Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Neil Perry's Waiting Room - Changing of the Menu

Last night was interesting. The 2013 Age Good Food Guide Winners were announced. The winners and hatted restaurants are listed here. Not many surprises however I was intrigued to see that Cutler & Co has only two hats yet Australian Gourmet Traveller ranks it as #4 in Australia, and #1 in Victoria.

Congratulations to Vue de monde for winning Restaurant of the Year.

Whilst the restaurant awards were being announced, Germaine Greer was bagging out Julia Gillard's appearance again on Q&A. Love her or hate her, she is still the Prime Minister of Australia and deserves to have the debate not include her jackets and arse. Too bad the Grocon protests on Lonsdale Street were not taking place yesterday morning as it would have been given cause for some more intelligent discussion however with Bill Shorten on the program next week, perhaps it is indeed timely.

I visited my "local" The Waiting Room last week. This is Neil Perry's lounge bar that is located in the lobby of the Crown Hotel at the Queensbridge Street entrance. I go in there rather often and I was a bit shocked to see all but one of the staff have turned over. I have always been under the assumption that The Waiting Room should be called "The Training Room" as the staff seem to make an exodus to the other Neil Perry restaurants (Spice Temple, Rockpool Bar & Grill and soon to be Rosetta) next door after putting in their time at this place.

The service is still very flash and professional. I crave the chicken adobo taco and pulled beef shoulder taco that is on the menu and frequently turn up to have them, along with conversation and either one of the unique imported beers in a bottle or the Lord Nelson Three Sheets (a tradition and my personal favourite from my days living in Sydney) on tap.

The new barman informed me that I should get my fill of the favourites that I dream about because the menu is changing soon. I was horrified. Although he could not tell me anything more as I do not think he had any more information to share, I believe it will be modified to begin to showcase some of the offerings at Rosetta, which is the Italian restaurant that is currently under construction next door. I suppose I should not fret since they are not taking the Lord Nelson off tap and I can always make my own chicken adobo tacos or go to Senoritas but it is still disappointing to hear.

Service will catch your wandering eye quickly and attend to your professional requests promptly and thoughtfully. I always do keep an eye out for the mysterious 10% surcharge that is supposedly added to the bill when you pay, which I am told is optional, which other people have complained about but to this day and probably fifteen visits later, I have never had this surcharge applied. Perhaps it is a "tourist" or "drunken idiot" surcharge since the bar is attached to the Crown after all and does attract a transient mob of guests at times. Just be wary.

My original review of The Waiting Room and the chicken adobo taco recipe can be found here.

The Waiting Room, Crown Casino

The Waiting Room
Link to review
Crown Entertainment Complex
(03) 8379 1800
www.crownmelbourne.com.au/The-Waiting-Room
My Rating: 14.5/20
Service: 4/5
Ambiance: 3.5/5
Quality: 4/5
Value For Money: 3/5
Comment: Lord Nelson Three Sheets on tap



Twitter: @epicurean3006
e-mail: epicureanofsouthbank (at) gmail (dot) com
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At the time of post, 88% of the reviewers on Urbanspoon also like The Waiting Room.

The Waiting Room on Urbanspoon