The Balmoral

29 October, 2010

901 Albany Hwy, East Vic Park
Breakfast served Sundays 8am – 11am
Fully Licensed

After reading the Balmoral breakfast menu a few weeks ago at a friend’s birthday drinks Coolio Ma-Cha-Cha and I decided that we HAD to try it specifically for the Death Benedict – hash browns topped with bacon, poached eggs and hollandaise. So we got a crew together for Sunday breakfast that included Mr Peter Baby, Johnny Awesome and a few more new characters – T-Spoon, Bento Box and Dim Sim. Bento Box and Dim Sim had been to the Metallica concert and were need of something greasy!

It was a beautiful day so we decided to sit out in the lovely back beer garden so Mr Peter Baby and I walked inside to get some menus and were confronted with the manager who seemed a little stressed. We asked for the menus and he told us abruptly to sit down and we would be brought them. I explained we were sitting outside and he went and got us some menus – begrudgingly.

It was no surprise when all of us wanted to order the Death Benedict after Coolio Ma-Cha-Cha and I had talked it up so much! So Dim Sim, T-Spoon and I decided to take one for the team and order something different. Dim Sim and I were both drawn to the Brekkie Roll – Turkish bread, bacon, fried egg, hash brown, swiss cheese and bbq sauce PLUS steak if you choose. (of course we added steak). T-Spoon chose the Breakfast Bruschetta – scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and tomato salsa on top of Turkish bread. The prices are very reasonable ranging from $8 for home made baked beans and toast up to $19.50 for the Brekkie Roll with steak. The big breakfast was only $16.90 and that is the cheapest I have seen a big brekkie in a long time!

Now when it came to go inside and order, this is when it all really fell apart for the Bah-bow moral. Each one of us had an unpleasant experience with the same manager who gave us the menus. In the time I was lining up to order I saw him shake his head and “tsk” when Johnny Awesome asked for a side of mushrooms after saying the first part of his order (like it was SUCH an effort to do a couple of extra taps on the screen) and he also spoke very curtly to Bento Box and Dim Sim when they asked if they should leave the table number for us to order on as well. Everything seemed like a massive hassle for this guy! I think the reaction I got from everyone when I walked back to the table (as I was last to order) said it all “oh did you order from Mr Grumpy too!”. I will post T-Spoon’s and Coolio’s individual reviews further down, which go into further detail!

We all ordered coffees or iced coffees which came out in good time. Everyone seemed to like their ICED coffees but those of us who ordered hot coffees – not so much. I asked Dim Sim if his coffee was bitter and he said yes, even after adding sugar. Johnny Awesome added a few sachets to his… I didn’t add any and it was completely undrinkable. The coffee tasted like it was burnt.

When we ordered the 8 of us ordered on 2 different table numbers but everyone’s food came out and random times. They forgot Johnny Awesome’s Death Benedict and he ordered before Mr Peter Baby and me. He had to go inside twice to check – that is completely unacceptable. Even I started to get annoyed! By the time his food came out his annoyance ruined any flavour it might have had. Both Dim Sim and I thought our brekkie rolls were tasteless. They could have done with more sauce or maybe a sweet onion or tomato relish inside.

Mr Peter Baby also thought her Death Benedict was bland. She had one poached egg that was cooked nicely and the other was hard, which was disappointing.

Now for T-Spoon’s thoughts:
“The bruschetta was good but wasn’t overly tasty. The scrambled eggs looked like mushy eggs and were bland, it wasn’t creamy or fluffy the way scramble eggs should be.

I asked to replace the smoked salmon with bacon and the manager snapped back and said, “You will have to pay extra!”, I said, that was fine but it was a simple swap and it doesn’t say on the menu that substitutes are not allowed. It wasn’t like I asking for an unrealistic swap.
Having a negative manager like that would have a detrimental affect on staff morale. All the staff there looked like they didn’t want to be there, I didn’t blame them though. The manager dropped the “F” bomb when he walked away from Bento, after he asked him to bring out the smoked salmon on another side plate since we had to pay extra for the bacon.

