You’re expected to order at the counter at Green Refectory because the only menus they have are big blackboards on the walls, which annoys me. Mainly because I’m a lazy son-of-a-bitch. But it irked me even more here because the line was huge and because there is a massive share table directly opposite the register, a huge bottleneck comes into effect once there is more than three people waiting. Which is always. It means you’re left twisting and turning in all directions to allow for people to come and go, place their orders, relieve their bladder (not right there, obviously), flick their hair and so on. It’s annoying, and at 9am most people are easily annoyed.
Once we got to the register I ordered a stack-type dish which consisted of a potato pattie, bacon, grilled tomato, spinach, hollumi cheese, basil and poached egg. All for the bargain price of $10! Honestly, what’s not to like? Nothing. There is nothing not to like. If there is something there that you don’t like then you should stop reading and never speak to me again. We can’t be friends. Sorry.
After we placed our order, we desperately wanted to sit inside because the interior of this place is beautifully rustic and charming. But due to my rabid dislike for people crawling over the top of me to order their coffees and meals, we opted to plonk ourselves outside in the courtyard. It was kind of like sitting in your Nanna’s yard when you were little – white metal tables and chairs, pot plants of no recognisable species (except the mini Christmas tree I saw, but I don’t think that’s it’s actual name. It’s probably something like christamus minimus or something) and lots of cement. And just like Nanna’s it’s was kind of warm and inviting and exciting all at the same time. It was a fun place to be and a nice distraction from my bad mood.
What was also a lovely distraction was the lump of wood they had allocated us as a table ‘number’. I kid you not – a lump of wood. I don’t know if these lumps have personalities that only the wait staff appreciate, but somehow the waitress knew our meals correlated with our lump, and the food arrived safely. Thinking back, I now wonder if it was just a bit of a funny prank they played on us where the lump wasn’t a table marker but was actually just a lump of dirty old wood. I should have looked around for other insane table ‘numbers’, like a Barbie head or some Mexican-themed artwork.
When the meals came out I had such high hopes. Again, what’s not to like about what’s on the plate? Nothing, unless it’s done poorly.
And it had been.
The potato pattie was cold, soggy and gooie and more like an undercooked pancake than a pattie. The tomato didn’t taste like anything, the holuimi was cold and rubbery and seemed to have been pre seared a while before the rest of the dish was plated and just added at the end, and the chutney was overly bitter and created a moat around the rest of the food. The lemon on the side of the plate also looked like it had been kicking around for a while. Like, 4 days. Out in the sun.
I’m actually a huge fan of chutney. In fact, I’ve openly admitted to wanting to bathe in chutneys in past reviews. But this chutney didn’t like me. I dare say it wouldn’t like anyone. It was very difficult to eat and didn’t seem to compliment the dish at all. And there was so much of it. So, so much. To be honest I felt a little suffocated. Like a bad relationship, I couldn’t escape it – it was everywhere and on everything. Just give me space, chutney, you’re all up in my grill! I never get time to myself anymore!
Luckily the poached egg wasn’t too bad and created some relief to an otherwise disappointing meal. The coffee was also a standout, and if you’re after a quick coffee and a friendly face then Green Refectory is the perfect place to go.
All in all, I was really disappointed. I had heard a lot of great things about Green Refectory and although it lived up to its promise of being friendly and quirky, they could do with table service and fresher food.