Lakehouse Restaurant, 55 Cumberland Drive, Edgewater. Phone: 9317 3649
Edgewater, a brand new suburb, is served at the top of its hill by a number of commercial enterprises, including a fish and chip shop of which we’re fond.
There’s eateries of the Malaysian and Thai persuasion, an Aldi outlet and a few other places we’re yet to sample.
Down the hill, at water’s edge so to speak, the feel is different.
Despite the many houses and apartments, the place seems to have a ghost-town vibe.
Where are all the people?
There’s a creperie and cafe/restaurant/deli, both of which we’ve hit for coffee without being tempted to go further.
But despite the slightly forlorn vibe, Bennie and I have taken to enjoying the undeniably gorgeous setting along the waterfront, quite often going for a ramble in the downtime between the school day ending and rugby practice starting across the road.
And when we’ve been hanging out here, we’ve always wondered about the large space at the river’s end of the main apartment building.
Obviously designed with a restaurant operation in mind, it perennially looked unloved and desolate.
In our minds, there seemed little chance of this neighbourhood having any kind of pizzazz while it remained so.
So we were delighted to hear from a local that the place was destined – in a few days’ time – for a new life as a living, breathing, operating restaurant.
A few days later, during the week’s second footy practice, I take the opportunity to check the place out, in the process meeting manager George and maitre’d Lisa and snagging an invite to the coming Saturday night’s “soft launch” (full disclosure below).
Lit up and looking beaut on a chilly but windless winter night, the place is an eye magnet. Come spring time and summer, the outdoor seating on the Lakehouse balcony will surely become one of the great westie haunts.
I do worry, though, about the ability of this new enterprise to throw off the downbeat baggage of several year’s of inaction and non-use. Such things can take a while to overcome.
So I’m delighted to find that relatively early on a Saturday night the place has a cheerful buzz going, with about half the tables taken.
Lisa tells me some of the customers are friends or family of the Lakehouse crew, but plenty more are curious walk-ups or locals eager to check out this new arrival.
If I lived in this neighbourhood, I’d be hitting Lakehouse pronto, too!
The service and welcome are fine, and everyone seems to have a spring in their step.
The restaurant interior seems rather flash, yet on the other hand the are no airs and graces going on here.
The napkins are paper and there’s two wall-mounted TVs, one showing footy and the other cricket.
Likewise with the food offerings, represented by a shorter opening night list that will expand come the place’s official opening in a few days’ time, taking in the pizza oven offerings along the way.
Think solid bistro tucker with an Italian influence, the main course pricing of $22 to $34 seemingly pitched at getting the locals to think of the joint as a regular option rather than just as a swish night out.
Crispy calamari served with a fennel, orange and cherry tomato salad ($15) is just fine.
The calamari is low on crisp but as tender and flavoursome as calamari gets. The salad works, too, helped by a smooth dressing that is both creamy and light.
My two handsome bones ($28) are everything lamb shanks should be – really pungent with sheepish flavour, generously meaty and with the flesh falling from the bones.
The garlic mash has a slightly bitter edge to it, but both it and broccolini play nice second fiddles to the tremendous shanks. A greater quantity of juice/gravy would’ve hit the spot with me, though I know that’s not bistro style.
I’ve enjoyed my meal heaps but wonder about how good a seafood pasta might be at such a place – and whether there’ll be a hamburger on the regular menu.
Lakehouse Restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Sunday and for breakfast from 8am at weekends.
Disclosure: Consider The Sauce was provided a meal without being required to pay by Lakehouse management, which did not know which dishes would be ordered. No editorial input was sought or given.
NOTE: The menus below represent the Lakehouse opening night offerings – the regular menu will be along the same lines but, I’m told, longer.
Very excited to hear something has opened in that killer spot Kenny. I too have enjoyed wandering around there, usually looking for somewhere to gobble our fish and chips (Rockfish of course)!
wow look at the food. nice meeting you Kenny the other day. Lets go to Nasi Lamak shall we?
Wish them luck! That space is beautifully situated but has been vacant for such a long time. Hope The Lakehouse establishes itself because it would be a great spot for dinner on a warm sommer’s night.
I’m sorry but I was unimpressed with our experience here. Below I’ve added my urbanspoon review, for those who care to read it. Just my opinion however. Completely unbiased.
I had high hopes for this Venue, being a local to the area. The location alone promised great summer dining. However, after eating dinner here on Sunday 1st September, I was very disappointed. To begin with, our two-weeks notice wasn’t enough for our booking to be recognized. I ordered the Rib eye, which was a very ordinary cut to begin with. I’ve eaten better over the counter pub steaks. It was served with overlooked beans and what seemed like boiled potatoes, (which still had skin hanging off them) that were cut in a horrible, mass produced fashion. The mushroom sauce that accompanied the dish was quite bland. My partner ordered the Mussel and Prawn Fettucine, of which the pasta was overcooked, sauce bland and seafood quality was poor. My 3yo son grazed through a kids fish and chips, which seemed reasonable, although there was no danger of him burning himself as the meal was lukewarm at best.
The staff seemed vague, although I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt to a degree, due to the infancy of the venue. Unfortunately I cannot condone being chased out of the place to be asked if we had settled our bill, by a junior waitress who thought our hasty exit meant we hadn’t. No love, we were in a hurry to leave due to the fact we had to find a more suitable place to eat.
The general finish of the venue was cheap and there was no attention to detail. Rocking tables, cutlery set out incorrectly, and dirty plates left for us to negotiate. I agree with previous reviews that the menu is similar to “Lazy Moes” but with it also being rubbish, that’s not much to crow about.
Lots of room for improvement. We regularly dine out both in Melbourne and interstate and hope you take on board the criticism, and work hard to achieve what promised to be a fantastic restaurant.