I take my garlic bread very seriously and if a restaurant offers sub-standard garlic bread, my reviews of that restaurant tend to also reflect this, as I find that you can generally judge a restaurant by its garlic bread. Luckily for Nicholson's Bar and Grill, the garlic bread that was delivered was not bad. In fact, I would say that it was almost perfect; the buttery spread was infused with a decent garlic and herb flavour, however, unfortunately it was slightly on the soggy side. So how would I rate the garlic bread on a scale of 1 to 10? Probably a 6. So, that was my expectation for the rest of the meal – a slightly better than average restaurant meal.
If size of your meal is how you rate a restaurant, then Nicholson's would have to rate 10. Guys and girls alike struggle to finish their meal, even if you choose only the entrée sized lasagne. I ordered the chicken and avocado pizza with a drizzle of gorgeous aioli. I certainly was not going hungry when what arrived was a massive pizza that would feed at least two people. It really puts Pizza Hut pizzas to shame. I guess the important thing is flavour and I certainly was not disappointed. The base was thin and crispy, the toppings not overcrowded but distributed in a pleasing way. My friend ordered the seafood pizza and again, we were not disappointed.
However, while the pizzas at Nicholson's are very flavoursome, there are definitely meals that are substandard. The beef schnitzel, while bigger than your head, was overcooked, dry and chewy, while the honey mustard chicken pieces, begin well, but gradually become too much even for the fried food addict. Nicholson's certainly have a hit and miss menu, where you can be rewarded with a fantastic meal, or one that even the massive serving cannot overcome the poor cooking.
So, did my garlic bread score reflect my opinion of the main menu at Nicholson's? Definitely. Nicholson's Bar and Grill is great if you are looking for a massive serving and they are happy to offer doggy bags to take your leftovers home. On the negative side, you really do need to select your meal carefully to ensure you buy a meal that is edible. Prices vary, but are mostly quite reasonable. Luckily for me, the pizzas are probably the cheapest item on the menu and they are probably the tastiest (and safest) option.
As for feel of the restaurant, it depends which end you are seated. One end also converts into a function room and feels a little more fine dining, whereas the other end is more pub-like. There is also a lovely outdoor dining area. You have to order your meal individually at the bar, so you do not have to worry about splitting the bill. If crowded, it can be annoying queuing up to order food, to then have to swap over to another long queue when you want to order a drink as they cannot be ordered at the same time.
Nicholson's Bar and Grill is located on Birnam Road, just off Nicholson Road in Canning Vale. It can be popular, so bookings are essential. It is easy to take groups to this restaurant as you order you meal individually at the counter. However, they accept cash only, so you need to be prepared for this or you will have to use their ATM for a fee.