Stonegrill was one of those fancy-pants restaurants that we always wanted to try and always went like "go now, go later, go whenever" and never really got around to it until this year. I've heard a lot of good things about that place - particularly the bit where you cook your own meat to perfection on a hot stone. Sounds tempting!
FYI though - it has been a long time since we went (I am a horrible procrastinator etc) so I have forgotten the exact names and prices of the food but I will describe it the best I can.
Anyway, there are two very important things I want to talk about Stonegrill: the food (of course) and the service. I'll start off with a picture post of food and then text post of service.
When we went to Stonegrill, this blog has barely been set up, so the photos taken were kind of minimal and not very good, so my apologies for that. I went there with CC, Turtle, Ben and San.
Turtle and CC ordered some alcoholic drinks, and I think the one pictured here is Turtle's drink with peaches and peach schnapps. CC ordered something else and I remembered that both seemed to enjoy Turtle's drink more.
Me and San shared an entree of Grilled Salmon.
Which was really cooked to perfection. The salmon was tasty and tender to the bite, and very wonderfully grilled. It's yummy and the sauce that was complimenting it went very well, along with a squeeze of lemon.
For my main, I had the Stone Bowl Fried Rice. There is a Japanese name for it but my memory and non-existent Japanese fails me.
The egg was cracked into the bowl as it was served to me and I watched it cooked while stirring the rice around it. That was definitely fun! The fried rice is really good, too, with enough seasoning and enough prawns, meat etc to go with it. I think it cost around $22-$25 which makes it really expensive fried rice, but it's good. Really good.
San had the Aged Tenderloin, which was beef she cooked on the stone.
The beef is tender and nice and since she can cooked it to the way she liked it, I daresay she did enjoy it. You can also grill the mushrooms, tofu and cucumber yourself!! The beef came with a selection of five sauces.
The sauces were DAMN GOOD. Especially the sesame sauce which was practically (but not quite) to die for.
Turtle had the Beef and Prawn combo for his stonegrill, CC had Potato Croquets for an entree (which was among the best potato croquets I have ever tasted) and Chicken for her stonegrill and Ben splashed out for Lobster for her main. And everyone enjoyed their food.
Stonegrill, on the whole, has rather good food that at least reflected the prices paid (Ben paid $49 for her lobster) and a pretty environment that was nice and relaxing and classy.
The service, was without a doubt, the most appalling service I have ever received in a fine-dining restaurant. I have had better service at Chinatown cafes. At Dessert House, even. Seriously, no joke.
First of all, when me and San reached the restaurant, we were periodically ignored for 5 minutes, until I signaled a waitress and we managed to get our table. After that, as we were waiting for the rest to arrive, we were just reading the menus and wasn't really ordering anything. (By the way they don't serve tap water and water cost $5) Then our people started arriving and we wanted more menus, in which we were, again, as you guessed, ignored. Turtle at last went to get the menus himself.
We tried signaling for service 2647562784763 times and were ignored by the staff, except for this one very nice (and very hassled, very busy) waitress who kept trying to approach us but was always called off to some other table. Finally, the manager, MANAGER, came over to ask us about out orders and because there were 5 of us, we kept asking questions and discussing among ourselves what we would like. And in all honesty, it was less than a minute discussion. We weren't keeping her there for three thousand millenniums. It wasn't even 3 minutes.
She stood there with a completely sour face and looked really impatient. After we placed our orders, she basically stomped off. And after that, when CC wanted an extra glass (or a fork, I can't remember), we tried signaling her again, and after 37478576374 tries she came over very unwillingly and after we told her what we wanted, she just nodded and as she turned away - get this, this was the highlight - SHE ROLLED HER EYES AT CC.
OH MY GOD.
CC was so angry she wanted to leave immediately, and who could blame her?! We were paying customers, and she was actually the freaking MANAGER. With that sort of service attitude? Who are you kidding? It was like we were paying insane prices to be insulted and patronized - I seriously cannot believe that woman and if we had more time and weren't rushing off to a movie, I would've worked on getting her fired. Seriously. That woman (god I wish I could remember her stupid name) is an insult and a shame to the service line. Because you do NOT roll your eyes at your customer, no matter how absurd their request is (and CC just asked for a glass), at least not where they could SEE it.
What an ignorant, idiotic, moronic ass of a human being. I was insulted and I was angry and we definitely did not deserve that sort of service.
So yes. Food was good, environment was good, but service was so horribly bad. I understand if they were understaffed, but at least be polite and apologetic if you were keeping your CUSTOMERS WAITING. You do not roll your eyes or act huffy like some kind of prima-donna bitch.
I wouldn't go back there again. Because even though the food was good, it wasn't good enough for me to go back there and be patronized and insulted and end up raging mad at the manager.
- Dissatisfied Mouse
Ishiya Japanese Stonegrill Restaurant
152 Little Bourke St
152 Little Bourke St