3 strikes and you’re out
After a nice 3 hour bush walk with friends around the Cape Banks Circuit in the Botany Bay National Park it was time to treat one of our friends for a birthday lunch. We decided for convenience to check out the Boatshed Café nearby which seemed to have water views from the restaurant balcony section. Keep in mind the restaurant has a more expensive menu than the café located inside and the dishes are served from the same kitchen. The Garlic Bread ($3.50, 2 pieces) was OK and as expected. Our birthday friend ordered the Prawn cocktail ($13) for nostalgic reasons served in sundae glassware. The prawns seemed decent quality but were cut into small pieces rather than being served traditionally whole and lathered with cocktail sauce on top with a bed of lettuce underneath.
The Prawn cutlets ($20, 5 pieces) were deep fried to a decent crisp although I’m suspecting they were of the frozen variety due to their texture and lack of prawn flavour. Chips were nice enough and of the frozen pack variety. The Deep fried whiting fillets ($24) looked as expected and seemed OK. My Grilled Trout Fillets served with chips and salad ($23) was singular rather than plural but decent sized with basic presentation and I only found a few small bones to contend with. It was interesting to note all the main course dishes included salad even though it wasn’t listed on the menu so keep in mind in case you’re thinking of ordering a salad as a side. The meals were pleasant enough and the atmosphere fairly relaxing as we settled in to catch up until am unfortunate discovery.
Now, from time to time we all come across something unexpected in a dish or restaurant that can put a real dampener on the dining experience. I’ve had my fair share like a cockroach at A Tavola, inexperienced service and air conditioning problems at Wang Wang Shanghai Silver Star, unfortunate bad service at Bécasse and even some metal in my ramen at Menya Noodle Bar. But no matter what happens a true test of a restaurant is how they respond to a customer complaint. Unfortunately when our friend discovered a rather large black hair in the middle of his prawn cocktail the Boatshed Café failed terribly. When I called over the young waitress and explained what we’d found she replied with an unemotional dismissive ‘yep’ as if it was normal and casually took it away to the kitchen — no apology, but perhaps she thought it wasn’t her fault and had other things on her mind, like clocking off work — Strike 1.
Two minutes later she returns to say ‘do you want anything else’. Still no apology or empathy and our friends appetite is now somewhat diminished so thanks but no thanks — Strike 2. Ten minutes passes and the head waitress comes to the table to say she’s heard about the dish but was not shown it and apologises for what happened with some sincerity. She later comes to take away finished plates while others are still eating at the table which isn’t the best thing to do. The final straw, Strike 3, comes when the bill arrives. We notice the prawn cocktail ($12) is still charged but she says she’s managed to not charge us for the 3 soft drinks totally $9, oh, how nice of her, not! WTF! I question the charge when paying and she said the chef owner decided that the dish had mostly been eaten so it should be charged. Gee, I wish would we found the hair on top of the dish so we could have brought it to their attention sooner. OMG! Perhaps we should have been only charged half the amount then since the other half had a hair in it? They obviously don’t realise the full extent of how badly handled this was. I seriously wonder how they would feel if they were served a hair in their dish. Would they expect to be charged for it without a sincere apology and acknowledgment of the circumstance? No wonder the reviews of Eatability are so bad giving a current score of 5.8 after 24 reviews — I hope to add mine to the list soon.
PS. I would have emailed this review to the restaurant but I couldn’t find a website or contact email address to do so. Hopefully it’ll be brought to their attention somehow.
PROS: Water views, Cheaper menu available from cafe inside, Plenty of free parking around, It's was hard to think of any others due to the dining experience
CONS: Dishes are a bit pricey for what you get, Perfunctory service, Expect to pay for your dish if you get a hair in it, Décor needs an update, Have to go outside and around building to get to single toilet which don’t smell particularly clean
MUST TRY: Not revisiting, ever! And hoping the food authority might pay them a little visit soon.
Prawn cocktail ($13)
Garlic Bread ($3.50, 2 pieces)
Prawn cutlets - Butterfly prawns deep fried served with chips and tartare sauce ($20, 5 pieces)
Prawn cutlet batter — crispy although prawn fairly flavourless. Seems to be of the frozen variety rather than freshly made.
Bill $91 for 4 people. Head waitress discounted 3 soft drinks worth $9. The owner/chef reasoning for charging for the prawn cocktail was that to them it was mostly eaten, WTF! If only the hair was on top of the prawn cocktail, then perhaps it wouldn't have been eaten at all.
Entree and salad menu
Main course menu — all above $20
Advertised as 'For fresh seafood & pleasant beach side dining you won't find better' — I'm afraid I think you have to try a bit harder to deserve this statement
Balony reserved for restaurant dining only — better view but higher priced menu compared to cafe inside
Cheaper menu cafe located inside
Water view — albeit shipping container port in the distance
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