Cabramatta has over 50 restaurants, most of them Vietnamese, so why would I choose to come and eat at the Bowling Club? Good question. Very good question, as all things considered, it didn't turn out to be the best place to take our Thai visitor.
On the face of it, the Bowling Club is a good option. In Cabramatta, parking is often a daunting and frustrating proposition. The Bowling Club has oodles of parking. The club has recently been renovated and it's certainly no daggy old fashioned bowling club. There's lots of sleek straight lines, neutral colours, timber panelling, it's one smart looking attractive club. The drinks come at club prices. I bought two chardonnays and a middy of beer for under $6.00. Beat that.
And the food? While I was disappointed not to see any Vietnamese dishes on the menu, there was nothing wrong with the food. The menu is a mix of traditional club dishes and Chinese. There's Fish and Chips ($12.00) T Bone ($13.00) or Chicken Schnitzel ($15.00) all served with chips and salad or mash and veg and all cheaper during the happy hour between 5:30pm and 6:30pm. There's an extensive Chinese menu (with live fish in tanks) and daily and weekly specials. These included dishes that were an intriguing fusion of Asian and Aussie club standards like Peking Duck Pizza.
I went for the Roast Duck Curry with mash and veg. My partner opted for the BBQ Honey Pepper Pork Ribs with, you guessed it, mash and veg, while our visitor decided they would have the Grilled Pacific Dory Fillets. All arrived at the same time and in quick fashion. All were quite delicious with all the diners at the table impressed with the cooking and the quality of the food.
So where did it all go wrong? Well, unfortunately for us, clubs being clubs, tonight was meat raffle night. "And the first winner tonight is ticket number 459, that's 459" the P.A. boomed. And so it went on and on. Quite why we in the bistro had to be subjected to the announcements at the same decibel level as the rest of the club, we couldn't work out, but on and on the winners were called up to collect their meat packs. Conversation with our visitor was made extremely difficult and we made the decision to cut and run when we finished our meals. We were all disappointed to have the ambience of our dining experience destroyed by the booming meat raffle MC's voice.
I won't be returning to eat at the Bowling Club any time soon. This is Cabramatta after all, and there are over 50 restaurants to choose from and I reckon there's not too many of them are going to ruin my dinner with a loud meat raffle draw. Club diners, beware.