Saturday, 13 December 2008

Fee and Me

As with the best laid plans of mice and men, circumstances have combined to thwart my inspired writings about the Fee and Me experience on Wednesday night.

My habit is usually to eat out at the selected restaurant or cafĂ©, then head home and immediately write about it for the blog. I deliberately decided against taking the laptop to Lonny with me, so didn’t have the facility to write up the Fee & Me meal when I got back to the hotel.

I spent all day Thursday working in Lonny, then returned home to find no dial tone on the phone, and naturally no internet access!! Come on Telstra – get me connected again please. Don’t you know this girl has a mission?

I knew Fee & Me had a website (with the menu on it) so at the time of dining, didn’t take too much notice of menu details as I knew that everything I would need to refer back to was there for me on the website. Think again Rita! As we’ve discussed here a while back about restaurants and their websites, the Fee & Me website’s menu is old! Not updated. Not current. What an elementary mistake to make. Damn!

OK, so I find myself with the phone line finally operational and my head full of thoughts about the food and experience at Fee & Me, but no specifics about the menu. So – my hugest apologies to everyone. Had I thought that Fee & Me would not have paid appropriate attention to this small-ish detail, I would have written down what was eaten there.

The reason it upset me so much for the menu not to be current is that my first course at Fee & Me’s was THE most innovative, beautiful and special plate of food I can remember having. Yep – huge call from Rita. And naturally the blow-by-blow description of it isn’t on the website. It basically comprised maybe two of the finest slices of rare beef topped with what looked like an ice cream scoop of beetroot sorbet. Sounds gross? It was mind-blowingly stunning and delicious. Eating this particular plate of food outweighed any dim and distant memories of sex for me!

Gorgeous Wayne was my dinner companion, and he went to a lot of trouble to order differently to me so I could taste more of a range of food there. He had what could have been the salmon and sour cream terrine ( a bit on the ordinary side), as noted on the online menu, the turkey breast (we spent the whole time while eating this plate trying to work out what it was and trying to remember what Wayne had ordered), and a hare pie (filling and tasty but otherwise not too startling). I had the beef, the mushroom caps (which tasted stunning, and were a work of art with their presentation to boot) and lamb (well crafted and tasty).

They charge by the number of courses you have there, so 3 courses costs $21.50 per course; 4 courses costs $19.50, and 5 courses costs $17.50. I thought we’d had 4 courses, but honestly can’t remember what they were if we did.

I had no idea either of what the restaurant looked like, from the outside or inside, so didn’t know what to expect in the way of style or service. It was a bit like Lebrina in that it is a converted older house (with appropriate furnishings), with maybe 4 or 5 separate eating rooms. The service was austere, but efficient. In my mind, because of all the things I’d heard about the food there over many years, I have always equated it to Marque IV. I think I was wrong to do this, because I don’t think you can compare them. Marque IV is modern, and light and airy, and young, and friendly. People can walk in there off the street and dine (if they’re not fully booked).

Fee & Me was way more formal, and I couldn’t envisage people just strolling in off the street on the offchance that they would be accepted for dinner. The atmosphere (well, in our particular room) was, like Lebrina, hushed and subdued, with people speaking to each other in whispers, rather than hearty, animated conversations such as you find at the more rowdy restaurants.

Whilst faultless, the service was quite formal, with precious little exchange with the customer. I realize there are many reasons for this, so please remember this is merely one person’s account of their dining out experience there on the night.

To sum up, I’m pleased I got to eat there. I loved certain aspects of it, and especially the beef dish. If I were a Lonny dweller I’d probably go there once a year just because I love food and am interested in the different things people manage to do with it.
Posted on by Rita


Sally said...

Sound like one of those "I'll have what she's having" kind of moments!

Sol T, said...

Looks like you just got back on the air in time Rita - see ABC News.

tassiegirl66 said...

I agree Rita, food and service are fantastic but it is a bit too formal, much prefer Stillwater which offers great food and service but is slightly less formal

Rita said...

Hi Sally - yes, it WAS kind of like that. Poor Wayne had that particular plate earmarked for himself, and changed his mind when I ordered it, for the resons as stated in the post. I felt mega-guilty when his wasn't as fabulous as mine.
Sol T - give me half your money! No human can spend as much as you earn in a year! Seriously, thank god I got hooked back up to the network last night, as I just read your link.
TG66 - I'll get to Stillwater next time I'm there. Haven't been there for years and need to reintroduce myself to their style of food.

Christina said...

I can't decide if you liked Fee and Mee or not.
Your first course must have been amazing. Rare beef? Rita? Surely not. Might we convert you yet?
Loved your analogy.
We went 5 years ago and at the time I loved it. As you know Phil and I are not ones to be whispering in the corner, and as we attended with another couple, didn't find it quiet at all. Don't know about the other people dining in our room. They were probably horrified.
One of our fellow diners is a chef from the Hunter Valley so it was interesting to get his perspective. He loved the food and wine, the only fault he could find was that while I was commenting on a movie we were about to see, the waitress started talking to me about it. While I found that fine, Glenn seemed to feel that she should be seen and not heard. Maybe he was just nitpicking for a fault of any kind.
so maybe we create the atmosphere in which we choose to dine. Admitting that it's hard to change an atmosphere thats already set. All I can remember is that I was so excited to be there.
You're very correct I feel in your comparison to Marque IV.
There isn't one. Both fine dining experiences but very different too.
I'd love to return soon and see how different it is from long ago.
Mind you given the choice I'd return to Marque IV first.
We checked out Stillwater in October and I am dying to try it. The lunch menu seemed great and a beautiful place it is too.
Top of my list for things to do in 2009.

Rita said...

Hi Christina
I am with you - I can't decide whether I liked it or not either! I liked certain aspects of it, but found others annoying. And yes, in the correct circumstances, rare beef is beautiful. Having said that, I will always prefer my steak well done, but that would have been sacrilege with that particular dish at Fee & Me. So yes, you've probably converted me I'm happy to confess.
John Gay was one of a party at the one large table of diners in another room there, and they obviously weren't whispering, but overall that was my impression of the atmosphere at Fee & Me.
Let me know about your Stillwatermeal when you go there. It's also on my 'to do' list for 09.