Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bistro Fax, Cnr Pitt & Hunter Sts, Sydney

Bistro Fax, Cnr Pitt & Hunter Sts, Sydney
Thursday 12 October, 2006

Another Let's Do Lunch special beckoned! Today, some work buddies and I decided to check out Bistro Fax located inside the historical Radisson Hotel. Whilst the interior is lovely and they have retained the beautiful features, our experience can only be described as a train wreck.

We arrived for our 12pm booking to find an empty restaurant and no staff. Strike one. When someone did realise we had arrived, they went to the front counter to check the guest list, they couldn't find it, so disappeared again, then reappeared and ushered us to a table. Strike two.

Menus were delivered and we asked to see the Let's Do Lunch menu. The what? Our waiter disappeared to try and find some information on this strange event called Good Food Month and Let's Do Lunch. When she returned, without a menu, she explained it was steak. We politely asked for more information - how is it prepared, what is it served with etc. She looked at us as if we had just asked her to recite the National Anthem in Latin. Strike three.

What's so laughable about this experience is that the website proudly states,

'Bistro-Fax prides itself with warm and friendly service and exceptional Modern Australian Cuisine.'

The Let's Do Lunch special is actually a menu item from their regular lunch menu - Grain-fed beef fillet with spinach puree and a fricassee of mushrooms. We innocently asked what a 'fricasse' is. explains that it is not 'fricasse' but 'fricassee'

Pronounced: frik-uh-see

1. meat, esp. chicken or veal, browned lightly, stewed, and served in a sauce made with its own stock.
2. to prepare as a fricassee.

The response we received from our waiter was, 'it's a chunky shoe' - well, that's what we heard but on clarifying this we learnt she had actually said, jus.

It's a shame the service was so bad as the food was actually really good. We were served lovely, toasty warm bread rolls with a small dish of soft butter - yum! The meat (we all ordered it medium rare) was so tender and there was a decent mix of mushrooms and spinach puree that enhanced the meaty flavour.

The kitchen is open so you can watch the action from the lower level of the restaurant. We were seated on the top level of the restaurant and struggled to attract any service throughout our meal. It took ages to ask for coffees (but the gorgeous shortbread served with the coffee was worth the wait) and when we finally received the bill they got it wrong....... twice.

Train wreck is an understatement.

Bistro Fax - Cnr Pitt & Hunter Sts, Sydney - T: 8214 0400


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