Recent Recipes

Eating Out: The Boathouse


Category :

Most of you will know The Boathouse's proud owner, Gary Mehigan from Masterchef Australia.
We had sampled some of the dishes at the Taste Festival last year, and were keen to go to the restaurant in Moonee Ponds to try more. We had signed up for VIP membership, which entitled us to a free meal upon going to the restaurant to collect our VIP cards. Hamsley had made a booking for the weekend before his birthday so that we could go and claim our free meals.

The Boathouse is set on the Maribyrnong River. Inside is decked out with lovely timber furniture, and lots of lush looking cushions. The french doors open out onto the large deck; which surrounded by lovely trees. We sat on the deck since it was such a lovely night, watching the sun set slowly as fitness freaks ran on by.

Since neither of us had been to The Boathouse before, we were unsure of whether it was table service, or if you had to order up at the bar. After Dave, the manager showed us to our table and told us he'd take care of our VIP membership we sat there for what seems like forever (to me).  I glanced on at other tables and saw waiters taking orders, so I figured we would just wait for menus to arrive. I couldn't wait anymore, so I went up and picked up two menus for us to look through.
After quite some time looking through the menu, Hamsley was wondering what the free meal included; as he was eye-ing off the $40 steak on the menu. He went inside to ask, but all we got was vague answers from numerous staff members. He finally tracked down Dave for an answer. We were told our VIP membership cards could not be issued today, but he would offer us a discount on a main meal. Some what disappointed, shortly after that a waiter did come and take our order.

Tumbler Pils - 300ml $5.00, 500ml $9.00

We both went for the beer on tap, an ale all the way from Salzburg (I got the tiny one).

Arancini with Aioli - $13.50

We ordered an entree of arancini. I have always wanted to make arancini, but the whole process of deep frying doesn't excite me. Hamsley had never had arancini before, as he asked me what it was when I put in a request for it. We both loved them. They were warm, creamy, crispy and went really well with the aioli. I could have happily ordered another plate and called it a night.

400g Rib Eye "Grain Fed" with Baby Potatoes, Apple and Mustard Chutney -  $40.50

Hamsley's steak was of a generous size. Although, to be honest; I was expecting a bit more on his plate for $40! The steak was cooked to perfection, and Hamsley did mention quite a few times that it was extremely juicy. It came with an epic steak knife to cut through the thick rib eye meat.

Zata Lamb Skewer with Freekeh, Parsley and Red Onion - $19.50

I was tossing up between this lamb kebab or a pizza. I didn't know what freekeh was, but I was in the mood for something meaty.
It came out nicely presented, and tasted fantastic. Something about mixing spices with lamb, and char grilling it makes it ever so tasty. The bed of freekeh and other ingredients made a very refreshing accompaniment to the succulent lamb skewer.

After it all, I'm still not sure how I feel about The Boathouse. The service at the start of the night left a lot to be desired, but was made up for later on when we dropped my tiny beer and it was replaced. The food was delicious, but possibly a bit over priced. I would like to go back to try other items on the menu, see what the service is like on a different occasion, and hopefully claim at least one of our free meals!

Boathouse on Urbanspoon


If the sentiments are a little mixed, but overall not inducing repulsion or disgust, then I always think it's worth returning for another try. You may not be as excited about it second time around but you'll keep it at the back of your mind for another occasion, I think.

I'm going to a wedding at the Boathouse in a couple of months!

On your photo description of the steak you wrote it was a 700gm steak - is that correct because that's a bargain!

Loved you pics Shellie and your comments: A shame the service was a tad slack to start of your special night out. Just maybe they thought if you sat and waited, and waited, your Hunger pags would be such that you may not have noticed that your plates, weren't full and overflowing. Hamsley's plate did look a bit lean with just a piece of Baked Spud, could have been more colorful? Just maybe? Their idea of if !'it wasn't enough,' another dish @ would be $40 good pocket money for the 'Boat House'.
I am sure though Shellie, you and Hamsley would have enjoyed your time together after all.
Hugs. xox :-)

That steak looks goood, I love a juicy rib-eye! But I have to say, when you're paying prices like that, you expect some modicum of service! I think their attitude at the beginning of your night was a bit unforgivable honestly!

I'll generally order a rib-eye too, but any steak that's over $40 shouldn't need to come with a steak knife, you should be able to cut it with your normal table knife. That's the mark of a good steak! And that potato doesn't look so baby.

I must admit, my first thought too was "that's one big 'baby potatoes'!" I'm never sure what to do about mixed feelings about a restaurant... give them another shot, or cut and run? Such difficult decisions we face! :)

Dang! That one mega steak huh?! Shame about the overall experience- I've wanted to go to this place with the beaut weather we've been experiencing... The surroundings look great.

Gorgeous pics Shellie! :D Hmm the start doesn't sound very impressive though!

No offence to Hamsley, but I wouldn't have got the steak at a restaraunt like that.
The wood fire pizzas would have had my vote.
Also, Moonee Ponds, last time I checked, isn't 'Country Victoria'. Just thought you want to check that.

heh deepfrying makes me a little too excited lol im terrified of oil burns!

We are just round the corner. Been there a few times for lazy Sunday brunch. Pizza is always good. Service can be a little hit and miss.

Hi Mademoiselle Délicieuse - Yeah, I couldn't even vote on Urbanspoon because I didn't know how I felt.

Hi Rilsta - Ahh, let us know how it goes! Thanks, I've fixed that now to 400g.. I got it wrong!

Hi Jeanne - Yeah, we did enjoy eachother's company at least!

Hi Vee - Yeah, tell me about it!!

Hi Something By Kate - So true. So true. Yeah, obese baby potato!

Hi Hannah - Yeah, didn't even notice until you said it! It is a hard decision. I'm happy to not go back.

Hi Adrian - Sure was! Surroundings are nice, service - not the best.

Hi Lorraine - Thanks! No... it left a lot to be desired.

Hi Jon Wright - Shall be getting a pizza if we go back. Thanks for that, I fixed it now! I knew that, musta just hit it accidently.

Hi Chocolate Suze - lol, I'm terrified of them too!

Hi Penny - I shall have to try the pizza next time for sure =)

Did they explain why you couldn't get your cards/meals at that time? How annoying! Maybe they wanted to give you crap service so when you actually get VIP service it'll seem twice as awesome :)

I've been going to this place for years & didnt actually know it was owned by Masterchef Gary, so there you go. I love the setting & love going with the kids for a nice sunny lunch, it's a great setting with the river for a stroll & the nice kiddy park nearby. I have never tried dinner, maybe that is the key to good service as I've never had any complaints.

Dear IronChefShellie, the Boathouse post was a wonderful review. I was laughing at what you wrote "watching the sun set slowly as fitness freaks ran on by" cause I am going to start calling those joggers that too. I did like how you commented on the service, and I am surprised they made you wait so long to put in your order. The steak looked fantastic but so did the lamb skewer. There are some wonderful shots of the food and the place itself. Very professional and I will definitely be back to have a bite of more.
Thank you for sharing.
Cheers, Gaby
You can visit me at http://ptsaldari.posterous.com

All images and text is property of Iron Chef Shellie. These reviews are based on my opinions and experiences.
Permission must be granted before using any images or text from this website.

Feel free to contact me:
ironchefshellie [at] gmail [dot] com