Already popular in the United States, the Hyde brand has recently reached Australian shores with the arrival of Hyde Paradiso on the Gold Coast. With 180 degree views of the ocean and décor to be remembered, restaurant manager Leny Ursino says the name was inspired by the paradise-like surrounds.
Ursino’s involvement in the hospitality industry began when he was only 15 years old, moving between different restaurants and hotels. Whenever he tried to branch away from hospitality, he always found himself coming back. “I love what I do and it’s something in me. I’ve worked with that and I can’t get rid of it.” Ursino’s passion is palpable in his cheerful laughter as he reminisces about growing up in France, surrounded by food and wine. “In the south of France, the food culture is something you just live for.”
Moving from Sydney specifically to open Hyde Paradiso, Ursino thought the opportunity was the perfect challenge. “Opening a venue for a company that is very new in Australia with a different concept was exciting.” The distinctive décor, designed by 2012 Fashion Graduate of the Year, Carlie Waterman, as named by Design Institute of Australia, has been mentioned by many visitors to Hyde Paradiso. Ursino says the space was designed to suit the Gold Coast style by feeling welcoming yet also being a high end bar.
Described by Ursino as a playful menu, the food at Hyde Paradiso is inspired by Mediterranean cuisine. Tapas, plus small and large share plates, encourage the social atmosphere that Ursino believes is the current trend. His personal favourite on the menu is haloumi on a bed of beetroot sauce. “We want to be kind of focused on the beverages as well. That’s something we’re very proud of,” he said. With oversized cocktails, plus wine and champagne designed to share, the beverages are a social experience. “We try to drive the large format where you can share between friends.” Ursino is a fan of Hyde Paradiso’s signature cocktail, the sgroppino, a delicious alcoholic slushy originating in Italy. The restaurant even has a Hydeaway Sgroppino Room, inspired by its signature cocktail, which is a private dining space perfect for small celebrations.
The drinks menu was designed by award winning Australian bartender Tim Phillips and offers something for everyone. Ursino laughs as he says, “I’m boring, I always go for the pasita sour.” Ursino’s future plans for Hyde Paradiso are not set, but he says he wants the restaurant to become as well known as Hyde is in the United States. “Being the first Hyde location in Australia, we want to cement the Hyde brand in the minds of locals and international visitors alike. So when we mention Hyde, everyone pictures a place they want to be seen.”