Replete is one of those places that seems to always be full and have a perpetual queue out the front. Due to these factors, we don't like crowds or queuing, we haven't eaten there that often but when we have over the years, it's been rather good. However, during the course of this latest visit we are left scratching our heads and wondering just when did it get this bad.
Our coffee came out too hot and a bit bitter but that wasn't the problem - the problem was the food.
The porridge is served with muscovado sugar which is good - what isn't good is serving muscovado sugar that is as hard as a rock and impossible to crumble and it certainly won't dissolve in the porridge either. The porridge itself, well as Paalo put it, "if Home Dining Room's is a ten and Cafe Vue's is an 8 then this is a 2."
With the thoughts of yesterdays corn fritters on my mind I order the Replete Corn Fritters with smoked salmon, poached egg and tomato-chilli relish and this is what I get
The greatest sin in this dish is how they have treated the smoked salmon - it has been wedged between those two corn flavoured pancakes and in the heat has turned them that rather unappetising grey/pink colour. The salmon placed on top is also changed by the heat of the egg and the flood of relish. What really annoyed me is that the small piece of smoked salmon I found that hadn't been "cooked" was absolutely delicious, it didn't deserve to be treated so badly. The corn fritters were pancakes, flour seemed to be the major ingredient here and the whole dish was an exercise of quantity over quality.
When we left and mulled over this experience it was one where the regret comes with the first mouthful. It wasn't pleasant and we left most of the food behind. Most of all we wondered, what happened? After a little searching we discovered something that might explain it - Replete has new owners.