Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pass the salt

My general take on eating out in Perth is that the majority of restaurants that fall within the 'average' category.  Average being that you pay approx $30 for a main course that is edible, but not really distinguishable from what you'd find anywhere else.  It's like it's a Perth speciality - unexciting food for a high cost. 

A prime example was the dinner we had at Al Fornetto last night.  We went there because it was local to us and because we had an Entertainment Book voucher for 25% off (thank goodness).  

I ordered the lamb shanks.  I haven't had lamb shanks possibly for about 5 years so was really looking forward to flavourful tender meat falling off the bone.

Menu special - Lamb Shanks - $31.95
The meat, on the whole, did fall off the bone, but it was a bit gamey for my taste and some of it was grisly, some a bit dry and the underside mostly fatty.  The jus was heavily salted.  As in, it tasted like salted vegetable stock made into a gravy.  I can't even put into words how salty it was.  The bed of mash, which was far more than I could finish, was very buttery but nothing special.

30 minutes later in the cinema I could still feel a coating of salty fat/oil in my mouth.

Ribeye steak with mushroom sauce - $34.95
The ribeye steak was coated in a similarly salty gravy and much less tender than my shanks (though cooked to a pink medium in the centre).  The wedges were soggy and likewise nothing special.  We've cooked much better steak at home with nothing more than the cut of meat and some salt and pepper.  Why is it so hit and miss when you go to pay a so-called professional to do it for you??

I know that $30 for a main is comparatively not expensive, but when I say overpriced what I mean is by comparison to the cheaper, more satisfying eats you can find around town.  I would've been far happier with a $10-15 bowl of something from Taka's or Big Bowl or even a burger from Alfred's in Guildford, for example, than I was spending my $30 here.

The only positive about our dinner last night was that the service was very efficient and friendly, but unfortunately this didn't quite make up for our salty and disappointing meals. 

Al Fornetto Cafe Ristorante & Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

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