H by Felici


date of visit: Sunday 22 September 2013

A rare visit out the other side of town saw us stop off at Burnside Village and, of course, any stop had to include the obligatory babychino.

It was a really lovely day and absolutely perfect for sitting outside on what is apparently known as the ‘restaurant deck’. We sat in some beautiful egg shaped chairs (a lot of excitement for an almost three year old in and of itself) enjoying the dappled light and admiring the selection of outdoor seating. At H by Felici you’ve got a choice of pretty much everything from high, bar style tables through to a huge sofa.

To be honest, the lovely, comfortable setting was about as good as things got. In terms of cake selection, my choice was limited, so I chose a chocolate croissant because paying $4.50 for a macaron feels just wrong.

I ordered our coffees, paid my money and went and sat down. And we waited. And waited. H by Felici wasn’t busy at all, and while I recognise that it styles itself as more restaurant than café, if you’ve made the decision to serve coffee and cakes you should be able to turn out a couple of coffees and a babychino in under the 15 or 20 minutes we waited. Whenever the toddler starts getting fidgety with a lot of “where’s my ‘cino?’ you know you’ve been waiting a while.

Sitting outside, we barely saw any staff so making an enquiry wasn’t going to be possible without heading indoors.

Fortunately, things didn’t come to that and the coffees and cake arrived. While I thought my caffe latte was pretty good, Andy didn’t rate his long black at all. The chocolate croissant had been heated (I hadn’t been asked if I wanted it warm or cold – but I guess this contributed to the delay) but all this had done was dry it out. The only moisture left was the odd bit of melting chocolate. Andy sagely pointed out “it was mostly air”.

We finished up and disappeared off. With very few staff around there was no one to acknowledge either our arrival or our departure.

As a restaurant the H by Felici experience may be either wonderful or terrible, but as a café the metaphorical socks really do need to be pulled up.

H by Felici
The Restaurant Deck
Burnside Village
447 Portrush Road
phone: 8338 1427

H By Felici on Urbanspoon

Robin Hood Hotel



date of visit: Thursday 6 October 2011

As soon as I knew I was off to the Sapporo launch I started thinking about where we were going to eat our dinner. We would need something quick and light and close to the Robin Hood. After a little head scratching, it was decided that by far the easiest thing to do was to eat at the pub itself. Why I even had to think about that, I don’t know.

I met Andy in the bar but we headed to the dining room (sorry, bistro) to eat. The dining room is at the back of the pub and away from the bars, but looks into the beer garden through floor to ceiling windows so you get the pub atmosphere (and some natural light!) without the noise. We had a table at the window and set about reading the menu and making drinks decisions.

The original plan (“quick and light”) meant that initially we were focussed on things like the tapas and bar plates or on just ordering an entrée, but Andy had spotted sausages and mash on the specials board and I was torn between the entrée of lambs brain with mash, a crispy pepper rabbit salad and a main course of salt and pepper baby squid with lime aioli. As sausages and mash is definitely not light, I ended up opting for the squid.

This is correct: I was in a pub and I didn’t order a schnitzel. Which is not to say that the Robin Hood doesn’t offer them. A chicken or beef parmi will set you back $18.50. If the rest of the food is anything to go by then this is likely to represent pretty good value for money.

Andy’s sole criticism of his sausages and mash is that there wasn’t enough gravy. It looked like there was ample gravy to me so it may be that only gravy aficionados feel a little short changed. My plate of food was generous. The squid was tender and it was only once I headed towards the end of the plate that things started to feel a little greasy: the squid had obviously been cooked in hot, clean oil. I did think that both the ‘salt and pepper’ part of the squid and the aioli could have done with a slightly more intense flavour. Salt and pepper squid (or anything) I think is always better when done with szechuan pepper – it makes it more spicy and aromatic. The aioli definitely needed a hefty shot of lime in it. Overall it was a competent dish but could have been a more exciting and it was really let down by pretty average chips that were positively drowining in chicken salt. Next time I’m at the Robin Hood I’ll be ordering something else.

That all probably sounds more negative than it should. This was a better than average pub meal but it was a shame that just a few simple tweaks could have made it better than average full stop.

The Robin Hood is to be commended on a generous wine list with a very wide range of wines offered by the glass (although, with such a big by the glass list I hope they are taking care to store the opened wines properly). Service was also very good. It was prompt and friendly and the waiting staff obviously work with a degree of flexibility. I noticed our waiter dealing with a very large group adjacent to us and, at the start of their meal, they worked out exactly how the billing would work. It was good to see a practical approach to this rather than a blind adherence to venue policy.

Overall, the Robin Hood gets a big tick – definitely an above average pub dining experience.

Robin Hood Hotel on Urbanspoon

Robin Hood Hotel
315 Portrush Rd
Norwood SA 5067
+61 8 8333 0088