Thursday, November 16, 2006

Restaurant Air - Chadstone - A La Carte

[Reprint. Originally published 18 June 2006]

Venue: Restaurant Air
Address: Level 1, David Jones Store, Chadstone Shopping Centre, Princes Highway, Chadstone
Parking: Free. David Jones carpark located Cnr Chadstone Rd and Dandenong Rd, entrance available from either road
Opening Hours: Mon - Wed 9am-5:30pm, Thurs - Fri 9am-9pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-5pm
Price Range: $7 for cake, $12-18 light meals

I have been to Restaurant Air on two occasions during the past couple of weeks. One was lunch on a weekend with my husband, Logan, and the other was dinner with a group of people from work on a Thursday night.

Being slightly boring (and a fan of the saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"), I ordered the Salt and Pepper Calamari on a bed of salad both times. On each occasion the dish was cooked slightly differently but both were delicious. At our lunch, Logan ordered the All Day Breakfast and proceeded to devour his plate of eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomato, crusty bread and hash brown.

The staff were rushed off their feet. We were having some difficulty attracting the attention of the waiting staff after our ordered glasses of water failed to appear. Logan also requires copious amounts of sugar in his coffee and we couldn't catch anyone's eye to ask for an amount supplementary to the "one teaspoon" paper-encased serve that arrived with his drink. It was a fantastic cup of coffee all the same.

Prime position is a seat by the large window that stretches the length of the restaurant although I think this has more to do with the warmth of the sun coming through than the view of the car park...

Patrons were happily talking among themselves, camcordering sweet, young, cherubic children, or settling crying babies. (The restaurant _is_ accessed through the childrens' clothes section of the store.) There were also people queueing for tables so we decided against staying for something from their beautiful array of cakes, which I have gladly sampled on a previous occasion, and continued with our shopping.

Dinner with some of my work friends was a more sedate affair and, with a smaller number of occupied tables in the restaurant on this occasion, we had just the right amount of attention lavished on us. The others on my table ordered the Fish and Chips, Tandoori Chicken salad with mango dressing, Steak and the Smoked Trout Tart. The Tart was so good that one member of the table asked for a copy of the recipe to be emailed to her and they dutifully took her details.

We decided that we had enough room for dessert and I ordered some Sticky Date Pudding which arrived warmed, surrounded by a moat of butterscotch sauce and with just the right amount of King Island Cream dolloped on the side. Yum! There were cheesecakes and lemon tart and someone ordered a Pavlova Nest with Berry Compote. Mmm, delicious.

Although we were a table of seven, they cheerily allowed us to each pay separately at the till at the end of the evening. We left the restaurant very satisfied and there was still enough time to do some more shopping at "Chadstone - The Fashion Capital".

All in all, they were very nice meals. I do recommend booking a table for lunch on the weekends if you are definitely wanting to eat there as it is a very popular spot. There can be problems with service when they are busy with a lunch crowd but any issues are quickly rectified if mentioned which is all, I think, you can ask for.

The food was great, they probably could have done with another member of staff on the floor the weekend we visited but I like the place all the same. Four out of five Toorak Tractors.

Reviewed by Riss.