All of my friends rave about Red Cray in Belmont and I was looking forward to eating at Red Cray in Mt Lawley because just driving past, it looks so lovely! Big signs, great location right there on the corner, looks like something I want to try. The glass fronted restaurant unfortunately seems to be going to waste, all the outside doors were locked when we arrived, leaving the only entrance through the second avenue shopping centre.
My first impression was emptiness. The waiting area and main counter are in a modern looking bar and when I looked up expecting to see their selection of liquors what I saw was an expansive display of empty martini glasses, this place is BYO only. Along with these glasses-only bar shelves are a bookshelf and wine rack, both dark coloured wood veneer, both empty. The wine rack was sitting in the corner between a table and the wall, so it's probably best it was empty, it would be impossible to get to otherwise.
Mood lighting is certainly a theme here. I liked that it wasn't too bright but after a while the twinkling LED light fixtures started to hurt my eyes because they pierced the darkness I was growing accustomed to. Unfortunately the lack of light meant less-than ideal photos.
Our waitstaff were attentive and the manager came over to tell us about specials, but then the manager came back when our whole party was seated and told us everything again. I can easily say this was my least favourite part of the evening, he talked for a good ten minutes, waved off all of our protestations. He read out the menu we could clearly see, and a special's board we could clearly see and refused to stop talking when we told him we were fine.
Our food arrived very quickly and no mistake was made with anyone's order. We all shared bit of our entrees and bread was ordered for the table. Unfortunately I ended up having to use my steak knife to cut the bread, which split and flaked off, leaving more bread in the plate than in my mouth. It arrived with a trio of flavoured butters.
Butters. Definitely enjoyable, the flavours were strong and noticeable, but I would have preferred cheeses, so I didn't feel like I was just ingesting lard. Very hard to keep eating so much butter. Everyone had a favourite flavour however, no issue with quality so if you're okay with butter, get a trio for the table.
The other entrees; oysters, calamari and the like all went down very well, our table of eight devouring them quickly and without complaint. Deliciousness.
For dinner I ordered chicken and with the exception of one other, our whole party ordered the name dish, the Red Cray. My chicken was a little overcooked but perfectly spiced. I think I would have preferred it without a bone but it was very tasty. Everyone who ordered the lobster was in agreement - it was dry.
The reason why the bar shelves were empty and only had glass wear is because they were still waiting for their liquor licence, if you went in now the place is more filled up and the bar is fully stocked up with alcohol. The wine rack has also been moved to the back of the bar.