Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Coffee Club at Hallet Cove Mall

This small eating house takes up a shop area in the Mall of a local shopping centre at Hallett Cove. Outside advertising is clever as it has large photographs of only a couple of meals. Some places try to show too much. They simply showed two enlarged colour photographs which did not confuse.
Lounge couch type seating at our table was rather more uncomfortable once seated than it looked. I guess the management cant go around sitting on each one every day and the discomfort was more due to over use. That in a fairly new establishment was more encouraging than it might seem, because unless the food was good, the seats would not have got such an amount of use!
The menu was extensive but annoying. Only annoying in the sense that instead of simply stating the price in good old dollars and cents, each meal had a series of numbers after it, which did turn out to be the price. But as they were in different fonts, some in bold, some not, some large, some small, one could not help but wonder what on earth these numbers were. A polite staff member established that they were actually prices and the 'trendy' new way of doing it had aroused bewilderment with other customers too.
That said the content of the menu was impressive for a small eating place and each meal had a full list of content. A wide range of taste was catered for, allowing one to have a full meal or a snack. Or perhaps just a quick cake or dessert while enjoying the coffee. And as it turned out the coffee really was enjoyable. I had the iced version as it was a warm day and that was accompanied by a completely over indulgent scoop of whipped cream. It was pleasant to be able to sip a tasty glass of coffee while perusing the menu. My wife was more conventional and had cappuccino which she declared to be excellent.
For the meal my wife chose Smoked Atlantic Salmon on fresh Italian bread, with salad. When it arrived we were both impressed with the size of the meal and the great way it was presented. The fillet of Salmon had been grilled and a light cream cheese melted over it before it was placed in a medium length bread roll. Accompanying salads were crisp and fresh and although this included some leaf types she is not fond of, my wife none the less declared it to be a fine salad indeed. Her rolling eyes and signs of enjoyment preceded her announcement that the whole dish was really tasty. She did permit me to taste a small portion and I was very impressed. Who ever thought up the combination of flavors that went into the dish did an excellent job. The potato chips that accompanied it were crispy fried and tasty.
I ordered a Thai Salad with beef strips. Again the salad was very crisp and fresh. The beef was tender and juicy, cooked just right, neither over nor under done. The only disappointment was that it was labelled as a Thai dish and I found little to qualify for that description. Tasty to be sure, a generous size serve also. But Thai? There was a little bit of sauce in the bottom of the bowl with a sort of Asian taste but the salad vegetables were pretty standard western to me. Knowing the Thai love of coriander I thought it might have benefited from having some of that in among the greens and of course if Thai, at least some chopped chili. None the less, despite the rather askew description, it was an enjoyable meal with a very generous serve of salad.
For dessert we totally over indulged with a slice of Butterscotch Caramel pie each. Wonderful taste and for my wife quite delightful. I am not such a sweet tooth, so while I liked it and considered it very high quality, I would be looking for something not quite so sweet next time.
For the kind of eating house the prices were a little on the high side. But service was excellent and the quality of food was very high standard. As the place had a large number of people coming and going all the time its obvious the prices were still within acceptable range for most. Many simply enjoyed coffee and a chat, others were apparently on their lunch break.
A tribute is that only a short walk down the mall one encounters a whole food court with a large variety of choices at very reasonable to low prices. Yet despite that Coffee Club was pretty much a full house during our visit. I would rake The Coffee Club very highly for those who want a nice meal and are prepared to pay a little more to ensure they get quality of food and service.

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