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“Trying to be rude?”
Review of Zanzibar Cafe - CLOSED

Zanzibar Cafe
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Australian
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Melbourne, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Trying to be rude?”
Reviewed March 15, 2013

Cafe is on a busy corner with no view. When there on a Tuesday night about 7:30 cafe was less than half full. We looked at the menu in the window and saw some dishes which interested us but could see no prices. This puzzled and worried us. We went inside and asked to see a menu. The woman who came up to us seemed to be the owner. She barked back that the menu was in the window. She said that they wanted to finish early as the water was being turned off and they wanted to wash the dishes before they left. This did not ring true as other restaurants a few door away were full. At this stage we looked at one another and the people in the cafe. Something wrong with the way we were dressed? No we were dressed as smartly or better that the people already dinning. She eventually gave us a menu but it did not seem to have any prices for the choices. We decided that since we did not seem to be welcome we would not ask for an explanation as to why there were no prices and just leave. We moved on to Pier One with a great view and had a fantastic meal. I have since found out that Zanzibar have a fixed minimum of $60 for two courses. For a cafe without a view sounds expensive to me even if they are not normally rude.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank GiantBird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

204 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    160
    22
    12
    3
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Amazing, superb, perfection!”
Reviewed February 10, 2013

Fantastic food, amazing service, superb in every single aspect! My mother and I enjoyed a 3 course meal that was 100% perfection. I enjoyed the “Rabbit Potato Risotto with mustard and tarragon butter” whilst my mother loved the oysters - 3 served warm with wakame, 3 served cold with pickled ginger. For mains, I had the “Olive oil poached salmon, prawn & scallop dumplings, gazpacho, white beans” (the salmon was cooked rare and to perfection) whilst my mother ordered the “Duck Breast, beetroot, spinach puree, pickled red cabbage, blackberry, pumpernickel” - the duck was mouth-wateringly tender. For dessert, the Chocolate opera, layered preparations of Tanariva & Manjari chocolates with cream, vanilla bean and chocolate mousse is to die-for decadence, i would happily eat this every day for the rest o my life. My mother was in heaven, having ordered the white peach & raspberry jellies, vanilla, almonds, meringue, violets.

Sadly, we were the only ones there, enjoying a fabulous lunch - something which reflects on the public not this restaurant. Once again, can't recommend this enough for those who love and appreciate fine food and service. A very well-deserved hat from the AGFG.

In response to the low percentage of likes on Urbanspoon and the negative reviews on TripAdvisor, this isn't for those who think pub food is good food and only want to pay $25 for half a cow. This is the epitome of gastronomy. Also, the service goes above and beyond. Renee provided us with not only our 3 courses but warm bread and butter before our entree, a pre-dessert of vanilla bean mousse and madeira jelly and some handmade blackcurrant jellies and fudge with our coffees. Additionally, as I had told Renee that I was taking my mother out to lunch to celebrate her 50th birthday, the chefs piped Happy Birthday in chocolate onto her dessert plate.

It was extra touches like this and the exemplary food that makes certain that we will make the trip back to Merimbula solely to eat at this establishment.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Cara T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
“Amazing food and service”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

A warm welcome and a lovely setting started the beginning of a lovely evening in Merimbula. The oysters were plump and tasty and the pork belly for entree was crispy and moist. The beef for mains was excellent, juicy and very tender and the layered chocolate dessert was sweet and delectable. The wine list was well priced and comprehensive and help with matching food and wine comforting for the inexperienced traveller.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank philiphorrell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Sublime”
Reviewed January 19, 2013

This is an exceptional and rare fine dining experience. I can honestly say that this place is in my top 5 absolute best ever restaurants. Importantly, those that come here need to expect to pay for the very high quality of this experience. Zanzibar is not a place for a quick and cheap meal experience. Check out the menu in the window or on the website if you are not sure, however it is very much worth the effort to come here for that very special evening.

In our case we went for the $75 three course meal. The depth and balance of flavours in all courses was exceptional, and hard to pick a favourite. Our entrees were the “Rabbit Risotto” (Sublime) and “Confit of Pork Belly”. For mains our we had “Olive oil poached salmon, prawn & scallop dumplings, gazpacho, white beans” (A fantastic balance of tastes and textures) and “Duck Breast, beetroot, spinach puree, pickled red cabbage, blackberry, pumpernickel”

The wine list would be unfamiliar to most, but is very well thought out with something for everyone. The menu has suggestions for wines and these are also available by the glass.

The service was absolutely wonderful, attentive and friendly with the staff genuinely interested in engaging with us.

If you come to Merimbula, you must try and get to Zanzibar’s, if you live in the area, you are very lucky indeed.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank TonkleChicken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level 6 Contributor
129 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Fine Dining in Merimbula”
Reviewed January 15, 2013

Returned here in January for a special occasion, for the first time since it received the chef's hat. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to eat food of this quality, prepared with such fine attention to detail, in Merimbula. Both entrees - Pork Belly, and Calamari, were great, with amazing presentation, and interesting flavours. Our mains were Duck Breast, and Wagu Beef. We each agreed that they were the best examples of those meats that we had ever had. They had both been cooked sous vide. We enjoyed a beautiful French Pinot Noir from Burgundy to accompany the meal. The service was excellent, and the preparation of the gluten-free version of the dishes was wonderful ( we had pre-ordered the gluten-free.)
Thank you to Huw and Renee for an outstanding dining experience.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank lilyroseoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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