Regatta Boatshed review
Pricey Pub Plates
Ahh, the Regatta. How I’ve spent many a night there as an 18-year-old, trotting around in inappropriate clothing and busting a move on the dance floor. Much as I don’t enjoy reliving my days as a Cruiser-guzzling, squealing teen, I had to pay the Toowong establishment a little visit the other night. And dare I say it, it was pretty good.
Okay, I’m cheating a bit-I was at the Boatshead, the restaurant that ajoins the bar. Nick has previously reviewed the Street Cafe, but the Boatshed is a bit more up-scale and offers heavier meals. Well, maybe not ‘up-scale’, but it definitely has restaurant prices.
For some bizarre reason we weren’t allowed to book a table for eight people at 6.30pm. We were told over the phone that 8.30pm would be the earliest spot available. Five minutes later, I rang back and asked for seven people at 6.30pm. Bingo! This really puzzled us, especially since up until 7.30pm the place was fairly quiet. It’s a huge space too, with seating that’s appropriate for large groups.
The Boatshed is known for steak, and patrons can choose from a variety of cuts and weights. If you’re not very enthusiastic about your beef, there are plenty of other options on the menu. I ordered a starter, the Smoked Salmon Stack ($16.50), as well as a Greek side salad ($9, both pictured).
Since it was a starter, I wasn’t expecting it to be very big, but the serving was decent: a huge mound of aioli-dressed rocket, a decent amount of shaved smoked salmon, and some capers sat atop a mini pizza base. Once I pulled it all apart, I saw how simple it was and felt a little disappointed: bread, packaged salmon, lettuce, sauce. But it was very tasty and the flavours went perfectly together. It was an ideal light dinner. The salad was very large as well, and was packed with cubes of a lovely creamy fetta, olives, roasted capsicum, cucumber, onion, and lettuce.
The boys all got Meat because they are Men. The steaks (from $29.90) got grunts and nods of approval, ditto the sides (your choice of potato, vegie, and sauce-I snagged a chip and they were crispy and delicious).
The Garlic Lamb Cutlets w/Baked Polenta ($29.50), and the Sweet Pork and Leek Sausages w/Mash ($18/$22.50) were also agreeable. I tried some of the 400g Angus Rump ($29.90, pictured), and it was quite tender and seemed a high-quality cut of beef.
Drinks-wise, there’s a plethora of wines and beers on offer, or you can be sneaky and make like we did and nip to the bar for drink specials. White Stag that night was $4 for a stubby, and tap beers are well-priced as well. One gripe: later after dinner when we settled at the bar for a few drinks (yes, I went to the bar. No, I did not booty dance after), I asked for a cocktail list. A sign had boasted there was a huge cocktail list, but we were told it “hadn’t been printed yet”. It would have been great if the bartender had then suggested a cocktail, but she didn’t, and I settled on something boring (brownie points though: they have diet coke on tap! Phenylalanine lovers rejoice!)
I was very satisfied after my Boatshed experience because I didn’t really have any major complaints. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but there was enough of a balance between good and bad that everything evened out. For example: the waitress initially forgot to bring us water, but our meals were delivered to the right person and all roughly at the same time. Some meals might seem too basic, but flavours are fresh and complement each other well. I have a slight gripe with the prices. For a couple of extra dollars you can dine in a very high-class restaurant. The Boatshed, despite the prices, is strictly casual dining. Having said that, the servings are very generous, but it does sort of make you think.
It’s pretty difficult to find a decent place for dinner outside of the city that’s still kind of fun, but the Boatshed fits the bill. I find the atmosphere fairly appealing, although that’s coming from a twenty-something. There were a few young families dining, but remember that one has to exit and enter through the beer garden of the Regatta. And, like I mentioned before, the whole dining experience has a very casual feel. It does, however, make for a very relaxed atmosphere, and is handy if you want to pop next door for a few after-dinner drinks. Or to bust a dance move. Robot, anyone?
543 Corontation Drive (corner of Sylvan Road)
(07) 3871 9595