Valentines Day rip off?

Auntyem 15 February 2009 64

My son took his girlfriend out for Valentines Day dinner at Sage in Braddon.

When he booked the table he wasn’t told there was a $100 (per person) set menu for the night. Add to that three glasses of wine ($10 per glass) and one glass of water ($9 per glass) and the bill came to $239.

He texted me half way through the meal and asked that I keep some dinner warm because the set menu was extremely scant.

He didn’t complain because he didn’t want to ruin the night for his girlfriend – so he paid, came home and they both had more dinner here (even though she normally eats like a bird).

I don’t mind paying top dollar for a good night out – but hey, what a rip off.

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64 Responses to Valentines Day rip off?
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Gobbo Gobbo 10:25 am 15 Feb 09

$9.00 for a glass of water? There oughta be a law ….

nyssa76 nyssa76 10:42 am 15 Feb 09

Prices are always up on Valentine’s Day.

Next year, have him celebrate it either the day before or the day after – it’s really not an event that deserves a ‘day’ anyway. You should show the person that you love that you love them everyday.

caf caf 10:46 am 15 Feb 09

I did the Valentine’s Day degustation menu at Sage last year (I was told when I booked that that’s what they were doing, though). I found it excellent – from memory I think it was about $120 for 7 courses with a matched glass of wine with each one, or $90ish without the wine. I’m sure it helps if you know what you’re getting into beforehand though.

Footloose Footloose 11:05 am 15 Feb 09

Caf – Sage had different owners on Feb 14 last year.

We were invited to Sage late last year by some friends.
It was shocking. Poor rookie service and the wine list was not stocked (pet hate).
We tried this Flavours thing, which was marketed as a DIY degustation $12 per dish; ended up being 2 mouthfuls of food per course – we had 5 – and paid $60 each + wine to leave hungry and feeling duped. They were also pitching Wagyu beef which Im sure was rump steak. To their credit, the creme brulee dessert was nice.

Wonder what Consumer Affairs would think of all this? $100 per head to leave hungry – $9 for water…

Next time, tell your son to try Benchmark. I haven’t been there in a while but they are usually very good and do nice special occasion dinners for around $100 with wine.

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 11:24 am 15 Feb 09

This is one of the reasons I find RiotAct so useful, local reviews and recommendations.

PM PM 11:39 am 15 Feb 09

Bah. I was at the Pot Belly, then the Basement. It was fairly quiet, leading me to believe many people go out to restaurants etc on Valentine’s Day. Given the demand, it’s no wonder prices are higher. But that’s no excuse for a blatant rip-off.

BenMac BenMac 11:59 am 15 Feb 09

There is a law on charging for water. Tap water has to be free. Bottle water can be charged, but if they didn’t actually show the water coming from an unopened bottle, he should have questioned the $9.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 12:57 pm 15 Feb 09

La Pasa in Civic had a Valentine’s Day dinner deal – I think it was a couple of entrees (one of them was duck pancakes), a Singapore Sling or glass of house wine, two mains, three sides and dessert – $99 for 2.

Special G Special G 1:01 pm 15 Feb 09

Benchmark was good when we went there about 3 months ago. You could go nuts on the wine menu there.

We hit Tongue and Groove, in the City, although didnt go the set menu as seafood tends to have me projectile vomit (thought I’d share). $90 had us stuffed, 3 courses, no wine though.

Auntyem Auntyem 2:29 pm 15 Feb 09

Some great recommendations here.

I’ll tell him to try Benchmark next time.

Thanks all.

MrPC MrPC 3:27 pm 15 Feb 09

Why not picket the place a few times a month for the rest of the year..

astrojax astrojax 4:04 pm 15 Feb 09

lanterne rooms was excellent; mrs astro and i enjoyed a shared entree, two mains, a shared dessert and a few glasses of delightful wine for a smidge over a hundred bucks and left with full bellies, memories of great friendly competent service and delicious fare.


sound like sage sucks – i’m picketing it right now (sage advice, pc)

MrPC MrPC 4:09 pm 15 Feb 09

You’re standing out front with a “prepare to be ripped off” / “Eating here? Find a good bankruptcy agent first!” type sign?

4pm Sunday doesn’t sound like an ideal time to picket a restaurant though. Friday or Saturday night would be better.

astrojax astrojax 5:53 pm 15 Feb 09

i wondered why i was getting no traction: is the sign that wrong? 😉

may be i’ll just picket it from home…

CoffinRX2 CoffinRX2 5:53 pm 15 Feb 09

Go see Tasso at Benchmark for sure, .. probably the nicest food i’ve had in Canberra before, and a wine list to die for.

Best bet is to choose your food, and get the staff to match the wines for you

youami youami 6:36 pm 15 Feb 09

The water is poor form. Licensed restaurants I do believe by law must supply tap water for free. And the best advertising is a post on RiotACT to suggest that Sage is a rip-off! Looks like they will lose some business. I agree with others, try Benchmark and also give Ginger Room a shot.

youami youami 6:41 pm 15 Feb 09

oh and Auntyem, if you really want to give them a serve, get your son to rate them at:
and maybe even talk to SMH who had given them a Chef’s Hat.

[Note: this is for Auntyem as the ratings *should* be legitimate] 🙂

ramblingted ramblingted 6:46 pm 15 Feb 09

Isn’t Benchmark famous for not paying its suppliers?

MrPC MrPC 7:13 pm 15 Feb 09

You can’t picket from home. That’s merely a boycott. Boycotts are nowhere near as effective as pickets.

farnarkler farnarkler 7:57 pm 15 Feb 09

Do restaurants charge you when you flush their toilets? No. I hope what he got was bottled water.

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