Sounds prefer it’s value each penny of the $295 per individual worth you’ll pay for the multi-course degustation dinner. If I had the money and the event, I’d be down there, too.
Brae, says this yr’s award quotation, is “a restaurant that lives and breathes the seasons, fed instantly by what’s rising out the entrance of the restaurant, discovered within the foothills of the Otway Ranges. Chef Dan Hunter’s cooking, although sure by the backyard, is nearly otherworldly … Dining on this sprawling, transformed weatherboard house is all about deep, unhurried consolation from immaculate service, a roaring hearth within the lounge, onsite lodging full with vinyl report assortment and a pre-dessert stroll via the gardens, backlit by the setting solar.” Reading that, I can’t consider anyplace I’d somewhat eat, drink or spend the night time.
But not everyone agrees with the Guide’s reviewers. Both restaurants, together with Victoria’s different three-hatter, Minamishima in Richmond, nonetheless cop some inexplicably unfavourable scores on assessment websites – between 2 per cent and 10 per cent of critiques that rank as “poor” or “terrible” in a sea of what’s in any other case gushing reward.
If they’re from precise clients (they’re posted anonymously), you must marvel what needed to go so fallacious to defeat their expectations of culinary nirvana on the metropolis’s best diners.
People complain of meals that’s “bland and dull”, that “doesn’t taste nice”, is “just OK”, or, maybe most damning of all, is “just really average”. We discover the service to be too sluggish, too cool, too chatty or too brisk, and the fitouts at some of the top-notch institutions uninteresting, boring, low cost or actually primary: it appears you possibly can’t please some people, ever.
And the costs? Well, people know what we’re moving into there, to allow them to’t actually complain (although, in fact, they do). Or is it simply that given the prospect, Joe Public relishes the chance to stay the fork in at times?
Matt Holden is an Age columnist.