Cnr Gold Coast Highway and West Burleigh Road
Burleigh Heads QLD 4220
+61 7 5535 5988
Gold Coast may have plenty of Italian restaurants but it’s very rare to find one that’s actually good. My favourite pizzeria up there is Justin Lane in Burleigh Heads; not only do they do fantastic pizzas, their pastas and cocktails are ridiculously good. So with that in mind, Marty and I drove down the Gold Coast Highway for some pizzas at Justin Lane.
Unfortunately, Justin Lane was packed by the time we arrived (just after 8pm, on a Saturday night) and we were told that there’d be AT LEAST a 45-minute wait for a table. While we like their pizzas, we did not like waiting so we decided to find an alternative dinner destination nearby. After doing several rounds of James Street, we ended up at Vecchia Roma.
The restaurant itself is small and its alcoves create an intimate setting for those wanting a romantic Italian dinner. There was no room inside for us when we arrived so we were seated outside with a view of the highway (which I thought was odd). I initially thought the reason this place was so busy on most nights was because it was the fallback restaurant for those who couldn’t get into Justin Lane. That may hold true for some of us but apparently Vecchia Roma had been open for some 30 years. A lot of things on the Gold Coast don’t have that sort of longevity so I’d say that Vecchia Roma are doing pretty well.
Although Vecchia Roma do a roaring takeaway pizza trade, we decided to settle for the pastas. Marty ordered the penne with sausage ragu. It was an okay dish but it would have been better if the pasta was homemade and if the ragu had a bit of depth in it. It wasn’t anything either of us couldn’t make at home. This was in stark contrast to Justin Lane’s pappardelle with slow-cooked beef cheek ragu, which we both love so dearly.
I ordered the angel hair pasta with prawns, spinach and tomato at the recommendation of the waitress. To be honest, I preferred Marty’s pasta – at least it was somewhat tasty. The white wine-based sauce was on this one was a little bit weak, making my pasta slightly on the bland side if it weren’t for the parmesan cheese on top.
We weren’t particularly impressed with Vecchia Roma. Our dishes were just okay, but definitely not worth the drive down to Burleigh Heads when there are dozens of mediocre Italian restaurants in Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach. Furthermore, our waitress was friendly but the pastas did take quite some time to arrive. In hindsight, I probably would have been happier waiting 45 minutes for a table at Justin Lane than eat at Vecchia Roma.