Regatta Hotel St Cafe — Toowong
Regatta Hotel St Cafe –Location is everything!
The newly renovated St Café, ground level of the Regatta Hotel, is in a prime location right on the corner of Coronation Drive and Sylvan Road. It’s also directly across the street from the bike path on the Brisbane River. After being damaged in the January 2011 flood, it has now been recently opened again and ready for business.
The Brisbane Bites team met on a Saturday morning (May 26). The décor was quaint and suitably styled for the look and age of the hotel. With its checkered black and white floors and white wrought iron patio fence, it certainly had the charm of a time long ago. The indoor section had dark, hardwood floors and a modern mix of tables and chairs alongside low tables with comfy chairs.
Accessibility wise, there is an awkward slight ramp step used to get to the patio, from the sidewalk, and the inside from the patio. Be careful, it is a potential tripping hazard as we observed a few other patrons having the same problem.
As it was a beautiful day, we chose to sit outside. While trying to figure out if it was bar service, a waitress appeared with menus. Looking over the selection and prices, we found the items were a bit limiting without a lot of options to accommodate those with dietary restrictions. The prices seemed to be a bit higher than I was hoping to pay, but still within reason to other trendy establishments.
What we had
Skinny Latte ($3.50) & Long Black ($3.50)
The coffees arrived first and we noted that the coffee was Giancarlo by Grinders. My long black had a nice smooth taste with no after bite or bitterness. The latte also had a nice flavour but had too much foam on the top.
Mushroom, Tomato and Shallot Omelette with sourdough toast ($15.50).
The fillings had been folded into the omelette so you could see their thin layer. Without any cheese or herbs, this omelette was tasteless. Also, the rocket on the side seemed wilted. Additionally, since sourdough was personally undesired, and the waitress had no alternative for me, I asked for the dish without the bread. (The smart thing for the restaurant to do at this point was to offer me a couple of dollars off my meal. Not surprisingly, this didn’t happen). For $15.50 this was disappointing and unfortunately I was still hungry.
Tasmanian Smoked Trout with hollandaise sauce ($17.50)
The smoked trout was fresh and had a nice flavour but had been masked by the strong Hollandaise sauce it was topped with. Turns out that the chef had put (an extreme amount of) lemon in it, which we all thought was a strange idea, resulting in very sour hollandaise sauce. The waitress asked my friend if he’d like them to make him another but he declined. It’s an awkward situation when you’re the only one at the table without food. Scraping as much of the Hollandaise sauce off as he could, he managed to eat the trout which came with soft poached eggs on an English muffin. “Tasty but not spectacular” were his thoughts.
Two eggs with bacon, tomatoes and sourdough bread ($11.50).
The two eggs had been asked to be poached, which were alright but bland. The bacon was still quite fatty so our friend ended up cutting a lot of that off. Also served with tomatoes and sourdough bread, this meal was again noted to be “just standard”.
What we thought
When our meals arrived, we were all a bit disappointed by how small they looked, especially for the amount we paid. The next disappointing thing for me was how bland my omelette was.
We also thought of the level of service to be average or standard, but not spectacular. We left St Café disappointed over the food, but we all agreed that the location was fantastic and in a perfect location.
I would recommend that the restaurant tweak their menu and try to make things a bit more exciting. In that this is unlikely to happen, I would suggest eating at home first then relaxing on their patio with a coffee!
Author: S. Boulton
Photography: Kenneth Au
The Street Cafe — Regatta Hotel
543 Coronation rd, Toowong, Brisbane
PH: 3871 9520