First meal in Gold Coast Australia, Alto at Broad Beach

13th February 2017 / Gold Coast

We were pretty much starving when we touched down in Gold Coast Australia, after a long 13 hour flight to Melbourne and then transferring over to Gold Coast immediately (long story).

Hence, we looked for a restaurant near where we stayed on Broad Beach. I picked out an Italian restaurant called Alto, located a couple of blocks away at the Oasis Shopping Center.

This post is part of a series of casual travel reviews of my trip to Australia in 2016.

Finding a good restaurant is difficult when one is new to a city. One of the questions I kept asking myself was where and what to eat in Gold Coast. Meals are especially precious on a vacation,  because there are only so few days, hence we want to make the most out of them. Hopefully, my findings will help you to choose or avoid these restaurants in Australia.

We picked the stuffed roasted bell peppers and roast pork belly for starters, and a seafood pasta, a truffle mushroom risotto and obligatory fish and chips for mains.

Looked almost like a dessert

The stuffed bell peppers ($14.9) were filled with ricotta cheese, and were quite appetising. While the sweetness of the peppers paired nicely with the goat cheese flavours, I felt there was too much goat cheese, and that the filling could have been better balanced with another ingredient. The unbalance made the starter felt very heavy.

Surprisingly crisp skin despite the lack of any crackling

The crispy pork belly ($16.9) was very tender, with the skin lightly crisped. Actually, I thought they had removed the skin, and the crisp surface was actually the fat. Either that, or the pork belly had really thin skin. The dish had a predominantly sweet flavour due to the spiced date puree, but was pleasant overall.

Good old regular fish and chips

Barramundi and chips was one of the lunch set offerings of the day, and I picked it. It was the breaded type of fish and chips, and was fried perfectly golden brown. While Barramundi can thrive in both fresh and saltwater, they typically spend more time in freshwater, giving their meat the distinctive muddy taste which I dislike. I would later in my trip find that Barramundi is one of, if not the most popular and common fish in Australia.

Hand cut chips were a welcome change to the mass produced chips I am used to.

Good variety of seafood

The seafood linguine ($33.9) was tossed in a light tomato sauce, and came chock full of seafood, including half a slipper lobster or crayfish, as we call them in Singapore. The seafood, which included calamari, mussels, prawns, and scallops were bouncy and fresh. This was a very tasty seafood pasta.

Sadly, the risotto was a mess

The truffle mushroom and spinach risotto ($27.9) was more forgettable, with barely faint traces of truffle and soggy wet rice.

All in all, the food at Alto so so, but definitely felt a little pricey for us as travellers from Shanghai and Singapore.

TSK Rating


Author: Fred Lin

Fred "The Shanghai Kid" Lin was born in Singapore, and grew up in a family of foodies and home-cooks. He moved to Shanghai in 2007 and fell in love with the city, eventually carving a self-made career out of digital media design and development. He founded The Shanghai Kid food blog in 2013, and opened an award-winning Singaporean restaurant in 2014, which won CityWeekend's Outstanding Southeast Asian restaurant of the year in 2016. In 2017, he decided to reboot, and shut down all his businesses in Shanghai before moving back to Singapore with his wife. Fred plans to immigrate to Melbourne in the near future.


Shop 47 The Oasis Shopping Centre, Victoria Avenue, Broadbeach, QLD 4218, Australia

+61 7 5539 0377


Gold Coast

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