We source the freshest fish


Another picture of Sim showing off the goods! Come in and get your taste of it before its all gone

It has been an amazing return to Burleigh Heads for Sim and Buffie.

Rachel Jansen, from the Gold Coast Bulletin, captured it well with this article:

A DECADE ago, Simon and Buffie Scott disappeared from the Burleigh food scene, selling off the local favourite Red Hot Wok and heading south for a slower-paced life in northern NSW.

Their reputation for good food continued to reach the Burleigh foreshore though, with news of their ventures in an Evans Head hotel and then RSL club travelling back to those who missed the popular takeaway where fresh, fast and tasty Asian-inspired dishes were served up in cardboard boxes.

So when the doors opened to a new fish and chipper in Burleigh two weeks before Christmas, it didn’t take long for the local crew to hear the Scotts had made a comeback, this time with Red Hot Cod, the name a nod to their former popular eatery that used to be just a few doors further along the Gold Coast Highway.

“We moved down there I was teaching professional seafood cooking at the North Coast Institute of TAFE, and also had the hotel and then RSL restaurant,” Simon explains.

“The past few years we’ve had a pretty good cruisy life and I spent a lot of time fishing and surfing.

Life by the ocean

“ I’ve been surfing since I was five and fishing since I was five-and-a-half. I love the ocean – playing in it and eating from it.

“The last two years I spent 590 hours at sea just fishing, and probably the same amount of time surfing.

“But all our family live here and we thought it was time to come back and we just wanted to do something different again.”

The couple have rented a unit overlooking Burleigh for now, while they travel between bases.

Using his southern connections is a bonus for Burleigh customers, Simon says, especially during the peak summer period when supply has been low because of high demand.

“There’s so much more fish down there. Up here it’s really competitive (because of under-supply),” he says.

“I’ve had 10 years of building relationships with the professional fishermen down there – they know I’m looking for snapper of a certain size, and mackerel and jew fish.”

Only the best quality seafood

Sourcing quality seafood is a central point-of-difference for Red Hot Cod as a fish and chip takeaway.

“It’s a bit different for a fish and chip menu,” Simon says.

“It’s all Australian and New Zealand seafood. We’re not getting fish in from Asia.

“You know what you’re eating. If you’re eating fish from Asia, they’re farming them in muddy ponds, whereas with the Australian and New Zealand produce, it’s wild caught.”

As well as the fish from Evan’s Head, the deep sea ling is from New Zealand – caught wild and filleted on the boats – the salmon from Tassie, and the oysters on the menu are currently Sydney Rock as they’re in season.

Seafood expertise

The octopus for Simon’s barbecue octopus dish is brought in from Western Australia.

“It’s the big Aussie stuff. They catch them in the lobster traps – they’re a bycatch – the octopus get in the lobster traps and crush the lobsters and feed on them,” he says.

The prawn cutlets are handmade, as is the calamari, and all seafood is served with fresh salads including organic quinoa with roasted sweet potato and cauliflower, a Greek salad bowl or mixed green leaf salad.

Having worked in international hotels, small cafes, vineyards and takeaway joints, Simon says Red Hot Cod is less complicated.

“We like the takeaway concept. It’s very labour-intensive in the restaurant while this is quicker and fresher.”

Boxed to go

The signature cardboard-boxed meals locals loved a decade ago have been revived.

Walking out the door at a rapid rate are the Burleigh Beach Boxes, packed with mixed seafood, salad and chips, in serving sizes to suit one, two or four people.

Many a loyal former Wok customer will be thrilled to see Simon has also resurrected some of the menu favourites, including Indonesian vegetarian spring rolls and nasi goreng, a Massaman curry and duck spring rolls.

“They were the dishes that were the most popular then and they’ve proven really popular again now,” he says.

While the majority of meals are taken away box-style, there is seating for 20 inside the store, which has been outfitted to look like a trawler, complete with rusted-look walls and port holes.

Through one hole you’ll spy a picture of Burleigh surfing and lifeguard legend James “Billy” Watson.

“We wouldn’t have done this at Coolangatta or Nobby or Mermaid – we just love Burleigh, and it had to be the right shop or wouldn’t do it,” Simon says.

“This shop is the right aspect – I can see the lifeguard tower and the ocean from here.”

Red Hot Cod, 1716 Gold Coast Highway, open daily 11am-9pm