We’ve had some amazing dining experiences in the last two weeks (Ha-Lu and Ria restaurant reviews coming soon!) so I was hoping last night would be the same…
I was meant to have selected and booked a restaurant but the hectic week got the better of me. So Friday night 6:50pm leading into the long weekend, hungry and with the house smelling like pizza (burger boy’s dinner), I was busily urbanspooning and flicking through the entertainment book looking for a restaurant which:
- wasn’t too far from home (as I was hungry and didn’t want to spend too much time on the roads!);
- took into account my friend’s particular tastes; and
- would have a table for two free!
We chose The Gala Restaurant because…
- it was one of the three restaurants we had called that had bookings available before 8:30pm;
- it had an 85% rating on Urbanspoon;
- the menu sounded good; and
- my fellow Perth bloggers had rated the restaurant highly.
This is what we had…
On arrival we were served warm bread which came with two dishes of butter, tonight was the first time I’ve tried rocket lettuce and garlic butter 🙂 it tasted ok but I think I’ll stick to normal butter.
The sun-dried tomato & ricotta filled croissant shaped bread was by far the highlight of our meals – I should have said yes when we were asked if we wanted another serve! It was warm and very tasty…reminded me of the sun-dried tomato rolls we had in Cabo San Lucas on burger boy and I’s honeymoon last year.
Pan-fried Scallops and Potato Gnocchi $29.50
The scallops were cooked well, juicy and a good size. The gnocchi was also nice and complemented the scallops well but the sauce was nothing special.
This entrée is usually served in a cepe mushroom & vegetable fondue but they were able to leave the mushrooms out for me as I don’t eat mushrooms.
Seafood Bouillabaisse (fish stew) with blue mana crab cake $23.50
My friend thought this was ok but we didn’t know what bouillabaisse was and when we asked the waiter, he didn’t mention anything about fish…
My friend doesn’t eat fish so it landed on my plate…I normally love fish, but it had an acidic taste to it…I had one bite and couldn’t/didn’t want to have any more.
Stuffed Atlantic Salmon $43.50
I thought I’d be a risky and order the stuffed salmon rather than barramundi – as I was hungry, I really should have gone with my safe option.
The flavours and stuffing didn’t quite work for me and the pastry wasn’t crispy. I also liked my salmon cooked well done but forgot to ask how it was cooked!
Pork Cheek & Fillet braised pork cheek $39.50
My friend enjoyed this dish…I had a bite of the pork which was ok but nothing spectacular, I like my pork more tender/moist.
Potato Gratin prepared with Tasmanian Royal Blue Potatoes $9
I’ve never had potato gratin before so I can’t really judge if this was cooked well or not but I felt the potatoes could have been cooked a little bit more.
Caesar Salad $15 with baby Cos Lettuce, crisp bacon, croutons, anchovies & parmesan
I enjoyed the caesar salad. After not touching much of my main, I had quite a bit of this. Though I think $15 for a side of this size is a bit extreme!
Although the dessert special, crème brulee, sounded and looked great from a distance…I didn’t want to try just in case it was anything like our mains. Plus even if the dessert was good it wouldn’t have been enough to turn my very average dining experience at The Gala to a good one… so I think it was a wise choice saving the $40 or so we would have spent on dessert.
The Gala Restaurant is renowned for being different, but it’s not quite for me. It felt very quaint and lacked atmosphere but the old fashion décor did suit the restaurant. It probably also didn’t help that I really felt like a good wholesome meal and something casual with an atmosphere rather than ‘fine dining’ tonight!
Service was good but I felt it was a bit awkward at times – waitress dropped the menu a couple of times… and I didn’t feel like the staff knew the menu items as well as other fine dining restaurants.
My friend didn’t feel like wine so we just had entrees and mains, which came to a total of $130 with our entertainment card (would normally be $170).
Overall, it was a very average foodie experience at fine dining prices. When comparing with the fine dining restaurants like Red Herring and Balthazar (read my other Perth fine dining restaurant reviews here), The Gala Restaurant just doesn’t compare, I won’t be back.