Shumpty Eats: Cott & Co Fish Bar (Cottesloe Beach)

It has been a long time since I posted a restuarant review on this blog but I just had to write about my experiences at the Cott & Co Fish Bar this week.  Simply: this is one of the best restuarants I have eaten in full stop.  

The Venue: Cott & Co Fish Bar is part of the Cottesloe Beach Hotel on Marine Parade in Cottesloe.  It is an open space with the kitchen area viewable from the seating area.  Tables are set up for group dining as well as for parties of two.  Large windows take advantage of the spectacular view of the Indian Ocean across the road.

The Menu: As the name would suggest this is a seafood restuarant with a focus on tapas type dishes with a mix of mains thrown in for good measure.  As many of you know I do not eat seafood.  Normally this would cruel most seafood restuarant but not Cott & Co.  I have eaten there twice in the last 3 days and had two of best dishes I can remember eating: a pasta dish based around a brisket ragout from the specials board and, from the menu, the ricotta and truffle gnudi.  I am no vegetarian but that second meal is the best vegetarian meal I have ever had. 

The Service: The staff at Cott & Co provided us with wonderful service.  They were knowledgable about the menu, gave great recommendations and were cheerful to a fault.  The meals were served with alacrity. 

The Price: Given the standard of the food and the service, the prices at Cott & Co are quite reasonable.  Our order of a couple of mains, a charcuterie board and a couple of glasses of wine came to about $90 which felt cheap to me. 

The Final Word: This is a seafood restuarant that has wowed a non-seafood eater.  If you are staying in or around Cottesloe this is the first place you should eat.  If you are staying in the Perth area: this restuarant is definitely worth the trip.  I will be back again (maybe even on this trip). 

Shumpty Eats: George’s Bar & Bistro

I was very disappointed when the One Eleven Bistro in Eagle Street (Brisbane) shut down. In its place George Gregan has opened a Bar & Bistro in the same place.

Having had a couple of coffees there over the last week and finding the prices a bit steep for comparable coffees close by I was a bit hesitant when I was invited there for lunch today.

To say I was pleasantly surprised was an understatement. The menu was very much a bistro menu and without the pretension and exorbitant pricing that had killed its predecessor. I shared the chorizo and haloumi entrees with my lunch inviter and found them both to be excellent and just enough to wet the palate for the lunch to come without leaving me full.

Main course was the wagyu burger which, at $20, is not only very well priced but is also very tasty.

The staff are friendly and knowledgable and the service swift. To go with the pricing, this speed of service makes this an excellent lunch venue in my view that I would recommend to anyone down at the Eagle Street end of the city.

One of the negatives of the predecessor restaurant was that it was attempting to be a high class establishment in a space that was open and in a lobby of an office building. It had the feel of the food court about it. That feel remains but recast as a bistro with reasonably priced food it works albeit if you do not like all and sundry walking past the restaurant to know you are there this may not be the restaurant for you.

Food: 9 out of 10

Service:9 out of 10

Ambience: 7 out of 10

Final Word: George’s Bar & Bistro is definitely a place I would recommend for a quick lunch catch up without pretension and with haste. Get around it.

Shumpty on Tour: Days 1 and 2 … Melbourne

What a pleasure it has been to have a couple of a days in Melbourne before hitting the Great Ocean Road. Rather than do a usual travel blog for these two days I thought I would just do a “good, bad and ugly” for my time in Melbourne. After all, there are tons of travel guides for this place.


Hare and Grace Restaurant: The venue for dinner last night was my favourite restaurant in Melbourne and yet again it did not disappoint with the food being absolutely spot on and service exceptional. Only criticism is that it is a bit pricey.

Coffee: I confess that I had forgotten how good the coffee is in Melbourne. I haven’t had a bad cup yet and my favourite place so far is the Barbershop in Chapel Street.


The Weather: Pretty simple really this one as it has rained for most of the time I have been here. Indeed I have been told that this week will be the coldest week in November in Melbourne in 20 years. Enough said really.


Cab drivers: I tweeted last night about one experience with the cab drivers of Melbourne that is led to me issuing a formal complaint over overcharging. Frankly though I have not had a pleasant one yet and in the most part the cabs I have taken in Melbourne have been driven by surly gentlemen who think wet weather driving means you should drive quickly and change lanes erratically. Next time I will hire a car the whole trip.

All in all it has been a great two days in Melbourne but now the Great Ocean Road beckons. Next blog will be from Warrnambool.

Bad Customer Service: way to cruel a perfect meal and a restaurant’s reputation

I dined yesterday evening at one of my favourite restaurants, Moo Moo, in Brisbane. Let me start by saying this: I have never had a bad meal in the at least 15 times I have eaten at Moo Moo. I love the food and I love the restaurant.

Unfortunately though, for the second time in two dinner visits, I received the message from the staff that they really didn’t want me there. And here is how:

We will need you to be finished by 8:30pm as we have a busy night and will need your table.

That is the message that was delivered as we announced that we had arrived for our 6:30pm booking. Talk about a way to make your guests welcome: the experience of the restaurant started with a surlily delivered message that we had to eat quickly and get out.

Now I have no problem with a busy restaurant trying to push through its diners. Therein lies the rub of my complaint here: when I went to the bathroom at 8pm the restaurant was half empty. This was after being reminded by our waiter not once, not twice but thrice that they were having a very busy night.

