AUSTRALIAN GOOD FOOD GUIDE - Home of the Chef Hat Awards
Stuart McGill

Stuart McGill




Cooking has always been a big part of my life growing up. My Grandfather was a Chef and my Mum was always cooking so I’ve always been around food.

I wasn’t the most studious of kids, so when I was nearing the end of high school and considering what I was going to do for a career, a Chef’s apprenticeship seemed like the logical choice.

I started on the fryer section at a local pub and then progressed into more interesting and challenging roles.

Have you always wanted to be a Chef?

I always knew I would be in hospitality.

How would you define your style?
Flavour driven. Smoke and mirrors aren’t really my thing.

What is your feature flavour these days? 

These days I prefer simple flavours and try not to over-complicate dishes.

Obsessive-compulsive about? 

Limiting waste.

Your greatest culinary influence: 

A lot of Chefs over the years, but particularly working with Tetsuya Wakuda.

What do you love about this business?
Working with people from all walks of life.

An ingredient you can’t live without?
Schishimi. I’m wildly addicted.
Signature dish:

Shio koji marinated Wagyu flank steak with water spinach and seeded wasabi mustard.

What can diners expect when they eat at your restaurant and what makes the experience special?

A delicious adventure into Japanese casual dining, guided by welcoming and attentive staff.

What do you think COVID has taught restaurants and Chefs about their diners and the industry in general?

I think COVID has taught us we need our customers and they need us - what’s better than enjoying great food in a fun and approachable environment. 

Tell us something no one knows about you?

Maybe that I cry at puppy videos.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

Running my own venue either here or back in Japan.

Etsu Izakaya

Etsu Izakaya

Open the barn door at Etsu Izakaya on Gold Coast Highway in Mermaid Beach to discover a magical mystery tour of Japanese share-plate dining. Moody surrounds of neon signage, walls plastered with photographs and a long, low-lit dining space make this izakaya-style restaurant an ideal place for a romantic encounter, or chilling out with friends for after-work drinks. The menu embraces all aspects of Japanese fare from sushi and sashimi to tempura, salads and teriyaki; think plates like thinly sliced kingfish, with yuzu soy, fermented jalapeño and coriander. Salivate over robata grilled Wagyu striploin, kombu salt, grilled lime and fresh Tasmanian wasabi, or twice-cooked pork ribs and spicy miso BBQ sauce; finish sweetly with a dessert of matcha tiramisu and white chocolate pearls.

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