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The Exhibitionist Is the New Rooftop Bar Perched Atop the Gold Coast's Six-Level Art Gallery

The new building also features a ground-floor restaurant that serves degustation menus inspired by the gallery's artworks.
By Sarah Ward
May 18, 2021
By Sarah Ward
May 18, 2021

When HOTA, Home of the Arts opened its new six-storey gallery earlier in May, it did more than just give Gold Coast residents a towering place to peer at art. That's obviously on the agenda — the site is Australia's largest gallery outside of a capital city, after all — but the colourful building is also home to a sky-high drinking spot.

If walking through art-adorned halls and staring at masterpieces makes you work up a thirst, you'll want to end your visit to HOTA Gallery with a trip to its fifth floor. That's where you'll find The Exhibitionist, an attention-grabbing bar that pairs bites and beverages with views across the city, as well as out to the hinterland. Here, you can sit either indoors or outdoors, then tuck into tapas, sip cocktails and stare at the Surfers Paradise skyline.

The drinks lineup goes heavy on cocktails; the 'Heat and Time' pairs gin, mezcal foam, lemon and ginger, for instance. You can also enjoy a glass of wine, knock back local craft brews or opt for a house-made soda.

Food-wise, head chef Dayan Hartill-Law has whipped up a menu filled with share options, including salt and vinegar onion rings, suckling pig sausage rolls with burnt strawberry ketchup, oysters with finger lime vinegar and halloumi with green tomato pickle. Or, there's the duck pie made with sour cream pastry, oven-roasted Gold Coast prawns and a brioche lobster roll with Sriracha mayonnaise — which you can then follow up with cheesecake mousse or cake truffles for dessert.

Hartill-Law also oversees the menu at The Exhibitionist's sibling venue, Palette, which is located at the building's other extreme. The ground-floor restaurant serves Fraser Island spanner crab and Brisbane Valley quail among its a la carte lunch options, then switches to degustations that not only hero local ingredients wherever possible, but are inspired by the artworks in the gallery. The dishes will change as evolve as exhibitions come and go, too.


"The first menu relates to HOTA's Solid Gold exhibit, so that guests can see their favourite pieces of art come to life on the plate," explains Hartill-Law. "The Darling Downs vegetables in variations emulates the artist Mimi Dennett to have the same flowers and plants growing as what is featured in her piece Bloom," he notes.

Palette's diners can choose between two degustation menus at present — including a vegetarian option — with or without matched wines.

Find The Exhibitionist and Palette at HOTA, Home of the Arts, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise. The Exhibitionist is open from 10am–10pm Sunday–Thursday and 10am–12am Friday–Saturday, while Palette operates between 11.30am–2pm and 5.30–9pm Wednesday–Thursday, 11.30am–3pm and 5–10pm Friday–Saturday and 11.30am–3pm and 5–9pm Sunday.

Published on May 18, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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