Urban eating

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How much should you read into an Urbanspoon review?

If you live in Bayside in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, chances are you have seen a massive glass dome full of palm trees that lies at the start of the Frankston freeway.

The green dome is a bit of a local landmark appearing to rise up from the middle of a paddock at the end of the freeway.chelseaheights

Like or loathe the design you have to agree it is eye catching and one that’s going to be easy to remember if you’re ever asked ‘hey have you eaten in that giant glass dome before?’ You’re going to remember eating there, aren’t you!

So, being one of the most recognisable pubs east of Melbourne it should be easy to carve a name into the pub grub scene as a great spot to grab a cheap, hearty meal that’s good value for money right?

Well, wrong… according to Urbanspoon, Chelsea Heights dishes you up a rotten 17 per cent worth of value. You just can’t put a good spin on a 17 per cent rating on the most-used food review website in Australia.

Not one to let a 17 per cent rating put me off my meal, I decided to go and check out just how much we should read into unpleasant website reviews.
Chelsea height steak
The dome wasn’t a bad place to sit inside and eat my meal. Full of large palm trees overhead and two levels of seating, it is unique like it was obviously intended to urbanspoon reviewbe.

Kids would love the dome with its separate play area and unique atmosphere and parents are able to sit back have a drink, eat their meals all while knowing the children will be amused for a few hours at least.
Some of the best pub meals I’ve ever eaten in the world come from when you have a smaller, more refined menu of only seven or eight choices. Sadly this was not one of them. The menu is very large and by the time you decide what country of origin your dinner will come from, it’s almost breakfast time.

The highlight of my dining experience was the bruschetta, a dish that’s almost impossible to screw up as long as your bread is fresh and crusty. It is usually a pleasant way to start any meal.

As a whole the food isn’t bad, but it isn’t really good either. I can see why some have taken to Urbanspoon to vent that a $35 steak wasn’t up to scratch. Chelsea Heights meal

I’m also positive that plenty more people than the 51 who have taken to Urbanspoon slating the pub, have left full and satisfied. People don’t go to a bistro like Chelsea Heights to take photos of the food and write a review. However, people who feel ripped off are only too happy to take to websites like Urbanspoon to scorn and warn against anyone ever eating at the establishment.

I would personally eat at the bistro again if I was in the area and needed a quick feed, but I would never set out to recommend it as a must-stop on your food safari around Melbourne. It’s just an all-round average place to grab a bite to eat.

So, the moral of the story is, while Urbanspoon can be a useful tool when finding out what the general public thinks of an establishment, people are always going to be more forthcoming with complaints, than congratulations. And to be fair, I know of much worse places to eat in the Eastern Bayside suburbs with a much better Urbanspoon rating than 17 per cent.

Springvale Road, Melbourne VIC 3195
(03) 9773 4453
http://www.chelseaheightshotel.com.au/

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