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“Change of chef and change of quality?” 4 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
More restaurant details
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.
Melbourne
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Change of chef and change of quality?”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013

We ate at the Royal Mail pub section. There are 3 sections to the Royal Mail- pub, bistro and restaurant. The restaurant is a we regarded hatted restaurant so I was expecting great things, even from the pub section, but sadly I was disappointed. I had the duck breast which was average- fried duck breast, tasteless, pricey for what you got. The desserts were equally uninspiring. The only redeeming feature is the open fire on a cold evening.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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207 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Indonesian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“OK, but…”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

After hearing rave reports about this restaurant, I had high expectations. After reading some other reviews, I had high hopes. Sorry, but both fell flat.

Without the benefit of a glance at the tasting menu, we were forced to choose tasting or ala carte options. We chose to order from the ala carte menu. That immediately put us in a ‘bistro’ setting, which was OK, but left us without the finer amenities (such as tablecloths and carpeting). Adjacent to us was the finer dining area – read that as the tasting menu area. Felt we were instantly relegated to second class status. Seems that all of the food comes from the same kitchen, but you are treated differently.

The food didn’t rise to the levels we expected or hoped to find and was uneven in quality, presentation and preparation. Three types of bread were offered and were OK, but little variety in texture. The artichoke tart looked elegant, and tasted OK. The asparagus was well presented and well cooked. The beef was cooked as ordered, but the piece wasn’t as tender as expected; the potatoes swam in the juices and the béarnaise was just plopped on the table—little thought to presentation. The fish dish was better presented but the fish itself was slimy and undercooked.

Water glasses were refilled once, but no one offered to refill our wine glasses.

Overall, the menu offerings show an attempt at creativity. And the taste combinations should guarantee success. But presentation was uneven as was the quality. This is probably the best and most creative restaurant in the region, and that’s OK, but it has a long way to go to achieve that which is within its reach. If you’re local, this is a place to watch. But for now, it’s not worth a big detour out of your way.

Beware: this restaurant has three menus – bar, bistro, and tasting. Know what you choose because the kitchen may be the same, but the differences are significant!

Visited October 2013
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Melbourne
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Missed the expected mark.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013 via mobile

We had wante to make it to RMH for many years after so much hype and friends rave reviews.
First of all, Dunkeld and it's surrounds are fantastic and worth the trip alone. The Grampians are a spectacular backdrop to this venue.
We opted for the omnivore tasting. The staff were more than obliging with dietary requirements.
The service was very attentive and the sommelier very knowledgeable to guide you through the encyclopaedia that is the wine list. Superb cellar for all budgets.
However, the food was lacking in imagination and never achieved any highs, nor lows for that matter. The dining atmosphere is flat due to the awkward layout and the dual purpose space.
I am loathe to give a poor review, but not deserving of 5 stars and would be 3.5 if accommodation and overall experience of a weekend escape was not so satisfying. Definite room for improvement and refinement in the menu.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Impressive food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

My partner and I stayed two nights at the Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld and dined there twice. Once in the Bistro section and once in the Restaurant section. We also had breakfast there as well as lunch in their bar (separate kitchen and menu).
We must say that we very impressed with the Bistro and the Restaurant (not to mention breakfast). To begin with all their bread is baked on the premises. The butter is freshly churned butter, their attention to the freshness of ingredients is worthy of the very best restaurants in Australia. They have the second largest wine list in the Southern Hemisphere and it includes very difficult to get vintages and wines. We did not wish to spend too much on wines and the sommelier Ben was extremely helpful and knowledgeable assisting us to select some very nice wines at reasonable prices. But all the staff worked incredibly smoothly as a team and they were all very knowledgeable about their produce and dishes. We visited their one acre private garden where Michelle the horticulturalist provides the restaurant with the freshest possible organically grown produce, all of which are Heirloom varieties. This ensures you are served with prime produce on a seasonal basis. As and example we had the asparagus and it was superb! You can argue about the price of the degustation menu and with this type of dining you may find that not all the dishes are to your liking. However you cannot argue about the quality of the food and the service. If the degustation menu is not your cup of tea then simply dine in the bistro section (the food is prepared in the same kitchen). All in all a memorable stay for foodies like us and we will definitely come again.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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SA
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“not worth it the second time”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

A couple of years ago my husband and I ate at the Royal Mail bistro purely because we were staying in Dunkeld at the Southern Champions Cabins. We had a great time and thought we should organise our other friends to come and stay for a few days and enjoy.
Two years later that's what happened and we were very disappointed. The menu was listless to say the least and it was very hard to make choices.
At $90 per head for 2 courses, a pre dinner drink and a glass of wine we were VERY disappointed

  • Visited September 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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