MSG: The Melbourne Social Guide

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Archive for the ‘Fails, Scored 3 or less.’ Category

The Quarter

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The Quarter
27 Degraves St
Melbourne
(03) 9650 6156

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Degraves Street.

I love Degraves Street. I love how pretty it is, how the cafes spill out into the little lane with cafe-goers perched at their tables which line the middle walkway underneath a canopy of umbrellas. I love the colours, I love the smells, I love the vibrancy. In fact, I often walk through Degraves on the way to work just to feel the hustle and bustle.

As much as I love being around there, I am always loath to eat on Degraves street. The food looks good, smells good, but more often than not, tastes like shit.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t like being critical, because I generally don’t like negativity.. I see myself as the nicer half of our MSG operation, i.e. the sweet side;  the glutamate that flavours this blog if you may 🙂

However, bad food is bad food.

The Quarter is in the middle of this delightful laneway, and has a nice, European cafe feel to it. We were seated, and proceeded to order our food which came promptly.

Pizza diablo - $16ish

Alex’s pizza diablo consisted of salami, chorizo, roasted peppers, onion and chilli. Unfortunately. as you can probably see from the picture, they got a bit carried away and seemed to just dump a whole lot of ingredients onto the pizza, turning it into a massive sausage fest (which is probably why it appealed to MS .. he does love his sausages). But even this pizza was a little too much sausage for him to handle, it tasted ok but it certainly lacked the restraint that an authentic Italian pizza with a focus on just a few good toppings can show. Basically it was very greasy.

Linguini marinara - $23.50

Now onto my dish.. I still shudder at the thought of this dish. It looked reasonable enough, but closer inspection revealed a poor marinara mix, which had probably passed its used by date. I had figured if the dish was one of the more expensive items on the menu, then surely it would include reasonably fresh seafood. I was wrong. This dish was pretty much inedible. I generally don’t leave much food, being a good little Asian girl trained to finish her dishes, however I could not even stomach half of this dish. The mussels tasted rank, the scallops were rubbery and fishy and the calamari was almost impossible to chew through. The only saving grace was the prawns which were… edible. The pasta was poorly flavoured, with very little taste except that of lingering dirty dish water. In short: yuck. I left hungry.

Whilst I don’t want to devote a blog to hating food, as it really is to celebrate food, Alex did google this place before we came, and all reviews were fairly positive. We were quite disappointed.

So, Degraves street: beautiful laneway, come for the atmopshere, don’t stay for the food. If you want decent Italian, head to the Paris end of the city.

Jess’ Ratings:

Taste: 2/10. Both these points come from the pizza. 0 for the Marinara. yeech.

Authenticity: 1/10.

Value: 2/10. The pizza was an ok price. Especially since they’re generous with the toppings. I still feel ripped off by my marinara.

Ambiance: 6/10. Good mood lighting, well fitted out cafe. Nice background music and good atmosphere.

Service: 6/10. Super quick and friendly. Almost too quick, food came within what seemed just minutes.

Overall: 4/10.

Alex’s Ratings:
Taste: 2/10.
Value: 1/10. Whenever I eat a bad pizza I can’t help but think of Bimbo’s where I can pay $4 for something 4 times better.
Ambiance: 7/10. I was definitely digging the vibe, shame the food didn’t match it.
Service: 7/10. It was a busy night and yet they were still attentive which is something I appreciate, however the attentiveness lacked a personal touch and was that faux sort of attentiveness that comes from experience in hospitality. Good but nothing amazing.
Overall: 3/10. Sorry, but food and value take precedence over the other two in this case.

Written by glutamatejess

February 21, 2010 at 11:26 am