First look: Rick Shores, Burleigh Heads

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country right now: Rick Shores, Burleigh Heads.

Rick Shores might be a South East Asian share-plate venue, but it feels like the antithesis of its streetwise Brisbane big sister, Longtime. While Longtime is reached via a Bangkok-style alley and rocks a dark, subterranean vibe, at Rick's diners step sandy-toed from Burleigh Beach into a breezy light-filled room seemingly surrounded by white-topped breakers. It's Queensland's answer to Bondi's Icebergs, but with Thai ocean trout tartare tacos, Bloody Mary oyster shots and a handful of coveted tables around the edges where diners risk a gentle spritzing from the sea spray. Kick off with a battery of bar snacks; perhaps the tiny hot, sweet and sour tacos with ocean trout or miso eggplant. Or Rick's fried bug roll, a soft egg-washed brioche-style bun filled with crisp chunks of briny north Queensland bug meat in a tempura-style batter, gem lettuce, kaffir lime-laced mayo and chilli to warm things up. Massaman tartare with a salt-flecked egg yolk at its centre rejigs the classic nicely, the hand-cut beef lightly funky with shrimp paste, lemongrass, white pepper, cardamom, slivers of pickled garlic and more. A spicy yellow curry of king prawn also hits all the right turmeric, coconut and kaffir lime notes. Bring a gang so you can dig into the wagyu rump cap, dressed with aged black vinegar and roasted shrimp oil, or the whole sweet chilli and garlic barbecue chicken without compromising your exploration of the rest of the menu. Drinks-wise, Rick's shares Longtime's booze biases, with the same smart focus on the three Rs - riesling, rosé and Rhône.

Rick Shores, shop 3, 43 Goodwin Tce, Burleigh Heads, Qld, (07) 5630 6611. Open Tues-Sun 11.30am-2.30pm and 5.30pm-late.

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