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“Surreal...a truly amazing experience”

Royal Mail Dining Room
Ranked #3 of 8 Restaurants in Dunkeld
Price range: $42 - $127
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Description: CLOSED IN SEPT 2017. New restaurant located in new building at the Royal Mail Hotel nearby called Wickens at Royal Mail Hotel is now open.
Reviewed April 5, 2011

What in the hell is such a sublime experience doing parked out here in the middle of nowhere (albeit a very beautiful 'middle of nowhere')? We flew here from Melbourne's Essendon Airport via a small plane - an indulgent start to a very indulgent experience. The 10 course degustation is perfectly balanced and well paced. The service is warm yet unobtrusive. Dishes are an excellent seasonal showcase - thoughtful, interesting without being contrived, and most importantly of all, truly delicious. I'm proud to know we Aussies can deliver such a world class experience - and in the middle of such stunningly middle-of-nowhere beauty.

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Thank notjacobscreek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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423 - 427 of 446 reviews

Reviewed February 21, 2011

What started out to be a fantastic degustation menu with matched wines nearly disappointed. Why? Was the quality poor or the service not up to scratch? None of the above. The food was, without exageration, magnificent and inspirational. First course of Asparagus with Back fat, Pork Sandwich and Sardine cracker provided a hint of the food to follow. Sea Salad then preceeded a Green Tomato on Toast with Ricotta - truly magnificent. The Egg Yolk on Rye although challenging for me but not for my wife was actually very yummy. The John Dory and Burnt Potato was so-so. Duck Ham, Fig etc brilliant. The King Brown Mushroon - ordinary. My Lamb and carrot was fantastic but her's was stringy and tasteless with the carrots also stringy. The three deserts that followed were also fantastic.
The wines, a mix of Australian and International were matched perfectly to the food. The 1997 Faiveley 'Mazis-Chambertin' Grand Cru being the standout. The disappointment was that only a 1/4 glass of each of the wines was provided.
The food service was unobtrusive and pleasant. The sommelier was truly knowledgeable but was let down by his wine waiter who immediatly gave us the impression that he was a Basil Fawlty wannebe a total wine snob who made sure he let us know that he knew more than us about the wines he was serving (as well he should). He entertained my us with his facial expressions, his mime and theatre over the whole eventing. The funny thing is that he looks like a young John Cleese. He should learn that it's not all about him. I'm sure he takes the following as his mantre...quote Basil Fawlty....
"This is typical. Absolutely typical... of the kind of...... I have to put up with from you people. You ponce in here expecting to be waited on hand and foot, while I'm trying to run a hotel here. Have you any idea of how much there is to do? Do you ever think of that? Of course not, you're all too busy sticking your noses into every corner, poking around for things to complain about, aren't you? Well let me tell you something - this is exactly how Nazi Germany started. A lot of layabouts with nothing better to do than to cause trouble. Well I've had fifteen years of pandering to the likes of you, and I've had enough. I've had it."
As to the hotel and accommodation - extremely disapponting.

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1  Thank V-Gordon-O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2011

Am very sad and annoyed. My wife and I went to the Bistro for dinner on a Sat night. The quality of the food with the exception of the desserts was very poor - nothing wrong with the quality of the ingredients used, which were all of very good quality. The problem was all with the execution of the cooking.

We shared an entree: a Pork Trotter Croque. It was nothing like a croque, but that wasn't the issue. It consisted of chopped trotter meat (meat, tendons, etc) mixed with other ingredients wrapped in a deep fried batter. It was put together extremely well. The texture was very delicate and the batter was done very well (very thin but crispy). Unfortunately it tasted like cardboard (no herbs, meat not marinated) - thin of eating tendons slow cooked with nothing added. It was like eating a tasteless soft gooey sticky thing. Not nice at all.

I had a slow cooked Pork Belly main. The pork was slow cooked to melt in the mouth perfection but was tasteless, which resulted in the dish tasting like a plate of warm soft lard. The crackling was soft and soggy which just added to the bad experience. The fact that none of the elements on the plate such as firm under-poached unripe pear complemented each other neither just made things worse.

My wife has a Wagu Steak (+5 rating). The odd thing was that one half of the steak was chewy and without much flavour whereas the other half was almost done to perfection. Overall we cook a better Wage steak (+4 rating) at home.

Both the entree and main were extremely poorly presented. In the entree the food was simply dumped onto a plate. The main had the pork belly on one side and the roasted vegetables dumped into a pile on the other half of the plate. Same with the Wagu main.

However, their vegetables were very fresh and cooked to perfection.

The only saving grace were the desserts. Sam had a hazelnut mousse with honeycomb and chocolate shavings and I had a chocolate cannelloni. The mousse could use with a little less sugar but otherwise faultless. The chocolate cannelloni was done to perfection.

Service was so so. Attentive in refilling water but never once asked if the food was okay.

Overall the menu and food came across as very agricultural, served with an excellent wine list (and many by the glass) and well put together desserts.

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Thank Lokky_78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2011

Words cannot describe the food here. Every morsel to be enjoyed. An experience not just a dinner out. Expensive but worth every penny. Excellent service, - a little noisey perhaps. Planning our next visit already.

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Thank mangetom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2010

This restaurant's timber floors generate noise - and lots of it - aided by the huge number of unnecessary trips made by the waitresses.

It was disconcering, so much so that one lady at the table next to me asked the waitress 'are you paid by the hour or the kilometre?' The irony was lost on the staff.

This was the most intrusive service that I had ever encountered anywhere in the world.

Perhaps it is absent when restaurant reviewers come to town (after all, many restaurants have photos of said individuals so they are recognised and feted) but this 'service' was enough to stop me from ever returning. Food was not cheap for Victorian rural restaurants either.

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1  Thank Victorianlad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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