Rydges Gold Coast – New Asian Buffet or ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT Asian TREATS!

WORDS: Corrine Barraclough PHOTOGRAPHY Brian Usher -

Rydges Gold Coast Airport is changing things up at Asian restaurant Madam Za’s now you can treat yourself to an all-you-can-eat buffet.

IT’S all go, go, go at Gold Coast Airport. Travel is back in full flight and the revamped and expanded International terminal is on track to bring a new wave of visitors to our beautiful Coast. Keep in mind that even before this $500m expansion, the GC was already the sixth busiest airport in Australia, with more than six million passengers passing through each year.

Rydges Gold Coast is the first and only leisure-themed airport hotel, just a one-minute walk to the actual terminal, five minutes walk to the beach and only a 30-minute drive to Byron Bay. Rydges Gold Coast is a 192-room hotel, featuring Deluxe, Premium and Executive rooms over seven storeys, designed to cater for both long and short stays.

“We’re finding business is going very well for us here at the airport. Many guests are staying with us prior and post their flights and enjoying our dining experiences,” general manager Michael Curtis tells ORM. “As we’re just one minute’s walk to the terminal, this is the ultimate in convenience and it’s working incredibly well for the hotel.”

Inside, this comfortable, modern, relaxed, coastal-themed hotel is home to two key restaurants. Up at the Salty Fox, you can enjoy the rooftop bar with views over the ocean. Down in the hotel itself, you’ll find Madam Za’s.

Mastermind of the kitchen and the creative driving force behind the menus is head chef Joel Bryant, who completed his apprenticeship at Star City in Sydney, worked with Luke Mangan and has picked up a couple of chef hats along his culinary career path. Running both the Salty Fox upstairs and Madam Za’s downstairs, he ripped up the old pub-style menu upon arrival and changed the concept to Asian.

“Madam Za’s is going really well. The modern Asian menu is going down excellently with diners. It’s now time to look to the future,” says Joel, who previously worked at Oscars on Burleigh for three years, at Songbirds Retreat (Mount Tamborine) and Peppers Soul.

“So, after much thought, we’ve decided to keep the menu the same but move to a buffet. There are no Asian buffets down at this end of the Coast and people love the value for money,” Joel says. “This way, people are able to come along, whether they’re locals or travellers, and literally help themselves to what they fancy to eat. It will still follow the same format as our existing menu, just served differently.

“Diners will be able to indulge in a starter like soup, prawn crackers or spring rolls, into a main dish such as curries or stir-frys and then choose dessert. Our special soups will be rotated every couple of days.”

As the International Departure Lounge opens, Joel has been considering efficiencies with his service offering.

“We want to make sure it works slickly as we get increasingly busy,” he says. “Plus, we’re building another 109-room tower, with family suites, so we’re looking at needing to service hundreds of extra people each week.”

The new buffet experience at Madam Za’s will be open five days per week; Tuesdays to Saturdays from 5.30 pm to 9 pm. Buffets will have a price point around $35, with the Friday and Saturday offering a little more special for the weekend.

* Rydges is the first and only leisure-themed airport hotel on the world-famous Gold Coast.

* A one-minute walk west to the terminal, a five-minute walk east to the beach, a 30-minute drive south to Byron Bay, a 30-minute drive north to theme parks.

* The Salty Fox – a rooftop bar with views over the tarmac and ocean.