Considering the bad service, average food and driving out of the Shire, I still had a fantastic morning with friends”

What would one of my reviews be without the comments from my star brekkie crew member – Coolio Ma-Cha-Cha

“AS has been well documented in this blog I am a little oinker and love to eat so I was pretty excited to try out the much hyped Death Bene at the Balmoral, I really love the “backyard” feel of one of Victoria Parks loveliest old pubs and I’ve eaten there before so had high hopes.

From the get go I was pretty put out by the rudeness of the manager, everything was a big hassle to him, we tried to order from the wrong side of the bar (where I have ordered food from previously) and after being ignored for a while I got the “NO over here”, eye roll. I asked to add mushrooms as a side and he said “want them as a SIDE or just ADDED”? Is there even a difference? And does it matter? It says on the menu under sides – mushrooms $3.50 and that $3.50 is my hard earned cash which I’m spending at your pub so just add it on. Then finally I asked can we put everything on the same number – “SIGH” Seriously? You work in hospitality so be hospitable!

My breakfast was pretty good, overall I’d give it a 6/10. I loved the hash browns instead of bread and my eggs were poached perfectly – nice and runny in the middle. Hollandaise needed more tang and the mushrooms had zero flavour but overall I did enjoy eating it. I just would have enjoyed it more without the side of attitude from the manager.

Props to the other wait staff who were all lovely and P.S The iced coffee was killer.”

I will never return to the Balmoral for breakfast again, let alone recommend it to anyone. I think there is something seriously wrong when service is so bad that it becomes funny. As we left the pub we laughed all the way back to car with our variations of the word “Balmoral”… this experience yet again proves that pubs should stay in their own yards with wedges and pints.

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  • Reply Conor @ Hold the Beef 29 October, 2010 at 8:04 am

    >The meals look nothing like how I imagined them to be. In my head they're generously portioned and nicely presented with little garnishes, and the Death Bene actually looks scary in its awesomeness. In reality they look as lame as they sound in your descriptions.

    What's with the service? Yeesh. I've encountered attitude before when trying to make substitutions, but this really takes the (bland, dry) cake.

  • Reply Lisa 29 October, 2010 at 8:22 am

    >The only good thing about the Balmoral is the $5 beer specials they have every month. And the back courtyard <3

  • Reply Anonymous 29 October, 2010 at 8:31 am

    >have you been to little stove in Bicton? I highly recommend it, they have delish coffee and their menu is even better! Plus the cafe itself is very quaint and adorable.

  • Reply Anonymous 29 October, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    >I had the unfortunate experience of breakfast at the Balmoral a few weeks ago. The food was over rated and I think we had the same dickhead Manager you encountered. Left us talking about the place, but for all the wrong reasons. Glad it wasn't just us.

  • Reply Liz @ Breakfast In Perth 30 October, 2010 at 3:34 am

    >Conor – The death bene was a let down.. as was the entire breakfast! If the menu had said "no substitutions" then that's fine, but you still don't expect to get attitude when you ask!

    Lisa – I agree – The back courtyard is awesome in summer!

    Anon – I will add that to my list of places to go. I like to hear about places like that. Thanks for suggestion!

    Anon – I am glad that we weren't the only ones too then! We haven't stopped talking about how bad our experience was to anyone who will listen. lol

  • Reply Anonymous 6 November, 2010 at 2:10 am

    >We're regulars as this is our local, but this guy is like that all the time; he's got a serious attitude problem and I don't know why he works in hospitality. It used to be so great there, but he spoils it (the other staff are great though!)

  • Reply Liz @ Breakfast In Perth 7 November, 2010 at 9:09 am

    >Wow… since I have put this review up a lot of friends have also said the same thing as well. Thanks for your feedback Anon!

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