I hadn’t planned on reviewing the Manor Grill, but some experiences just have to be shared. I was there for a work function with about 10 other people, so the camera stayed at home.
Dinner at the Manor Grill was the most shambolic, farcical, yet strangely compelling meals I have ever had in my life. I must have eaten at hundreds of restaurants in my time, yet not one has stooped to the comical depths of the Manor Grill!! I still can’t believe we paid good money to willingly participate in what felt like the world’s slowest car crash.
Times are approximate only, but they give some structure to the evening…
6:30pm ‘Pre-Dinner Drinks’ – What self respecting bar runs out of cold, locally brewed beer? Huzzah!! Warm beers for everyone!
7:00pm ‘Dinner Drinks Part I’ – Lemon, lime and bitters? Sorry, but we’ve run out of bitters…
7:05pm ‘Ordering Entree’ – Chicken skewers for five? Sorry, but we’ve only got one serve left in the kitchen…
7:07pm ‘Choosing an alternative entree’ – Says the waiter, “I suggest the crispy squid salad, it’s much better than the chicken skewers.”
8:00pm ‘Entrée’ – Our entrées arrive. We have to remind the waiter that we ordered bread. The crispy squid? Lukewarm, but not bad.
8:15pm ‘Clearing our entrée plates’ – You mean you actually want fresh forks to replace those dirty ones you’ve all just been using? Sure! Here’s two to share amongst yourselves…
8:20pm ‘Dinner Drinks Part II’ – Two bottles of the D’Arenberg Footbolt Shiraz please. As the waiter leaves my colleague and I comment on how ‘amusing’ it would be if they had run out of wine.
8:30pm ‘Dinner Drinks Part II’ – Waiter, “So sorry, but we’ve run out of the D’Arenberg.” Cue maniacal laughs… We also order some water for everyone at the table.
8:40pm ‘Dinner Drinks Part III’ – Our second choice of red wine arrives. The waiter proceeds to pour it into an assortment of different sized and shaped wine glasses. Quite bizarre…
9:00pm ‘Main Course’ – At last, our main courses arrive, but no water. Waiter, “So sorry, but I thought the other waiter had brought you water.” Ah, ok….
I had ordered a 300g Angus scotch fillet cooked rare, Bruny Island pink eye potato wedges and an accompanying horseradish cream sauce (I wouldn’t normally bother with a sauce, but it was complimentary). The fillet was tasty, but had been cooked beyond rare (a cardinal sin when a restaurant advertises itself as a ‘grill’) and was lukewarm by the time it arrived at the table. The common consensus around the table was that everyone’s beef had been slightly overcooked. The potatoes were good, but could have done with a bit more crunch.
The horseradish cream??
Oh. My. God. I have never tasted anything so rancid in all my life!! We all know what cream should look and feel like right? Well I’m sorry, but a solid disc of white stuff looking suspiciously like a urinal cake is not a ‘cream’!! As I went to scoop some of the ‘cream’ onto my knife it broke apart and crumbled into pieces. ‘Cream’ does not crumble!! Then I tasted it. How I wish I didn’t. Sour, bitter and nasty. I suspect something in the ‘cream’ had expired weeks, if not months ago.
9:45pm ‘Ordering Dessert’ – We ordered dessert. Incredibly, everything was available!
10:00pm ‘Dessert’ – The one saving grace for the meal. The chocolate fondant with ‘vanilla whip’ (ie. vanilla ice cream) was a very generous size and really tasty. A good way to finish what had been an extremely strange meal.
Don’t do it!! While I’m sure we’ll be fondly recalling the evening’s events in years to come, it really wasn’t worth it. Save yourself the grief and drop by the Ball and Chain instead.
I’ll leave you with the Manor Grill’s slogan, by which they proudly stand..
The Manor Grill is a unique take on the grill house concept – one which is local, seasonal, cultivated… and historic. We’re about superb cuts of meat, prepared to perfection and finished in style.
Hmmm…it certainly was unique…
Taste – 1/5
Coffee – NA
Menu – 3/5
Atmosphere – 2/5
Service – 1/5
Value – 2/5
Overall – 1/5