Yesterday was SD's Birthday. We wanted to have a break from the kids and nights in front of the TV so we decided to go out for dinner. Being on a budget, having recent experience of being disappointed with restaurant meals, and not wanting to get *King Noodle Takeaway, I checked out http://www.urbanspoon.com to help me pick somewhere to grab a decent pub-style meal without getting to rowdy.
*Please understand that King Noodle is awesome. We smash that stuff all the time, we just needed a break from that, too.
Urban Spoon lead me to The Cornerstone Ale House in Butler. It had good reviews generally, and I figured it couldn't get too rowdy on a Wednesday night.
We ordered a "Chef's Mixed Plate" as a starter; a nice selection of finger type food to share, dips, olives, turkish bread, cheeses, Chicken wings. All done very nicely and very tasty. This was about $22, but the serving size was surprisingly large, and was really quite filling. I'd rate it about a 4 out of 5 and would definitely order this again if I happen to go back. Unfortunately our mains were not at this standard.
I ordered "Knight's Catch" Beer battered Snapper, Chips, Salad. A pretty simple menu item. The chips were hot and crispy, nice thick pub chips. The Aioli was decent, nice and garlicky and the small portion I got was enough for my chips. The salad seems to have been placed on top of the dressing, the top of the salad being dry and limp and the bottom soaked in an overwhelmingly tangy dressing. Although, in saying that, I've definitely had worse salads. The fish was, at least, real snapper (Soooo many places sell cheap imported hake or some other white-fleshed fish as snapper and, to anyone who's eaten a fish or two, it's just not the same) and it was cooked well and tasted ok. The batter was pretty lifeless, and also burnt around the edges, like it had been plated up, then left under a heat lamp or something a little too long while waiting for SD's steak to finish. Overall, maybe 2.5 - 3 out of 5. Not too shitty, but for $25, it could have been a bit better.
SD ordered "Rump'n'Ribs". one of the dearest Items on the menu at About $33. ($33 is pretty damn good for a steak/ribs combo) From my side of the table. It didn't even look any good. It did look, big, there was a lot on the plate for the $33 we spent, and it was a huge plate, too. The steak I tried was far rarer than the medium-well she asked for, blood ran out as I cut it. It was also very cold and tasted soapy. That's not a good thing for a steak, right? I also got my hands on a couple of ribs and tried the grilled corn-on-the-cob. The corn was fridge-cold and pretty tasteless and the ribs were very dry. I would not recommend the Rump'n'Ribs to anyone and, from what I tried and saw, can only rate it a generous 2 out of 5.
It may sounds as though I'm hating on this place, but I seriously think I'd go there again. A quick look over the menu showed some other very tempting dishes I'd like to try out at reasonable prices. Seeing them delivered to other tables, they looked quite tasty, too. Also, the atmosphere was exactly what I was looking for; cosy, warm, comfortable (Although my table was wobbly and all it took was a quick adjustment of the screw-in foot to fix it, surely they'd have noticed when setting the places and fixed that up). The staff were also very pleasant and efficient.
About this Blog: I'm not a food blogger. I actually don't like food blogs, I only wrote this review as I really appreciated the Urban Spoon site's help in finding a good restaurant and wanted to give back to the community there. Have a look around if you like, I mostly just ramble about unimportant shit, but you might find you agree. If you disagree, feel free to comment as you like.