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“Great for dinner”
Review of Belongil Bistro

Belongil Bistro
Ranked #55 of 198 Restaurants in Byron Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $3 - $31
Cuisines: Australian
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Description: All day breakfast from 7am to 2pm daily. Dinners on Friday night only in Summer.
Reviewed July 7, 2013

i see other reviews here saying don't go for dinner and left wondering if they reviewed the same place, had dinner there Saturday night and thought the food was great, Byron is not really know for its food so great to see at least one place going the extra mile. Worth the effect to go that little bit out of town. Had a great night out, thanks.

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Thank Nigel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belongilbistro, Owner at Belongil Bistro, responded to this reviewResponded July 18, 2013

Dear Nigel M,

Thank you for your review. We are working very hard to tick as many of our customers boxes as possible. We agree regarding the negative reviews a while back, who interestingly dined on the same night. We replied to them in length hoping to answer their concerns and regretted not being able to resolve their issues on the night had they brought it to our attention. I'm sure with hindsight they might feel differently but as a wise man once told me, never send an email after you've been drinking.

Cheers
Christian

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Reviews (177)
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136 - 140 of 177 reviews

Reviewed May 4, 2013

We are here at Belongil for our honeymoon and have eaten here for either breakfast or dinner every day. The food is amazing as are the staff who have greeted us each day. The green smoothies are amazing! We will definitely be back to eat there many more times over the coming years. Hopefully nothing changed.

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Thank HappyWinnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2013

I ate on Friday night at the Belongil Bistro and was extremely disappointed.
The menu is totally unsuitable for an evening meal. The menu could best be described as a competent brunch cafe menu- sandwiches, burgers and salads.
The staff enthusiastic but totally unable to cope.
Rename the venue the Belongil Cafe and close in the evenings and after a lunch visit in swimmers and thongs I would write a much better review - but a bistro dinner forget it!

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3  Thank Mickt100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belongilbistro, Owner at Belongil Bistro, responded to this reviewResponded April 27, 2013

Dear Mickt100,

We are sorry we were not able to satisfy you on this occasion and regret not having received a direct communication from you, allowing us to compensate you in some way, preferring to publicly humiliate a very hardworking team using social media. Please see the response to ‘Don’t go for Dinner’ for a detailed explanation of our change in direction. For your information the word ‘Bistro’ means ‘quick’ and has no bearing on menu content. It was used in restaurants by Russian immigrants during the occupation of France around 1880. Believe it or not there are considerable brains behind many hospitality outlets, all working hard to maintain standards while making ends meet. Thank you for your suggestion to change our name but we decline. We hope that we might provide you with a better experience next time along with almost every customer that has passed through our door over the last year.

Cheers,
Christian.

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Reviewed April 26, 2013

Our family visited the Belongil Bistro for dinner after reading some great reviews. We arrived expecting a quality bistro, but unfortunately on arrival discovered a good cafe. Unfortunately the dinner menu was very limiting, burgers, sandwiches and salads. The menu was an interesting cafe lunch menu, not a dinner bistro menu. Although the burger, sandwiches and salads all looked appealing - they were not suitable for a dinner. The dinner menu is the same as the lunch menu with one addition a curry.
Our table ordered the special curry (butter chiicken) and a pulled pork sandwich, both dishes were edible, cheap, reasonable quality- but you wouldn't drive, walk or go out of your way to eat either of these dishes. Literally every Indian restaurant in Australia serves a better butter chicken and a sandwich for dinner isn't my idea of a suitable evening meal.
In fairness if your expecting an interesting cafe and light meals you may enjoy the Belongil, if your expecting a bistro or an interesting dinner this place is not for you.
The service staff although eager and enthusiastic, were totally unable to cope. in our case we gave up waiting for our table to be cleared or to be offered dessert or coffee so like others we walked to the counter to pay and leave.

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4  Thank Nickforty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belongilbistro, Owner at Belongil Bistro, responded to this reviewResponded April 27, 2013

Dear Nickforty,
Thank you for your feedback. It’s great for a struggling small business to be able to address the wider audience in this challenging economic climate with extraordinary costs, tiny margins and stiff competition. Since we opened almost a year ago we have worked remarkable hours to offer the best possible food and beverage selection at the best price possible, in a space that we have been (and continue to) investing heavily to make as comfortable for our customers as possible. All decent new restaurants have to go through this process at the start to make economic assessments of trade, their demographic and conditions as well as daily, weekly and annual trade fluctuations, them being extreme in Byron Bay. The process is hard on all of us, having to make quick decisions to make the business survive while meeting a benchmark that will satisfy our customers and achieve a point of difference, to encourage repeat business and good will. As you may be aware Belongil Bistro has developed a strong loyal following for breakfast with remarkable coffee, interesting breakfasts and good lunches, including a periodic flow of live entertainment, Sunday barbeques and now the Friday Curry night. Not long after we opened we were happy to able to begin trading 7 days including costly public holidays based on the delight of customer satisfaction. At that point we were also trading 6 nights, using our vast combined skill and experience in Michelin star environments to construct spectacular dinner menus, changing every week for the benefit of regular customers. Our reviews and feedback from customers were in direct contrast to your post, lauded by our patrons, claiming we were the best dinner venue in our area. It was very inspiring and we continued along this path into the summer, investing time, money and resources into keeping our dinner menu high quality and interesting. Despite our best efforts the detail and effort didn’t seem to be working for us and we watched with disappointment at our dwindling numbers for dinner, forcing us to close most nights, remaining open for Thursday to Saturday only. After much determination on my part, motivating our team to prepare and serve expensive produce with elaborate design for bargain prices we were forced to end the dinner format, much to our disappointment. We couldn’t justify the cost anymore because there didn’t seem to be any demand for what we were offering and there had to be a change. We opted two weeks ago for a more casual lunch style menu with nice salads, burgers, snacks and desserts etc. Not being able to offer the previous dinners is heartbreaking after all the years of training but it’s better than throwing out thousands of dollars of tuna, eye fillet of beef, quail, urchin roe, local fish and all the garnishes every week because you didn’t come to us. Serving customers who wanted 3 beautiful courses in tranquil surrounds had become almost extinct, preferring to share a pizza and drink schooners on park benches instead. So far the results have been good and we seem to be appealing to a bigger audience with our new format, however I agree with you that there might be room for a little more luxury which will be included on next week’s menu. We will be reintroducing our pan-fried gnocchi with braised lamb shoulder and a good aged steak, among other adjustments. We regret that you were disappointed by your experience on this occasion and hope that in future you will email us directly with your concerns so we might compensate you somehow directly.
Cheers,
Christian.

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Reviewed March 30, 2013

We ate here several times during our stay at Byron Bay for breakfast, dinner and afternoon tea. The food was always delicious, the coffee great. We found it so much better in quality and value than most other places we tried in Byron (which is very, very expensive even relative to Sydney prices!).
The service however was the only thing which let the place down. Each time we were there we had to wait a long time and several times had to ask about out order, even when we were waiting for just one coca cola.
If it wasn't for that I would not hesitate to rate the place as excellent.
I would still definitely recommend the food though. It was great. Check out the home made muffins!

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Thank Yiannaki-and-PP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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