Monday, 13 August 2012

Restaurant Review: The Merrywell

Location: Corner of Clarendon Street & Crown Riverside, Southbank
Phone: 03 9292 7468
Cuisine: American
Overall Impression: 5/10

When R, J and I saw that a new American style bistro had opened, we were very excited. Keen to relive the time we spent devouring food in America, I browsed through the menu the night before, salivating.
The 'Upstairs' and 'Downstairs' menu are different*. We decided to dine 'Upstairs' as the menu appealed to us more.
As we had not made a booking, we spent our 20 minutes waiting (drinking) at the bar. The place was bustling and filled with young adults all dressed up and celebrating the start of the weekend.
When we were finally seated, we were surprised to find that our table was what appeared to be a high top cocktail table. As there were three of us it was incredibly 'cosy'.
As we sipped on our champagne (that R had generously bought for us with his winnings at the casino just moments before), I noticed that a table very close to ours had just been vacated so I asked our waiter if we would be able to move to that table as we were quite uncomfortable. He politely declined my request and said that the table was reserved for a larger number of guests. I was disappointed when the table was later occupied by a mere three guests (as was our high top cocktail table).
Firey Mojito Lamb Chops
Brussel Sprouts, Mint Jelly

The lamb chops arrived and were theatrically set on fire.
The lamb chops were overdone. They were nicely charred on the outside but disappointingly dry on the inside. The mint jelly was overpoweringly sweet. The brussel sprouts however, were full of flavour and complimented the lamb very well. When eaten without the mint jelly, the dish was pleasant. 
Soy Honey Rotisserie Duck
Shaved Apple, Blackberry Sauce

The duck was unfortunately overcooked. It was incredibly dry and lacked flavour.
Our Fried Chicken
125th St. Chicken and Waffles, Killer Bee Honey

The fried chicken and waffles was a standout dish. The chicken was delectably crispy and tasted just like the good ol' Southern style fried chicken and waffles we had in Harlem. The waffles tasted very similar to red velvet cake which was very interesting. Importantly, the flavour combinations worked! The waffles had the perfect amount of sweetness and paired deliciously well with the juicy pieces of chicken.
Tuna Steak 'Au Poivre'
Creamed cauliflower, wilted spinach

The Tuna was overcooked but it was still quite pleasant to eat as it had sufficient seasoning and the other elements on the plate were executed well.
Desserts in a jar?
No, thank you.

As good as our fried chicken and waffles were, our experience up to that point had been hardly encouraging so we all decided to opt out of dessert. As a side point, we also noticed that the 'Downstairs'  dessert menu is almost exactly the same apart from the fact that it is half the price.
The Merrywell's motto,"Good times on tap" sums up our experience exactly. As it stands, the venue appears to be designed for intoxicated patrons. The food and service in general leaves much to be desired. That said, there is something quite charming about the  place and we desperately hope to see it come into its full glory in the future.

The Merrywell on Urbanspoon

*They are different apart from the dessert section of the menus.

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