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#25. Try 50 new restaurants

October 21, 2007

25. Try 50 new restaurants (9/50)

  1. October 21st 2007: Studley Park Boathouse Kew

    • Occasion: Dad’s birthday !

      Comments: Despite all the bad reviews about the poor service in this place — I have to say I am perhaps one of the lucky ones who experienced wonderful service from this restaurant ! — which just shows how services are often so variable due to different staff, amount of experience they have etc. The staff — waiters etc were extremely friendly and helpful when deciding what to order etc. They knew their stuff, which is good because it’s never very helpful when they have no idea whether Dish X contains any meat if Person Y is a vegetarian. ;-s The food was OKAY. The chicken breast was dry [unfortunately i find this generally the case with this often] But then again — Maybe I am biased. I have a grandmother who cooks different Chinese home made meals every night for us — they’re DELICIOUS. [years of experience !] It wasn’t anything that made me go “wow”. Just mediocre. The ambience ? Well it was a 30-something celcius degree day so walking into the breezy-cool boathouse really was a relief ! And the setting was quite elegant too. I felt really comfortable there ;-) Ultimately — above average value !

  2. November 20th & 21st 2007: Lanes Edge

    • Occasion: Lunch with Tan & Sars before they go overseas to Europe & Saudi Arabia / Dinner with Caitlin & Jasmine.

      Comments: You know it’s a tolerable enough restaurant if you are able to go there twice. I don’t think I’ll go there a third time though. The service is a little inconsistent; it was good the first time I came, and gave me a pretty good impression of the place — the atmosphere was relaxing, the waiters & waitresses were polite and smiley & the food was delicious and well portioned though I do believe I didn’t finish it all. The second time I ate there was with a different set of friends and it took much too long for us to be served, our tables to be wiped down and the food wasn’t fantastic. The dinner menu was much too limited. Consistency is important.

  3. December 1st 2007 : Greco

    • Occasion: After dining after a cocktail night with mum, Belinda & Grace — staff at the bank

      Comments: If the food had not been so good I would not have thought so highly of this place. Though the wait was long — & though I strongly encouraged mum that ice cream would be a simpler option than waiting in line for fifteen minutes — the range of desserts was extremely impressive as well as the serving sizes. MASSIVE. So you won’t leave hungry ! They’re actually probably too big though considering we are in the middle of an obesity epidemic. I didn’t much like the mocha though. Perhaps they didn’t add chocolate, as is the norm now a days, but I do realise that maybe I should have asked them whether it was added considering that originally mocha is a strong, bitter coffee from Arabia, Yemen’s port, Mocha. Not sure if I’ll ever come back though, since I’m an impatient person. You can actually get cakes over the counter if you don’t want to eat in, which I would recommend. Or if you are not impatient, unlike myself, I would thinking waiting in line is not so bad especially because the waiters / waitresses use a trick where they tell you it will be a long wait. This cuts the line in half because heaps of people don’t like waiting. This is how we made the front of the line quicker X-DD. Thanks mum.

  4. December 4th 2007: Nobu

    • If not for the speciality fish dish (though priced at $37 – luckily I didn’t pay), I would say that Robert De Niro’s “Japanese” restaurant is all hype and no substance. The service, which is usually the distinguishing variable, was far far far below standards with the waitresses (who looked sickly thin as if under-nourished) were not professional as they were often skipping around the place gaily as if they were little children with nothing better to do, and extremely neglective. In particular, there was a blonde waitress (with her hair pulled back so tightly that it stretched her face) who kept glancing at our table every two seconds she passed, only to ever wait on the Indian couple next to her, even though after 30 or so minutes had past that it was obvious we hadn’t gotten our meal yet (which I actually noticed had been incorrectly given to the chummy guy and girl who ignorantly accepted it as theirs – the jerks). She could have asked us if anything was alright – AT THE LEAST – but she didn’t. And it was at this point I had started to question where they had gotten their employees from ~ off the street ? Probably. And when we finally told the waitress she said she would talk to the chef and give us a “complimentary” spicy tuna sushi (which is what we ordered). However, when she gave us the bill, it had not been taken off it. You cannot simply throw around the word “complimentary” and not stick to it ! Proves that you always have to be careful of what you say. Of course she then had to refer to her, I assume, supervisor who I can imagine muttered ungrateful words about us as hard to please customers. But we’re not – put anyone in our shoes & they’d be just as pissed. In my honest opinion, too often is the customer treated like second class citizens, as if we should be honoured eating here rather than them being honoured that we, or anyone, chose to eat there above the hundreds of thousands of other restaurants all across the city, and that we would pay for the experience of eating at that particular restaurant. We didn’t leave a tip. It already came down to $117 for 3 of us minus the $11 sushi we waited a millennium on. Verdict ? What utterly crap, overpriced, not-that-great-at-ALL, Jap food. Ask natives of Japan who have tried Nobu. All of my Jap friends have said the same.
  5. December 7th 2007: Chillipadi

    Occasion: Staff Christmas Dinner

    Who: Mum, Grace, Jennifer, Belinda, Simon, Lukito, Rodrigo, Marbelis & me (of course ;-b) Comments: As I walked into the seemingly foreign restaurant I was completely dumbfounded that that was part of a large chain of franchises that included the dingy and café-like one in Melbourne Central. This one is actually much more presentable and elegant, a job well done for the interior designer and architects.

