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“Nice food however was not happy with service” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Leaves & Fishes Lovedale Restaurant

Leaves & Fishes Lovedale Restaurant
737 Lovedale Road, Lovedale, Cessnock, New South Wales 2325, Australia
02 49307400
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Ranked #4 of 12 Restaurants in Lovedale
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $0 - $69
Cuisines: Seafood, Contemporary, Australian, Asian fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Leaves & Fishes Lovedale Restaurant offers fresh, smart and simple dining to its guests within its inviting boathouse atmosphere perched over the water with views of the Brokenback ranges. A range of Asian-fusion and Australian meals are complimented by a Hunter-focused wine list to reward guests with a great Hunter dining experience. With more than 10 years experience, Leaves & Fishes Lovedale Restaurant is a favourite with locals and tourists alike - a must-see!
Sydney, Australia
1 review
“Nice food however was not happy with service”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

If you want to eat at Leaves and fishes expect to pay a minimum of $65 per person, as you only have an option of a two course meal. When we arrived we were greeted by a friendly woman. There were 4 of us and we also had two children with us so that means we had to pay at least $260 all up. However after seating we were served by a very rude male staff member. He clearly was not happy to have us there and did not treat us as proper customers. For the amount of money we were paying, his service was very appalling. Whenever we had asked for something he seemed bothered that we had asked him for it. Furthermore he was very happy to ask other tables if everything was ok and if they wanted anything, yet he did not offer this to our table. He was very unfriendly when serving and packing our dishes. With regards to the food, it was nice and tasty. You will leave satisfied. However after experiencing the rudeness of this staff member I will be sure not to return.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LeavesandFishes, Manager at Leaves & Fishes Lovedale Restaurant, responded to this review, February 27, 2013
I am sorry that you did not find the service as inviting as other customers have in the past. We have addressed your concerns with our staff and expect that we will continue to offer a better experience for customers moving forward. We are glad that you enjoyed the selection of meals that you ordered. We hope that you will join us at Leaves & Fishes Lovedale Restaurant again soon.
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165 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    102
    35
    15
    5
    8
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
1 review
“Disappointed!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

I was really looking forward to visiting this restaurant, it was closed when I wanted to go for my birthday dinner, so this time we were in the region, I thought lets do it. We turned up for lunch with 4 adults, a toddler and a baby. After asking for highchairs, the waitress reluctantly and slowly found one from "out the back" but informed us she couldn't get a second one, so our toddler couldn't sit in his own chair.

It was a hot day, and the restaurant was sweltering. There was one vent that pushed out cool air, but it didn't hit anybody sitting at the tables. You had to stand up to get some cool air. We spent the very very long wait for food (40 min from the time we ordered) sweltering, while trying to keep the toddler entertained. The waiter seemed to resent our presence, and made sure we felt it. The baby was so hungry she was eating the table, the toddler was also famished. I asked the waiter for something quick, and ordered the bread and dukkah from the menu. Even the bread took ages to show up. If you're going to take so long to bring out food, perhaps bringing some complimentary bread and butter when orders are placed would be a nice gesture.

We received our food eventually, it was tasty, but I'm not sure I'd call it spectacular. Especially for the $65 per person they charged us for the privilege of eating there. After we finished our mains, there was another very long wait for dessert, and the dessert arrived with some of the icecream melted. The creme brûlée was nice (though I would have appreciated a slightly larger serving), the icecream was well received, but the fondant was a bit too rich.

The waiter kept on asking the people sitting at the only other occupied table if they were okay, and if they enjoyed the food. He never asked us, making sure we really felt we were an imposition! Eventually, we think one of the other members of staff had a talk with him, and his attitude improved a little. When we were leaving, we saw him storm out of the restaurant and into his car, avoiding eye contact.

