Wednesday, 20 April 2011


The Ocean Centre Hotel which work is putting me up in for the 8 days i'm required in Geraldton has an arrangement with five different restaurants in the immediate vicinity around the hotel. So tonight was time to visit restaurant #2: Skeetas.

Skeetas seem to do everything. So far I havent stepped out of the hotel to see them closed. They are open first thing in the morning for brekkie and close late at night catering for those who require coffee and cake before bed. Set over-looking the town beach, Skeetas is only beaten in location by the new Dome (which may as well be lapping in the ocean). I love the interior of this restaurant, it feels almost as though you've stepped on to to the deck of a sailing boat.

To match the external image they have created, the Skeetas menu is full of seafood orientated dishes (red meat lovers are also well catered for, fret not!). I decided on two items on the specials list: Chilli Beef and for dessert a Bangladesh warm rice pudding.

The Chilli Beef had a beautiful capsicum/onion based sauce with only a hint of spice and a dash sweetness. The beef was incredibly tender although a little too much fat remained for my liking. The dish was complimented by a beautiful piece of naan bread. The Chilli Beef must have been quite the hit, because the customers ordering after me were dissapointed to be told that I had received the last serving...given it was only 6pm that seemed a little odd, why put something on the specials menu for the evening if you dont have enough to last past the first few customers?

Dessert unfortunatly didnt match the standards of the main. I adore rice pudding and to be served what basically constituted as warm milk with a few grains of rice was rather dissapointing. On the positive, the hint of cinnamon and vanilla was to die for.

Overall a pleasant meal. I can understand though why this restaurant has suffered since Dome opened close by with both drawing very similar customers, Skeetas having the more expensive menu.

Food: 3/5
Service: 3/5
Atmosphere: 3/5
Price 2/5

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Topolinis Cafe

Gnocci. "At their best, Gnocci can be light and delicate. At their worst, dense rubbery and/or soggy."

I love Gnocci. I love the versatility of it and the range of dishes that it can be incorporated into. Quite simply, it is my favourite Italian dish. I will order it from any menu.

At Topolinis, I wish I hadn't. The best part of the dish were the chunks of sweet potato. The Gnocci was stodgy and uncooked and the sauce tasteless. The worst part of the Gnocci was the range of shapes. I received small, delicate pieces that were cooked beautifully but within the same plate were large chunky pieces of Gnocci (larger than my thumb!) which were inedible.

Topolinis, like many other venues these days, have a gourmet pizza selection on their menu. Reading through the menu itself is mouth-watering. I ordered the 'Port a call' described as 'Pancetta, Portobello mushrooms, artichoke, salt and pepper feta.' Salt, and lots of it. Actually a very tasty pizza, the artichoke in particular was an interesting choice for a pizza but it made the dish. The salt was a little over-powering unfortunatly, replace the pancetta with a less salty meat and this would have been a lot more enjoyable. The stale slivers of parmasen cheese thickly layed on top also added nothing to the pizza.

To say I was dissapointed would be an understatement. The atmosphere at Topolinis is second to none in Geraldton, it is open-air which makes good use of the Geraldton sea breeze and has great staff that know the menu well and serve with confidence and personality.

Food: 2/5
Service: 4/5
Ambience: 4/5
Price: 2/5

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