Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Not Seafood Chowder as we know it, Jim...


I don’t know why I put myself through my lunch experience today. I should have just taken a $20 note out of my purse, ripped it up, and saved myself the trouble of eating a most unsatisfactory meal.

The venue was Sails at the Waterfront Hotel on Kangaroo Bay, or, as some might call it, the old Clarence Bistro at Bellerive.

As I was going to be dining out in the evening, I decided something not too ‘mealy’ would be appropriate for lunch, so their Seafood Chowder sounded like the go, especially as I love a Seafood Chowder. It was priced at $18, but that didn’t faze me at all. For a decent chowder, I’m happy to part with a fortune.

Unfortunately, this was definitely not a good chowder. In fact I didn’t recognize it as a chowder (as I have previously known and loved them) at all. It had the consistency of a thickened veggie soup, not the smooth creamy texture I have been accustomed to receiving. Did they use stock? I don’t know but suspect not. It had a flavour which I couldn’t quite pinpoint, but which told me it hadn’t had much, if anything, to do with the sea.

The fish contained in it comprised 2 scallops, 2 teaspoons of fish and 2 mussels (in their shells) – all of which had previously been cooked on the chargrill, then presumably popped into the chowder just before serving. The chargrilled fish itself was beautifully flavoursome, as is anything done on the chargrill, in my opinion.

I ate about 6 spoonsful of my soup then called it a day.

There are a few issues in my mind here. I know we all have ideas about pub food. I know it probably isn’t reasonable to expect a full blown restaurant-style menu or standard of food – but why not? If the prices are on a par with restaurants, which they are, then why shouldn’t I expect a reasonable standard of food?

Cornelian Bay Boat House Seafood Chowder with dill bread is $13. Ebb Seafood Chowder with flat bread is $16.50. These are my two toppest Seafood Chowders.
Todays‘s Seafood Chowder at Sails should have been ashamed to call itself by that name.
Posted on by Rita
19 comments

19 comments:

sir grumpy said...

Did you complain Rita?
Send it back, I say...how can they defend the lack of substance.

Rita said...

Sir G - no I didn't complain, for a few reasons. Firstly no one came near the table after had they put the mains down. So no one had cleared back when we left, so no one had enquired about the food.
Secondly, it was a work function, and a farewell to a long term staff member, so not appropriate to make a fuss at such an auspicious occasion.
Another gripe, while we're here - how come we were offered the facility of pre-ordering; booked to arrive at 12.00 which we duly did (in fact at 10 to 12), then kept waiting till close to 1.00 for the food? My assumption was that the whole idea of pre-ordering (for our group of 15) would be to help the kitchen out, and not have squillions of orders coming in all at once.
Fingers crossed dinner at Rockwall tonight will triumph over lunch.

sir G said...

You live in hope, Rita.

Anonymous said...

Shame that Rita. The moments gone and the delivery forever flawed. Don't know what happened, not going to second guess, but I would say that a venue like that with its outlook, resources and view should be better. I mean, other waterfront restaurants are fighting for their reputation and long term survival.

Maybe its complacency, who knows...

Cartouche

beachsands said...

I agree full heartedly. I get so cross (certainly a sign of my advancing years)A menu should give us guidance. Hey Rita! Check the new Delicious ... North Coast report. Absolutely spot on. The only place that I haven't been to is Bamboo. I've been longing to go for ages. Come visit.

Christina said...

Haven't heard a good report about this place in years.
Heard plenty of mediocre to bad ones though.

Rita said...

Hi Sandy, Cartouche and Christina. Thanks for the comments. Yes, a most unsatisfactory meal, and sad because as Cartouche points out, it is the most beautiful outlook, and has the potential to be a most spectacular restaurant. It was gorgeous there yesterday afternoon, and I was anticipating something out-of-the-box.

Tassiegal said...

Am heading up the East coast in about 30 minutes and intend to try Ebb on my way through. Chowder sounds good!

Anonymous said...

Another favourite spot of mine for a Seafood Chowder is the Huon Manner Rita. Next time your visiting RVL save some room for the trip home and give that one the Rita rating.

