Saturday, October 14, 2006

Ugly Sister, Balaclava

Call me a snob, but I really don't want to be listening to classic rock over breakfast. It might work for truck stops and sports bars, but it's a safe way to spoil the vibe of an urban cafe. Which is what happened today at Ugly Sister, 263-265 Carlisle Street, Balaclava, Tel +61 3 9527 6122. It's a pity, because the fit-out isn't bad, and I've never seen so many paintings in one venue (other than a gallery, of course).


I received a tip (thanks Hannah) that Ugly Sister was the highest user-rated breakfast venue at, so I was expecting an above average performance. What I got was a perfectly average experience. The food was somewhere between OK and good, with decent scrambled eggs, slightly dried out bacon, and tasty but very-greasy mushrooms. My first Cisco's coffee was good (borderline very good), but the second was way too hot (ie, hold the glass for longer than a few seconds and you'll be reaching for the burn cream). Service was quick, but not particularly warm.

My conclusion from this is that the ranking system on is seriously flawed. Backing this up is the fact that Caffe 396 (around the corner from Ludo) comes in second on their so-called breakfast "Wish List". I once had eggs benedict at that place (admittedly quite some time ago) and it was so bad that I couldn't bring myself to blog about it (for fear of reliving the experience).

Carlisle Street boasts several venues worth crossing town for. In my opinion, Fugly Sister isn't one of them. But if you like classic rock...

12/20 "perfectly average"



Anonymous Sarah said...

Perhaps the problem is inherent in choosing "good food" democratically...

If you have to order a pizza for 10 people you'll usually end up getting a hawaiian pizza not because anyone particularly likes it but because most people will eat it.

As with most reviews they are most useful as one person's opinion. Over time you can learn what things you agree on. Voting for what's best (I think) usually results in something very mediocre.

I've seen some web sites that ask people to rate things but instead of simply showing what most people agree on they show you what most people who's preferences are so far similar to yours thought of the options you haven't tried yet. (eg, "Movie Lens" attempts this with movies).

15/10/06 17:13  
Blogger Ed Charles said...

You've just reminded me to review these restaurant sites, which aren't even up to date and only ofer profiles and not proper reviews.

16/10/06 18:22  
Anonymous Ellie said...

Hah! I was contacted by the people who run this particular website, asking for my contribution (in exchange for my plugging their service on my blog), but after a quick surf around the site and looking at what they call reviews, decided that this wasn't anything that I'd want to be associated with.

Ed's right - those brief profiles are of no use to anybody, and in all reality are probably paid for in some manner by the restaurants.

Love the site - I'm not much of a breakfast person (I'm usually just grabbing a fresh juice on the run), but might check out some of the better rated eateries for a lazy Sunday :)

18/10/06 19:16  

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