The Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa has always been the timeless ‘grande dame’ of Gold Coast hotels. Following her $35 million rejuvenation in 2020, she is the first Australian hotel to enter an exclusive club, the Marriott International’s flagship JW Marriott brand. Complete with a new name, the JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa, her elegance sets a new standard of luxury for discerning travellers, “…a haven designed to allow guests to focus on feeling whole – present in mind, nourished in body, and revitalized in spirit.”
Keeping some of her most loved features, such as the grand staircase and the swaying rattan fans, the tropical feel of the hotel remains. What is far more apparent now, though, is the sophistication of the refurbished venue and its commitment to sustainability relevant to a new age of eco-tourism.
Recently appointed Executive Chef Paul Smart (ex-SO Sofitel Bangkok, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi and The Ritz London) has established the JW Garden, produce gardens located behind Citrique’s kitchen. Sustainability is a key philosophy of the hotel, with waste from the kitchens recycled via a worm farm to fuel herb gardens cropped to use in the hotel’s kitchens.
Decadent Degustation at Citrique Restaurant
Citrique Restaurant, the ‘cornerstone’ of the hotel’s dining options, shows off the hotel’s new direction of ocean and paddock to plate. In its interactive kitchen, Citrique places fresh local produce at the heart of its menu, its decadent degustation dishes paired with matching wines.
In a beautifully paced journey, we are treated to a five-course degustation of delectable food, not overworked or pretentious, but beautifully crafted and presented, full of contrasting textures and nuanced flavours, each course accompanied by a fine wine.
In the first course, a single Moreton Bay bug dumpling floats effortlessly in an Asian-inspired bisque, its depth boasting a slow-cooked richness of flavour with notes of kaffir lime, coconut sambal and JW Garden herbs. It is accompanied by a glass of the well-structured Eden Valley Heggie’s Riesling.
Following the Bug Bisque, Snow Fish (also known as Patagonian Toothfish) is stunningly presented in a sweet miso sauce, accompanied by wood-fired cauliflower, dukkah crumble, and white miso sauce. It’s matched to a glass of Red Claw Chardonnay by Mornington Peninsula’s Yabby Lake.
Tablelands Honey-glazed duck breast is presented as the third course, served on a bed of heirloom beets, croquette, chard leaves and asparagus with fig jus. Tasmania’s Josef Chromy Pepik Pinot Noir accompanies this dish.
Main course is Jack’s Creek Beef tenderloin, cooked to perfection sous vide, with a baton of potato gratin and carrot variations, the intense forest berry and cassis-like Ringbolt Cabernet Sauvignon a worthy accompaniment.
We finish the meal with ‘A Citrus Illusion’, a perfectly formed orange shell filled with a light lemon curd, white chocolate and citrus sponge surrounded by myrtle meringue. It’s perfection on a plate, paired with one of Australia’s most awarded wines, the honeyed botrytis-affected Semillon, De Bortoli’s Noble One.
Classic and elegant, there are few degustation experiences better than this. It’s certainly a fitting experience for such a grand modern hotel.
NOTE: The 5-course degustation is available on the last Wednesday of each month. Cost is $169pp. Advance bookings are required. Good Food Gold Coast dined as a guest of JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa. Three photos credited to JW Marriott.
JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa, 158 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise Ph: 07 5592 9800