Rita said...

TG - I warned son of your possible arrival!
Anon 9.36 - thanks for the tip. I could be tempted to go there specifically for the chowder instead of popping in on my way back from RVL. There's no such thing as having any space left in your tummy anyway, after you've been at RVL!

Anonymous said...

I am sorry Rita, but I can't read your blog anymore. I just cant stand the self righteous moronic crap which Sir G spills. It has made this blog boring and predictable at best, irrelevant and uninteresting at worst. Sir G has made an art form of degenerating each of your posts in the shortest possible time.
His last post about Sam sealed it for me. Instead of celebrating the achievements of deserved winner, he launched a typical tirade that ended with an invitation to spar with him. It is just so bloody monotonous to have to wade through his comments to find a response which has some value. Your patience with him is admirable. I am afraid I can not be so generous anymore. Sir G, get you own blog and stop clogging this one with your aggressive, self importance.

Rita said...

Anon 1.26 - I am SO sorry you feel that way, but as this is a democracy you are free to do as you want. I started this blog with the idea that it would give everyone the chance to air their opinions, no matter whether I agree with them or not, and that's what still guides me. I often get pissed off, or hurt, or hugely upset by some things which are written here, but with counselling manage to pull through and live to fight another day!
I'm being a bit frivolous here but seriously, one thing I have have learnt in my life is that no matter what MY opinion is, it won't change the world, and if others have a different opinion, then they also have equal validity, and that fact must be acknowledged and respected.

My mum taught us as kids that everyone in the world was equal; that no one in the world was any better or worse than anyone else, no matter what colour or creed they had. Over the course of my life I have always had that fact tucked away in my psyche, and approached people with that ingrained in me. Unfortunately eveyone else wasn't similarly indoctrinated by my mum, so I have learnt that others quite obviously feel they are better, or more superior to others - albeit in their attitude to the cost of their clothing or real estate, or where they live, or what colour they are, or aren't.
I cope with people by accepting them on face value, till they prove otherwise, and believe me I've been caught out big time over the years. I have a high tolerance level, but once over it, I am seriously over it!
The blog reflects this, I think.

Anonymous said...

Rita you do not have to explain yourself. I know you personally and have nothing but admiration and respect for you, your values and this blog. If I didn't I would not give a shit enough to write what I wrote. And you are correct, this blog does represent you and your values. I have no axe to grind with you or your contribution to the blog.
My issue with Sir G and the way he uses your blog.
It has got to the point where I can no longer ignore his contribution because it omnipresent and so often dictates the course of the comments. This course is usually a massive diversion from the theme of your post. And there lies the rub - It is your post and its relevant comments which I want to read. Not someone else's self important rantings. Like I said, he should start his own blog rather than parasite yours. He obviously has lots to say and lots of spare time.

Anonymous said...

I agree anon & I know its one of the reasons why the Gobbler stopped blogging.

anonymous said...

It's a democracy and I give as good as I get.I was on topic with the award mentioned by Rita.
What a bunch of prima donnas.

Anonymous said...

I thought Gobbler stopped blogging because he got back into full-time work at RVL

Anonymous said...

No Grumpy, you were not on topic. The point of Rita's post was to commend a deserved receipient of an award which recognised his impressive contribution to our community. Your response was typical and predictable - publicly vent your spleen by soapboxing your opinion - in this case, to broadly denounce all award winners as self serving egotists. What a moronic response to a thoughtful and compassionate post. Almost as stupid as believing that it was 'on topic'.

You are right, it is a democracy. And you are entitled to your opinion. It is just a shame that you have to lower the quality of Rita's blog in the process. Once again, start your own blog rather than being a parasite on this one.

You say you give as good as you get but this does not recognise the fact that so many of the comments levelled at you are initiated by your irreverent and antagonising bluster. Perhaps it is time to heed your critics.

sir grumpy said...

Your off topic by having a go at me.
But if I'm on the nose I'll bugger off.

I won't get paranoid about it.

Anonymous said...

Ps the topic was mainly RockWall.