The cafe that Margot Robbie always stops at
THE carpark is bursting as hordes of diners queue out the front, waiting for a table. Welcome to Bam Bam Bakehouse - one of the Gold Coast's most popular cafes.
While it names movie star Margot Robbie and food critic Matt Preston among its celebrity customers, the eatery attracts everyone from young families to 20-somethings, who jam like sardines into the rustic, indoor-outdoor space with its distressed, heavy timber tables, farmhouse touches and elements of greenery.
Bringing in the crowds are the venue's bakery items, which fill cabinets at the counter.
The options change semi-regularly depending on the creativity and whimsy of the kitchen team, but always include their croissant-muffin hybrid cruffins, golden eclairs and a lemon tart (unfortunately, under baked during my visit). The signature, however, is the buttery, flaky croissants, which are used liberally throughout the simple but on-trend all-day breakfast menu, in dishes such as croissant French toast and eggs benny.
Asian influences also colour the offering, with the likes of a chicken karaage burger ($16.90) and the Indonesian favourite nasi goreng ($18.90). The latter features a vegetable-dotted, perfectly shaped dome of rice capped with a fried egg and accompanied by a splodge of chilli sambal that could singe your nose hairs. It's a little light on kecap manis, though, which usually delivers the beautiful, rich, molasses-y notes that make this dish so special, and could do with a splash more soy for seasoning.
Better are the almost cake-like jalapeno-infused sweetcorn fritters ($19.90), which come spongy and light and topped with smashed avocado. A runny-yolked poached egg sits atop the rather small serving for the price, while chipotle crema is used for dipping.
Coffee uses Marvell Street beans from Byron Bay and is as smooth as a ballad from Boyz II Men, but it's their playful drinks, such as a mermaid latte, Nutella Oreo hot chocolate and the "schlong" (short water long black), that get people talking. There's a concise range of beer, wine and cocktails, including a well-made margarita. Just beware the black salt rim that will leave you with a smile like The Joker.
Diners must queue to order at the counter, snaking their way through full tables, being careful not to bump anyone, with staff on my visit a little snappy and rude - no doubt stressed by the exhausting parade of customers churning through the place from its opening at 6am.
In its five years in operation, Bam Bam has become a local institution on the Coast and its popularity is showing no signs of slowing down.
BAM BAM BAKEHOUSE
2519 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
0488 085 802
Open 6am-2.30pm (kitchen closes at 2pm)
VERDICT - SCORES OUT OF 5
Originally published as The Qld cafe that Margot Robbie always stops at