When Fed Up Fish cafe in West Rosebud closed it doors after years of supplying this part of the Peninsula with the freshest and most carefully prepared seafood dishes, I was excited if not a little apprehensive about the new proprietors and whether or not they would be up to the challenge. Yes the old decor felt a little bit little staff room and the dated furnishings were dull but the food and service were usually spot on, an extensive menu updated daily to showcase the day’s catch or whatever crustacean was lurking around in the Bay. Even a friend of a friend advised Nicholas Cage that they had the best Marinara anywhere, he anchored (may have broken down) his super yacht/boat/marine vessel whatever it was that he was sailing along the coast and popped by for a quick bite, oh how I wish I’d been there that day! It had a good reputation and I was sad to see it bite the proverbial dust!
Anyhoo, I have had my first visit to Flathead’s Bar & Grill and I’m still a little disappointed. They have revamped the small but functional restaurant into a fresh and slightly more modern establishment with some great artworks, new paint and tables & chairs. New chef and two waiting staff, one very eager but in need of some training & experience and the other airy fairy one in need of something, somewhat less attainable. Service was prompt on arrival, shown to our table and swiftly drinks orders were taken. The wine list is a little small and only a few were familiar to me including Chandon, Cloudy bay and Cape Mentelle, I selected the 2011 Domain Chandon Chardonnay with it’s beautiful citrus aroma and almond and cashew flavor on the palate while the hubby sipped a glass of the 2011 Cape Mentelle “Georgiana” Sauvignon Blanc, beers also are limited but they do have the Mornington Peninsula Brewery’s Pale Ale which was a highlight. Soon enough our friends joined us and we decided to order as we were all starving!
I had checked out their Facebook page which featured some photos of their dishes and with that in mind I ordered the tasting plate to share with he hubby and only one of our guests had a starter, he ordered the seafood chowder which not only looked amazing it apparently tasted that way too. The chowder arrives in a hollowed out cob loaf so visually it has a rustic appeal and the lid is the perfect dipping size piece of bread. The tasting plate boasts oysters three ways, prawns , calamari and seafood spring rolls with some killer dipping sauces, it is for two people but I could have done it alone and believe me I wanted to! The restaurant now was buzzing with loads of diners filling the small space, unfortunately still only two waiting staff which was going lead to problems when they are inexperienced. A good forty minutes had gone by before we saw the first of our main meals, which arrived before our starter plates had been cleared, awkward. The wait staff apologized placed two plates, then a third and disappeared, I assumed to bring me my main choice, local Flinders mussels served in a broth with a chunk of bread. The hubby ordered a porterhouse steak which arrived with chips only, our guests ordered the pasta Marinara and a fillet steak which arrived with chips only and a salad ordered as a side costing $6, now maybe I’m old-fashioned but salad or veg should be included when ordering a dish like steak. A good ten minutes has gone by when the wait staff asked if we would like more drinks, at this moment I inquired as to the whereabouts of my mussels. A short time later they arrived without an apology, but I must say it was so good, the tomato based broth was divine and the mussels prepped perfectly, none of those pesky little beards. The wait had been worth it for myself and the lucky recipient of the marinara but unfortunately the hubby and our other guest were not impressed with their steaks. Under seasoned, overcooked and dry was the general consensus of both steak dishes, how disappointing!
As it turns out my hubby’s workplace has decided to have their Christmas party at Flatheads so I will get another chance to see if they have picked up their game, along with the hubby’s advice the menu is canapes and strictly seafood which lets be honest they do rather well. I think this could be a great little venue with some experience and a little basic training. With the Christmas season upon us and school holidays not far off, they are going to get pummeled from 26 the December until 26th January, I hope they’re ready? To be continued…………..