Enigma: A restaurant located in the Royal Motor Yacht Club Burraneer Bay. Enigma: Definition by the Concise Oxford Dictionary – Riddle, puzzling person or thing.
I have been wanting to try this restaurant for so long and was excited when I booked for our tribe for Mothers’ Day. My Mum, Mac and I, junior, Bro and Sis in law and Mac’s parents.
If you are not familiar with the Shire, Burraneer Bay is lovely, situated on the Port Hacking River and the Royal Motor Yacht Club is in an outstanding position right on it, truly lovely.
For Mothers’ Day Enigma offered a three course lunch for $50/head. When you do your homework there are places that offer a cheaper option where you can BYO and also there are places that offer a far more expensive option and fully licensed. This seemed a nice middle of the road licensed option.
As Enigma had fully booked out for lunch they “expanded” the restaurant to fill up the rest of one side of the club. I was advised on booking that as we would be in the “other” section we did not have to adhere to the two seating allocated time slots, we were invited to stay as long as we wanted. Cool!!
Mac, Junior, Mum and I were the first to arrive and seated at our table. Ordered drinks and settled in. The in-laws arrived about 10 minutes after us. As soon as they sat down we were pounced on to order. Fair enough in one way, this is the day to churn through the covers.
So after three approaches by wait staff and eight of us trying to navigate one menu between us, we were ready to order. Yes guys the rule of thumb was one menu for each table, very interesting.
On offer were 3 entrees, 3 mains and chefs selection for dessert. There was a kids meal which offered either chicken schnitzel, calamari & chips or fish & chips for $15.
Amongst the eight of us we ordered everything off the menu, ah the joy and variance of dining in a large group. We asked if we could order a side of chips as an extra and were promptly told “no” we were not allowed to deviate from the set menu. That quite honestly astounded me, we were not asking for something that was not on the menu and this item would of been at cost to us and profit to them. Obviously they cannot cope with a plate/bowl of chips as an extra.
After ordering my meal I attempted to order a bottle of wine with the person taking our orders, to which the response with attitude was “see me I am wearing black, see her over there she is wearing white, you order drinks off people in white”. Thank you for so eloquently advising me of that. Our waitress was a real gem, we were so lucky.
Now just to set the record straight for those who don’t know, in a previous life I have actually spent quite a few years working in the hospitality industry. Front of house in a variety of establishments and behind the bar at pubs and clubs. So yes I will be critical of rude/poor service, attitude and unimpressive food charged at a premium.
There was no bread offered on the menu to start with, their call, but does add a nice touch at little expense to the establishment.
For entree I opted for the 1/2 dozed Sydney Rock Oysters natural. They were lovely oysters, plump and creamy, served with a basic cocktail sauce and a tired looking lemon wedge. Junior went for the grilled haloumi cheese. Some were a little on the overcooked side and quite tough some were lovely and tender, served in a circle of thick balsamic sauce with some semi dried tomatoes, red capsicum and an anorexic asparagus spear.
Mac had the smoked salmon. A couple of slices of smoked salmon draped over a ball of tired looking lettuce which had started to brown. Topped with a ring of red onion and crème fraiche. Again circled with the thick balsamic sauce.
I had seen the mains being served to other tables and had spied the barramundi which sadly look dry and extremely over cooked, so I decided against that option. I don’t like lamb so that choice was off the menu for me, I opted for the half lobster mornay (crayfish). I am not a great lobster lover, but figured after 1/2 a dozen natural oysters I may be able to deal with the richness of the” “lobster”.
Oh boy oh boy oh boy. This is where the word enigma comes in to play. Let’s solve the riddle of where the rest of my “lobster” went? You can clearly see from the below photo that there are three bite size pieces floating in a sea of runny white sauce. There was one last tiny piece hiding up near the head. I checked with the other four “lobster” eaters at the table and they too also only received 4 bite sized pieces. What did the chef do with the rest of the flesh? Saving it in the kitchen for a rainy day?
As you can see from the below extremely disappointing. The so called mornay sauce was not a mornay sauce, it was a very runny béchamel sauce they left out the main ingredient to differentiate it from a béchamel, the cheese. My salad was okay, a bit on the tired side, I was starving so ate it. Mum left hers as it was just a little too tired.
Mac chose the slow spit roasted lamb. Simple, lamb was tender and okay, but greasy. Served with some oven roasted potatoes and tzatziki.
Mum in law had the wild barramundi fillets. I was so happy to see that she didn’t receive the over cooked fish I had seen served up at the table next to us. It was accompanied with salad and resting on mash potato, she was very happy with her meal.
Now for the Chef’s selection for dessert, cool what delights would await us….
Ohhh…. a vanilla or chocolate cannoli, wow, yeah, let’s knock ourselves out here!!
Overall I was extremely disappointed with Enigma. What we were offered for $50/head was a very cheap and easy meal with not much thought put in to it. They definitely have made an incredible profit from people going out to celebrate Mothers’ Day. I felt extremely ripped off by the experience to be quite honest. Unexciting over priced food and extremely poor service by the Enigma wait staff.
The club’s drink servers seemed a lot more relaxed and were very pleasant.
To add to the disappointment there seemed to also be a bistro somewhere in the establishment. We were watching people out on the deck enjoying what looked like really delicious fish and chips. I was so envious!
I won’t be returning to Enigma, but I think I will return to check out the bistro and enjoy a meal out by the water.
Royal Motor Yacht Club Port Hacking, 228 Woolooware Road, Burraneer Bay