Boatshed Cafe, Hallett Cove


date of visit: Sunday 15 March 2014

Again – just two months between visiting and posting! We don’t often go out for breakfast because on the weekends we take it in turns to have a lie in and by the time everyone is up, washed, dressed, fed, watered … well … it’s time for afternoon tea.

I should have written about this outing earlier … because all other things aside (food, ambience, service) as we ate we were treated to an impressive display of human flesh. And I’m not talking about someone wearing something a bit tighter or shorter than you might expect. Oh no, a heavily pregnant lady at the table next to us lifted up her top and treated everyone to the considerable expanse of flesh. Just to get things straight – this is not acceptable behaviour for anyone over the age of about 5. You’ve put the clothes on, they can stay on.

Anyway, the Boatshed at Hallett Cove has been on my list for a while and on this occasion there was no food in the house so heading out was our only option.

It was a lovely sunny morning so I took the precaution of ringing ahead. Toddlers don’t really understand turning up at venues and having to wait. I was told that yes, for three of us it wouldn’t be a problem, and did we want to sit inside or outside. A sunny morning doesn’t necessarily equate to a warm enough morning to sit outside and eat so we opted for inside and my name was duly noted.

But sometimes, things just aren’t that simple. And when we arrived, there was no table reserved for us – anywhere. There were a few seats available at the ledge in the verandah but having the three of us lined up wasn’t great and while the view was amazing, the brisk breeze from the ocean suggested that any food would be cold before it hit our lips.

Fortunately we were found a small table inside and we squeezed in, between a rather large, loud group of women and the coffee machine. The interior of the Boatshed is all hard surfaces so what started off as an unpleasant level of noise escalated to intolerable by the end of breakfast.


Which is a massive shame because the breakfasts were, actually, very good. I ordered scrambled eggs and bacon. It was a generous plate with really good quality bread. Andy’s Boatshed Classic was similarly proportioned and got a thumbs up (after he’d defended the hash brown from the fingers of a greedy toddler).

The menu is very light on things to order smaller punters. While our toddler normally loves eggs he had decided he didn’t want eggs which really limited our options. We ended up ordering him the sweetcorn fritter which Andy said was actually pretty good.

So overall, the food gets a tick. Service was OK – the problem with our reservation soured things a little and I did get the impression that there weren’t enough staff (or, the staff that were on were not experienced enough). However, the real killer was the noise inside.

We actually got to the point where we couldn’t finish quickly enough.

I’ve spoken to friends who have been there and they all tell a similar story – extreme noise inside and erratic service.

I would return to the Boatshed for coffee and cake on a warm afternoon when I could sit outside. But that would be it.

Boatshed Café
1 Heron Way
Hallett Cove SA 5158
phone: (08) 8322 4000

Boatshed Cafe on Urbanspoon

The Coffee Club, Hallett Cove


date of visit: Sunday 8 July 2012

A long overdue note of our trip to The Coffee Club at Hallett Cove. The Coffee Club is a chain so you find them all over the place – we’ve actually meant to try the one at Marion before but not got around to it. I see that the chain’s website notes that there are stores not only in Australia and New Zealand but also Thailand, New Caledonia and China. That’s an interesting collection of markets there …

The Hallett Cove café is spacious and even has a few sofas scattered around for those with a bit more time on their hands. We perched ourselves at a table on the edge, given we were encumbered (as usual) with a shopping trolley. Yes, I hate shopping that much that I need the reward of coffee and cake to get me through it …

One thing I noted immediately is that The Coffee Club isn’t cheap and it certainly doesn’t believe in small portions. Our choices, a vanilla slice and a lemon coconut slice, were amongst the smallest things on offer. For the baby there was nothing really – all the biscuits were saucer sized. So I ended up buying him a (massive) slice of date cake. Do all café goers really want giant portions of cake?

Still, the coffee, cakes and service all passed muster. Nothing spectacular or exciting – and the cakes really weren’t worthy of their price tags. But also nothing wrong with the experience.

If you’re after a very generic, inoffensive, coffee and cake experience, then The Coffee Club will do. Just be prepared to splash some cash and eat a lot!

Coffee Club on Urbanspoon

Un Caffe Bar, Hallett Cove



This café has now closed.

date of visit: Saturday 22 June 2012

I work on the premise that venues are either open or not. If a venue is open and a customer walks in that customer gets treated the same as a paying customer at a different time of day.

I daresay you can guess where this is heading. We turned up at Un Caffe Bar in the Hallett Cove Shopping Centre somewhere between 3 and 4pm on a Saturday. I know this isn’t prime time, by any stretch of the imagination, and I know, from having worked in retail, that people who turn up close to closing are really pretty irritating. However, the Hallett Cove branch of Un Caffe Bar is open til 5 so you’d have thought our visit would not pose a problem.

Not so – the baby and Andy ensconced themselves at a table and I headed over to order coffee and cake. There were two staff – one of whom was chatting to some friends, and showing no sign of getting a wriggle on to attend to any other customers (that would have been me). The other member of staff was busy making coffees for these friends. To her credit, she did apologise a couple of times. Unfortunately, short of reminding her colleague of their core business in a rather public fashion, I appreciated that there was little she could do.

Order finally placed, I sat down to be informed that the high chair was ‘filthy’ (Andy’s exact words) and so we began our wait. Our order was for 2 coffees, a babycino, a biscuit and slice of lemon curd cheesecake. The wait was far longer than you’d expect and when our goodies turned up we were short a biscuit. Because the staff were ‘busy’ (which means that they were standing by the coffee machine, chatting and eating some of that same cheesecake) I had to go up to the counter to ask after my biscuit.

I doubt I need to go into any detail about exactly what I think of that level of service.

On the plus side, the coffees were definitely passable, the cheesecake was tasty and I was impressed that I was asked if we wanted marshmallows with the babycino. But, having parted with $17 and being treated so poorly I doubt we’ll be heading back.

The Hallett Cove Shopping Centre has more than its fair share of places to have coffee – and I know from personal experience that one rates as very good (I’ll go again and then write it up … I’m a martyr in that way …). So there’s just no need for anyone to put themselves through slow, shoddy service.

Un Caffe Bar on Urbanspoon