Sep 22, 2010

150 East Riverside Bar - Ascot Quay

150 East Riverside
150 Great Eastern Hwy
Ascot, 6104
(08) 9479 0099

This week my work decided to go here after motivational training, for err.. training drinks and a meal of course!

The restaurant/bar is tucked away in the apartment complex - you wouldn't know it was there if it wasn't for the hunking big signs out on the highway. It's empty on a Monday night, but it's got a picturesque view of the river, and watching the sun go down with a nice glass of wine is pretty good here.

Food wise the menu appears very modern - even potentially exciting. Wagyu beef fillet capaccio, scallop and crab terrine, twice roasted duck with a saffron rice and truffle jus. Heck, there's even a Wagyu fillet steak with confit potatoes for... $67... what the?? This is just so very wrong. Do I detect a meat and two veg restaurant with pretensions of grandeur??

MmmMmmmMmmmmm! Nothing says creative reinterpretation like a non seasonal menu that covers ALL the protein types and serves everything with rice or potato and token green stuff.

Marron. Check.
Beef. Check.
Lamb. Check.
Duck. Check.
Fish. Check.
Pasta. Check.
Ocean shellfish. Yup.
Chicken - that's the spatchcock.

Vegetarian... wait for it! Nope. Not really.

The problem is, outwardly it looks like a varied or progressive menu. But in execution it's not. They are really tailoring it to the kinds of travelers that stay in 3 star apartment complexes like this but trying to glam it up for the visitors from country towns.

Is it affordable? What would you expect to pay for say "Goats Cheese Fritters, Roasted Beetroot Compote, Herb Salad"? $20? $25? try $32! The pasta and the lamb shanks were cheaper at $26 and $29 respectively. It's really not good value.

I decided to go "light" tonight, so the fritters is what I ordered. I wasn't expecting half a plate of chopped beetroot with six deep-fried caprine flavoured golf balls on the top. I certainly didn't expect half of them to be lurching precariously off to one side and covered in a suspicious mound of microgreens, which were backstroking  through an olive oil vinaigrette.

Cue dodgy iPhone photo...

I christen these... Goat Balls!

The wait staff must have tilted the plate.. or something. I have never in my life eaten so much beetroot in a single dish.

On the positive side, the staff were friendly, but some were a little confused or unsteady - which is usually entertaining. The food itself did taste okay and I can see where the kitchen was trying to go. The portions were also generous.

There were a number of noticeable problems. The 25 minute wait to receive a cheese platter with a single slice of cheddar on it. Also there was an incident where one gentleman ordered - a "Laughing Jack '06 Shiraz (Barossa, SA) - $20" which turned out to be off or badly corked. For the much vaunted wine list, the bar staff don't appear to check it's still drinkable.

My coworkers were not as harsh as I was on the quality of the food. Two of them had never had truffle oil before and a third had never tried duck - so this to be fair probably was a special moment for them. I will however continue to try to get them to a place that treats the produce with respect some day.

For me however I believe I wont be back to 150 East anytime soon - even if you pay for the meal.

11/20 - There are better places.

150 East Riverside Bar on Urbanspoon

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