Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Smooth as velvet at Red Velvet Lounge

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Buckle your seatbelts - Rita is about to wax mega-lyrical about the food she lunched on at RVL today.

Pictured above is THE most delicious Beef and Red wine pot-pie with mash and peas (a steal at $16.90) I have ever eaten. This has to be the best example of winter fare Tasmania has to offer. As I commented to the manager there, you know how I mentioned on the blog here recently that I hate it when people put shit, sub-standard meat into their pies and curries? Well, this most definitely didn't happen today. The gravy in the pie was exactly the way I love it - full of the flavour of the red wine and other goodies contained therein. The presentation, as you can see, was exactly as one would want from a rustic restaurant in the countryside.

Mine host at RVL, previously totally unknown to Rita, was most hospitable, even stopping work to sit and chat a while!

Rita was out and about for work and needed a belated lunch sustenance on this wild, woolly and snowy day, so what better place than RVL?

The menu was straightforward and such great value. Sir Grumpy - get down there asap because I just know you'll LOVE the integrity of the food, and the lack of pretentiousness.

Being familiar with others lunching there, Rita was permitted to sample a mouthful of:
House made gnocchi with roasted pumpkin, sage and toasted nuts ($14.90) EXCELLENT
Beef kofta with cous cous, labna and harissa ($15.90) FABULOUS
RVL Fish pie with mash and herb sauce ($16.90, I think) GORGEOUS
Vanilla panna cotta with poached quince ($6.50) made with yoghurt, which I personally wasn't too keen on, as it wasn't sweet enough for my palate
Banoffee Pie ($6.50) - a biscuit based delight with a topping of caramelised condensed milk, bananas and cream. MMMMMMMM!

Look, I'm not going to totally loose it here and thus appear like a sycophant, but I am genuine in my high praise for everything at RVL. The service was outstanding, and I'm adding the 2 girls who were doing FOH today, Amanda and Unta, to my list of great customer service providers. The restaurant itself has had a renovation since I was last there, and now the full room is taken up with tables, instead of only half of the area being for eating as previously (the other half used to be taken up with shelves containing grocery items). My criticism is that being such a huge space now, and with the woodfire being nearer the front of the restaurant, it was quite cold nearer the back, so heating would be good. But combine the really high ceilings with the equally spiralling costs of heating, I think it's probably better if we just remember to rug up well before we go there! The manager will thank us for that!

I LOVED it and will most definitely return there, as well as recommend everyone get down there. Steve has settled in well, and told me he had 50-odd there for dinner last Friday night, and had to knock back 30 more! Now for little Cygnet, in the middle of winter, that's bloody good going. I hope that enthusiasm continues.

Obviously his fame has spread, as he's already had GP and Judith Sweet, as well as Elaine Reeves all dining there, separately.

It is now officially THE place to go!
Posted on by Rita


Tassiegal said...

OOOH! That sounds great - may need to somehow find out how to convince the boy to take a drive.....

sir grumpy said...

I can't go, Rita. Not now it's popular and I'll have to rub shoulders with the peasantry.
Only kidding, planning a visit already.

sir grumpy said...

Before I go to RVL, a comment on that meal photo, Rita.
I know gobbler is a good pie-man but, ahem, that poi has no bottom!
What about a pie with a bottom, it doesn't have to be slighter stronger to survive being handled at the footy (careful) cos it's a sit-down job with cuttle-ray and plates n stuff.
And a tad more mash would be in order for fat gutses like me. we shall see. I hope nobody I know is reading this but if they are, Gobbler, please feel free to give me a serve back!

Steve Cumper said...

Rita-very happy that you & your party enjoyed the visit! Amanda & Unta are very pleased that you mentioned them. They are gems!

Tassie gal- Yes do find an excuse & hopefully we'll see you right!

Sir G-Not only pheasantry will you rub shoulders with, but a whole cross section of society that share your no fuss kind of style.
As to the pie bottoms, I agree & its a work in progress!

Rita said...

TG - I kid you not - the food was great, and we need you to get down there and do a review as well!
Sir Grumpy - have a go at one of Steve's pies. I tell you you'll never look back!

hrv said...

Ate there Wednesday with the family and loved it. Good service great (real) food and a beautiful building with a welcoming atmosphere to boot. Keep the vibe going Steve, your'e on to a good thing.

hrv said...

Sorry Thursday!

Anonymous said...

watch out Humble Pie - RVL has a marketing edge - The Bottomless Pie or TBP for short.
Lord help us sir G - I hear a topless pie is in the development stage.


Anonymous said...

