A Disappointing First Impression @ The Heritage Brasserie, Bar & Boardroom, Perth CBD, W.A.

On a cold Saturday evening a few weeks back, A and I met Miss Egg (from Perth Food Engineers), The Food Pornographer (TFP) and her partner Jac for dinner at The Heritage Brasserie, Bar and Boardroom in the Perth CBD.

When we arrived, A and I mentioned how nice the decor was. It’s very fancy, with lots of extravagant light fittings, white tablecloths, and fancy looking waitstaff. The historical façade and high ceilings also play a part in making this restaurant feel very grand. The Heritage Brasserie Bar & Boardroom also features pewter bar tops that were supposedly hand made in Paris as well as Italian marble floors.

The five of us were too busy chatting when we first sat down and it took a while for us to look at the menu. Unfortunately, our waiter kept interrupting our table and his service method seemed a bit fragmented throughout the evening. He would stop our conversation to welcome us to the restaurant but then two minutes later he would reappear again, telling us the specials and then later again asking if we were ready to order drinks. He continued to do this throughout the evening, not waiting for a gap in the conversation but heavily imposing his presence during mid sentence. I found it quite intruding unfortunately and it was one of my main grievances for the evening.

When we did manage to look at the menu, we decided to order the Charcuterie platter ($24) to share as an entrée. It was also decided that we’d order a bottle of wine between Jac, A and I, instead of paying approximately $15 per glass (which seems a little bit steep in my opinion for Australian wine). We ordered a bottle of the Ingram Road Blanc de Blanc ($41), a sparkling white from Yarra Valley. For the mains, TFP and I ordered the Seared Scallops with Risotto and Café de Paris ($39), Jac ordered The Grand Platter (seafood) ($49), A ordered the Barramundi, Seasoned Vegetables and Reisling Sauce ($37) and Miss Egg ordered the Champagne-Poached Salmon with Broccolini  ($39). We also ordered two sides to share – the mixed leaves ($9) and roasted spuds ($9).

The Charcaturie platter came out first. It included Charcuterie Rillette, Duck Liver Parfait, Chorizo, Bresaoloa (salted beef), Coppa (cured pork) and Roast ($24). The rillette was a bit disappointing and didn’t have the usual texture attributed to rillette, which is typically shredded. The cold cuts of Bresaoloa, Coppa and Roast were amble in size and was a lovely light addition to the platter. There were little pickled veggies and cornichons in tiny jars that we all thought was a cute addition to the plate, but made it difficult to retrieve them for eating. The platter fed the five of us and we all seemed to enjoy it. A good start.

When our mains arrived at the table, Jac’s was the grandest in appearance with a large, deep bowl full of seafood and four dipping sauces. The Grand Platter included marron, oysters, clams, mussels, scallops, prawns and scampi. Jac said that she enjoyed this dish, but thought that it was quite simple in nature, thanks to each element being boiled. Jac said that she especially liked the four dipping sauces of this dish. I found it interesting that this platter was not served with any sides to add to the seafood, and I asked Jac if she was still hungry after she finished her meal. She said she was, which seemed to be a common thread between the five of us at the end of our meal.

The Seared Scallops with Risotto and Café de Paris (butter sauce) that TFP and I ordered looked great when it arrived. The Café de Paris sauce was a lovely yellow colour and had a great flavour to it. The risotto and the four scallops were also cooked well. However, it was tiny in size and both TFP and I finished our plates quickly. I was still hungry afterwards and TFP said she was too. We both mentioned how it was more of an entrée size than a main serving.

Miss Egg’s Champagne-Poached Salmon with Broccolini looked very healthy when it arrived and I remember thinking how big the bunch of broccolini was. TFP and I later teased Miss Egg of her “forrest of broccolini” at dinner, as half way through her meal she mentioned to the table that her broccolini was undercooked and she felt that she was spending her meal doing a lot of chewing. Miss Egg also mentioned that the sauce wasn’t appetising. A disappointing dish.

A’s Barramundi with Seasoned Vegetables and Reisling Sauce looked very healthy as well and was uncanningly similar to Miss Egg’s dish. A hated the sauce and was trying to eat her barramundi and veggies without eating too much of it. Similar to Miss Egg’s greenery, A said that her veggies were also undercooked.

When our mains arrived at the table, our sides didn’t. There was also no mention that there would be a wait. A waited about two minutes before signalling to a waiter to ask about the progress. He went to ask the kitchen, to which they said they’d be out in five minutes. At this point, the manager came over to reiterate the message and apologise. A mentioned that it’s a bit weird that the sides didn’t arrive with the mains, seeing as though the majority of the table was more than half way through their mains at this time. The manager then got a little snappy with A and repeated that the sides will be another 5 minutes but stated that he’d take them off our bill. Paying for them isn’t the issue – if you serve dishes like salmon and barramundi with no carbohydrates and the expectation that your diner is either on a diet or will order a side, then at least present them with the mains.

After our mains were finished we were all disappointed and hungry but we decided to head elsewhere for dessert. Our meal was $60 a head, which I thought was a lot seeing as though we ordered only one bottle of wine and one entrée to share between five, plus our two sides were taken off our bill. In saying that, the price would have been deemed reasonable if we weren’t left hungry and disappointed in simple things such as undercooked veggies, small-sized mains and bad service.

I won’t be returning to The Heritage anytime soon, nor do I recommend it.

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  1. Peter says

    I understand your comment and agree with most of the review. However I’d like to say that unfortunately the situation with the waiter is not to be mentioned, certainly I was not there to watch but for having done the job I know how ignorant can be the customers sometimes when the server comes to the table trying to do his job. I have seen myself waiting several minutes at the table more than once before someone decides to look at me, it is hard to play with customers. Honestly, in a minute a server can do a lot. Believe me, if each time a server had to wait for a conversation to be finished before acting it will be a mess, plus many times we don’t wanna hear about the conversation itself. The customer should have the decency to stop talking and let the server do nicely his job.

    • perthfoodjournal says

      Thanks for your comment Peter however we see things differently. There is such as thing as “reading the table” and “seamless service”. He definitely wasn’t doing either.

  2. Megan says

    WOW! i love that a waitperson has been critical of your review. I wonder if they realise that the customer is paying his way, and you are paying for the meal/experience and dont need to ‘stop talking to let the server to his/her job’!
    Having had terrible waitpeoples and then amazing waitpeople, its certainly something that can make a good meal amazing, and also turn an average meal into a disaster.
    I know a lot of people who own and run restaurants and having great waitstaff can really change your business
    Did you go downstairs to Bobeche ?

    • perthfoodjournal says

      I think if we were interrupted once or twice I wouldn’t have mentioned it at all – but it was consistently the whole night. We didn’t end up going to Bobeche as we were keen for dessert elsewhere.
      Have you been? What’s it like?

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