The recent plethora of online voucher deals has meant that even those on a budget can eat out on a regular basis for a considerably reduced cost. These experiences can tend to be a bit of hit and miss however and I have found that it pays to do your research on the restaurant prior to purchasing. Ultimately at the end of the day you get what you pay for and if your voucher only cost you fifty bucks for a two course meal for two people, don’t expect them to be cracking out the lobster and caviar! What I really like about these vouchers is that they often take you to establishments you never would have thought to eat at which can lead to some great discoveries.
I was recently given a Spreets voucher for Volcanic Stone Grill and Cafe in East Perth which included a two course meal for two. Before booking a table, I went onto Urbanspoon to see what sort of feedback other diners had given on their experiences there. The general consensus of the reviews was quite negative ranging from gripes about the service and attitude of staff right through to the poor quality of the food.
Do you remember what my awesome birthday gift from the Boy was? It was a fighter combat flight for two with Fighter Combat International. We each went up into the clear blue sky with our own pilots in CJ-6A Chinese Nanchang fighter planes and had an adrenaline filled mock fight in the sky! The day was absolutely perfect for it with clear blue skies across the full horizon. Before our skirmish our pilots show us each a series of acrobatic manoeuvres subjecting us to 4G force pressures while flipping and spinning us about in the air like a bird. It was such an incredible experience and for anyone who loved Top Gun it is a must do for your bucket list!
We headed out for dinner later that evening with our heads still spinning around and doing imaginary loop the loops. I had called in advance to find out they are BYO so we arrived well prepared with wine and beer in hand. The place was fully booked with tables both inside and out. It was a chilly night so I was glad to be shown to our table situated inside. The restaurant was starkly lit with fluorescent lighting and decorated with plastic plants and our rickety table wobbled on its hinges. Not really the most romantic or cosy place to go for dinner! However thankfully after the buzz of the experience up in the air neither of us minded the lack of surrounding atmosphere this time. On entering there was a faint smell of tainted meat in the air that was a little unpleasant but with a bit of time my sense of smell adjusted and the smell became less pungent.
We started with the Volcanic tasting plate which wasn’t included in our voucher. The plate normally comes with Turkish bread but as I requested gluten free this was replaced with a small serve of fries. The plate had a combination of a variety of meats accompanied with a hot “volcanic” stone which you cook your own meat on.
The meat was fairly average quality and without any oil to put on the stone it stuck during cooking. This was especially a problem with the chicken which had to be scraped off making it shred a little. We also found the heat of the stone dissipated too quickly and our last pieces of meat cooked quite slowly. Nevertheless it was a bit of fun cooking the meat together and was a definite novelty at the dinner table.
We both chose the Mix grill for our main dish. This dish contained single portions of beef fillet, chicken tenderloin, pork fillet & lamb with a field mushroom. Without a voucher, this dish would normally be priced at a fairly hefty $32.90. Not exactly value for money but I think the voucher was priced at $50 so for two mains and two desserts this makes it very good value. This dish was brought out with the meat already placed on the stone meaning that it was cooked before the stone’s heat subsided.
There were only limited choices for dessert as some of the menu had been blacked out with texta. We both chose the vanilla ice cream – mine with gummy bears and the Boy’s with choc chips. I thought the gummy bears were a cute touch but with only five gummy bears placed on my cold stone I thought this was a bit stingy. The ice cream was a little icy and tasted like the mass produced commercial stuff, no Connoisseur served here!
Overall we found our dining experience to be satisfactory. We arrived at the restaurant assuming that if the reviews I read where anything to go by we would receive poor service, horrible food and walk away disappointed. The reality was that although English did not appear to be the wait staff’s first language we were served promptly and without fuss. Our food was more than edible and I like the concept of the stone for something different. If we had not arrived with a voucher deal I would have been very reluctant to pay their menu prices however thanks to the voucher it worked out to be excellent value.
Like Me on Facebook!Volcanic Stone Grill and Café Shop 25, 60 Royal Street, East Perth 6004 | (08) 9221 1363 Price: $$$$ (Entrée $15-27, Mains $29-45: Without a voucher this place is WAY overpriced) Food: 5.5/10 (great novelty idea would be better with quality meat cuts) Service: 2.5/5 (no fuss but no frills) Ambience: 1.5/5 (fairly absent) Drinks: N/A – BYO Total: 9.5/20