Our kids enjoy eating out with us, and are extremely well behaved. Usually wait staff are really keen to see them enjoying their meals (they eat adult meals, and love them), and love interacting with them. This was the first time we were made to feel bad about bringing children to a restaurant, and it was completely unjustified. The only patrons there were us and another family, so they weren't exactly busy, nor were we disturbing someone's romantic getaway. I really can't give the service a rating other than awful.

Once I got home, I looked at their online menu. We had gone there on for a Sunday lunch. The online lunch menu made no mention of having to order a minimum of two courses, nor did it mention their flat rate of $65 for two courses and $75 for 3. I added up the prices on the menu for what we ordered, and we had ended up paying an extra $62 in total. The prices on the online menu seemed fair, the price we were charged certainly was not.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LeavesandFishes, Manager at Leaves & Fishes Lovedale Restaurant, responded to this review, February 27, 2013
I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed our menu during your time with us. I am sorry that you felt you were not welcomed by our staff member. We have discussed this issue with all staff concerned and have taken appropriate action to ensure better service in the future. With this in mind, we hope that you will be dining with us again soon so that we can show you the true dining experience at Leaves & Fishes Lovedale Restaurant that the majority of reviewers have come to enjoy time and time again.
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Sydney, Australia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Somewhat disappointing”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

We came for lunch on a very hot day. We both did not feel very hungry so we decided to have only a main dish each. Stuff mumbled something about lunch specials, we did not pay much attention and went straight for the menu, which incidentally did not have any prices listed. I had crispy duck and my partner ordered a barramundi pie, both meals tasty and well presented. Total charge $90 for two dishes, and that is what upsets us. Apparently, one must order two courses, otherwise a minimum charge $45/person applies. Later, I looked at their website (http://leavesandfishes.com.au/Lunch.pdf) and both dishes are listed for $34 each. Effectively, we were overcharged $22. We traveled through 45 countries in last three years but nowhere we have seen conditions for a minimum consumption. Usually you pay for what you order. Not in Leaves & Fishes. Well, we won't be coming back.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LeavesandFishes, Manager at Leaves & Fishes Lovedale Restaurant, responded to this review, February 27, 2013
I am glad that you enjoyed your meals at Leaves & Fishes. The duck and barramundi pie are some of the best dishes on our menu. As with all businesses, our prices increase with rising business costs. As we were transitioning to our new pricing structure when you dined with us, we made a concession and charged you and your partner $45 each when we would now have charged you $60 per person regardless of the amount of food consumed. A minimum consumption is standard practice by many providers in our industry so I am surprised that you haven't encountered it before. Indeed, you will find that this is becoming more common in the restaurant industry. As most customers consume two courses in a sitting, we do not feel that any one is being disadvantaged and warmly welcome you to return when the weather is more amenable to your appetite.
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Maitland, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“understated class”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

We have enjoyed taking family and dear, long time friends to enjoy lunch at Leaves & Fishes.
None have left disappointed with their dining experience and have all expressed similar sentiments, vis, how lucky are we to have venues like this on our " door step ".

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LeavesandFishes, Guest Relations Manager at Leaves & Fishes Lovedale Restaurant, responded to this review, January 15, 2013
We value our local customers and their continuing support. We are pleased to hear you have consistently enjoyed your visit to Leaves & Fishes Lovedale. We'll continue to work hard to improve each experience and look forward to your next visit in the new year.
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Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Spectacular”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

Spectacular. We (two couples) spent the weekend in the Hunter and ate Sunday lunch at Leaves & Fishes. The ambience and decor are wonderful. The food was simply stunning. The prices are akin to Sydney CBD pricing, but are commensurate with the quality of what the kitchen turns out - both in inventiveness and making it work. We'll be back.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LeavesandFishes, Guest Relations Manager at Leaves & Fishes Lovedale Restaurant, responded to this review, January 15, 2013
We're happy to hear of another wonderful Sunday lunch had at Leaves & Fishes Lovedale. Thank-you for your kind review of our new menu - we've worked hard to improve our offering into the new year. We look forward to your return in the new year to sample more of our changing menu into the cooler months.
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