Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Restaurant Review: Metropolis Eating House

Location: 314 Sydney Rd, Brunswick
Link: http://www.metropolis-eating-house.com.au/
Phone: (03) 9388 8730
Cuisine: French
Overall Impressions: 1/10

Would I return? No. Did I have an unforgettable dining experience? Absolutely.
Let me explain.

From the moment we arrived, we were greeted by a large velvet staircase in a rundown "lobby" area. There was no one in sight. We were not even sure whether the restaurant was open. We walked up the stairs, towards the light and beheld an amazing sight. The dining area feels like it belongs in a mansion, not a restaurant in Brunswick. A haunted, mysterious mansion.

The maitre'd, with her very strong French accent, welcomed us warmly and we were promptly seated. I could not wait for the food we were about to indulge in.
Bread with parsnip dip

I found the parsnip dip interesting.
Chilled skate with artichoke paste, slow cooked red pepper, squid salad, parsley jus


J is not a fan of cold entrees but I am. Unfortunately, this was not to my taste at all. I would liken the taste to a can of tuna mixed with a generous serve of mayonnaise. The slow cooked red pepper tasted like ordinary antipasto from a jar. It was definitely not something we expected at all.
Air-dried wagyu, duck liver parfait, fig and beetroot chutney


This was one of the better dishes from the night. It is noteworthy that nothing on this plate involved any real cooking or preparation on the part of the kitchen staff (apart from plating up, which they did a very good job on). The wagyu needed no further preparation apart from slicing, the duck liver parfait and chutney both tasted like they came out of a jar.
Confit pork belly, green curry, bok choy
grilled scallop


It looked delicious on the plate and we were both hopeful that the night was looking up (food-wise that is, apart from that, we were having a fabulous time!). The pork lacked any flavour. It was extremely stale. The fat was rubbery. It was obvious that the meat had been prepared well in advance and had been quickly defrosted and pan-fried before serving. I have never tasted pork belly like this before.
The scallop was tasteless and insipid.


At this point in the night, we realised we were in a bizarre alternate reality, much like a scene from Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. That could be the only explanation. We waited for the moment Gordon Ramsay would storm into the restaurant, shouting abuse. Amusing as that would have been, that never came to pass.
Garfish stuffed with prawn, nori, coriander cumin


Every bite was filled with mini, utterly annoying fish bones. It was sad that after ploughing through and removing those deadly spikes, we were left with an extremely under-seasoned, zestless fish devoid of flavour. The concept of the dish was good. The execution, on the other hand, was horrendous.
Berry Gazpacho, yoghurt sorbet


The dinner ended on a somewhat pleasant note. This was an enjoyable dessert. Simple and to the point.
Chocolate tapioca, chocolate espuma
housemade honeycomb

This was an average dessert, at best. But given the other courses served throughout the night, we were thankful at how ‘non-disastrous’ this was. I guess everything in life is relative.

And it was over. What an interesting experience. I have never been so shocked by food in my life. And please do not be fooled by how well these dishes present. Taste is an entirely different matter. I would recommend this restaurant for a hilarious night out, but please stay clear of it if you wish to taste delectable food. As the menu prices are equivalent to 1 hat restaurants in Melbourne, it surprises me that this restaurant has remained open for a substantial period of time (the wait staff we asked told us it has been open for about seven months) given the quality of the offerings.

 J and I have read the reviews of this restaurant on Urbanspoon and are both puzzled by the extent of praise lavished upon this eatery by other reviewers. Nevertheless, we can only speak from our personal experience and there is only one word for the food: Monstrous.1 
Metropolis Eating House on Urbanspoon

1. For the purposes of this post the word 'Monstrous' is given its ordinary meaning and not the one given by Matt Preston (Masterchef).

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mate, I think your review is pretty harsh. It must be difficult having such an advanced palate.... I'm glad that I was able to go there and enjoy the experience. Perhaps you should stick to the Flower Drum with all the other snobs.

RC said...

Thank you for your feedback, anonymous.

We are glad that you had an enjoyable dining experience at M.E.H.

We stand behind our review of M.E.H. The food was, by far, some of the worst we have been served at any restaurant in any price bracket. You will find numerous examples on Gastro-logy of restaurants that are cheaper than M.E.H. but scored significantly higher. Other reviewers have expressed similar sentiments: http://www.theweeklyreview.com.au/article-display/Metropolis-Eating-House/3919.

Your labelling of those who dine at Flower Drum as 'snobs' is also highly questionable. You will find that most of the main dishes at Flower Drum are priced very similarly to the mains at M.E.H. sans a voucher. More importantly, whilst the food at Flower Drum is not exceptional, it is far superior to that offered by M.E.H.

Cheers, RC

Pam said...

Gastrology: Restaurant Review: Metropolis Eating House

Oh dear, what a disappointing review of M.E.H, I am a great fan of French Food Safari and the Chef and Restaurant at M.E.H. were featured last week. However, I will give it a try myself and not be put off by your review.

I even found your comment on the ambience a little strange. It certainly looked appealing in the photos and just because it is in Brunswick doesn't mean it has to conform with some of the other restaurants/cafes in Brunswick. Its called creativity and it is a french restaurant after all.

I look forward to my encounter at Metropolis Eating House.
Cheers
Pam Orchard

RC said...

Thank you for your comments Pam.

Whilst French Food Safari is an excellent program, it does not impartially review restaurants.

Our review accurately reflects the quality of food served to us during our visit (without a television camera crew). Our comments about the ambience had nothing to do with a failure to conform. We have dined in hundreds of restaurants and delight in restauranteurs trying new things.

We wish you luck for your visit and hope the food is of a vastly higher standard than served to us.