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“Way overpriced, bland and hugely dissappointing” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Royal Mail Restaurant

The Royal Mail Restaurant
Parker St, Dunkeld, Victoria 3294, Australia
(03) 5577 2241
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Ranked #2 of 5 Restaurants in Dunkeld
Price range: $49 - $49
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Description: The Royal Mail Hotel is a unique rural destination set among native gardens and fruit orchards with stunning views of the Southern Grampians Ranges. Accommodation, an award winning restaurant and wine cellar, bistro, public bar, meeting and conference facilities and the historic Mt Sturgeon Estate and homestead are all available for guests to explore and enjoy.
Top Contributor
131 reviews 131 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
“Way overpriced, bland and hugely dissappointing”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2012

Everyone comes here for the 3 hatted restaurant and we'd looked forward to it for ages.. WAY overpriced for dull and boring degustation. I'm a real carnivore but chose the veg option. The only meat on the omnivore selection was eel, pidgeon and fish. How that showcases local produce (the place is surround by sheep farms and NO lamb!!!) is beyond me. The dining room is like a 70's conference centra and the shared facility with hotel reception, bistro and access to pub means you're paying a bomb to have people wandering past all night and 'sticky beaking' at you. But my god, the food was just dull, souless and ZERO wow dishes. I just couldn't wait for it to end, lighten my wallet by over $400 and go to bed hungry and annoyed..This place's only redeeming feature is the exceptional staff and service. The critics at 'Age good food guide' need to get a grip...this is a shocker.

Visited August 2012
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207 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Indonesian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Bendigo, Australia
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Very Expensive and Disappointing”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012

The degustation menu was very disappointing and expensive. Food was completely tasteless and did not highlight the local produce

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Darwin, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“The good, and the bad.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2012

The good, and the bad.

My partner and I had been looking forward to a trip to Dunkeld for quite a while, and finally decided to visit on a spur of the moment trip, only organising it the day before we left! I was relieved to get accommodation and a seat in the restaurant at such late notice, although, it was mid-week. We both had high expectations of the Royal Mail Hotel and I am unhappy to say that it did not completely live up to expectations.

The good points, and there were a few! I stayed in the cheapest accommodation, the Garden View Rooms and was very happy with it. There was a lot of space, comfy bed, big TV, big bathroom, endless hot water and reverse cycle air-conditioner. Although, not a wine glass in sight?!! The public bar has a beautiful open fireplace and a pool table. It is a nice space, however, it bring downs the ‘fine dinning’ feel of the place. There are beautiful native gardens around the whole property and the wattle has just come into bloom. The backdrop of the Grampians National Park is spectacular and the surrounding walks and trails are a good escape. Dunkeld is a sleepy little town, with a population of about 400, a nice change for those who have travelled from the big city.

I dined in the restaurant; both my partner and I had the eight-course degustation with matching wines. The stand out dishes were the egg yolk, pigeon and quince with coffee, stand out wines were local Walwhinnie Chardonnay and Grossett ‘Polish Hill’ Riesling. Our wait staff were exceptional, the Sommelier, Simon, fantastic! The wine list was phenomenal; I could have read it all night. In fact the whole place is about the wines they have, and it is worth a visit just to enjoy their selection.

There were a few things that really brought down the whole night. The chairs are uncomfortable, office chairs that give the impression they might break if you lean back on them. The tables were set up in two rows, away from the fireplace. Therefore, instead of the fire being made the feature we were looking at the waiter’s station (something I think should be tucked away in the corner, for the staff as much as the dinners). The station divided the room, making us feel uneasy, especially with the row behind us breathing down our backs. When they bring the food to you, an entourage of floor staff, all carrying one plate, approaches the table! This is intimidating and un-necessary. Throughout the evening we were served by all floor staff members, not one waiter, this meant that a rapport could not be established. The first course, chicken crisp was horrific and the fried truffle croquette nothing to write home about.

All in all I had an enjoyable night, but would not go back, although maybe my expectations were too high. I would rather go to Melbourne to a place with more ambiance.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2012

They were full for lunch, and we had three young kids in tow so we opted for the bistro/bar menu... Wow! My Wagyu beef in white wine sauce was just perfect. The kids fish & chips was healthy, and the wife's pumpkin soup heavenly. Only suggestion is that, for the kids, and I know this is the gourmet/foodie restaurant, but would have been great to have the same carrots that I had with my beef, for the kids instead of salad. We dropped back in for sundowners and the Mountain Goat Ale (2 pots) and a sherry after exploring local forests with the kids... Sun streaming into the bar lounge with warm fire. I recommend Grove Cottage self-contained accommodation in Dunkeld - quiet cottage walking distance. Also highly recommend The Old Bakery for breakfast and sour dough bread(s).

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

Had a lovely meal in the Bistro, with fish and steak cooked to perfection, professional, very friendly and generous service, bright and welcoming ambiance. Will return for some serious degustation

Visited July 2012
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