I have been dining here for over a decade. Today the food was up to scratch but the overall experience was a let down because of a few simple things.
I read a recent review of Le Parisien where the customer complained about the high prices and that in Melbourne you can expect more for your money. I don't have a problem with the prices here. However, if you charge a premium price there, you expect a certain minimum of service.
I ordered a bottle of mineral water which arrived but without a glass. I ended up using a wine glass. I don't mind pouring my own drinks but these are the subtle things that set a premium restaurant apart.
The amuse-bouche was nice.
A side plate with a butter knife suggest to me the possibility of bread, or at least the offer of bread. Otherwise they are just taking up space on the table. Although there are bread dishes such as garlic bread and bruschetta available from the menu, I generally expect a selection of fresh local breads to be brought around to choose from.
Oysters were lovely and fresh.
Calamari salad was very nice.
The local mussels in the moules marinières were yummy, but on the service side, a soup spoon and some crusty bread would not have gone astray (except they did). I could have asked for them if the staff had been more attentive. Here is where you expect the waiter to unobtrusively enquire "Is everything to your satisfaction?" rather than trying to elicit a yes from a "I hope everything was to your satisfaction" after your meal is well and truly finished and they have been nowhere in sight for half an hour.
Once the waiter has established that you dont want coffee or dessert and that you dont want anything else. I expect the bill to arrive. Not have to wait 30 mins to then be asked if I would like the bill. I told the waiter that had been waiting for the bill anyway, it was then brought out. I promptly provided my card only to be ignored again. The waiter came out again five minutes after I had provided my card and served someone else and failed to check if my card was ready to collect. The guy was polite enough but just seemed to lack experience, which I am sure he will soon pick up - along with a bit of French.
If you are going to list all the dishes in French first, the waiter should be able to recognise your order if you ask for it the way the restaurant presents it.
The senior staff were professional as always.
You cant fault the location (see photos)
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