We have been spoilt with what one could argue is more than our fair share of quite pleasant winter weather in Perth this year. Sure there’s been rain and a few storms that haven’t been entirely pleasant, but by some stroke of luck there’s been more than a few weekends in there when the sun has been shining and while there may well still be a crispness in the air, you can’t help but smile at the abundance of blue skies we’ve been blessed with.
One of these winter wonderful weekends was recently and GG and I seized the opportunity and drove ourselves to Hillarys. We weren’t entirely sure what we fancied eating, but I had thought that perhaps we could hit up the Breakwater, hopeful that they could offer something that would appease both our appetites.
We arrived around 12 and there were still plenty of seats available, however most of the outside tables in the sunshine had been snagged. That was ok. It was still pleasant inside with the sun streaming in. So we found a table and took to looking through the menu and deciding what to have. An interesting range available – some of your more classic pub style starters, then a few pizzas, before on to the bigger mains. We were both pretty hungry, so we decided that we’d start by sharing a serve of the chilli & salt crumbed calamari goji berry aioli ($15). Then for mains I ordered the steak sandwich tender ridge sirloin, roquette, vine ripened tomato, swiss cheese, wholegrain mustard aioli, oven baked ciabatta, hand cut chips ($25.5) and also a large 5 seeds cider ($10.90). GG decided he’d go with the grilled atlantic salmon organic quinoa salad, roasted red pepper coulis ($26.9 ) and a glass of the breakwater ‘cheeky red’ shiraz 2009 ($9).
Now this is where the fun started. You have to go up to the bar to order, so we did so and began by giving our drinks order. No problem with my cider, but GG was told they were out of Shiraz….. ok then, he’ll have a glass of the breakwater ‘full-bodied red’ cabernet merlot 2009 instead. So I then placed our food order – calamari, steak sandwich and the salmon please. Sorry we are out of salmon. I had to laugh – two strikes for GG. Instead they said they could replace the salmon with barramundi and it would be served the same way. Ok he agreed and we were set. Or so I thought. GG left me at the bar to sort out the bill so he could go and get us a table. I waited for the young fellow serving us to let me know the total we owed. It took a fair while, but he did apologise, citing system issues. Fair enough I thought. So after I finally had paid the bill, I walked over to GG and thought to myself, there’s just no way that what we ordered could have cost what he just charged me.
So I headed back to the bar and spoke to the girl near the kitchen and asked if she could confirm what was currently on order for the buzzer I had been given. Was there a steak sandwich on there I asked? No steak sandwich she confirmed. So I placed the order, took my second buzzer and trotted back to the table.
Before too long one of the buzzers went. And of course, it was my steak sandwich, the meal I had ordered second. So I took it back to the table and of course the stack of chips had GG and I both thinking back to the infamous Black Tom’s chip email. Despite the fact that we could count the number of them on the plate, they were good chips and it was a nice mustary aioli on the side. I had hoped that we would be starting with our starter, but apparently that wasn’t going to happen and I felt bad about eating my steak sandwich before GG got his meal, but he insisted so I started on the first half. It was nice enough. Tender meat, fresh salad, but I think it was lacking a little on the sauce side. Granted I could have put some of the aioli in there, I think I was keener for something of the tomato persuasion, whether that be regular tomato sauce or a jazzier relish. I mean all in all it wasn’t bad, but I compare it to the recent one I had at The Claremont and it wasn’t as tasty as that one.
So I ate a half and thought surely GG’s fish would arrive soon…… the second half would have sat there for another 5 minutes before the second buzzer went off and I skipped back to the food section to get what I thought was our calamari and GG’s salmon. Apparently I hadn’t been clear enough when I had checked the first time and there was no calamari! You can begin to imagine my growing frustration at this dining experience. The girl behind the counter was incredibly apologetic for the error and asked if we still wanted the calamari. I told her no, that was fine and took GG his lunch.
I thought it looked quite nice and was a reasonable sized piece of fish and fish for under $30 is actually a reasonable buy. The quinoa was also quite a refreshing additional with the dish and added a different texture. He said it was an ok meal, perhaps the flavours could have been a little punchier, but the fish had been well cooked.
While I had worked on the second half of my steak sandwich now that I had my lunching partner plated up, the friendly girl from the kitchen arrived at our table with a serve of calamari. I assured her that it wasn’t necessary but she insisted, given the mix up and delays with our meals. It was actually really lovely calamari. A light crispy batter and pleasant dipping sauce. I was bursting at the seams after trying to put a respectable dent in our now ‘afters’ course.
I’d have to say that overall I hadn’t been overly impressed with our visit to the Breakwater given all the issues we’d had, but the efforts of the staff member near the kitchen really redeemed the experience, given the efforts she made to remedy our issues. Friendly staff who take steps to ensure that your visit to their establishment isn’t unpleasant is a very redeeming feature of the Breakwater.
So for that reason I think I’d be willing to head back on another sunny day and try our luck for round two. And I see they have a half price pizza night on Tuesdays……… could be right up my alley :)