Monday, August 14, 2006

Waterfront At Station Pier

Waterfront Restaurant is as the name suggests, located on Station Pier in Port Melbourne. It is right beside the dock where the Spirit of Tasmania ship leaves each night. The restaurant looks very stunning from outside with the modern architecture. When you step inside, it is equally classy and elegant. There are marble floors that lead you past the sushi bar onto wooden floors where large tables are surrounded by equally large cane chairs. I thought the chairs would be uncomfortable but turn out the be the exact opposite. The plates and cutlery are of high quality and I was especially pleased that the glasses were not all scratched. The dim lighting and strategically placed candles made for a very nice atmosphere. It was surprising noisy in the restaurant with a buzz generated by a fairly packed place.

Our waiter for the night was very professional and did his job very well. Somehow though, I felt a little uncomfortable around him. I just felt that he was very cold and putting up this upper class attitude and didn't really want to serve a bunch of loud, fairly casually dress young adults. We just wore our casual clothes like what we would to any other dinner but some older folks around us were dressed up in their long dresses and suits. This made me feel a little awkward since I just wore my jeans and knit jumper. I guess when you're rich, you have to dress the part. Or even if you aren't rich, when you go to a nice place, you want to look the part. Maybe when I'm older, I'll start wearing a suit too, but that's just not my style at the moment.

The food itself was ok but not great considering the price. We ordered Natural Oysters and Salt and Pepper Calamari for entrees. The oysters were very fresh and sweet. The choice of two sauces, chilii one and lemon one, to go with the oysters made them even nicer. However, for nearly $30 for a dozen oysters, I thought they were a bit overpriced. They were tiny Tasmanian oysters that I have bought so many times freshly opened by the fishmonger for only about $7 per dozen. About $18-$20 is fair for a dozen oysters I think. The Salt and Pepper Calamari was nice and tender.

For mains, most of us all decided on the Roast Rib Eye Steak with beef farce, gratin potato, glazed shallots and Port wine. The Rib Eye Steak itself was cooked medium as I had asked, but despite still being pink in the middle, it was very chewy in some places. It did not melt in my mouth and some pieces I just couldn't break and had to spit out in the end. The Farce was nothing special and Gratin Potatos were like any other potatos. I did like the Port Wine sauce, with its sweet flavour going nicely with the Steak. Overall though, the most important part being the beef did not live up to the price of $34. I've cooked a better Steak myself at home where the meat was much more tender.

The friends who didn't order the Steak got fish dishes. One ordered the Roast Whole Baby Snapper with preserved lemon, roasted red chilli lime spring onion pickle and parsley oil. Another ordered the Steamed Whole Baby Barramundi with mirin ginger soy. The Barramundi dish also came with a bowl of steamed rice, very much looking and tasting like the way Chinese restaurants do their fish. A third friend ordered the Seared Swordfish with green olive polenta, vine cherry tomato, baby squid and red capsicum sauce as shown below. The serving was very small but the fish was very nice. I tried a bit and the texture of the Swordfish is so smooth, it literally melts in your mouth.

With our dishes, we had red and white wine. I will say now that I know nothing about wine but am slowly learning. I do know what I like though. The red wine was a Penfolds '96 Vintage and even to my amateur taste buds, it was absolutely delicious. Only later did I find that the bottle costs $100 (my friend had picked it). I forgot the name of the white wine but it was also quite nice. I liked the red wine more though.

Overall I thought the restaurant looked good and the service was also good. However, the food was not of high enough quality for the prices they were charging. I would go back, but only for special celebratory occasions where food was a secondary issue and having an atmosphere was the most important part.

Overall Rating: 13/20, Food ok but not good enough for the expensive prices being charged.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20: Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.


  1. Looks delicious to be honest Thanh.

  2. It was ok, but not great. I expected more from the prices I was paying for it.