For Edgar’s birthday, Friday night, we joined him, Qiang, and eight other friends for dinner at Australian-styled The Sunburnt Cow The Sunburnt Cow. Two friends were there early, at about 6:30, having come straight from work; we got there at 7:45, and everyone was there in time for the 8pm reservation– a rare occurence in NYC. We were promptly seated just past the bar. The front of the restaurant is a standard bar, with two projectors displaying random movies askew — that night “Kill Bill: Vol. 2” was playing. That’s where the good part of the night ended.

Ordering at Sunburnt is similar to that of something like a cheap theme restaurant. You sit down to a paper menu with a pencil handy. You check off what you want to eat and hand in the menu. While the kitsch is what it is, we were unimpressed, particularly when it turns out that one item was unavailable and they ran out of a second item– both which we learned AFTER turning in our orders. This point highlighted another flaw in their ordering system, they requested people write their names on the menus; however, they were unable to read some of the handwriting. Anyway, I saw the waitresses transcribing orders onto standard notepads, so the intermediary step seems a waste.

Jessica and I were the only people to order an appetizer– the Fried Calamari with Kiwi-Jalapeño Salsa. Our food showed up 45 minutes later! Some people were not complaining, probably due to the amount of alcohol being consumed, but I did enough complaining to cover them. When the calamari did show up, it was hot, but tasteless. The seafood was cooked until rubber, the kiwi was mushy, and there was no taste of the pepper.

The food for the table started arriving 20 minutes later (well over an hour past when we ordered). Happily all the food was served piping hot, along side a second glass of their complimentary house drink, a Mango-Juice & Tequila Shot (which was tasty). My order of beef ribs had a distinctive tomato and fennel-seed taste, almost like Italian sausage, which I enjoyed. My side order of corn and crab ragout was wonderful, a great overall flavor, albeit, incredibly buttery. When you order a main, you can pick one of their sauces. I had the spicy mango chutney, which sat, left-over, on the side of my plate, save for two tastes from me and Jessica.

Jessica had the grill fish, a 1/2-inch thick fillet of barramundi. It was slightly over-cooked, but quite good, and again, hot. Her side-order of Mushrooms & Shallots was not as good– it was pooled in liquid and tasteless.

Overall, the food was mediocre and the service was atrocious — we think our waitress was slightly mentally handicapped. And after two hours sitting on an uncomfortable bench and chair (I actually grabbed a pillow off a nearby seat to help), we were itching to leave, plus Jessica was going to run Saturday morning.

I’d recommend you run, right past Sunburn and try some other place.

posted by Lon at 09:42 AM Filed under Australian, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.