Needless to say that after desert finished at around 8:45pm and as my pen hovered over the tip section of the credit card receipt my feelings of charity towards the staff were gone.

If this had been a once off I would have been more charitable but given that the last time I had dinner at Moo Moo I received the same message at the same time in the evening and again it was not lost on me that the restaurant was half empty for the totality of my meal I was, frankly, more than a bit irritated.

I am not sure if it is a restaurant policy to tell diners to eat quickly or a bad habit that particular wait staff have gotten into but it is nothing short of the height if rudeness.

I will repeat: I love the food and the setting of the restaurant. So much so that whenever I am asked for a recommendation for a restaurant I always point them in the direction of Moo Moo. Well, at least until last night that is.

Frankly I do not like eating where I am made to feel like a hindrance or a burden and whilst the food is brilliant the next time I feel like a steak I will go to my butcher for some and cook it on the BBQ and save myself a couple of hundred dollars in the process.

It is a shame that yet again bad customer service has ruined my experience of a restaurant that I had previous loved.

Shumpty Eats: Hundred Acre Bar

I played golf this morning at St Lucia Golf Course finishing up at about 10:45am. Having been on the course at 7am I was gasping for something to eat and thought, for the first time in the near to 30 rounds of golf I have played at St Lucia, of getting something to eat at the Hundred Acre Bar which over looks the 13th and 18th greens.

Having viewed the menu and chosen my meal, noting that the breakfast menu ended at 11am, I went to order only to be told that the kitchen was closed and, according the waiter who served me, “if I send back another order the chef will kill me”.

So 15 minutes before the advertised time I was unable to order off the breakfast menu. To say I was not amused would be an understatement. Nonetheless I was still in need of something whilst I waited for the rest of the golf social group I play with to finish. A skinny flat white was ordered and some 20 minutes later was duly delivered. It was lukewarm at best and three swallows later I had abandoned any thought of hanging around the venue and headed home.

I am sad to say I will never recommend anyone to this establishment again. This is bearing in mind that generally, in the past, if anyone had asked me for a breakfast recommendation on that side of the city I would have always suggested the Hundred Acre Bar first. Certainly if you are golfer expecting a feed after your round you will be left sorely disappointed. Maybe if I had been wearing the lycra that the cyclists who frequent the establishment, I might have had a better chance but I will never know!

Final word: didn’t get to try the food but the coffee was ordinary at best and service staff couldn’t really give a toss. Give it a wide berth!

Hundred Acre Bar on Urbanspoon

Shumpty Eats: Reserve Restaurant

It has been a long time since I wrote a restaurant review and by the flow of visitors to this blog for some reviews it has been remiss of me to not continue to with the Shumpty Eats series. Henceforth I will try to keep this series going on a fortnightly basis with a review of a particular restaurant that I have eaten at.

This fortnight’s restaurant is a new restaurant I have discovered just out of the CDB of Brisbane called Reserve. Straight off the bat I will say that it is the best restaurant I have eaten at in a very long time and is in the grand final (with Saffron in Arrowtown) for the best eating experience I have every had. I have been there now on no less than 5 occasions since first discovering it so this review really is an amalgam of those visits. I have experienced just about everything on the menu save for seafood and have picked my top dish from each of the four categories on the menu.

The first thing that is striking about Reserve is that its main dining room is cozy and warm with a fire place in the centre and the tables well spaced. The staff are friendly and, impressively, over my visits there in the last month have gotten to know me which shows a higher standard of service than some other places.

The menu is impressive and is at the more refined end of the restaurant spectrum but the staff are excellent and clear in the explanations and recommendations.

Onto the food:

Appetiser: Demi Tasse of Butternut Pumpkin and Truffle Soup

Served in a small coffee cup this appetiser is just about the best tasting soup I have ever had. Rich and creamy and served hot but not too hot this is the perfect start to the meal. If chef came out and said to me that all they had left in the kitchen was this dish I would grab my spoon and demand they send me bowl after bowl. This is a perfect start to the meal.

Entree: Roasted Banyard Quail with Leek and Bacon Stuffing, Sauce Soubise

I am a fan of Quail and anytime I see it on the menu I order it. This Quail dish is an absolute gem. It is the stuffing that sets it apart from most other quail dishes I have eaten: it just sets the meal off perfectly.

Main: Crispy Crackle Pork Belly with Celeriac Remoulabe, Spiced Prunes, Apple Sauce

If you take one piece of advice out of this review it is that this is the main you must order. It is without question the best main dish I have had in any restaurant in Australia. It defies a description that could do it justice. Suffice to say: go and try it!

Dessert: Vanilla Pannacotta with Cinnamon Beignets, Caramel Sauce

I am not normally a fan of desserts but I had my arm twisted to try this one and I was not disappointed. Often I find Pannacotta to be a bit hit and miss at some restaurants but this one was perfect and the caramel sauce the perfect accompaniment.

It would be pretty obvious that I am more than a bit enamoured with this restaurant. Do yourself a favour and check it out ASAP.

Where: Cnr Coronation Drive and Park Road, Milton, Brisbane



Food: 10 out of 10

Staff: 10 out of 10

Room: 9 out of 10

Final Comment: If you are trying to find a restaurant in Brisbane this is the place you must go!

Reserve Restaurant Milton on Urbanspoon