Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Churchill Cafe & Larder - Surrey Hills

Name: Churchill Cafe & Larder
13 Hamilton St
Surrey Hills, 3127

(03) 9890 3444

Food: ModOz, Cafe,
Average price: $3.50 - $20

Complimentary:  Nothing.

We ordered:

Feta, zucchini, corn fritters with avocado salsa, bloody Mary dressing, and a fried egg - $16.50

This has become the corn fritter that finally broke the camel's back - whilst not the worst of the bunch it still wasn't great. The fritters were partially undercooked and doughy. They did not have much flavour at all and I could not taste the feta whatsoever. The avocado was blended with raw onion which I found too overpowering, I could also taste some coriander leaves... The egg was done nicely but there was a distinct lack of seasoning and I wasn't given any salt and pepper with which to season myself. The splashes of tomato sauce and pesto oil got swallowed up by the fritters doughiness and despite being hungry, I left half on my plate.

Bircher muesli with grated apple, toasted almonds, yoghurt - $12.50

 K loved this - it also contained pear, berries, papaya, sunflower kernals, pumpkin seeds and hazelnuts.

Toast with fried eggs

K thought this was done well.

Hot chocolate -

The two K's thought this was a nice, not very sweet hot chocolate - came with a marshmallow.

Cobb Salad - $20

S was severely disappointed in both the size and flavour of this dish.

Cost: $unavailable (I left before the bill came and the ladies don't remember what they paid).

Service: OK. The food came out pretty quickly, but water is self serve.

Atmosphere: Cosy kitchen. There are small tables as well as a communal dining table with a mosaic table top and tartan booth seating. The ceilings are high and there's plenty of outdoor seating. The sound level was loud despite being half full.

Parking: Good - there's a decent amount of street parking and a carpark for Mont Albert station that runs alongside the road.

Website: None.

Hours: Mon-Sun from brekky to lunch.

Would I return: No.


  1. I understand that they have a new chef working here. Food has always been great.....hope it doesn't lose that.

  2. PROFESSIONAL food criticJune 12, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    what qualifies you to speak of these things?? what is your background?? obviously you have no palate at all if you think this mix contains coriander... maybe the Chefs here should come to your place of business and tell you what your doing wrong?? maybe next time you have these comments you should leave them at the counter so these places can improve.. just an idea but maybe your to gutless to speak up.. constructive criticism is always invited in this industry obviously you have never been a part of it..bored housewife perhaps??

  3. I don't get paid to critic food, it's not my profession.
    What I do is PAY for the food I eat and give my personal and honest opinion about whether I enjoyed it or not as most food blogs written by the average consumer do also.

    In regards to my 'palate' I thought I tasted coriander leaves-and therefore assumed the green shoots adorning the dish must be coriander shoots, if you know otherwise then please inform me of what the tiny green shoots in fact were, since you seem to know the dish so well...
    Food establishments are consumer based and in fact need customer feedback to establish what will keep the customers coming back - I am sure chefs expect people to have opinions on their food just like movie producers expect viewers to have opinions of their films. Just because someone doesn't carry the title of 'professional critic' doesn't mean they can't have an opinion on something they have paid for.

    In regards to not informing the kitchen of my dissatisfaction with the dish, had you had read the post you would have seen that I did not even wait until my fellow companions asked for the cheque before leaving, I ate and ran that particular day and therefore did not state my opinion. As everyone's 'palates' differ I usually refrain from commenting negatively on a dish for taste alone, rather I reserve comment for dishes that may be undercooked, overcooked or something else pertaining to its execution as that is something that can be avoided/fixed whereas flavour is subjective to each consumer.

    The manner in which you commented was rather rude and unnecessary, if my dislike of one dish at one cafe is so upsetting to you I suggest you abstain from reading food blogs written by 'non-professionals' as you simply cannot guarantee that every person will love or like every dish they ever eat and are bound to read other negative opinions on dishes they paid to eat.

    Thanks for stopping by :)

  4. I work in the gaming industry, and most "professionals" in my opinion don't give the best reviews. You see, they are apart of the same industry. If the industry goes downhill, so does their job.

    The best reviews out there are from the customer, people that don't need to "suck up"...they say exactly how they feel. I don't see any contact page on this blog for sponsorship.

    I find it funny that you call Miss AbFam "gutless". Gutless for being anonymous? Because "Professional food critic" is really gutsy name!

    As for letting a restaurant know you didn't like their dish, it usually isn't sunshine and rainbows! Why would a chef listen to someone that isn't in the industry, what kind of palate could they possibly have if they are not employed by the Age?
    I personally don't send dishes back, as I don't want a chef with your attitude to re-making something I have to eat.

    Your post is full of contractions, and its obvious that you have a connection to this cafe. Obviously you are upset...the bottom line is that if are going to crack a hissyfit after reading what 1 person thinks about your cafe then stay off the Internet!

    Struggling cafe perhaps???

    Sorry couldn't help myself, seen it on too many blogs

  5. A bit of cyber tention, excellent! The food reviewer VS blogger is heating up in many spheres including our national newspapers. As a 'professional', cook that is, with a not too shabby culinary pedigree I am often tempted to use "PROFESSIONAL food critic's" lines right back at them what qualifies you to speak of these things?? what is your background?? Many food critics have a qualification in jounalism not food! And I'd have to agree the corn fritters were indeed partially undercooked and doughy. And I have the qualifications and get paid to evaluate food!

  6. Woo Hoo.... This is the most excitement that Mont Albert has seen for ages. I'll be getting straight down there Friday night to see Mike Rudd. (No relation to Kev 07... great 70s rocker... in my Unprofessional opinion. ) Rock on you crazy guys at Mont Albert!!

  7. Hey, interesting conversation. How did this blog end up #1 in a Google search for Churchills? Well done!

    Much rather read a dozen "amateur" reviews for honest opinions (and still go to the restaurant anyway) than a tarted up often-paid-for journalist's article.

    PROFESSIONAL Food Critic - it's "you're .." x 2
    Your (sic) obviously not winning friends with poor grammar.


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