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D’Browes Restaurant Reviewer above Criticism

By aussielyn - 23 September 2011 34

It appears that my letter, below, to the Editor of the Canberra Times regarding the review of D’Browes Restaurant in Narrabundah has been ignored. This reviewer and editor of Food & Wine clearly does not like local shopping centres south of the lake and tends to sledge them to pad out her articles to the required length. Even the architecture of Torrens shops previously got a serve from this specious epicure. Standards at the crimes have remarkably slipped since the old days of Michael Foster.

Comments from hospitality workers regarding this reviewer are particularly sought after!

I have heard that many restaurants will not accept a booking from her because of the unbalanced reviews she has done on their peers. A chef’s opinion would be more informative & constructive than a data analyst.

“Kirsten Lawson’s review of D’Browes Restaurant in Narrabundah, Canberra Times, Food & Wine Page 6, 14 Sept 2011, is more like a blog flame against our local shops than a self appointed gourmet’s opinion. Firstly Kirsten has to endure “the slightly shady feeling shops in Narrabundah” to get to the premises. Then the reviewer is confronted with the horror of a BYO which does seem below her comfort zone. The inconvenience location of the toilets is also criticised. The quality of the food is described as lacking finesse and good quality ingredients. As D’Browes is very busy and has a good loyal following, for many years, it is clear that Kirsten’s review will only make her opinions lacking credibility and finesse.

Of course one cannot please all the people all the time but this food reviewer apparently wants a dubious reputation. This meandering article leaves a lot to be desired about the word smithing capabilities of the author, let alone pontificating about the food quality of a restaurant. “

The CTs Review is here.

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34 Responses to
D’Browes Restaurant Reviewer above Criticism
poetix 11:35 am 25 Sep 11

keepitup said :

They used to say: “To live in Narrabundah is a social blunder”.

They come from over the road in Griffith
and raise their noses and sniff sniff sniff.

toriness 2:48 am 25 Sep 11

i don’t like the way kirsten writes (flowery/condescending) but i agree with the overall review. i have been to d’browes a few times, having followed damien over from marinetti’s but i liked damien’s food better when he was over at marinetti’s and it is a nicer space to eat in too.

EvanJames 10:53 pm 24 Sep 11

I find Kirsten Lawson unreadable. She has this twittery, brittle style, seems to be talking about herself a lot of the time, and some of what she reveals is pretty unflattering to her (and she doesn’t seem to realise that). In one review some time back, of Aubergine, she twittered angrily about a waiter asking her to get her feet off the chair. How dare he! She also seems to be one of those lovely parents who takes their small children to expensive restaurants and lets them run wild.

These days I’ll run my eye through what she writes, looking for any useful info about the subject of the review, but you have to get through so much rubbish about her first.

They have some other reviewers who seem to do a better job.

keepitup 10:06 pm 24 Sep 11

They used to say: “To live in Narrabundah is a social blunder”.

KevinJ 5:41 pm 24 Sep 11

My concern is the not so gentle dig at Narrabunah itself; Lets put some resources into this great shoping centre, beautify the place, provide better public seating, redesign public access and both side roads while widening pedestrian areas for more outdoor seating (owners of shops and restaurant why not contribute to cost?) provide more and better designed parking areas; remove the old petrol station: come on give the area a ‘smile’.

urchin 2:34 pm 24 Sep 11

I don’t see what you’re fussing about. Slagging off the shops? The reviewer seems to be saying that while the shops aren’t exactly glamourous the setting of the restaurant is quite nice. To wit:

“D’Browes is in a pretty sparkling location in the slightly shady feeling shops at Narrabundah. It’s a small restaurant, decked out in tealight candles and sparkling fairy lights at the front, with a warm and intimate feel.”

You complain that the reviewer criticises the lack of a wine selection and the lack of a proper loo. Why is it wrong to criticise this? If i were eating out at a restaurant charging those kinds of prices, I would want to have a proper loo and a proper wine selection. If they aren’t going to offer wine, I also thing it is a bit absurd to charge corkage… But BYO seems very odd for this kind of a restaurant.

