Jackie from Eating with Jack remembers when she first met me. She was front of house at Mrs Jones in Carlton maybe five or six years back and I wasn’t in the reservations book. Being a pro she managed to squeeze us in.
She later told me that’s often what happens when a chef or kitchen hand answers the phone.
It’s a problem, more common than you’d imagine. Luckily, I’ve mostly been accommodated when bookings have gone astray but it has also led me to question my sanity (a bit like writing this post where coding and old drafts have been going haywire).
I’m pretty sure that I’m capable of booking a restaurant and turning up on the right day. I mean I seem to be capable of booking holidays, flights and arriving at the correct time.
Most recently my booking went astray at Bistro Vue at the Heide Museum of Modern Art when I booked lunch for two on the same day that I phoned. My booking was even repeated back to me; there was no misunderstanding that it was that day and at Bistro Vue at Heide.
How the hell did my booking disappear?
Anyway this new service Dimmis takes human error out of the equation and you can book restaurants directly online here. Each week I’m thinking of offering a selection and this post is just to see how it all works. I’m going to try and ensure it doesn’t change my eating behaviour and I will review restaurants that are in the system and not. I’m also thinking of adding reservations tags to my archives.
Of course, I make a small amount for each booking and I hope readers would choose to support me over and above bigger more commercially motivated sites as apart from the odd freebee this site is completely self funded.
All you have to do is click on the booking links below. I’ve included two different types and I’d like feedback on which you prefer or if I should be doing this at all.
Apparently you can only book Gordon’s Ramsay’s two new Melbourne Restaurants through Dimmi, which basically were given a 14/20 (recalculating the score) in the Herald Sun:
The posh local Gordon Ramsay restaurant.
The slightly cheaper local Gordon Ramsay restaurant.
The Palace, Port Melbourne
I guess if you like breakfast TV you might like Luke Mangan’s food. Like Ramsay you may not find him in the kitchen but he knows what he is up to. Early reports indicate the food is good and consistent and your mum or granny will love you for taking her here.
Bond St Bar and Grill, South Yarra
This is a great value Italian free of the usual clichés and one of my favourites in Melbourne. Nice good value wine list too. But it’s tiny and always packed so it is worth booking (and I’m not just saying that).
Bacash, South Yarra
On of the best fish restaurants in Melbourne.
Great fish for people who live north of the river. I and the woman known as my former landlady like it, anyway. The newsletter often has good offers.
This is wonderful innovative produce driven food from chef Nicolas Poelaert, a Michel Bras disciple. I loved the food here but there again I like vegetables over large chunks of protein. Nic was The Age Good Food Guide chef of the year, Gourmet Traveller nominated best new talent. I’m looking forward to returning.
Mezzo Bar and Grill, Little Bourke St
Really flavour packed and fairly reasonable value Sicilian food, it had a rave review from John Lethlean in The Australian recently.
Anyway, this is just an experiment while I work out the best way to use this. I’d love your comments on this new feature and, as I mentioned, the two versions of booking buttons I’ve used here.
I’m also wondering whether I should great a separate booking page.
PS: Sorry to readers for the inconvenience caused by some teething problems in getting this post up that reverted to an old draft.