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The Demise of an Culinary Institution – A restaurant review

By imarty 18 January 2010 43

Having heard all about this establishment, I gave my wife Chairman and Yip as one of three restaurants I’d like to go to for my birthday and for her to surprise me.

Well surprised we were.

Menus pasted in dog eared art magazines, wine list in a year eight style bound, damaged folder, in landscape,? with no beer listing, with NA written in biro against non avilable wines?

Didn’t augur well for what was supposed to be one of Canberra’s premier restaurants.

Well the confit pork belly was luke warm deep fried pieces of belly with a salad of shredded iceberg lettuce, cucumber,carrot & red cabbage. It was sent back. My wife’s fishcakes were slightly better but still accompanied with the same foodcourt style salad.

The Shantung style Lamb main was deepfried (again!) lamb flap, possibly the cheapest cut of lamb possible. Tasty yes but after about 3 pieces way too much in terms of deep fried meat (after the pork).

My wife’s salmon with carrot & tomato puree was well executed but nothing special or exciting.

Service was polite but it was obvious there is no experience nor knowledge there. When questioned on some menu items, the wait staff description did not elaborate more than one ingredient beyond the menu description and when pressed we were met with a polite blank stare!

In hindsight we thought that maybe our menu choices were not necessarily appropriate nor matched but should not that also be the role of a good waiter when making a menu selection, especially when they are engaged in discussing the menu and the customer is choosing dishes to share?

Overall an extremely disappointing meal.

[ED – Without being able to speak to the rest of the meal Shantung lamb is supposed to be as you described.]

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43 Responses to
The Demise of an Culinary Institution – A restaurant review
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Pandy 12:30 am 16 Apr 10

So I guess senso does chips?

season 7:43 pm 15 Apr 10

senso restaurant is open to the public, Thurs to Sat lunch and dinner!

imarty 10:08 pm 21 Jan 10

Having started this thread and in true RA style, see it evolve into a discussion not necessarily with regard to the original topic, I thought I might contribute my opinion on other Canberra dining experiences I’ve had recently in relation to other comments.
Rama’s – Good but not great, very much same same between dishes
Jehanghir – Very good food but not great value for money, very small dishes
Grazing – Gone downhill slightly since the brother & sister team went to On Red but still very good
Rubicon – Again quite good, well executed dishes and knowledgeable, competent service
Austrian Club – Back to simple authentic food done well. Recommended
Statesman Hotel – They didn’t have the roast of the day at 12.30pm and I spent a lot of the rest of the day with an upset guts after sampling the steak burger with chips & gravy

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