Last night we had dinner at Hallams Waterfront Restaurant to celebrate Dan's birthday. This place had been recommended but we were a little aprehensive after reading a couple of online reviews.
It is easy to get to with plenty of parking and on entering it was bright and warm with the wood fire blazing in the centre of the room and supplementary heaters possibly not helped by the open door but still nice and warm, helped no doubt by the abundance of wood.
The waitresses were attentive throughout the evening and certainly eager to help even though at times there was a lag between a request and it appearing.
Upon being seated we were offered water which was happily accepted until tasting it to realise it was cooled tap water, this is one thing I find highly offensive in any eating establishment but in fine dining I find it inexcusable. We asked for the water to be taken away, and we were then offered the option of filtered water which we accepted and yes it was an extra charge on the bill.
For entrees we ordered the Seafood Chowder and Wild Tiger Prawns. Dan specifically asked if the chowder came with bread and if so how many pieces. The answer was 2-3 pieces which seemed a goodly amount. When the chowder arrived there was 1 very small piece of bread on the side. Another piece of bread was requested but it didn't arrive till we had swapped plates and so he had to lean across the table to dunk it, not an ideal solution. The Seafood chowder was also a dissapointment, if not for the chunks of seafood and a couple of mussels you would be hard pressed to detect any seafood flavour at all. Just creaminess with chunks of potato.
The Tiger Prawns where beautifully cooked, but the garlic and parmesan panisse which they rested upon was underseasoned (and I don't even usually use salt!!!) floury and flavourless, like a big wad of glueyness in the mouth. The garlic sauce though was delicious.
Onto the mains, I had a second entree of Sat and Pepper Calamari with a salad of Roasted Beetroot and Sweet Potato with fetta, greens and an Almond Aioli. This dish was a triumph a delight to eat. Dan on the otherhand paid $36 for a piece of grilled Stripey Trumpeter and a few baby potatoes which was anything but special. I do find it dissapointing when these prices are charged and you are still expected to apy extra fro vegetables. Obviously not paying attention to the dietary guidelines of more vegetables in the diet when restaurant food seems to be built exclusively around protein and starch.
And for dessert I scored a big hit with the Espresso Brulee with a espresso sauce and a cream filled Brandy Snap. Excellent I enjoyed every last bit.
Dan once more was not totally overwhelmed by the Spiced Apple pudding which he said was only ok and the triple shot long black which he ordered in a mug which came in a cup was just alittle bit too strong.
So all in all considering the bill (including 2 glasses of wine and 2 beers) came to $162 for 2, we were not super impressed. Given the choice again we probably would not return to this restaurant.
It was much better value and quality at The Gorge Reastaurant.