Last weekend, we bought a Groupon deal promising a 3-course set meal with wine at The Forbes Hotel, Sydney, with the promise that the meal would look something like this:
Picture shown on Groupon website
We made our reservation a week before with a waiter who seemed busy and rushed, but we didn’t mind since we managed to get a Saturday night booking. Thinking that it would be a busy evening for the restaurant and judging from the amount of Groupons sold, we made it a point to arrive on time even though our ferry was delayed (more on that on the next post). We must have ran the last few hundred metres to make it to the restaurant which was located on the second floor in quite an old building with Anglo/Dutch architecture.
Red and white wines for us
Bear in mind the term ‘hotel’ here is rather misleading because The Forbes doesn’t seem to offer any lodging services. All 4 levels were either a bar, a lounge, a restaurant or function rooms. As much as we loved the charm of an old building with character, we thought that the dining room could do with a few touch-ups. That aside, we were surprised that we’re only the 3rd table occupying the restaurant that night.
Salt and pepper calamari Starters
We were served our wines as listed on the deal, and thankfully they turned out to be quite all right. The Salt and Pepper Calamari though, tasted as if they’ve just been defrosted and deep fried. Even though the batter was coated nicely, they calamari was dry and tough, making it very difficult to chew. The portion shown was also a big contrast to what was displayed on the Groupon website.
When it came to Saucer’s main course of Grilled Barramundi, he was sorely disappointed to see that the barramundi fillet came looking limp and soggy. It looked like it was overcooked especially on the edges, and the meat was not as firm or fresh as he’d expected it to me. And it was certainly no match to what was shown on the Groupon website too!
I was given a choice of either the barramundi, chicken schnitzel or Rump Steak, so I chose the latter. I ordered for it to be medium rare, but it was strangely well-done on one side and medium on the other side of the steak. Pardon my poor pictures because they were taken with my iPhone 3Gs in quite a dark environment.
Medium to well-done steak
The last item on the list was a dessert in the form of Chocolate Cake. Even though it was moist and chocolatey, there were quite a few occasions when both Saucer and I bit into solid sugar crystals. We’re not sure if it was baked that way on purpose, but we certainly didn’t like biting into raw sugar in the crystallized form.
The 3-course meal with a glass of wine that we had that night was sold at $30 per person normally, but we bought our coupon at $29 for 2. If what we had that night was equivalent to what would be served on a normal $30 meal, there would be no way that we’re returning. The quality of the food was just not there. That, coupled with the false promises/pictures shown on the website, taught us the lesson to think twice before purchasing any group-buying deals.
The Forbes Hotel restaurant
The Forbes Hotel Restaurant
30 York Street
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia.
Tel No.: +612-9299 3703
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday (9am-midnight), Fri/Sat (9am-5am) & Sundays (9am-8pm)