Rashays is an Australian franchise restaurant which has over 25 outlets - including two in Canberra at Woden and Belconnen Westfield shopping centres. Both are situated near Hoyts movie cinemas so you can enjoy a meal before or after a movie, or any day of the week whilst out shopping. These family-friendly restaurants have a wide range of menu options, with an extensive kids menu and balloons and activity books to keep them busy. It also has a popular Rashays Rewards card, which costs $10 to buy and entitles you to 10% all meals (except on Sunday) and access to the latest deals.
The Rashays Woden outlet opened in August 2017 and every time our family has walked by, it has been particularly busy. I had heard from a few friends that there were a few teething problems when it first opened, like any new business - however it was now an enjoyable place for a coffee, cake, breakfast, lunch or dinner. With that in mind, our family decided to walk in for lunch on a busy Saturday - eager to see what it was like...
Rashays, located opposite Hoyts at Woden Westfield shopping centre
On our lunch-time visit, we were warmly welcomed in and settled into some comfy, leather lounge seats inside the restaurant. On each table, there were two menus, with a range of options including chicken, steak, pasta, seafood, pizza and burgers - with photos of each meal on the menu so you know what to expect. We ordered from the Anytime Burgers Menu and picked the Haloumi Burger and Beef Burger. All the burgers come with chips in a metal rack - which our daughter was looking forward to devouring! It didn't take long for our burgers to arrive and both of them tasted as good as they looked - with tangy sauces, soft brioche buns, hits of flavour and just the right balance of flavour combinations. The few chips that we managed to steal from our daughter were also particularly more-ish, with a tasty seasoning scattered lightly over the top.
If you have kids with a bigger appetite, or if you're visiting for dinner, there is also lasagne, nuggets, chicken schnitzel, mac and cheese balls, fish, burgers and pesto pasta for $9.90 on the Junior Menu, which includes a drink and ice cream.
Haloumi Burger - Grilled haloumi with semi-dried tomato bruschetta, basil pesto, baby spinach & whole egg mayo on brioche with chips ($17.90)
After such an enjoyable lunch experience, we decided to go back a few weeks later and try out their Breakfast Menu with friends, which was cheaper in price and also looked attractive on the handy photo menu. Once again we were warmly welcomed in and taken to a table of our choice, which was facing a large TV screen showing the latest music videos (which was good for the music, however a little distracting). The breakfast menu has a wide range of choices such as Pancakes, French Toast, Eggs Royale, Steak & Eggs, Acai Bowls and a huge Mega Breakfast. We ordered our coffees and a baby chino for our daughter, as well as Smashed Avo and Eggs Benny and a side of hash browns - our daughters favourite breakfast. If you have kids with a larger appetite however, there is a Junior Breakfast option on the menu with eggs, toast and hash browns.
Our coffees came quickly, which was welcome on a chilly autumn morning. We were so impressed by their creamy texture and hit of flavour, that we ended up having two!
The breakfast meals were good value and the perfect serving size to be full - without having to roll out of there afterwards! The Smashed Avo had a tangy and flavoursome tomato combination (which was also used on my Haloumi Burger above), with avocado, crumbly feta, poached eggs and sourdough toast. The Eggs Benny with turkey bacon had perfectly cooked eggs, the right amount of creamy hollandaise sauce over the top and deliciously crispy turkey bacon. Combined with the coffee, it was a comforting way to kick off the weekend.
Eggs Benny - Poached eggs, turkey rashers, buttered spinach & hollandaise on sourdough ($13.90), with a side of hash browns ($2.90)
Although we had heard some whispers about the service and wait times when Rashays Woden first opened their doors, it is clear that these kinks have been ironed out and the restaurant has found its feet - on our visits anyway. We found the service to be friendly, efficient and hassle-free, with a relaxed ambience and we didn't feel hurried to leave. The inside tables are sectioned off into different areas, which means that you can have a conversation and you don't feel too close to the table next to you. I must admit that we were happy to be seated inside, as the outside tables along the walkway opposite Hoyts and iPlay were fairly noisy - especially with the sound travelling from the food court close by.
Rashays Woden impressed our family on both visits. It may not be ground-breaking with new gourmet ideas, but it is simple, family favourites done well. We enjoyed everything we ordered and also had meal-envy, as we looked at what other people had ordered on the tables around us. We have already decided that next time we go and see a movie, we will be stopping in at Rashays afterwards to try one of these! How can you resist?
Wagon Wheel, Mint Pattie and Tim Tam Rashakes ($11.90). Image: Original photos from Rashays Facebook