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Worst Meal in Canberra?

By ant 30 April 2009 124

I wanted to post this in the 2006 long-running “worst Canberra restaurants” topic, but it’s so full it won’t play with MS internet explorer. So maybe it’s time for a new topic about meals you are sorry you ate (and paid for).

Tonight we tested the Twisted Fork at the Dickson Tradies, and it was the worst meal I’ve had in memory. I’m still feeling ill. 

When they brought our meals, we were amazed to find that the one person who’d opted for veggies had an oval dish of veggies, but for the remaining three people, one oval dish of chips was for all three of us! The chips were good though. Pity about the rest of it. The veggies were not very nice, either. The potatoes were on their second night by the taste of it. It’s hard to ruin potatoes but they’d achieved it.

When ordering, I’d asked if they had any vinegar for the chips, and the ordering lady said the plastic bottle on the condiments stand had vinegar. Well, after scattering this on my chips, it became evident that this was in fact a “vinegrette” dressing, but one of doubtful provenance.  The best description I can come up with is, that the oil was rancid, for industrial use only (greasing trays or something), and had been stored in a container usually used for dish washing detergeant (just typing that made me feel ill again). It was disgusting.

The chicken kievs we had also tasted of this industrial, chemically oil, and seemed to contain no garlic at all.  The barramundis the rest of the party consumed were “OK”, but thin and dry. But they weren’t offensive.

I’ve heard good things about the Tradies, but this meal was really bad.  Misery loves company, and I’d love to hear that someone else has had worse food recently. 


What’s Your opinion?


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Worst Meal in Canberra?
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I-filed 3:32 pm 11 Sep 10

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

Anna Key said :

And as a broad comment about restaurants, since when has there been an expectation of a tip? I order a steak, vegies are extra, the service is ok, the wine list is overpriced and then there is an expectation that I will chuck an extra few dollars in. I’m happy to tip for exceptional service but isn’t a meal and service supposedly what I’ve just paid for? Otherwise why not get a lean cuisine and throw it in the microwave

So true. I never tip in Canberra, because I struggle to get service worth tipping for. Best meals for me lately have been the Southern Cross club Woden.

No-one should tip in Australia – ever. Tipping is legitimate in the US, where waiters are not paid by the hour, but rely on tips to live on. Waiters are paid a generous hourly rate, and should be providing great service already. If a waiter is being underpaid, they should take that up with Fair Work Australia.

top10 1:14 pm 11 Sep 10

Vivaldi restraurant at the ANU – THE WORST EVER!! When my friends and I arrived for the show (after a booking fiasco), we realised immediately that the restaurant was overbooked. Our table was wedged in a back corner just in front of a pile of dusty junk. The chairs did not even fit at the table (literally two of our plates did not fit at the table). I was stuck in the back corner and could not leave my seat. In order to go to the bathroom I had to climb under the table. Appalling. The food was no better. Two of our entrees never arrived. Our mains were cold, and one main arrived after everyone else had already finished. The food was mediocre and difficult to enjoy due to the terrible conditions. I spoke to the owner who was rude and unapologetic. The manager lied to my face about what transpired during the booking process. I was stunned. I have never before experienced anything like this in Canberra. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!

busgirl 7:57 pm 07 Oct 09

I worked at the Tradies back in it’s hey day when…
– the Schnitzel House was being operated month on month off by the two bistro teams,
– Rosco made chicken and mayo toasted sandwiches at two in the morning,
– ‘side-show alley’ still existed (only real regulars will know that one),
– there were meat raffles (a huge 31 trays of meat) held every night,
– the Black Mountain Jazz band played on a Saturday morning,
– there were bikes and trams all over the joint, and
– you had to throw yourself against the wall to get out of the way of the stampeding bingo bats at half-time…sure it was crusty, but boy it had character.

If the real Tradies schnitzels are indeed coming back…I know people who would travel 800kms to taste one of those again 😀

Thumper 7:03 pm 07 Oct 09

I’ve never had a bad meal anywhere in Canberra.

