Lucky the company was good… @ Rae’s Restaurant, Balgownie Estate, Yarra Valley

I have received comments from readers that I am too kind in my reviews. People have said to me that to seem transparent, negative reviews are needed.  I hope that this review will show you that I’m not kind because I think I should be; I’m kind when I think it is deserved. Kindness was not deserved here, and I am going to share that with you.

My sister, my mum and I all drove out to the Yarra Valley for a ‘Collins’ girl evening over my sisters hens weekend. We dined at Rae’s Restaurant, stayed in the hotel and enjoyed amazing massages the next morning. The hotel, the massages and the hotel staff were amazing. The restaurant was a different story.

After arriving early for our reservation we ordered some drinks and took a seat outside. Our waitress told us she would check in every 20 minutes to make sure we were comfortable. An hour later and no word from the waitress we headed inside.

After taking our seat, we waited 10 minutes to just to see a menu. Happily chatting away as we always do, this didn’t really bother us.

The service that followed however did. We were the only table in the whole restaurant not to be given bread, or the pre meal Hors d’oeuvre. (My sister later asked as to why and they responded by bringing it out as they were taking away our entrees). It literally felt as though our table had not been written down. Not once were we asked if we needed more drinks and catching someone’s eye was like mission impossible. Now just to clarify, this restaurant positions itself as fine dining, so all of these things should be seamless; but no.

So to the food… For entrée we all ordered the Seared Scallops served with cauliflower puree and a pickled pear salad.

Seared Scallops

Sadly, it came with prosciutto, which was not listed on the menu and my sister does not eat meat. We had to send it back; which was extremely awkward to say the least.  When we did get to our entrees they were nice. Cooked well and the flavours were balanced nicely.

For main I ordered the Eye fillet. This was quite a show; the steak was served with a burning implement to create a smoked flavour, which was revealed as it was placed in front of you.

Steak Performance

Sadly for meat lovers everywhere my ‘medium’ steak was brown/grey all the way through and so chewy I didn’t bother eating the whole thing. The fat chips were probably the highlight for me here, which is a little sad.

Eye Fillet

It was served with an array of vegetables and fat chips.


My sister ordered the seared Salmon on a bed of tomato and zucchini risotto. She shared that her fish was overcooked and while the risotto was lovely it did not go with the salmon at all.

Seared Salmon with Tomato Risotto

So all in all, the chips were nice as was the Balgownie range of wine that we were drinking

As we were leaving my sister said to the manager kindly that we had felt our table had been neglected and he informed her that it wasn’t his fault, they were short staffed and he was new.

What makes me sad is this restaurant used to be phenomenal. I have a previous post to prove it. The flavours were unique and exciting and the staff were flawless. It seems that this new change in management and direction has led them astray.

It really isn’t worth the trip anymore.


2 Comments on Lucky the company was good… @ Rae’s Restaurant, Balgownie Estate, Yarra Valley

  1. What a shame 😦 I hate it when you go back to somewhere thats awesome and its disappointing.

  2. What an interesting post Amy, especially considering that I am planning to contact Balgownie Estate about potentially having a company function there…

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