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“Watch this space”

Royal Mail Dining Room
Ranked #2 of 8 Restaurants in Dunkeld
Price range: $42 - $125
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Description: The Royal Mail Hotel Dining Room has been awarded '2 hats' by the Age Good Food Guide 2015 & 2016. The Dining Room serves innovative, seasonally driven menu that draws from the extensive organic kitchen garden - reputed as the largest and most productive restaurant kitchen garden in Australia. The Dining Room wine list has been awarded 'Best Hotel Wine List, worldwide, by Fine Wine UK. The cellar houses over 26,000 bottles and wines can be served matched to each course of the five or eight course chefs tasting menus.
Reviewed November 11, 2013

This was our first visit to the Royal Mail restaurant since the new chef took over. It's good. really good. The service, I found to be a little more informal than in previous visits, that's neither good nor bad, just an observation.

There were two menu choices on the night we dined. There was a 7 course Chef's menu for $150 (if I remember correctly). The other option was the 5 course Kitchen menu for $100 - entirely different from the Chef's menu, not just the budget version of the same thing. We chose the Chef's menu and it was so good I would have happily gone back the next night to sample the other one.

The food is quite 'cheffy' in that there is a lot of technique on display. For example, 'charcoal' served with the BBQ brisket. Those sorts of visual tricks on a plate are great fun if they actually add something to the dish, and this one did. Some of the ingredient matches sound like they won't work - rock flathead with white chocolate - yet they do. One or two things didn't quite work, but that's what happens when a chef is trying new things and the hits certainly outnumbered the misses. The rabbit loin in particular was a magic bit of cooking. Wine list as others have remarked is really quite extraordinary. We're already planning our next visit!

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Thank Herm0ine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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287 - 291 of 442 reviews

Reviewed November 10, 2013

Was staying in Hall's Gap for Melbourne Cup weekend so made the trip down for lunch in the Bistro. A wonderful drive down followed up with a fine lunch.
Service was top notch and the food was great. Probably slightly on the expensive side but hey, if you've built up the good name, may as well trade on it.
Wine list on the other hand seemed reasonably priced.
Definitely worth the visit.

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Thank Peter W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2013 via mobile

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.

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Thank intrepid_pixie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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!

Thank SHVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 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.

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

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