Seriously…

Alan Shore 5:28 pm 07 Oct 09

Has anyone seen these TV ads for the Tradies in the last week or so, with words to the effect of “This is BIG! The Tradies schnitzel is back! Starting from $13 in a wide variety of flavours etc etc”?

Can it be true?

damien haas 11:54 am 08 Sep 09

i thought it would be nice to sit in a cafe and read the paper on such a beautiful day.

j from the block 10:40 am 08 Sep 09

As a general rule, I tip if everything is done properly. If service is outstanding, I tip really well.
Having been in the hospitality game over half my life , 5 star to no star, I have a fairly high standard, and when it is met or exceeded, it deserves recognition.
Worst meal I have seen prepared was by an old chef at a Deakin Club (in bad old days), his apathy when the dish came back (strangely the punters with the ash didn’t mind, but the one with the cigarette butt in their salad took exception)caused me to leave and never return to work there.

Anna Key said :

And as a broad comment about restaurants, since when has there been an expectation of a tip? I order a steak, vegies are extra, the service is ok, the wine list is overpriced and then there is an expectation that I will chuck an extra few dollars in. I’m happy to tip for exceptional service but isn’t a meal and service supposedly what I’ve just paid for? Otherwise why not get a lean cuisine and throw it in the microwave

So true. I never tip in Canberra, because I struggle to get service worth tipping for. Best meals for me lately have been the Southern Cross club Woden.

Skidd Marx 9:30 am 08 Sep 09

damien haas said :

10.00 Am – Arrive at Charmers Cafe in Manuka.

10.10 AM – Handed menu. Order croissants and coffee.

10.30 AM – CROISSANT (singular) arrives. Re-order coffee. Query singular croissant. Pointed out to me, that its split in half, therefore actually two croissants, ‘you know, like two pieces of toast’.

10.40 AM – Reorder coffee

10.50 AM – Plate removed. Coffee arrives.

11.30 AM – Friends arrive.

11.35 AM – Menus arrive.

11.40 AM – Meals ordered. Waitress performs amazing feat of memory and writes nothing down.

12.10 AM – Drinks arrive.

12.15 AM – Meals arrive.

12.50 AM – ask for bill. $65 – seems a bit high.

Bill is divided into two parts. One part is the meals and drinks that were ordered when my friends arrive, second is ‘18.80’ and not itemised.

I query 18.80 and discover that i had been charged THREE times for a coffee that arrived once. point out that ONE croissant at $7 and One coffee at $3 cannot add up to $18.

$8 subtracted from bill.

Avoid.

If arriving 90 minutes before your friends is normal for you then I think someone is in need of a hobby.

Woody Mann-Caruso 9:11 am 08 Sep 09

I’ve decided that I’m never eating out anywhere except Griffith Vietnamese, Happys and the Chisholm takeaway. Sad that I’ve only been able to find three venues in the whole of Canberra that manage to nail service, price and quality rather than adopting a “pick one, two if you’re lucky” strategy.

misshelly 11:23 pm 07 Sep 09

Had oysters kilpatrick at the Hellenic Club a few weeks ago… pathetic tiny little shrivelled bits of dried up crap more like it. The mains weren’t much better with both mine and my friends chicken breasts being VERY close to undercooked.

Went to the restaurant at Vikings Erindale last week and they could not have been more different… big yummy oysters that almost filled me up too much for my main (and I only get the half dozen!). The rest of the meals were great too.

me70 9:58 pm 07 Sep 09

We regularly take our 4 kids to Magpies @ Kippax (from Gungahlin) for dinner…If you go Sun/Mon/Tues/Wed night members meals are about $10 (I think?) and 5 star quality…schnity’s so big they have to sit on top of the chips & veg… and cooked PERFECTLY!!..& the kids meals are $3 INCLUDING A DRINK !!…but it’s not just the price that keeps us going back…the service is EXCELLANT..the place is always clean..only once in 4 years have we waited too long for a meal..and there was a good reason…& we’ve NEVER been dissapointed with a meal..just good honest, value for money family meals..and if you’re a member you get a free meal in your birthday month..I know this thread is meant to be about bad meals, but if it’s bad..we don’t go back & give it a second chance..we’ve been going from Gungahlin to Kippax for our bistro meals for about 4 years & it’s the only membership we keep renewing (apart from the Hellenic club…their bistro is also good value, but too far to go regularly & often too full)…now that we’ve seen this thread we might check out the RUC..but is it “child friendly”?

