Cheap drinks and open late - not great for food.Our rating:
Just like there are certain suburbs around town you would not dare venture to after the sun has set, there’s a handful of pubs I try avoid at all costs after dark. Not because I think they’re beneath me, it’s just because the days of slamming down alcohol infused energy drinks followed by shots of cheap tequila are well and truly behind me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the odd crazy night out, but being surrounded by dozens of sweaty, boozed up, “I’ll punch you in the head if you look at my girl again” tweens is no longer my thing. For me, Carnegie’s is one of those places, I avoid it like the plague on Friday nights but considering I’ve never eaten at Carnegies, a few mates and I thought we’d give it a go for a mid-week lunch.
The place looks very different in daylight and without gazing through an alcohol impaired set of eyes, it actually looks ok, even though there’s a tonne of cheesy posters/novelty rock’n’roll items hanging around the place (including a wheel of fortune style wheel hanging over the bar – I’m assuming it’s some kind of drinking game). We were shown to a table near the back of the bar and ordered our food and drinks fairly quickly as we were all quite hungry. Four of us ordered the $16 daily special, Chicken Kiev with mash & salad (including a middy) and there was one order of the fish and hand cut chips with tartare sauce.
I fully understand that you can expect to wait a bit longer for your food to come out if you order around the peak lunch time rush (12 – 1ish) – which we didn’t, or if the place is completely packed – which it wasn’t. No matter how you look at it waiting over an hour for five fairly standard pub meals in a near empty pub is just insane! Especially during a work week, where people have to get back to their jobs. Worst of all, there were no reassurances that our meals were on the way or explanations for their delay. We even asked our waitress twice about their whereabouts and finally when they came out did we get some sort of half-baked apology. I was really hoping that they would be worth the wait, but sadly they weren’t. The fish and chips were no show stopper but in all fairness were better than the chicken kievs. The Kiev’s tasted like they had come from a packet in the freezer (in retrospect we probably could’ve driven to Woolies in Freo to get our own Kievs and then cooked them at home in the time it took ours to come out). The mash was not great either, mine was slightly cold, had a heavy feel to it and little to no flavour. The salad that came on the side was abysmal, more of a token decoration than a salad and was barely edible at best. At least the meals were cheap as well as the drinks.
Granted there is a chance that the kitchen’s mishaps may have been a once off and we caught them on a particularly bad day, but the way it was handled and the quality of the food that eventually came out was not great. Carnegie’s is well known amongst those in the city for its cheap cocktails (they have a half price cocktail night every Wednesday from 6pm) and because they’re open late most nights it tends to be quite a popular spot in the CBD. If you’re after a place for a cheap drink in the city then Carnegie’s is your place but, if it’s a meal you’re after, I’d give it a miss.
Night: Neat Casual