The reviewer does say that the food lacks finesse but uses good quality ingredients. Do you deny this? The descriptions by the reviewer seem to support this evaluation. Are you saying that the reviewer has deliberately misrepresented the meals?

Just because they are busy does not mean that they are good. McDonald’s is busy and has a loyal following too…

if i were the chef i’d look at hard at the points raised in the review. how are people to improve unless they are open to criticism?

and aussielyn, you might want to look more carefully at your own prose before you go criticising others for poor writing.

dungfungus 10:26 am 24 Sep 11

Waiting For Godot said :

According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, The Canberra Times suffered the biggest fall in circulation of any newspaper in Australia during the most recent audit period. The Fairfax Media group – of which The Canberra Times is a member – suffered an operating loss of almost $400million over the past financial year.

I think that says it all.

I am getting sick of the left wing bias of the Canberra Times. They keep printing re-hashed stuff from the Guardian and the New York Times and even though John Howard left politics 4 years ago they still give the Howard Haters a free run in Letters To The Editors. Had enough of the bile that the “cartoonist” Sharpe digs up also. Sub-editing quality plus a total absence of proof reading has become apparent this year.
Even the SMH is lightening up in it’s politacal comment.

cross 9:48 am 24 Sep 11

The posted link to the Canberra Times invites comments, I did not see a comment from you or was your comment moderated?

Waiting For Godot 5:08 am 24 Sep 11

According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, The Canberra Times suffered the biggest fall in circulation of any newspaper in Australia during the most recent audit period. The Fairfax Media group – of which The Canberra Times is a member – suffered an operating loss of almost $400million over the past financial year.

I think that says it all.

Jethro 11:25 pm 23 Sep 11

D’Browes is crap. Probably one of the worst restaurants I have been to in Canberra. I have commented on here a few times about the relatively poor quality of Canberra dining experiences, and it is places like D’Browes that have led me to make that conclusion. It bills itself as more of a high-end type place, but is decidedly average.

The food is decent, but the experience I had was sub-par. If I recall correctly they didn’t serve any drinks, so it was BYO anything you wanted to drink other than water.

Also, there was a surcharge for using EFTPOS, although their sign only stated that there was a surcharge for using credit cards. This sounds like a petty complaint, but it pissed me off that after forking out over $200 I had an extra fee added to my bill for something that I wasn’t advised of before hand (and I’m sorry, but a debit card is not a credit card, however you try to spin it).

To top it all off, the waitress was quite rude, particularly after I questioned the surcharge.

The review I would have written would have been less nice than that found in The Crimes.

RedDogInCan 10:43 pm 23 Sep 11

You do realise that if you hadn’t whinged about the review on a public forum, I and many others probably would never have bothered to read it.

Bad Seed 9:43 pm 23 Sep 11

I too was annoyed by the restaurant reviewers comments, not about the restaurant itself because I’ve never eaten there but about the supercilious comments about Narrabundah. Growing up a ‘Bundah gal I am tired of having to defend my suburb from the sort of prejudiced and snide comments that were present in this review. Every time I go past this restaurant it is packed and I am often bemoaning the fact that when I try and get a park over lunchtime, I often have to park have way down the street because of D’Browes and the various other eating establishments. Yes,the ‘Bundah has a few rough edges but its also got a thriving community atmoshpere and was and is a great place to live and shop (tyre slashers not withstanding). I have now moved on to other parts of Canberra but love the big blocks and tree lined streets and wich I could afford to live there now!

Watson 7:41 pm 23 Sep 11

Bummer. I’ve only been to D’Browse once, but thought it was pretty fantastic in every aspect. The food was so good I was tempted to lick my plate, the service was very friendly and professional and – my favourite – they were very child-friendly and did not at all think it strange that people like taking their kids to restaurants other than McDonalds or cheap pasta places.

So boo from me for that review.

Postalgeek 5:36 pm 23 Sep 11

Sadly critics don’t get reviewed enough. Maybe this is an opportunity…

matt31221 5:12 pm 23 Sep 11

It is apparently common for some journalists not to respond to a letter sent to them. They may be filled up with their own self importance and have delusions of granduer. Thinking they are too good to even interact with you. Who really cares what that journo thinks anyways eh?

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