I was recently on Hamilton Island for the Great Barrier Feast food festival. After back-to-back nights of multi-course, wine-paired meals prepared by some of Australia's top chefs I was ready for a night of casual dining. Australian restaurant critic and food personality Simon Thomsen suggested we check out a new spot with the funny name Coca Chu.
Opened in August 2012, Coca Chu is the type of laid back, delicious spot you'd hope to find if you were stranded on an island. Oversized bird cages dangle from the high lofted ceiling and the soundtrack rotates tunes from M83, Foster the People, and Portugal the Man.
Chef Adam Woodfield, who used to run Betel in NYC, is responsible for the delicious Southeast Asian menu. We ordered some signatures like the betel leaves with lobster, lime leaf, peanuts, roasted coconut, and saw tooth coriander. Definitely ask about the specials. On the night we dined chef Woodfield was serving a vibrant cured mackerel salad (above) and a crispy pig ear and duck egg salad that could easily be served as a decadent breakfast. The cocktails are just as creative as the food.