First look: Bam Bam Bakehouse, Mermaid Beach

Two poached eggs, ham off the bone, tarragon hollandaise, toasted croissant

Two poached eggs, ham off the bone, tarragon hollandaise, toasted croissant

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country right now: Bam Bam Bakehouse, Mermaid Beach.

So the name says it's a bakehouse and there's a glassed-in pastry kitchen, but there's more than buttery croissants, cream-filled choux bombs and Breton tarts crossing the marble-topped counters here. Bam Bam is a double-threat - a clever mix of bistro-café with an in-house pâtisserie. It's a fitting follow-up to Paddock Bakery, Ursula and Ben Watts' first outing, a hip café-bakery hybrid in Miami and supplier of Bam Bam's excellent breads. The feel is different here, the fit-out nicely detailed with raw brick, handsome oversized beaten copper light shades, pressed-metal features, polished concrete and an abundance of flowers. The entire dining area opens onto Mermaid Park and there's a clutch of candy-striped deckchairs out front for takeaways. A recycled timber table on the shaded terrace is a sweet post-beach spot to delve into the likes of the beef dip, a classic brioche roll stuffed full of smoky brisket, melted provolone and caramelised onion with a pot of jus for dipping. Or maybe a crusty roll, spread with cultured butter and filled with local prawns, lettuce and thousand-island dressing. Things kick off early at Bam Bam, so if you manage a sunrise surf over the holidays, pop in and grab a two-egg nasi goreng with a punchy chilli sambal and maybe some chicken sate on the side; or perhaps a chicken parm and chips - all served from 6.30am.

Bam Bam Bakehouse, 2519 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach, Qld (no phone). Open daily 6.30am-3pm.

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