I think Humble pies need all the marketing help they can get.

sir grunpy said...

sir grumpy said...
Went to Red Velvet Lounge, Rita with the missus.
Food was very good, shame about the service!
It always amazes me that newcomers to a place are never ``welcomed'' and asked if they've been before, how things work with menu and blackboard specials, etc.
We stood a full five minutes, looking like lost steers, which seemd a long time, before the waitress, wrestling with an infernal coffee machine, greeted us and seated us with menus.
There were two waitresses on. Smaller and taller.
Smaller was perky, bright and welcoming, taller never even ventured near our table.
I got the koftas and the missus the carbonara. We both had a drink, wine and beer.
Now the food was spot on. Bok's bacon in the carbonara and plenty of it too.
I will say the dish looked a bit anaemic. A big white plate with creamy pasta. I think it neede two or three triangles of toast or mayble a rocket leaf or three around the rim.
My koftas were beyond reproach.
Now, I facied trying the desserts, but no chance. After sitting for a long time with empty dishes, I sauntered up to the pudding cabinet.
A great-looking apple tart and a funky looking cake with a purply top beckoned.
Taller didn't take the hint, so I went back to my seat. She cleared the table next to us, never cleared a thing from our table and never asked if we wanted anything else. Not even tea, coffee, another drink.
I went back up to the cabinet but no luck again.
Me and the missus decided to cut our losses and go.
We would have loved to spend twice as much bu never got the chance.
We did buy a loaf of bread, which made great toast the next morning.
The main hurdle seemed to be the bloody coffee machine, At one stage both women were feeding this monster and it seemed to take an age for it to deliver.
It wasn't all that busy when we called in...we were there in that twilight zone between lunch and dinner.
So, nice feed, NO service. I've sweated over whether to [post this, because I so want this place to succeed (and I'm sure it will). I felt like a traitor to a certain blogger with my thoughts but hope this is taken in a spirit of a glitch that needs fixing.
We'll be back and we agree the carbonara was the best ever and the koftas terrific.
But give us the chance to spend, spend, spend RVL.

July 7, 2008 4:09 PM

Anonymous said...

Marvellous place the wonderful and service amicable to the utmost, given the small staff to client ratio. If the clientele continue to visit this FABULOUS eatery, i believe an extra FOH person would be enormously helpful on the busy days. Good work guys...this place rocks!! Definitely the only place to eat really good food in Cygnet on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

hotchocwithmarshmellows said...
Rita, thought you might find this "interesting"
I was with a group of ladies at the RVL early this week and they were having a bit of a whinge about now not being able to have a "small snack" like a foccacia toasted. This had been from the week befores visit when they were told this news. They decided to go back anyway and have there normal coffee. They asked the waitress why they couldnt have a toasted foccacia and her answer blew me away!! She said ...out loud in front of the whole table...the new manager doesnt want people coming in having cheap stuff and sitting around all day!! Well I know the new manager and I'm pretty positive even if he did say that(which is likely in todays market for needing more money spent in places)he definately didnt want the waitress telling customers!!

July 12, 2008 9:11 AM

Rita said...

Steve Cumper said...
Thanks Hot choc w/ marshmellows for the feedback.
I am dissappointed that this was said to customers.
The truth of the matter is that we are offering toasted hommade focaccia take away at $8 or eat in with three salads for $11. Yes I am trying to incrase our sales & hopefully get customers to try our very reasonably priced menu. What I have conveyed to the staff is that we have a brand new menu( which hadn't changed in over six months) of lovely food that we are all trying very hard to make for people to enjoy. It would have been more postive for the staff member to concentrate on that message.
It is also quite unprofessional.
It shows that I have ongoing work to do with some of our staff to keep us all on message & working toward the same goals. The same can be said about the Hot chocolate comment that was posted last week. We are endeavoring to make sure that 'dishwater' choccy dosn't make another appearence.
Thanks for the constructive comments, I appreciate them.

July 12, 2008 12:53 PM

Anonymous said...

10/10 for honesty . . .


(The above 3 comments have been copied and pasted by Rita from a previous post so that anyone wanting to get further info on RVL specifically in the future can see all the relevant comments about the one venue in the one post about it. Hope all are OK with my doing this. Thanks - Rita)

Anonymous said...

RE: "Anonymous said...

"Marvellous place the RVL... Definitely the only place to eat really good food in Cygnet on a daily basis."

Is this the RVL fan club, or a general blog on Cygnet food? The Lotus Eaters may not be open seven days but they are up there with the RVL, arguably better! As a Cygnetite I am very pleased, and fortunate, to have the choice of both.

Anonymous said...

Reply to July 27th

Also a Cygnetite, i am esteemed to have the choice of such great eateries. The RVL is really is up there on a global scale and thanks to Steve and his well chosen staff....dining is indeed a pleasure. FOH Unta and Kellie are great, and extremely welcoming, on the days that we have visited. Food is important...the repartée also.
Keep up the good work guys