Monday, May 24, 2010

Raffles Hotel - Applecross

This week was the inaugural meeting of the newly formed Perth Breakfast Club. I had initially invited 14 people along to meet up and help me critique the Raffles Hotel's breakfast, so having 8 of us there was a fair turn out. Once there, we discussed and settled on the idea of meeting up once a month to have breakfast together and give opinions on cafes and restaurants across Perth.

On a cold and wet Saturday morning, the weather was perfect for staying in bed rather than making the short trip over the water to Applecross. I have to admit regretting choosing the Raffles where the hotel can look spectacular on a hot sunny day but not so much on a wet dreary May morning. However, once I arrived I was led to our large table situated next to the log fire and the atmosphere was that of a warm comfortable breakfast room.

Being the first one there, I ordered a coffee. A long black for myself as usual, with an OJ to accompany it. The service was prompt and my coffee came just as 4 others arrived. The general consesus from the flat white drinkers was that the coffee was ok but they had definitely tasted better. Being the only long black drinker, I can safely say I have tasted better and not many worse. It was dark in colour with a weak crema but very very bitter and tasted like dishwater. We followed them up with tea and pineapple juice, both of which drew no complaints.

The menu itself was very basic but had all the favourites on it which everybody seemed happy to order. Big breakfast, eggs benedict, salmon with scrambled egg and pancakes with pecans and maple syrup(?) were ordered and the pancakes in particular got rave reviews. The prices were on the steep side but no more than I expected for Raffles. Most places I go now make me appreciate the prices in Scotland and also, I have to admit, Milkd.

As this is a "hunt for the perfect Eggs Benedict in Perth", I should probably stipulate what I look for in a good eggs benedict. They must be sitting on 2 halves of a toasted English Muffin. I prefer ham on top of the muffin but a nice piece of crispy bacon is acceptable. On top of the ham must be a good sized, SOFT egg, well poached with a creamy yolk that runs when you cut into it. The hollondaise sauce on the top must be a generous serving and must be creamy but not gloopy or lumpy. It should be a delicious combination of butter and egg yolks with a tangy twist of lemon and a touch of spice. Side portions of grilled tomato or spinach are welcome but not essential.

When the waitress brings out 2 sorry looking eggs sitting on a slice of toast, you know "The Hunt" is not going to end here. Add to that having one hardy and one soft(ish)y, this was not a good attempt. The bacon was well cooked and the sauce was nice. They were surprisingly tasty and we all finished our plates so it was not a complete fail but for me, a hard egg is a schoolboy error and a slice of toast in the place of English muffins is downright lazy.

Overall, the service and the atmosphere created was very good. The fire and the warm surroundings was a nice touch on a cold day. The coffee was disgusting but my pineapple juice was freshly squeezed and delicious. Everybody enjoyed their food and there were very little complaints but the eggs benedict were a big let down and for me, if they can't get that right, they have a lot to do to make up for it.

Scores on the doors:

Service 7/10
Atmosphere 7/10
Coffee 3/10
Food 5/10
Price 5/10

Final Score 27/50

Would I go again?

Probably not. Plenty other places to go that are cheaper and will give you soft eggs on a muffin. (Sorry to harp on about it, but a slice of toast? Come on!)


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