This is a small restaurant mainly catering for guests staying within the motor inn itself. I like the fact that it's a quiet venue, but it's too quiet for my liking. I always find myself lowering my voice during conversations, sometimes to a whisper. I personally have never seen more than eight diners at one time in the restaurant for dinner, and that number includes the four of us (my family). My father introduced me to this restaurant and we have been several times, however this will be the last.
The head chef hasn't changed the menu within the last ten months, at least. My father tells me that on one past occasion he had some 'bad' oysters, but that obviously hadn't stopped him from ordering them again. I guess in a small country town, with limited decent restaurants, you tend to come back - even after a bad experience.
Based on past dining I would have recommended the 'giant' vegetarian spring rolls however on this occasion they were very oily! The spring rolls also come with two types of dipping sauce, one is a sweet chilli sauce (which is suitable), the other is pure kecap manis - FAR too sweet for a dipping sauce. I'll also add that there was far too much of both dipping sauces left over as well.
The Downs does have one good thing going for it, and that's their wine and beer selection. Not bad for a small licensed establishment. I've learnt that to thoroughly enjoy a good meal here, you need to be somewhat tipsy. There was a specials board which unfortunately I only managed to notice after we had finished our meal.
Here you will find the entree menu and for some reason, their website contains a second entree menu, but no main menu is available to browse online. You will also find the prices of entrees at these links too.
The service is relatively fast, yet atrocious. The meals were not piping hot, particularly the mains, leaving me to assume that the risotto was simply slopped into it's serving bowl and left on a semi-warm bench for the uninterested young waitress to collect after we had finished our entrees. As I had mentioned before, I hadn't noticed the specials board until after the meal had finished so it would have been great if the waitress (and the only waitress) had mentioned the specials to us after she had us seated.
On a similar note, every time I have been to the Downs for dinner the chef has had inappropriate music blaring loudly in the kitchen which flows on out to the silent dining area, kitchen doors opened OR closed. I found this to be irritating and quite unprofessional. On top of that, the usual waitress used to singalong whilst she was in the kitchen, and at times I have heard the conversations between the staff while we have been dining - and the conversations haven't been work-related. I'll just leave it at that. A positive is that I have never known a time when the waitress has made a mistake on any of our orders.
Unfortunately I will be choosing not to dine here again, which is a great shame because that doesn't leave many other establishments in the township of Bega to head to for a decent, refined meal.
The entrance.....I'm not saying a word......
Oysters Kilpatrick $20.50 Dozen
Gourmet spring rolls $11.00
The filling tastes great, however the roll itself was very oily to the touch.
Mushroom and vegetable risotto - not overly appealing....
The Bega Downs Restaurant is a fully licensed restaurant open every evening at 6pm.
Cnr Princes Highway & High Street
Bega NSW 2550
Phone: 02 6492 2944