Verve at Broadbeach: Too much sweet is not so sweet

Special occasions deserve the best and being close to home helps. Some of our old haunts within the central Gold Coast region seem to have lifted their games but a “newby” at Broadbeach has some good press. Worth a try? The degustation with wine at $145 looks to be a good choice for the special night. The first course of six is a Roasted Beetroot Salad with beetroot crisps, witlof, young spinach, feta, crumbed hens egg, oaked balsamic vinegar accompanied by a NV Dominique Portet Yarra Valley Brut Rosé, all very de minimus, maybe a bit subtle, but it was a bit difficult to say with the very small helping. The 2nd Course was two tiny Pan Seared Hervey Bay Scallops assiette of corn, chorizo, squid ink brick pastry washed with a sweetish 2010 Frogmore Creek FGR Riesling from Coal River, Tasmania. A tiny bit of flavor here. Twice Cooked Pork Belly with creamed cauliflower, apple paste was the third course with a suspect 2011 Warramate Pinot Noir from the Yarra Valley. The crackling seemed OK, but there was really too little of anything on the plate to make a worthwhile assessment. The Pinot seemed to be suffering some burnt rubber smells and was otherwise rather austere, a bit of bottle variation maybe. The Assiette of Lamb with ewe’s curd tortellini, pine nuts, raisins, carrot cream was the fourth and main dish. And there was now sufficient on the plate to enable an assessment. Unfortunately, the meats were barely warm by the time it arrived. A chop was tasty, some of the neck seemed well cooked but other pieces were chewey. The abundance of over sweet raisins and pine nuts didn’t seem to enhance the dish, while the 2010 Kilikanoon Cabernet Sauvignon from the Clare Valley was a bit over ripe and dumb. The 5th Course of ice cream and mouse was a touch over sweet and was matched with a Browns bros sticky, also very sweet. Finally the 6th Course was a small slice of Truffled Pecorino with a touch of quince paste and sliced pear, which was neither here nor there, accompanied by another sweet, this time a Campbells Rutherglen Topaque.
Overall our feeling was that the menu emphasized the sweet too much and was otherwise short on content and flavor. The selected wines were a reasonable match, with the Pinot discounted. But two sweets at the end was a little rich. Dining room ambiance was generally comfortable, except for the chaps outside blowing cigarette smoke in through the open windows and the occasional diesel fumes from a passing bus. Service was always good an helpful. Bottom line, there was “not a lot” to challenge the taste buds here, but at the price maybe that was to be expected.

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