Friday, March 2, 2012

Eathouse Diner

If you're looking for a hipster hangout with overpriced, average food and drinks priced so highly you'd think you were drinking liquid gold, look no further than Eathouse Diner. Located on Chalmers St Redfern, this camp, kitsch, retro salute to an American Diner is a confused and somewhat cocky little so and so. For starters, the menu has nothing dinerish about it... No burgers, no fries, no milk shakes... The only thing camp, kitsch and retro is the banana split, but I'll get to that. Secondly, the place is so far up itself, that it makes you long for the stuffy pretension of North Shore ladies who lunch, rather than their trademarked hipster pretension. If you're going to have this much attitude, you want to back it up with flawless food. There is just too much amazing food being served in Sydney to get away with food this average, especially for the extraordinary prices they are charging. But you know what? The place is packed, so people are falling for it... I warn you: Don't!

I didn't have an oyster shot, but filled up with tequila and chili, they looked good. So far, so good.

It was one of those menus, or should I say blackboards, as you don't actually get the privilege of an individual menu, and have to get up and go inside if you are outside to look at the menu, or crane your neck and look through a window as some of us did, where it's so hard to choose as nothing sounds that great. I hate menus like that, where by default, you pick something as it's the only thing that sounds vaguely balanced and appetising. That default dish was spatchcock. The dish was described as whole spatchcock with smoky eggplant, lentils and herbs. The spatchcock was juicy and soft, but as for the bed of smoky eggplant it lay on, it was salty and bitter and just plain awful. As these so -called "herbs" that were part of the dish, were just that... Herbs that you find in one of those dreadful Masterfood mixed dried herb concoctions. More horrifically, this main was $30. You could eat at the likes of Glass or Cafe Sydney for another 8 bucks...

Mr Bear ordered the rare beef with quinoa and a heap of tomatoes. I had a forkful... All I could taste was vinegar. I love vinegar, but again for $30, you want to taste delicious hunks of sweet beef, and the robust flavour of heirloom tomatoes... 

Unfortunately I don't have a picture of it, but the rest of the table ordered what I have now called Duck Disatser... A dish that came out, all brown and crispy, looking like it had been the victim of a nuclear holocaust. No other colour of the plate. Just brown. I didn't taste this but going solely on the visual, it was perhaps the most unappealing thing I have ever seen for $30...

Dessert. I never forego dessert as those who know me are acutely aware of. Banana Split. Yes. This'll be hard to get wrong. Icecream: good. Caramel: good. Chocolate: good. Wafers: good Unripe tasteless banana: bad.

I had one glass of wine the entire evening... You cannot get a glass for under $11. Extortion. Sigh. 

Well, there you have it. Eathouse Diner. Try to ignore its 1950s decorative charm, and the big sign with pointing finger out front that says "Eat Here".

The Eathouse Diner on Urbanspoon

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