Isla Cantina brings the fusion of Southern California and Mexico to the Gold Coast

WORDS: Sarah Peattie PHOTOGRAPHY Supplied

Newly opened Isla Cantina on the Capri on Via Roma waterfront on the Isle of Capri, brings the fusion of traditional Mexican food with a Californian twist to the Gold Coast.

Isla Cantina is the latest restaurant venture for Mulpha Hospitality Group, which acquired the Capri on Via Roma shopping centre in mid-2022 to create a shopping and dining experience like no other on the Gold Coast. The vibrant waterfront retail precinct has made its mark as a budding social and foodie hub, with a handful of high-end and casual dining establishments, including Edgewater Dining & Lounge Bar next door.

With seating for up to 100 people, Isla Cantina offers a casual yet cool dining experience, having had a stylish new fit-out by Brisbane-based architect and interior design expert Simone Barr from DAARC.  Complete with cocktail bar and waterfront deck, the restaurant interior features light, airy tones in earthy finishes, and reflects the distinctive coastal vibes of the Gold Coast.

Mulpha’s Area Executive Chef for Queensland, Mark Marshall has designed a menu with a strong emphasis on fresh seafood including cachaca & lime cured ocean trout, spanner crab tostada with jalepeno lime mayonnaise, snapper ceveiche, yellowfin tuna tiradito and the Cal-Mex signature dish, fried red snapper taco.

Lovers of meat and fire can feast on Adobo BBQ chicken, eight hour slow roasted lamb barbacoa, or BBQ flank steak with bone marrow butter, fire roasted onions and tomatillo salsa.

Lighter offerings include jackfruit carnitas and BBQ sugar loaf cabbage. Desserts include BBQ pineapple and chocolate and chipotle mousse.

“We are thrilled to bring a whole new taste offering to the Gold Coast that is fresh, fast and fun, with authentic flavours and fabulous ingredients. You don’t need a lot of ingredients to make great food. You just need to combine great flavours, prepared the right way,” said Mark Marshall.

Isla Cantina is managed by Pablo Uribe, who brings his South American flair to the venue, including adding some authentic Mexican cocktails to the drinks menu, like the Paloma, classic margarita, chelada, and michelada.

“This is a restaurant for everyone who likes a bit of spice in their life, locals and visitors alike. We want to show how tasty and interesting this food is and provide an atmosphere that reflects our easy-going coastal lifestyle and sunshine state of mind,” said Pablo Uribe.

Mulpha has a strong commitment in Australia’s hospitality sector, and the restaurants on Capri on Via Roma are part of its growing hospitality portfolio. This includes Ioesco Cucina, Anchor Buoy and Cove Tavern in Sanctuary Cove, Bimbadgen winery and its award-winning Esca restaurant, wedding venue Palmers Lane and Emma’s Cottage Vineyard in the Hunter Valley, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort with its renowned restaurant Fireplace, InterContinental Sydney, and InterContinental Hayman Island.

The Group is also a major event operator having run the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show for over 30 years and having recently been appointed by the Boating Industry Association to be the event execution partner for the Sydney Boat Show and other shows around Australia.