Thursday, 17 March 2011

Brunswick Hotel

Mussels and hand cut chips (above)

Fish of day with pearl couscous (above)

Pasta with mushrooms (above)

Battered fish (sorry about Andrew's thumb on the side)

‘Disappointing’ is the word I would use to describe our meal at the new Brunswick Hotel last night. This is a place I have heard so much great food feedback about over the last few months, and I was dying to get there and sample their food for myself.

I saw their menu a few weeks ago, and got even more excited, so was truly anticipating a great night (food-wise, and socially) last night there. Unfortunately (in the case of the food) this proved to not be so.

I met up with a few other industry specialists and friends, so we had heaps to talk about, and catch up with, and it wasn’t till we were leaving that we all agreed we’d waited an inordinate amount of time for both service and food the whole evening. Being either in the hospitality industry, or having been in it recently, we are all people who appreciate things going wrong, stuff-ups, staff issues and the like, so we definitely weren’t being picky or overly condemning when I make this point. So when I say communication from our waitperson would have gone a long way towards assuaging our long waits, you’ll understand that I’m not having a hissy fit, or saying I’ll never return – merely stating a fact.

The food for the four of us, when it arrived, was luke-warm. My hand cut chips: luke-warm and soggy with grease/oil. My luke-warm mussel broth (entrée size $15) way too salty, in fact I thought it was the fault of my taste buds, so got the others to check and see if I was being overly precious about the perceived saltiness, but they all verified my thoughts.

The others had fish of the day, I think – one in batter, and the other on pearl couscous with currants – both could have tasted better had they been hotter. They averaged around $23 per meal. The vegetarian pasta with mushrooms, and, I think, hazelnuts, and a few other goodies was voted the best tasting dish of the night, if a bit on the dry side.

Look – I’m really sorry I didn’t enjoy my food at the Brunswick last night, but to me, and the others present, we felt they need to sharpen their collective pencils at the Brunswick, to coin a saying. We need a great place to eat in the city, and the Brunswick certainly qualifies as great – but we need consistency, and great service (well, satisfactory service at the very least!) to take it across the line from average to fabulous.

PS – I did enquire if Justin was working in the kitchen but was told he had the night off. I wanted to speak directly to him about what I planned to say here. In the end I mentioned my food issues to the waitress as she cleared back. She said she would pass it on to the kitchen, so I assume she did. No one approached me subsequently about it.

It was a lovely night. I love the renovation, and am sure I would love the food too, under different circumstances.
Posted on by Rita
12 comments

12 comments:

sir grumpy said...

That beer-battered fish looks sad, Rita.
I hate that cheffy thing where you get the main ingredient on its own plonked in a vast, white soup-bowly thing, so looking anaemic.
Oh for the complete dish, with a salad and fries or sauteed potatoes in the dish with a piece of crusty, buttered bread and a slice or two of lemon.
The mere fact we have to say ``hand-cut chips'' says a lot about where we are these days!

Rita said...

Yes - I tend to agree with you about the chips, Sir G. It DOES say a lot about today's society when we label our chips as being hand-cut! Back in the day, we would ask the rhetorical question of "WTF other kind of chips ARE there?"

Anonymous said...

Sheltered-workshop-cut chips?

sir grumpy said...

My other favourite is ``pan fried''.

Rita II said...

Hi Rita

Lunched today at the Brunswick and was pleasantly impressed with the food and service - though there seemed to be no other diners, so not surprising we didn't wait long, the food was hot and the waitress relaxed and friendly! I had the chicken and mushroom pie, which had a really chunky filling and the veges were good too. Two friends had steak sandwiches and one pork belly, I think. It seems Hobart lunchers must have read your review and are now staying away or perhaps as it was pouring with rain, people just didn't go out at all....

Anonymous said...

I believe the other kind of chip may be the frozen variety. As I understand, handcut refers to potatoes cut on site. Potatoes are purchased locally and chosen for the best available on the day (price + season). Potatoes vary in sugar content and this can mean that your chippies may not have quite the same rate of crunch as the time before. We are lucky in Tassie to have access to so many tasty tatties - they all have their seasons though!

We love the food at the Brunswick and have visited quite a few times - great place for a business lunch! I enjoyed the duck with a fantastic pinot last time.

Hungry? City Guides said...

it looks like the foods are not so delicious. Their food presentation are not quite good also rather than other hotels which the presentation were looks appetizing.

Anonymous said...

Had the same experience with our chips there. They were soggy greasy and inedible. They looked appalling. The rest was great, especially the duck. Told the waitress all this. She came back about 20mins later with tasty crunchy chips and an apology. Said the potatoes in the last batch were stale. It was nice to see they can cook good chips but dissapointing that they would send out the original ones at all.

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Christina said...

Had an absolutely gorgeous meal here last night. We went when it first re-opened and were impressed then, even more so now.
Last night we dined on seafood chowder, beautiful, the mussels perfectly cooked, wasn't too keen on it having a slight curry flavour but it was still good.
Phil had steak served with the wonderful "hand cut chips", the horseradish sauce with this was perfect as was the steak.
I had my personal favourite of beef cheek, served on a semolina polenta which I just raved about.
The night was made even more perfect by our waitress Jackie, not sure of the spelling, but she made our night even more enjoyable with her knowledge and expertise of the place she works in.
The whole package was just perfect.
I'd also spoken earlier in the day to some people that went for lunch and they said it was fantstic too.
Rita if your still doing your excellent service wall, this lady deserves to be there!
Just want to add the chips were crispy, hot, and fresh!

Stack said...

I have a semi-regular lunch at The Brunswick, usually go for the steak & 9 times out of 10 is very good, bit of a wait at times. Can be a bit slow at times, even when not busy, just have to make allowance for this it seems.