Belvedere On Main Review
Mt Tamborine, 90 mins south of Brisbane, is one of those fail-safe places you can take an overseas guest to experience a slice of Australia. The views are fantastic; there are heaps of places to try local wines, cheese and other produce; and there’s enough art and curiosity dealers to find a souvenir for even the most discerning tourist.
When you get tired of the scenery and are done looking for keepsakes there’s also quite a range of restaurants within the greater Mt Tamborine region, and I recently called into Belvedere on Main in North Tamborine.
We strolled in unannounced at 7pm on a Saturday night, and the staff were happy to arrange a table for us. Belvedere on Main serves modern and traditional cuisine by its own account and the menu is quite a good selection of predominantly meat and seafood dishes. You’re unlikely to see anything you haven’t tried before, but in my opinion a favourite done well is still something to savour. The styling is casual with a bit of a ‘30s and ‘40s feel. Pictures depicting swing dancing adorn the walls and a faux tin roof lines the underside of the ceiling. Unfortunately the style has not been applied consistently, and there are certificates displaying the restaurant’s participation in local events spread throughout that break the appearance.
Starters are a choice of breads, a soup of the day, and oysters served three ways. We kicked off with soup ($8.95) and some French scroll bread ($5.95), both of which were very good. The soup was pumpkin and orange, served quite thinly for a pumpkin based soup, and the orange added a refreshing tang to the end of each mouthful. Our French scrolls were stuffed full of butter, cream cheese, garlic, and chives, and were very enjoyable. These did not last long.
The wait for our mains was noticeable and it was curious that the service during our meal seemed to fluctuate between excellent and poor. For example, a table was prepared for our little party without a booking but we were not given the opportunity to order drinks when we sat down. It took quite awhile for the waitress to reappear to take our orders for drinks and meals, but when she did she was very friendly, personable and did not seem in any way hurried.
When our mains did arrive we had to send a steak back as it was clearly overcooked. This was handled without a problem by the waitress, but it was disappointing that it had to happen at all. I’ve written before about steak and I’m beginning to get the impression that too many restaurants have become blasé and think they can charge $30 for a piece of meat that isn’t up to scratch.
I ordered marinara pasta ($26.95) which was delicious and chock full of seafood. Of particular note were the scallops, which were very large and still had the roe attached. We also had rosemary lamb ($26.95), which was oven braised on a merlot jus, but again it was ultimately disappointing as the meat was quite chewy. It felt like Belvedere on Main was not only alternating between excellent and poor service, but also between excellent and poor meals. The menu also features duck ($29.90), BBQ chilli chicken ($26.95), and several other seafood options.
A further curiosity of the evening was the wine list. You would think that in a place like Mt Tamborine (which has a winery on every corner) that local wines would feature heavily on the menu, but alas they do not. The only local wine on the menu was a chilled red-the name of which I’ve forgotten. When I queried the waitress about this omission, she seemed almost embarrassed and mentioned they were ‘reviewing’ what was on offer. We ended up with a 2007 Grant Burge Hillcot merlot from the Barossa ($31.50), which was very good and a bottle that I would order again.
Belvedere On Main is one of those places that gets just enough things right that you feel bad about making criticisms. It’s as if they were trying hard but had momentary lapses, all of which brought the place down from good to very average. Some of our dishes were very good, particularly the soup and the marinara, but a lack of consistency ultimately means that I’ll be trying somewhere else next time.
Belvedere On Main
Modern and traditional cuisine
43 Main Street
North Tamborine map
07 5545 4063
Visited on Saturday, 3 January 2009