Friday, December 11, 2009

Fort Denison

I've been debating about whether I should blog about Fort Denison Cafe & Restaurant. It was not the dining experience I was expecting. Perhaps my expectations were just too high, maybe they had new staff (maybe they should hire staff who understand a bit more English), maybe the chef was having an off day. I don't know, but I was disappointed.

I chose Fort Denison for my birthday lunch location. It seemed idealic - beautiful surroundings, harbour view, secluded and I'd heard great things about it. Once we got there I was surprised to find out that you had to order either the 2 course ($59) or 3 course (can't remember how much that was....around $79) option. The menu had changed considerably from the other blogs I've read up on. You couldn't order a starter to share and then a couple of mains and the burger and chips was no longer on the menu. Ok that's fine, they must have gone a little more up market and it's more of a fine dining experience now. So I expect it to be even better. Hmmmm.....

Entree - Salt & pepper squid. Too salty and definitely very ordinary
We also had the beef carpaccio which wasn't very good either (forgot to take a photo)
Kids fish & chips ($12)
This was the best dish here and a good price too (don't judge it by my kids face....he really did love it). If only I could order 2 of these I would have been very happy. But at least my little one got to enjoy his meal.
Slow cooked pork belly. Now when I hear slow cooked I expect it to be really tender and juicy. I think it took me 2 mins to chew each mouthful. The sauce was nice, but shame about the meat

Seared Barramundi
This was massacred. Overcooked, dry and chewy (and what's with thet grey colour all over that piece of barramundi? Is that even normal?)

The waitstaff seemed preoccupied and had trouble understanding me. Flagging one down to order a drink was difficult. We had to chase them up about the kids meal because our entrees were out and eaten yet there was no kids meal. When we were paying for the bill we told our waiter that the food was rather disappointing.....he had no reaction whatsover. He didn't ask us why, or care to wonder what we really thought. He nodded his head, gave our card back and walked off. I was a little stunned. At such an establishment they didn't want to hear any feedback? Well I certainly won't be spreading any good words for them.
The best thing about being at Fort Denison was the view......sigh.....if only the food and service lived up to it's location
After our meal (12.50), we made our way up to the 1pm firing of the canon. We figured that a boat would arrive at 1.30 to pick us up so we could wander around for a little while and head back to Circular Quay. Would you believe that there was no boat. The lady over the phone my husband made the booking with had told him there is a return boat every 30-45mins. She however, failed to mention that there is no boat between the period of 12.45-2.15 So we ended up spending another extra 45mins on the island with nothing to do. It was such a hot day and poor Keane was bored out of his mind. I was seriously cheesed off by now. But there was nothing we could do. We were literally stranded on the island.

I really hope that I just went on an off day. I did see a party of about 50 come in after we left, maybe they were busy preparing for them? Either way, I won't be going back and I won't be suggesting it to any of my friends. If you do go, I hope you have a much better experience than I did.


  1. The presentation of the food looks horrible! Thanks for the review. I wouldn't go there. :)

  2. Oh no... such a shame that you had a terrible experience :( I went in June and we just ordered a la carte. I remembered it being a really nice meal. I wonder what happened?! I hope you had a great birthday despite this bad experience!

  3. aw shame about the disappointing lunch! but happy happy birthday dude!

  4. Oh, sorry to hear about that. I've always wanted to try Fort Denison - perhaps not so keen now. Happy belated birthday!!

  5. Sorry to hear you didn't have the best experience with them but dinning in such a gorgeous location should make up for it :)

  6. Hey Maggie - the view was nice though...... ; )

    Hi Betty - Luckily I had a great birthday despite the bad lunch : )

    Hi Suze - Thank you!

    Hi Cakelaw - I'm sure your future experience will be better than mine!

    Hey Ellie - Hmmmmmmm....