I'm a Gold Coast writer always in search of fun activities to fill the weekends.
Published June 24th 2015
fresh, fast and full of flavour
For those in favour of a good felafel, The Pocket Burleigh is about as close to food heaven as you can get this side of the Middle East. Located on buzzing Connor St just across from one of the Coast's best-known beaches, The Pocket serves up fresh, wholesome Israeli-inspired fare.
Make sure you bring an appetite, as the pockets for which this popular eatery are named feature pillows of soft pita bread, generously stuffed with the filling of your choice and all the extras – including hummus, tabouli, tomato and capsicum salsa, zesty pickles, Mediterranean relish and creamy tahini or aioli.
The Pocket's specialty felafel, cooked fresh to order from chickpeas, parsley, coriander and a blend of spices, rightly steal the show. We opted for ours on a plate ($14). Perfect for sharing, the felafel plate had all ingredients arranged open plan and pita bread on the side.
Felafel plates from The Pocket Burleigh are perfect for sharing
Wanting takeaway for the beach? The large mezze plate ($33.50) makes for delicious communal eating, with its wide selection of homemade dips, felafel balls, salads and pickles, marinated and roasted vegetables and, of course, plenty of pita bread.
While vegetarians are spoilt for choice, there is plenty to sate all tastes on the extensive menu. We recommend the tender and very flavoursome turmeric chicken skewers ($14.50), grilled fresh to order and served in a pocket with the works. So good are these, my visiting friend insisted we return to The Pocket no less than three times during her recent four-day stay.
Turmeric chicken skewers are grilled fresh and served with salads in pita
The breakfast menu is mouth-watering too, featuring the Israeli specialty of shakshuka ($14.50), a delicious concoction of baked eggs in a Tunisian spiced tomato sauce, served piping hot straight from the oven with tahini and pita on the side. We sampled the crispy fried eggs pocket, a very hearty start to the day with free range eggs, sautéed corned beef, lettuce, tomato, cheese and homemade aioli. Kids aren't forgotten either, with a pared down menu still focused on fresh flavour but without all the spice. We liked the mini chicken schnitzel pocket, filled with juicy chicken breast coated in felafel crumb and topped with cheese ($7.50).
The Pocket Burleigh's breakfast menu includes crispy fried eggs pocket
With plenty of return business, The Pocket has established itself as a standout among Burleigh's thriving beachside eats strip since its opening in late 2012. The business is owned by four friends, Marco and Annique Goldenberg and David and Michelle Dvash. David and Michelle also own Byron Bay Green Effect, a spray-free farm supplying produce for the restaurant, as well as for sale to the public.
The Pocket Burleigh is just across from one of the Coast's favourite beaches
The Pocket's bright, warm interior exudes a casual vibe to match its quick service and no-nonsense approach to nourishment. Seating at The Pocket is both al fresco and indoors, with sidewalk tables popular by day and a cosy area at the rear of the restaurant to enjoy your meal when the sun is not out. Open everyday, 10 am to 8:30 pm, dine-in or takeaway. Reservations recommended for groups of six or more.
The Pocket Burleigh is open seven days a week for dine-in or takeaway