Carol and I dined at Citrus in Beaumaris (http://www.citrusrestaurant.com.au/) last night. Its reputation had preceded it for a while and the Entertainment Book reviews we read were OK.
So how do I sum it up? Boring! Expensive for what it offered! And extremely ordinary food.
Where do I start? How about with the maître d’hôtel who mumbled some sort of greeting and, when I explained we had a reservation, seemed to be concerned he was expecting half the entire suburb of (boring) Beaumaris to turn up. The four occupied tables suggested this wasn’t going to happen. It wasn’t as though everyone had decided not to eat last night – the Lobster Cave next door was positively buzzing.
We could then move onto he fact we sat for ten minutes at out table before we were even asked if we’d like a drink. Not to worry, it gave us a chance to take in the wonderful atmosphere, which consisted of a bunch of boring as bat shit 80s songs playing in the background. Guess what? Chuck e’s in love.
The menu was largely unspectacular. At a venue where I was expecting to shell out more than $200 for the two of us for dinner, and was more than happy to do so, I thought it was very disappointing.
The tasting plate as an appetiser with our drinks (yep, we finally got them) was OK, but at $23, should have had double the amount of food on it. And given we told them we were sharing, why would they only put one mussel on the plate? And one mushroom?
Carol’s pan fried scallops, chorizo and capsicum puree for entre was disappointing – very bland, with the puree adding absolutely nothing to the dish. My tempura battered oysters with wasabi mignonette was a major disappointment. The batter was soggy – I’ve actually seen better batters produced by my local fish and chips shop. The mignonette just tasted like lime juice.
Our mains were also disappointing. Carol thought the ingredients in her risotto were good, but where was the chilli? My bouillabaisse, which is supposed to be the house specialty, was terrible. My dictionary says that bouillabaisse is a “highly seasoned fish stew made with at least two kinds of fish”. It turned up on an ordinary dinner plate, instead of a bowl, which is how I would have thought most people would serve a stew. And “highly seasoned”? It had a flavourless sauce of some sort spread over it.
The ordinary experience continued with the $35 bottle of Mornington Peninsula Pinot we had, which was unspectacular.
We decided not to bother with deserts or coffee – we’d had enough. At this point, we moved on to the best part of the night – the taxi turned up within 3 minutes of me booking it on my iPad.
Citrus @ Beaumaris – you need to lift your game. Big time. A good starting point would be to start offering better value. And give your food some character.