On our previous visit to Quills, a restaurant in the Wattle Grove shopping centre, some months ago now, we were impressed by the quality of the food, the set up and the general feel of the place – reflecting on that, and on my review at the time, our re-visit on the weekend was a major disappointment. The lunch menu was best described as pub food and not particularly well done, at that.
Burgers and steak sandwiches, fish and chips, a couple of steaks, chicken schnitzel – pretty downmarket choices – and a far cry from what we had before – although, admittedly that was at night and the dinner menu is a little more interesting, from a look at their website. But we would still have expected the quality to be similar.
My crumbed haloumi was a case in point – the batons of haloumi coated much too thickly, preventing the cheese from achieving its expected melted, chewy quality, and cooked much too long – the crumbs were very dark brown, unattractive and tasted sightly burnt. The accompanying couscous was fine, but the inclusion of cranberry sauce was a little jolting and did not suit the dish.
As far as the other dishes were concerned, a couple chose the steak sandwich while the other two opted for a gluten free version of the Angus burger.
The sandwich served in a toasted Turkish bread roll was adequate – the steak reasonably tender, if a tad overcooked, the accompaniments- garlic aioli, onions, capsicum relish fine. OK but nothing out of the box.
The burger served not in a GF bun but with a couple of tiny slices of GF bread, again was adequate – the patty, cooked as requested, quite juicy, pickles, aioli and ketchup again OK. Cafeteria standard.
The chips served with the burgers and sandwiches, however, were simply not up to scratch – hard, dry, seemingly having been cooked sometime before and then dipped again to bring them up to heat – nowhere near what would be acceptable in a fish and chip shop.
The wine list while small is still pretty good and continues its nod to local producers which I applaud – and the Hainault rosé we chose was most enjoyable.
Made from Pinot Noir it Rosé has a gently fragrant bouquet of red cherries while the smooth, dry palate has notes of strawberries, cherries and a hint of earthiness.
I have to also note the service – friendly and welcoming sure, but we had to request a water refill three times before it was belatedly carried out – again not what we remembered from the first visit.
So Quills appears to have slipped off the pace that it had set early in its existence; we had a very good experience then, now it is plodding along at best, more is the pity.