Thursday, April 12, 2007

Meeting Place, Cnr Northbourne & Flemington Rd, Lyneham

Meeting Place, Cnr Northbourne & Flemington Rd, Lyneham
Thursday 12 April, 2007
Tonight was a birthday celebration - two April birthdays and a catch up with long time friends. It's been over two years since I visited Canberra and I was very excited.
By sheer coincidence I had literally bumped into one Canberra buddy earlier in the day at the fabulous shopping mecca known at the Canberra Centre - this would rival Westfield Bondi in size and variety. So we laughingly decided to call this a teaser for our dinner celebrations.
The Meeting Place is located at the northern end of Northbourne Ave, just as you come into town and sits within the premises of the Kamberra Wine Centre. The setting is large, the wine collection is extensive and the dining space overlooking the lilly pad pond is just lovely.
We arrived for dinner and noticed that there was only one other table of diners. Was this a good sign? We stood at the reception desk and politely waited for a staff member to appear. What the staff failed to realise was that we could actually see them in the kitchen due to the reflection of the windows. We waited. A staff member appeared and was very casual in his approach. He directed us to our table and then disappeared to get menus.
The dining space was large but with only 2 tables occupied it felt enormous. Our waiter returned and tried to engage us with his banter to no avail - he was not funny and his attempt at dry humour was lost on us. I asked about the menu and if there were any specials, what was the house speciality and what do their regulars keep coming back for. I was met with a blank look and the standard, 'everything is good'. I was disappointed with his response and prompted further - anything you could personally recommend. Again, completely disengaged and the standard rattling off of everything on the menu.
He left us all alone to ponder the menu and wine list after delivering some thinly sliced bread and a combination of olive oil & balsamic vinegar. This is where he did actually come in handy. I ordered the Scotch fillet rossini, on herbed crouton, duck liver pate with parsnip mash & Madeira jus and as most of my dinner buddies had ordered red meat I asked our waiter to recommend a good red. Without hesitation he suggested the Pialligo Estate Sangiovese 03. Brilliant - it was actually the stand out of the evening! However, with this came more disappointment. One of our dinner buddies opted not to drink and our waiter almost berated her, asking why and going further by stating, 'I would go outside and shoot myself if I couldn't drink'. I found this completely inappropriate and I think he got the message that our table was unimpressed.
The food arrived and looked great - the servings were large and presented on huge white plates. My food was better than average - the scotch fillet was a little undercooked but not enough to send back, the duck liver pate was very good but the herb crouton was inedible - it was so hard that I feared cracking a tooth.
As this was a celebration we all splurged with dessert and I couldn't go past the cake special which was a trio of chocolate mousse cake with vanilla bean ice cream and raspberry coulis. The desserts arrived and again, the presentation was first class. However, my cake was swimming in coulis and icing sugar.
Just after our desserts arrived the kitchen packed up and everyone, except our waiter, went home. If this wasn't a hurry on I don't know what is. Our waiter then proceeded to switch lights off around us but we still finishing dessert and had ordered teas/ coffees. I appreciate we were the last guests in the restaurant however it didn't feel very accommodating. When we asked for the bill our waiter's eyes lit up with glee!
Overall, we had a great night but I do believe this had far more to do with the company than the food and service.

Meeting Place Restaurant, Kamberra Wine Centre - Cnr Northbourne & Flemington Rd, Lyneham - (02) 6262 2144


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rival Westfield Bondi in size and variety?
You gotta be kidding me.
Still remember that hailstorm 1 month ago?
The ceiling in Borders and food court COLLAPSES not just LEAKS. I doubt if the future is any good for that sort of mall.
Variety? what variety? Their Dendy cinema is dodgily built. Their armrest doesn't even last till last March!
How much more pathetic can it get ?

Even Westfield Bondi comes with the better navigation system! Not to mention neighboring Oxford St shops.

1:44 am  
Anonymous JR said...

Am delighted that one on my wines, was the stand out to what seems to be a dissapointing evening.

3:14 pm  

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