched their desired aesthetic brief – the almighty Austral Eagle (originally constructed in 1978) and Havana (1970).

Both boats underwent an extensive 18-month renovation that saw the vessels stripped down to their bare hulls and rebuilt, removing the mechanical components and creating custom-designed long tables, fitting a state-of-the-art kitchen and a custom-made keg/cold room.Moored side-by-side, the Holy Ship trawlers are striking to say the least.

Featuring a nautical-inspired palette of sky blue, white and sunshine yellow, they’re hard to miss in the marina. Across the two vessels, there’s seating for 72 guests, with separate seating areas on the lower and upper decks. The vessels operate together and are able to relocate to different areas of the Broadwater for special functions and events, with guests ferried from Marina Mirage.When it comes to the menu, freshness is paramount. The seafood-heavy selection sources as much of the seafood as possible from the local fisherman’s co-op, and will only ever plate Australian-caught fare. The menu is designed for sipping and snacking and includes starters of olives, Tassie oysters (natural, mignonette, Thai style) and trawler prawns alongside charcuterie boards and saucy barbecue-pork ribs.For the full experience, opt for the Holy Ship I’ll Have It All!, which includes oysters, prawns, bugs and salmon sashimi. As for the sips, well you’ll be in excellent spirits with bottles of Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot and Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Blanc for the special occasions, through to beers, wines, ready-to-drink cocktails and frozen cocktails including a margarita and a cosmopolitan. Aye-aye, Captain.

Image credit: Supplied.

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