Anna Key 8:10 pm 07 Sep 09

Was similarly rebuked at Gaudi in Woden for not being patient enough for two coffees that never arrived after more than an hour and two requests. Well forgive me for having other things to do! But the meal itself was good, even if the service was lacking

And as a broad comment about restaurants, since when has there been an expectation of a tip? I order a steak, vegies are extra, the service is ok, the wine list is overpriced and then there is an expectation that I will chuck an extra few dollars in. I’m happy to tip for exceptional service but isn’t a meal and service supposedly what I’ve just paid for? Otherwise why not get a lean cuisine and throw it in the microwave

damien haas 5:42 pm 07 Sep 09

10.00 Am – Arrive at Charmers Cafe in Manuka.

10.10 AM – Handed menu. Order croissants and coffee.

10.30 AM – CROISSANT (singular) arrives. Re-order coffee. Query singular croissant. Pointed out to me, that its split in half, therefore actually two croissants, ‘you know, like two pieces of toast’.

10.40 AM – Reorder coffee

10.50 AM – Plate removed. Coffee arrives.

11.30 AM – Friends arrive.

11.35 AM – Menus arrive.

11.40 AM – Meals ordered. Waitress performs amazing feat of memory and writes nothing down.

12.10 AM – Drinks arrive.

12.15 AM – Meals arrive.

12.50 AM – ask for bill. $65 – seems a bit high.

Bill is divided into two parts. One part is the meals and drinks that were ordered when my friends arrive, second is ‘18.80’ and not itemised.

I query 18.80 and discover that i had been charged THREE times for a coffee that arrived once. point out that ONE croissant at $7 and One coffee at $3 cannot add up to $18.

$8 subtracted from bill.

Avoid.

ant 4:55 pm 29 May 09

If one wants posh grub, go to Yip, certainly. But if one wants a schnitzel and chips, one should expect to get an edible one at a club!

I-filed 4:40 pm 29 May 09

Hamilton said :

Eat at a club – get club food!! Next time try the Ottoman or Chairman & Yip.

I have had CRAP food and CRAP service at a huge price at Yip.

Jim Jones 4:18 pm 29 May 09

Die Lefty Scum said :

I would honestly love nothing more than to see every club in Canberra go the way of the Thylacine?: hunted to extinction until the only thing left is 62 haunting seconds of silent black & white video. They are evil, soul-less places who thrive on exploitation of the hungry and dim-witted.

Poetic … but deeply silly.

I go to the odd club regularly enough – it’s a quick, cheap, simple meal that can be enjoyed with a bevvy, and you can take children (and even babies) there without having to worry about the impact on the other patrons, which is a *major* concern of mine with restaurants.

ant 4:11 pm 29 May 09

The meal that prompted me to write my review was a schnitzel and chips, too. Sans green prawn, thankfully! It was still toxic, that’s a good word. Toxic. It wasn’t just bad, there was extra flavours that just don’t happen in food naturally.

Die Lefty Scum 4:11 pm 29 May 09

I would honestly love nothing more than to see every club in Canberra go the way of the Thylacine?: hunted to extinction until the only thing left is 62 haunting seconds of silent black & white video. They are evil, soul-less places who thrive on exploitation of the hungry and dim-witted.

poptop 3:48 pm 29 May 09

That sounds truly disgusting. Schnitzel [or steak] and chips should be the signature dish of any self respecting club

I had a similar experience the one time I ate at the Southern Cross Club at Tuggeranong.

Word of advice – DON’T.

7

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