This is my first (and possibly last) post on restaurants in Ballarat! At the beginning of the year Cam and I moved here for my uni course. The thought of living out of home in a friendly town was really exciting, until we got here.. Social isolation from friends and family (inc. all new uni friends commuting from Melbourne), terrible drivers, rude people, and a complete lack of good food! Sure, there are a few places in Ballarat that I’m sure are great – but honestly there is nothing here that you can’t find in Melbourne.. In your own suburb, even. This sounds a little harsh, and maybe if I didn’t have a love for foreign foods it wouldn’t be such a big deal, but the fact that there is no Asian grocery here (the tiny shop with about 10 Asian ingredients in which you can get at the supermarket anyway does not count) says a lot. Anyway, I thought it was about time I be more positive and try out some of the local dining here in Ballarat, in particular one place which I had an interest in for a while. Food blogger Winnie from Biting Travels was in Ballarat so we decided to meet up and have lunch together. My first food blogger friend, yay! See here for her lovely version of this post!
The Turret, located in an old, charming building.
We started off with drinks. A pretty standard drinks menu with complimentary self-serve water infused with various fruits.
Bravo raspberry & cranberry drink.
Vanilla Chai Latte.
Immediately their specials board caught my eye… Duck risotto. Yes please! I have had epic cravings for duck and thought this would tide me over until I was in Melbourne next.
Oh boy, how I was wrong! This was the worst duck I have ever had, let alone the worst risotto! I don’t even know where to begin with this one. The duck was extremely overcooked, to the point where only half of it was edible, the skin and meat were both tough and overly oily. This must have been cooked a few days in advance then re-heated in the oven or something (not confit style!). The risotto was bland at best. There was no seasoning, it just tasted like semi-cooked rice with mushrooms and spinach. Boring! The only good thing about this dish was the plating, although even then there was a big clump of spinach just chucked on the side of the dish. Major let down.
Winnie had a BLT which looked much more appealing than my meal, although at the same time it didn’t appear to be anything special. I didn’t try this one, however Winnie said it was nice.
Feeling pretty underwhelmed, I decided to skip desert, although they did have a nice selection of treats.
Overall I wouldn’t go back to the Turret, mainly because there are other places I would prefer to try first. My dish was possibly just a one off, as occurs in most restaurants, however the service wasn’t anything special either, and I just felt like the atmosphere along with my disappointing dish would be enough for me not to return. I did have a receipt for the prices, however I seemed to have lost it, so my apologies! The dishes ranged from $15 – $25 for lunch mains, so while they were not that cheap, they did give generous portions.
802 Sturt St
(03) 5334 4744