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“A letdown”
Review of The Boathouse

The Boathouse
Ranked #77 of 110 Restaurants in Moonee Ponds
Cuisines: Australian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Scenic view, Families with children, Kids, Special occasions
Dining options: Brunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Part owned of Gary Mehigan of MASTERCHEF & FENIX RESTAURANT
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
147 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“A letdown”
Reviewed April 5, 2014

We decided to have breakfast here due to the location in a pretty part of the Maribyrnong River. We didn't realise until afterwards, that the place is part owned by Gary Mehigan of Channel 10's Masterchef fame. It often intrigues me to see whether people in the public eye can live up to the expectations they so easily impose on others.

The river has lots of activities to interest onlookers. People were exercising dogs, there were runners, rowers and a yoga class was taking place on the opposite bank of the river. A good sized kids' playground adjoins the resto, so it's pretty family friendly. The architecture and unpretentious timber furniture suggest a rustic, australiana surf club, utilitarian boathouse feel and sets up a casual, easygoing atmosphere. It seemed pleasant both inside and out, though we opted for an outside table.

After choosing your food, you order at the counter. The staff were friendly, but our waitress, who was delightful and a little kooky, clearly had had little training and didn't know much about the menu, being unable to answer basic questions about the menu items, how to take an order, how to process a credit card and so on. It was obviously her first day on the job. Her colleagues seemed to find it all very funny and gently teased her, rather than actually offering any help. They were all friendly, casual and pleasant, so it didn't really bother us. I couldn't help thinking they were all very young and could have benefitted from a slightly older person being around, though we never saw one while we were there.

Nevetheless, we were ready to enjoy ourselves. Then, the food came. It was disappointing. One of us ordered a breakfast pizza. The toppings were not very generous and looked like a few kitchen scraps tossed on to the base. I wasn't even tempted to ask for a taste. Another of us ordered "The Lot," which had the usual offerings. She found it all very bland. I ordered a dish which offered hock ham, spinach, tomato and a hash brown. It too, was very bland. The ham was tasteless, as was the spinach. The hash brown had the thinnest crisp exterior and a soggy interior, which just tasted like a wet mashed potato mix. The only flavour came from the tomato, which was a bit like a strong chutney. Sadly for me, I don't like chutney. If the food had lived up to expectations, the prices would have been reasonable. And the casual, even cavalier attitude of the staff would have been part of the fun, instead of retrospectively annoying.

All in all, it was a letdown. I wondered what Gary Mehigan would say to the staff if they were on a TV cooking show. I would consider going back, only for the atmosphere and the river view, but would only order toast and eggs, or toast and jam, in the hope that they can't underdeliver on something so simple.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank JohnJohnG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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319 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Narre Warren, Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Fantastic Food Beautiful Wedding Venue”
Reviewed February 22, 2014

Attended a wedding at The Boathouse and could not fault the service, food and venue at all!!!
The wedding ceremony was outside on the decking under the large tree overhanging the decking
The reception was sit down and firstly the appetisers provided were hot and delicious and plentiful.
Entrees were two different sorts and both very large in servings and just beautiful.
Main was two different sorts one being swordfish which was cooked to perfection and melted in your mouth. The second main was beef with capsicum sauce which was also cooked to perfection medium rare how it should be and the knife cut through it like butter.
The service was faultless and the waiters always made sure that your glass was never empty, nothing was to hard for them. I did read some reviews before attending the wedding and wasn't sure how good it was going to be. But I can honestly say, don't know where the other people had eaten because I couldn't fault the food at all nor the service. Everyone else I spoke to said the same and we all passed comment that it was one of the few weddings where you actually went home full !!
Would highly recommend this venue for any occasion and am looking forward to going back for dinner .

  • Visited February 2014
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Kerrie O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
52 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“poor service average food”
Reviewed February 12, 2014

obviously Gary Mehigan has never stepped foot into the restaurant or thinks if he adds his name as part owner that is good enough. Rude wait staff..everytime our family has been the service is terrible. The food is below average for the price & in taste

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Christine C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dural, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2014

We booked the boathouse for breakfast while staying in Melbourne.when we arrived they didn't have our booking, not to worry there was plenty of room, we were seated, and we sat there and sat there, no menus, no table water, no offer of coffee to start with, and watched the confused waitress walk around the restaurant a few times, she then went to take an order from a norther table but they weren't ready yet, the she went behind a screen and stared cutting up menus and finally gave one to us, we looked at the menu and disappointment really set in, such a basic selection, even more basic then a tiny cafe in a tiny arcade in a tiny town would have. We just looked at each other and said a 1/2 hour drive from our hotel for an $8 piece of toast, $12 if you add an egg, and we decided not to stay, we informed the staff who again looked confused when we explained why we were leaving and our disappointment. Maybe lunch and dinner menus would be better, but the service is a disgrace.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
1 Thank 92kathrynf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Bad service”
Reviewed January 14, 2014

Have frequented there a couple of times when but gave up due to the lack of poor service. It was like we were a bother to them.

I hope they improve as the setting is just beautiful.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Narelle B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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