Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Rose and Crown

Sunday 1 November 2009

Rose & Crown
105 Swan St, Guildford
(08) 9347 8100

1. Comfort & Surroundings

Alexander: The signs on the way to the Rose & Crown set the tone: "This way to historic site." Think it's strange that there are signs pointing to a restaurant? Not in historic Guildford! Dating back to 1841, the Rose & Crown is truly a gorgeous building, all exposed brick and wood beams. The setting for breakfast was the equally lovely courtyard next to the main building. On another day, it would have been perfect to enjoy delicious food and beverages amongst the manicured gardens and shady trees, however the gusty winds on this particular morning made things slightly uncomfortable. In fact, at one point I had to chase my menu across the courtyard and under another group's table. Still, for the most part, I was too busy soaking in the history to get too concerned, so I'll give it a 3.5. Which just goes to show, never judge a venue by the suburb in which it's located! Unless it's Girrawheen.

Lola: What's wrong with Guildford? Guildford has lovely connotations! Great antique stores, a large book exchange, an aesthetically pleasing post office, one of the best burger joints in Perth. Apparently there's a museum of taxidermy there too, somewhere. The Rose and Crown is another of my favourite Guildford things. There are a few places to sit in the hotel but I had booked for outside in The Garden. It's a really nice and relaxed place to sit back for a morning (and I can say from much experience that spending an afternoon there is just as pleasant) and the overlapping umbrellas make it pleasant even on a sunny day. The wind was the only problem, but there wasn't anything that could be done about it, so I'm going a 4.5.

2. Service

I'm having trouble deciding how I feel about the service. It's not that the staff were unpleasant, but it sometimes felt as though their time management skills needed a bit of work. I stopped at the "Wait here to be seated" sign, and boy did I wait. Even as a number of the staff clearly noticed me. And we had water glasses on the table, but we didn't get water until we asked for it. That being said, it's nothing a couple of Oprah multi-tasking episodes wouldn't fix! Plus, I did enjoy the novelty of being asked in an eastern European accent, at WA's "most historic" pub, if I would like a coffee to "jump start" my morning. A 3 from me.

Alexander has summed the service up really well. The staff were nice, but not exactly efficient, and it was a pretty quiet on the morning of our attendance. I'm adding an extra half a mark for the fact of table service. 3.5.

3. Tastiness

Alexander: Maybe I was really hungry on this occasion, but the Rose & Crown delivered exactly what I was after. I went with the spring onion potato cake served with an organic egg and roast tomatoes. And I added bacon... because what dish isn't better with bacon? Not listed on the menu, I also discovered that the meal was served with toast. So it was a hearty breakfast, with some nice flavour combinations. The spring onion potato cake was the standout - hot and fluffy with just enough flavour - and acted as the perfect conduit between the other ingredients on the plate. My only issue was the fact that the gale force winds turned my food cold before I had finished eating it, but I guess I can't blame the Rose & Crown for the weather. A 4 from me.

I had absolute food envy as Alexander's potato cake was, indeed, delicious! That's not to say mine was sub-par though. I chose the 1841 Bali Breakfast (I'm not sure what the 1841 is for except that the hotel has been around since then): sweet, sticky fried rice topped with a fried egg. It was very tasty, but with the sweet capsicum combined with the strong sauce, it was a little too sweet for my taste. Having said that, I'd still recommend the dish, for sure. I'll give a 3.5 in this department.

4. Drinks

Alexander: The quality of the coffee is an important aspect of any breakfast venue, so I went with my standard - a cappuccino - to properly compare the Rose & Crown to other venues. Not bad, but I wouldn't drive all that way solely for the coffee. It's hard to give a great mark on this one, but that's not to say that a different drink choice wouldn't have scored higher. I'll go with 2.5.

Lola: I began with a hot chocolate and while the flavour, strength and temperature were all pretty good, here's the thing: I am really turned off when drinks become hard work. The chocolate syrup and milk were not remotely mixed, it had clearly not even been tried. Maybe it's an attempt to make it look pretty? If that's the case, it failed a little, as a base of syrup topped with warm milk is not my idea of a pretty picture. After carefully stirring it together, trying hard not to make a mess, I did enjoy the drink, but the work certainly made it less enjoyable. I did, however, also enjoy a Bloody Mary which was one of the better ones I'd sampled. Alexander pointed out that he'd be disappointed by the lack of celery, but for me, absent celery is a bonus! Overall, a 3.5 again from me.

5. Fiscal Matters

Alexander: Maybe it's the fact that the Rose & Crown doesn't have to pay exorbitant inner-city rent, but the prices here are very reasonable. I was discussing with a friend the other day how breakfast add-ons (bacon, mushrooms, tomato etc) seem to cost $4 at most places in Perth. Which, when you think about it, seems crazy. Anyway, you don't have to worry about that at the Rose & Crown - my additional bacon came in at a modest $3. So my whole meal was only $12.90 for a substantial plate of food - you'd be lucky to find that in Mt Lawley! Nice, a 4.

Agreed! My generous dish also came in at $12.50. I'm usually never one to leave good food on my plate, but I really couldn't get through my whole dish this time, so that's not bad value at all! I also think it's deserved of a 4.

The verdict...

Comfort & Surroundings: 8/10
Service: 6.5/10
Tastiness: 7.5/10
Drinks: 6/10
Fiscal Matters: 8/10
TOTAL: 36/50

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