Sunday, 20 May 2007

altitude @ level 36, shangri-la hotel sydney

There's about another month and a half till last years Entertainment book expires and J seems to be on a mission to eat his way through it. (As most people who purchase the entertainment book would know, it's virtually impossible to use up the $60 worth of vouchers, restaurant discounts, hotel and accommodation discounts, entertainment discounts. Honestly, it's a bargain buying the book, and in many cases, you're supporting charities and other local causes. If you're dining out every now and then, it seriously won't take you two meals to make up the value of the book; is that a bargain or what?!)

So compared to previous years, J has been more aggressively getting value out of his Entertainment Book . This month has seen us dining with Karen @ Astral and this weekend, another restaurant perched on top of a tall building, Altitude up on Level 36 of the Shangri-La (offering a rather break-taking view of the Sydney Harbour, the bridge as well as the Sydney Opera House). Arguably, it was a better view here but I still think Astral won, hands down. Allow me to explain..

J had made a booking last week and was told that we needed to vacate our table by 8.15 if we chose to eat dinner at 6pm. Fine. We took this option and arrived early for the booking. At 5.50pm, we were waiting in a small queue to get in the restaurant and there wasn't even anyone at the door to receive guests! Anyhow, we were pleasantly entertained by a 70 year old granny who complained to a passing waitress that 'Is this the way you treat a 70 year old lady...make her stand here and wait?!" After this, they must've picked up their act and a few others came to the door and our little queue progressed into the restaurant.

As soon as we were seated, we were pleasantly/not so pleasantly reminded that we needed to vacate our table by 8.15pm. Fine. We perused the menu and decided on the things we wanted and ordered. Whilst waiting, we listened in on another fiasco at the next table. This time it was a customer wanting to sit at a window seat (basically they have this system where you get the better seat based on how early and whether you make a booking). Restaurant wins as the customer had not made a booking. J&I observed the empty table next to us (which was by the window) for the 2.5 hours of our meal.

On the whole, food was alright. Quite an interesting mix of flavours but in some instances, not what you'd call the best mix of flavours. I should have read the menu more carefully and paid attention to what was in my yabbie entree. My conclusion was that it was something rather chewy, tasted fatty and could've well been an internal organ. J's Scallops were so-so also - tasted like the one's which my dad buys in a big bag. Not the most pleasant but fortunately, my main of Crispy Skinned Barrumundi was a lot better as was J's Beef Tenderloin.

Thumbs up goes to their selection of bread - Soy & Linseed, Pesto and Cheese, served with yummy butter and salt flakes. Honestly, I could eat that bread all day! Dessert was good too but perhaps not the most impressive - a Chocolate Torte with Full Milk Cream. Oh..and boo hoo again to crap, bubbly coffee. I suppose the only good thing were the petit fours which came with it. Again I think Astral wins hands down. Oh, and did I mention, we were most kindly reminded that we were required to vacate our table by 8.15 when we got the dessert menu? *Jenny grits teeth*

So at the end of the night, we'd been reminded at least twice that we needed to finish our meal before 8.15pm. We paid the bill at 8.30pm and there were empty tables scattered through the restaurant. Need I say more?


chocolatesuze said...

wow ive never had anyone tell me to leave by a certain time! dude i got another gingerbread man! hehe

panda said... got so annoying after awhile and it wasn't as if the food was that great!

i took your advice! i found the gingerbread man at target...only got the big one though :P

Joanna said...

why is it that expensive restaurants tend to have humungus plates holding a tiny amount of food in it?

panda said...

it's part of the presentation? I guess when you're out eating at your 'nice' restaurants, you end up eating a lot of courses so each course tends to be small (elsewise you'd be feeling sick at the end of the meal). And then a small plate looks really stupid on the table. It's all a bit silly really if you ask me...