    Mum ordered a variety of dishes to taste which included green beans, bean curd, chicken curry, cha quey dow, spicy fish, roti, and salmon (there may have been more but I forget the names). The only one that strongly displeased my taste buds was the salmon which was literally an in between of raw and cooked salmon (the strangest & most horrible salmon I have EVER tasted & have I tasted A LOT !), and when we gave feedback to the manager about it, all we got was a snippy, snotty, smart-ass response from him (who actually, by the way, looks like a Chinese/Asian mafia). That was totally uncalled for, unprofessional, and the dumbest thing you could do vis a vis a customer. I doubt we will ever go back there. Especially because Lukito, who has a share in the business, was not very convincing in telling us they had the best yum cha. If you cannot be honest on a simple salmon dish (he kept insisting it was good and scoffed down the large piece that nobody else dared touch), how can your other opinions on the other food be trusted too?

    Another bunch of criticisms: rice was served last (in any standard Asian/Malaysian/Chinese restaurant, rice would be served first), one waiter attempted to take the cha quey dow even though there was still heaps left, and our plates were taken away before dessert had been finished.. SMART ! Having said all that, it wasn’t bad – particularly because they filled a special request of banana fritters for us even though it wasn’t on the menu, and also because the atmosphere was quite pleasant. I would recommend this restaurant to any first-timers of Malaysian cuisine because in terms of the taste of food – they will please, but for those of us who often dine and have more sophisticated tastes, well – there are PLENTY of good/above par restaurants on Chapel Street.

  6. December 11th 2007: Florentino Café

    Occasion: Lunch

    Who: Mum & I

    Comments: The restaurant was at full capacity when we walked in without any reservations so it was pure luck (though I don’t actually believe in ‘luck’) that we got a table in a couple of seconds as a couple next to us left theirs to us. The wait on the actually menu and the clearing of the table substituted half the waiting time for a table though. Another disappointment was when I ordered something mum told me was like risotto or thin pasta and when my dish came it was the chunky type of pasta. Never mind, it wasn’t the restaurant’s fault. The dish lacked something though. It tasted quite plain and nothing special. In that sense it was a pity too because I had heard so many good things about this restaurant and wanted so badly to give Italian food another go – because I am not a big fan for the fact that the food is always so heavy, and the dishes so ridiculously large that much food is wasted (and we wonder why the obesity levels are so high – the dishes now a days are getting larger .. with the exception of fast food & high-end restaurants who pride themselves of quality over quantity). Florentino Café had perfect sized servings though, which was good. As we left I felt satiated but not bloated which is always good.

  7. December 29th 2007: Nelayan

    Occasion: Lunch
    Who: Mum & I

    Comments: I just read a review on this restaurant — there are hardly any — and Nelayan is described as a ‘”no” in no-frills” cafe. It’s true that the decor is basically non-existent but that isn’t the downfall of a cafe. Its downfall is its poor service [the people at the counter looked tired and reluctant to serve customers], terrible atmosphere [the tables are arranged in a way that people bump into you as they try and find a table between the tiny aisles & the tables are too big anyway. There is so much distance between you and the person you’re sitting opposite to -.-”] and extremely oily food. Melbourne is a big and wonderful city. Plenty of better places to burn your $6.50
  8. January 5th 2008 : Mee Too Cafe & Bar

    • Occasion: The usual gang
    • Comments: Deciding that we needed a little more variety to our usual Le Quatre routine we headed off to Menzies Alley at Melbourne Central to dinner. Quickly browsing thru the different restaurants we finally settled for Mee Too Cafe & Bar, though we did choose it on a whim considering most of us was famished. The menu was pretty standard, however it did over-sell. Overall, we were on average [there were five of us] disappointed. Maybe because we couldn’t help compare everything and when your menu’s standard, it’s not that hard. One particular waiter was very strange too — tried making conversation & ended up awkward X-DD. There were other things that irked me too but I’m writing this over a month later and it’s good for them that I’ve forgot.
  9. February 8th 2008 : Bibita

    • Occasion: Lunch with Eleni & Caitlin
    • Comments: Just a small café in Melbourne Central. I pass it often so thought, why not give it a go ? I had the chance to eat here plenty of times and did plan to one day but so-and-so refused to [I caved in, but there won’t be a next time] because it was just sandwiches etc in the front display — I think this has a name but let’s not worry about the technicalities. I’m not a specialist of food displays. So we didn’t. Too bad, so sad. He ended up with sushi rolls in his Asian hands, and I, a ham & cheese croissant. Boring and uncreative. Annoying. But let’s get back to talking about THIS particular café. I had mushroom risotto. It was good. Caitlin had a burger/sandwich sorta thing. The serving sizes were large so we both couldn’t finish what we paid for. On the other hand, the iced coffee, verdict, bad. Too much ice cream & the glass was so big, Caitlin & I both couldn’t help spilling coffee on the table a couple of times. Or maybe we’re naturally clumsy. Well genetic disadvantages and over-sized glasses are a destructive alliance.
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