24 October 2008

Monte Fiore Cafe Restauant

Monte Fiore is terrible. Really terrible. Everything about it is so bad, from the acronym, which is used liberally throughout the menu (we’ll have an MF salad and an MF side of chips please), from the terrible oily smell in the restaurant that seems to have seeped into everything, to the bland 1990s décor to the uninspiring chap who runs the front of house.

Luckily, it was a stinking hot night when the Bloggers decided to take the M-Fing challenge, so we were able to sit outside and watch people eat decent food at the Flying Scotsman. Which was quite pleasant really, especially after we smelt that weird, old oil smell that would leave you gasping for fresh air if you spent more than 10 minutes in it. Also, if we had sat in the tired, outdated surroundings we would not have been able to hide all of our bottles of wine quite so easily.

It’s a M-Fing funny place Monte Fiore. It seems to be very popular, and on the Thursday night we visited it was probably at 70% capacity, which is not bad because it’s a pretty big space. We discussed the reason for its popularity among ourselves and Booto quite correctly pointed out that it looked like a place where people who met on RSVP.com might have had a first date. It’s safe, it’s inoffensive, it’s well known and it’s bland. Perfect.

To the food. We had to try the standard tasting platter and a serve of garlic bread. The platter was bizarre, though not necessarily in a bad way. It consisted of a pizza base brushed with oil and garlic and sprinkled with herbs, and on top of the base there were your bog standard kalamata olives, grilled chorizo and fetta. The ingredients, other than the fetta, were fine. The fetta was revolting, and looked, felt and tasted more like tofu than fetta. And, annoyingly, there were 3 bits of garlic bread for a party of 4. Can’t cafés count?

Booto had a delicious Moroccan lamb salad for her main. The lamb was outstanding, well cooked with plenty of spice, and the salad was super fresh. The joy ended there though. The Brains’ Gamberi (Neapolitan pasta with prawns) was woeful. It seemed to be badly cooked packet spaghetti mixed with tomato sauce (as in ketchup, not Neapolitan sauce) with a generous number of shrivelled up cheap tasting prawns. The Sponge opted for his old favourite veal parma, and it was described as mystery meat with tomato sauce. The Deliberator’s giant pork ribs were tasteless, meatless and not at all giant. And, the bowl of ‘thick cut chips’ for the table turned out to be a bowl of frozen McCains wedges (wedges? cafés still serve wedges? what is this, 1995?) served with a minimum of flair. Overall, outstandingly disappointing.

We were left wondering what the M-Fing place could do properly. We didn’t stick around for dessert to find out.

The service was a mix. Our po-faced chap we mentioned earlier attended to us with very little charisma or affability. The lovely, bubbly blonde-haired waitress who served our meals was a dream, but once our plates were in front of us she never came back. No parmesan cheese, no cracked pepper and no ‘can I get you anything else’. We were abandoned on the side of the road with our rubbish food, empty bottles and slowly warming wine.

All in all, don’t bother with those M-Fers, head across the road to the Scotsman instead.

In summary:

Service: Variable.

Food: Heinz does a better spaghetti and it’s only a couple of bucks.

Ambience: Outside is lovely, but that was courtesy of the steamy Perth night and the action on Beaufort Street. Inside looks like a 1990s telemovie.

: The Moroccan lamb salad and the sweltering heat.

Lowlight: Food you might find in a school cafeteria.

Rating: 2 McCains wedges out of 5.

Will we be back: No. And we hope you won’t be either until these guys lift their game, update their menu, sack their chef and redecorate their restaurant.

: Monte Fiore is licenced and BYO wine only at $5 per bottle. The bill came to $120 for a platter, 4 mains, GB and a bowl of chips. We checked out the wine list and surprise surprise, it’s boring as hell. All wines in the same price range $19 - $26 and all the usual suspects were there – wines like Goundrey and Madfish – ok, but so dull.

Coming up: We’re really struggling to get to Diva, so we’ll try and get there next week.

Monte Fiore Cafe on Urbanspoon


The Worst of Perth said...

Had a fairly ordinary soggy pizza there.

Are these the side windows?

The Worst of Perth said...

Aahaha. They've fixed the blinds!

David Cohen said...

Hmm. Did any of the BSB meet on rsvp.com.au?

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

LA - good news re blinds! Now they just need to spend another $50 on some professional cleaners to get rid of the stench.

David Cohen - no, we met through working in various law firms throughout town. Which is about as cliched (and as easy) as meeting on RSVP.com.au.

Angie said...

I went to Monte Fiore a few years ago thinking it was good because it was always packed. I had the Calzone Pizza and my dining partner had some kind of pasta. The Calzone was pitiful, and my dining partner commented that his pasta was worse than Valentino's when it was down in the dumps. Now that's saying something!

But everyone has their own taste... I guess people just like eating rubbish. ;)

Edward J Grug III said...

Wow! Is it weird that when a place gets THAT harsh a review, I kind of want to check it out for myself?

Anonymous said...

I've only ever been to MF for coffee - which they do moderately well. The one meal I had was forgettable.

For what it's worth, there's no point heading back up the street to Delhi Palace (the re-branded Banyan Tree).

While the management has changed, the quality of the food hasn't (although we did have good word of mouth from people who had experienced the takeway - two of whom were with us and were stunned that it was so craptacular).

They could improve the food by using Sharwoods.

Dropstitch said...

You guys should check out Yuzu, where World Gourmet Pizza used to be (an ironic name if i've ever heard one - their pizza was trash). The sushi is deliciously fresh and I can't help but get excited when my food goes past on a conveyor :)

Anonymous said...

wow, what a resounding failure. i cant wait til u are subjected to the blandness that is sienas.


Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Hi Angie - amazing that these guys can't even get Calzone right. Doesn't it just involve folding a pizza in half?

Edward - it's not weird to think that, but it would be weird to actually do it. So just don't, you'll only make yourself angry.

Anonymous - thanks for your tips re Delhi Palace. When we started this journey we made a decision that should a new restaurant open up or change hands, we would go back and check it out. So that means we'll have to dine at Delhi Palace, and we'll make sure we expect nothing.

Hi Dropstitch - Yuzu sounds awesome, can't wait to get there! Conveyer belts! Sushi! Brilliant! And we completely agree with your assessment of World Gourmet Pizzas. They re-opened only a footstep away from our houses, so for convenience sake we tried them numerous times. We think the experience has been worse with each go. Not only are the pizzas pretty average (and almost always cold, despite us waiting in store for them to cook), the service is just plain peculiar.

Sanj - We are so not looking forward to Seina's. While the Leederville one is passable, the Mount Lawley branch has always been woeful. However, we promise to maintain open minds and maybe we'll be surprised.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely disgusting food and terrible service

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Anonymous said...

totally agree with you there. It's like MF is stuck in a timezone of the 90's. I guess that's why the bruschetta is ok. ??