Have you ever been to a restaurant which you’ve been looking forward to, a stunning building, surreal view, a modern setting (read: a little stark and uncomfortable) but then walked away at the end of the night thankful for your dining companion?
My lovely wife and I just spent the weekend on the Mornington Peninsula, courtesy of Royce & Jan. Yes, it was Christmas present from last year…the effect of simply having way too much happening. A cosy self-contained cottage, only a short hop to some interesting wineries and restaurants.
We were additionally fortunate that Meredith & Tim gave us a voucher for Ten Minutes by Tractor. That allowed us to combine the experience. Let me immediately dispel any thoughts that Ten Minutes was anything short of superb. It was sublime.
Ten Minutes is a worthy inclusion on your next visit. Option to go al a carte or degustation and an eclectic wine list which didn’t leave me wanting. Extremely attentive wait staff and sommelier. The wait staff are those who are clearly career wait staff. Yep, that good. And the food. Either locally sourced or at least from the type of producer who is well known for their quality produce.
Now, back to the stunning building. If it wasn’t for the fabulous company I would have little nice to say about the following night’s venue. Do I say something bad about it? Or offer them some opportunities to improve? I don’t want to feel like a whinge, but.
Let’s start with the matching wine. Ok, showcase your estate wines, but at least tell us what it is you are pouring…is it a sauvignon (blanc I assume?), a chardonnay, a pinot gris…a little info and if I like it I may even buy some to take home.
The kicker for me was mains. I opted for the lamb double…sweatbreads for entre and belly/rump for main. So why were both served on a bed of broad beans and spring peas with a jus. And that splodge of blended black garlic. It all felt a little same, same. Lacking a little imagination?
But what about the side of leafy greens? I would have been happy to pay extra to maybe have a little dressing…but a bowl of torn oak lettuce with nothing else? Rabbit food anyone?
We finished the night with dessert, but only after highlighting the spelling mistakes on the menu to the waitress. She thought it was very funny. Lucky really…I could easily have been mistaken for someone taking the piss.
Do I name the restaurant? No, let’s just say it was a winery restaurant and if you have seen the building in the photo at the top, you may know it.
So, doesn’t matter mater how good or bad, the company is the thing to make it a great night.