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Restaurant review – Babars on Bunda Street

By johnboy - 8 January 2009 51

Lunch in Civic today was at Babars. I used to be a big fan of the place when it was the nearest bar to Electric Shadows back in the day.

At 12.15pm it certainly wasn’t over crowded and we were able to get a great shaded table on Bunda Street with wonderful views of the passing citizenry. They had hordes of staff on for the level of trade.

It was nice that we had menus within minutes of sitting down. Thirty seconds later being asked if we’d made a selection from the big menu was more problematic.

We thought ordering a a couple of beers while we decided would work but sadly the beers hadn’t arrived when the waiter came back for a second go.

Which is where we hit a snag, our waiter’s english really wasn’t up to the job. When you have to point to the club sandwich on the menu, to get across that’s what you want, there’s a problem.

The drinks did arrive eventually though and the food, in its turn, was pretty good.

Jazz was thrilled when the prawns in his linguini arrived without their tails, tailed prawns being something of a bugbear for him. He also said the chilli was making his head itch, apparently a good thing.

My club sandwich was pretty good, the turkey and bacon feeling like they came from an animal and not from a factory. It was tall, but not unmanageable and the cranberry sauce and aioli applied strongly, but not overwhelming.

All up not a bad lunch, in fact pretty good. But for the money (~$20ea with a beer) the service really needs to improve. Fluent English really is essential for front of house work at a cosmopolitan cafe/restaurant.

What’s Your opinion?


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51 Responses to
Restaurant review – Babars on Bunda Street
Overheard 3:54 pm 08 Jan 09

^^^ God love the interwebz. Right the first time.

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19920405&slug=1484837

Overheard 3:51 pm 08 Jan 09

“Fluent English really is essential for front of house work at a cosmopolitan cafe/restaurant.”

I’m reminded of Bill Bryson’s (highly embellished) tale of going into a bakery in France, asking for a loaf of bread and receiving a dead beaver on the counter.

“Non, madame, I want a loaf of bread.”
“Zees is what I ‘ave geeven you.”
“No, no, a LOAF of BREAD.”
“Renée, can you believe zis? ‘e comes in ‘ere askeeng for dead beaver, I give ‘im a perfecty good dead beaver, but now ‘e says ‘e wants somezing else and not a dead beaver. Can you believe zis?’

Or something like that.

Or maybe it was Dave Barry. I’m so good with details.

toriness 3:50 pm 08 Jan 09

last time i went to babars bunda street (about 3 months ago) my pizza still hadn’t come out after i had waited over an hour (probably closer to 1.5 hours) – i was about to remind/ask a waiter about it for the 4-5th time when a person sitting at my table opposite me found a pubic hair in her risotto. i promptly cancelled my order. never going back.

Jivrashia 3:49 pm 08 Jan 09

Even if you’re not a vegetarian you have to try their vegetarian pizza.
I can’t find any local pizza store that can match their quality (or their expensive price!)

peterh 3:36 pm 08 Jan 09

Skidbladnir said :

I dislike a tail-on prawn being served to me.
Except when I am eating prawns around christmas, then I shell my own.

Screw the food is art thing, I want food because I’m hungry.

i chew my nails, so sometimes, i don’t worry about prawn tails, either.

ogrex 3:36 pm 08 Jan 09

I eat there for weekend brekky on occasion, and generally the food is good but overpriced for the size.

This past weekend however I had a “special” of pesto/feta mushrooms on toast served with a coffee for $9… and it was *delicious* not to mention enough to satisfy my inner meat-lover.

Skidbladnir 3:30 pm 08 Jan 09

I dislike a tail-on prawn being served to me.
Except when I am eating prawns around christmas, then I shell my own.

Screw the food is art thing, I want food because I’m hungry.

marcothepolopony 3:29 pm 08 Jan 09

As a family, we love to go to Babar’s on Bunda Street. The service is always friendly and quick.
The food is consistantly above average and drinks arrive promptly.

Only once, at Woden, did I have a few gritty bits in my Babar Salad, but a complaint to the Manageress resulted in a zero charge and apology.

We will continue to enjoy our outdoor dining at both these quality establishments.

Johnboy’s meal looked just wonderful and excellent value.

H1NG0 3:26 pm 08 Jan 09

I agree on the prawns, that also irritates me. That sandwich looks quite good. I might give it a go.

shanefos 3:26 pm 08 Jan 09

Skidbladnir said :

I’m with Jazz.
My chili barameter is the top of my skull, and serving tailed prawns is nice if you only want food to look at, but I have this strange tendency to want to eat mine.

I have to agree with you there, Skidbladnir (“barameter” slip notwithstanding. Perhaps it was just a Freudian slip – thinking about seafood, fish, barramundi…).
Anyway, prawns are far easier to stomach when they have their tails. Not nearly as crunchy though.

tylersmayhem 3:24 pm 08 Jan 09

That sounds like a pretty good value lunch!

Pretty good value lunch…are you f**king kidding me?! Where do you usually eat VB?

Granny 3:12 pm 08 Jan 09

I used to love the old Babar’s near Electric Shadows, and I had some of the most memorable meals there.

I haven’t had a meal from the Bunda St one as yet, but I’m always really disappointed in their cakes.

I usually avoid the place if I’m going for a coffee these days.

Skidbladnir 3:11 pm 08 Jan 09

Skidbladnir said :

chili barameter</strike.

Barometer, before someone else does it.

Skidbladnir 3:09 pm 08 Jan 09

I’m with Jazz.
My chili barameter is the top of my skull, and serving tailed prawns is nice if you only want food to look at, but I have this strange tendency to want to eat mine.

Vic Bitterman 2:58 pm 08 Jan 09

That sounds like a pretty good value lunch!

Jazz has a similar chilli barometer to me too – my head itches as well when it’s just spicy enough!!!! hehehe

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