The new QT Hotel. Looks a million bucks... Actually it looks more. The fit-out of this place is utterly stunning. As I swanned in, dressed to the nines, channeling a 1940s Eva Peron, I was impressed. The elevator has a sensor in it, and depending on how many people are in it, plays appropriate music, such as All By Myself...
The hostesses were rather cool towards me as I enquired if my party was here yet, and perhaps on purpose, couldn't find the booking... "Oh, here it is"... You don't fool me... I know you're a backpacker making $18 an hour, you can drop the attitude.
The bar is amazing. It is pure 1940s glamour. My outfit is spot on. The bar tender is lovely. Funny how men are nice to me, and women not so much... Darling Michael arrives...
The lovely bar tender suggests we get two something or others... The name has vanished from my head... Spicy Pear? Spicy Bear? Anyway, it has pear in it. It is sublime. Sweet elixir of the fairies.
That however, is where I stop being impressed. It is all downhill from there. I could go into explicit detail about each dish, but I feel it is not worth the energy... In short, Gowings Bar and Grill is overpriced pub food with no technique, detail or exoticism on the plate. Let me show you what I mean...
I order the duck, as a friend of mine who has dined here recommended it... It is half a duck. It is half a very blackened duck, dumped on a plate with a bit of old mash and a couple of wilted leaves under it. It is $44. It is a rip off. Likewise, everyone else's meals are ok, steak, half a chicken, but again have no finesse or flair. This is food you could make at home, but not as good and five times the price.
The waitresses wear black dresses and heavy, gold jewellery and look like extras for a camp 70s movie about a cult. They all seem to be "European" and think they are marvellous for being so. Let me tell you how over snooty hospitality staff I am. There is just no need for it. Be nice, be warm, be friendly. It's that simple.
But the worst part is yet to come. When I get home and settle in, mid-way through the latest Dexter, I start to feel not good. I feel awful and moments later, I am hit with food poisoning. The bloody duck. I hadn't eaten anything much all day and certainly nothing that could give me food poisoning... It was the duck. I was already fuming for eating at such an up itself AVERAGE restaurant, and now this. Gross. Utterly gross
I have sent a complaint through to them. How they handle the matter will show their mettle. But you have been warned, go in for a drink and a squiz at the place but do not eat there. Move on to somewhere that serves proper food. Proper food that won't leave you with your head in a toilet bowl five hours later.