Malaysians can relate very well to anything to do with food and the need to get the best pickings. And no place is too far, so why not the Gold Coast which is a just a plane ride away!

STRAIGHT from the sea, to the boat, to you within hours – does it come any fresher than this? Unless you catch it yourself, the best way to ensure you enjoy the freshest seafood is to buy it direct from the folk who caught it.

Instead of trawling the sea, trawl the fisherman’s co-ops around the state. It’s not like any ordinary roadside seafood stall. It’s a place with the trawlers anchored at the back and you buy off the fisherfolk themselves.

On the Gold Coast go to The Spit at Main Beach and the Gold Coast Fishermen’s Co-Operative where you can buy seafood directly off the back of the boat at the best prices around.

There are about 12 boats in the fleet fishing for everything from prawns and spanner crabs to tuna. Check out what’s available on the board signs at the front as you drive in and just walk down the jetty to chat to the boat owners. They’ll be happy to tell you what’s best in the daily catch and you’ll be even happier when you tuck into those delectable prawns, crabs and fish for dinner.

Fresh off the boat into your dish…that's the wonder of the Gold Coast. – Photo from Tourism Australia

When it comes to picking the best seafood, you know you can trust a sushi chef every time. They have to know how to pick the absolutely freshest seafood because often it is used raw in sashimi or sushi and no one wants to have raw seafood that is not perfect.

So when Palazzo Versace’s sushi and sashimi maker, Yukio Itaba shares his tips it’s worth paying attention. Perched on the edge of the Gold Coast’s Southport Broadwater, there’s no shortage of water access or great seafood for his sushi.

Here’s what Yukio looks for – he likes to open fish gills and look for a deep red colour which indicates a fresh catch. Pale pink gills mean the fish is older. The eyes should also be plump and clear, without any red in them.

When it comes to crabs, Yukio doesn’t buy cooked, he prefers to do that himself. His tips for choosing crabs are turn it over and look under the flap and avoid those with dark colouration. This applies to all types of crabs including spanner crabs and sand crabs.

The Palazzo Versace at Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast. – Photo from Tourism Australia

Where else can you buy great seafood with trawlers that caught it in view? Try these local favourites:

• Peter’s Fish Market, Main Beach, Gold Coast

• Mooloolaba Fish Market, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast

• Grunske’s by the River, Bundaberg

• Morgan’s Seafood, Scarborough, Brisbane

Chew with a view

With magnificent views and menus to match, Queensland’s Surf Clubs are the state’s quiet achievers on the foodie front.

Capturing the quintessential “coastal” lifestyle that is the norm for so many Queenslanders, surf clubs may not boast any celebrity chefs in the kitchen, but they offer generous meal portions at a reasonable price, live entertainment and a family-friendly environment. To top it off, they occupy some of the most prime real estate on the coast.

Whether you’ve got a hankering for a fresh-off-the-boat seafood platter, succulent steak or a chicken parmigiana the size of your head, there’s a lively surf club guaranteed to be serving up some pretty great food near you.

For a great meal with a view, wash the sand off your feet and ride them hunger waves to some of the best surf clubs in Gold Coast.

BMD Northcliffe Surf Club

Within walking distance from the heart of Surfers Paradise, the BMD Northcliffe Surf Club is a popular dining spot, no matter what time of day, and once you take a seat you’ll realise why. Two words – “That. View”.

With a fish-tank view over the action of the beach, Northcliffe is the perfect place to share a meal with mates, or take the whole family for a dinner that the kids are sure to enjoy. Did someone say cheeseburger and crispy chips?

Setting it apart from other surf clubs is their “from the wok” menu offering a selection of Asian dishes. A tasty Pad Thai or authentic Nasi Goreng, to name a few.

Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Club

Sure, this club has top-class nosh (even their burgers, which is a must-try) but also this Gold Coast Surf Club is arguably the most well positioned restaurant on the entire coast.

Perched right out on the sand, the Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Club has something to tantalise every tastebud. Indulge in crispy skin salmon, chilli prawn and chorizo fettuccine, steak from the grill or a trusty fisherman’s plate.

Get there early for a seat on the Elephant Rock top balcony, offering a multiple million-dollar view on a surf club budget.

Coolangatta Surf Club

If you want to spot a pro surfer on your travels, this is the place you’re likeliest to do it. The Coolangatta Surf Club’s Seabreeze Family Restaurant offers ocean views from Snapper Rock to Surfers Paradise and does Aussie club grub better than most.

If you score a seat on the balcony in March (for the Quicksilver Pro) and November (for the Coolangatta Gold) you’ll have front row seats to two of Queensland’s most exciting sporting events. To enjoy a refreshing drink (and 10 on-tap beers) head downstairs to the trendy Beachside Bar.