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“Amazing food 1st and 2nd time!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Zenos Cafe

Zenos Cafe
Ranked #11 of 58 Restaurants in Hillarys
Cuisines: Seafood, Australian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Cheap Eats, Groups, View, Kids, Child-friendly
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Amazing food 1st and 2nd time!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2014 via mobile

Went there for the first time early June and loved it so much we went back again a few weeks later. The food was even better the second time. Highly recommended from us both :)

Helpful?
Thank Angela R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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132 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    49
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Perth, Western Australia
Level Contributor
39 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“A pleasant, easy-going alternative”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2014

For quite a while, Zeno's Fish Cafe stopped doing evening meals ... and was sorely missed. So my wife and I were pleasantly surprised when we noticed it had reopened for dinner.

A stinking day at work prompted me, on the spur of the moment, to phone and book a table. (It can also be done instantly via the web.) No problem; it was after all a Tuesday night. Was a table by the window possible? Yes, no worries. Details were exchanged and a few minutes later an email arrived, allowing me to confirm or cancel/amend my booking. Nice touch.

It was cold, dark and wet when we arrived, to be met by the mouth-watering aroma of chili mussels. Turns out the two nightly specials were exactly what we wanted: seafood chowder for Dearly Beloved and chili mussels ("hot", please) for yours truly.

Greeted as we entered, we were soon seated and water and a bread basket with warm rolls and butter appeared. Another nice touch.

The restaurant is licensed and has a (rather) small wine list, with most available by the bottle or glass. There are several beers available, as well as a selection of cocktails. Prices are quite reasonable by Perth standards. From memory, our bottle of Margaret River SSB was $30.

A nice wait, giving us time to settle in and make some small talk, and the meals appeared. The chowder was served in a hollowed-out bread cob. It was piping hot, a pale golden colour, and thick and creamy with a generous amount of seafood: fish, prawns, scallops, mussels. It had a mild flavour, smooth and delicious, and not overpoweringly "fishy".

My mussels were served in a giant bowl, also steaming hot. Rather than the thin, almost watery soup you sometimes get, these were in a crushed tomato base, rich and thick, with garlic and onions and ... chili. If you like your chili ... and I'm an addict ... take my word for it, there's no need to go to "extra hot"! I was offered more bread rolls and butter to help sop up the sauce -- third nice touch. I made it through all the mussels (small, but not overcooked), and probably half the rich, hot tomato concasse. Then, nose running, lips tingling pleasantly and tongue numb, I reluctantly pushed the bowl away.

Zeno's is clean, well lit without being overly bright, with a pleasant if somewhat cafeteria-style decor. But it's not about being an upper-crust establishment. It's about unobtrusive service, smiling people, good food, value for money. If I have one quibble ... and it's not confined to Zeno's ... I don't really like being called "guys" by the waitstaff. But I can live with it.

When we left, we told them we'd be back ... and we meant it.

The place was only a third full (if that) and I have to say it deserves more. Give it a chance; you won't regret it.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Bruce in West Oz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
60 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Expensive with poor service”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 May 2014

Visited Zenos for diner with friends and the "seafood" was wonderful but my rear steak was cooked medium. After reading bad reviews i was not willing to send it back. My Mango cocktail ($15) was un-drinkable as it had huge chunks of unblended mango in it which could not be sucked up the straw. The food came out with in about 15mins after ordering so that was a plus.
The food was over prices for the venue and towards the end of the meal we had a very angry man from on of the other tables yelling about how the manager did not want to hear about how bad his meal was. He ended storming out yelling and screaming abuse at the manager.
Only visited this venue as we had an entertainment voucher we will not be returning.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Krystal B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Rude and arrogant”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 April 2014

We went in a group of 8 people, including my 4yo son, to celebrate my father’s birthday. After perusing the menu we went to the front counter to place our orders (which seemed a bit odd for a café!). I ordered a scotch fillet, medium rare, and a child’s fish and chips, along with a bottle of malbec to enjoy with my parents. The wine was delivered promptly by a cheerful and friendly waitress, and was a very pleasant drink.
This is where the pleasantness ends.
Being quite tired, and very hungry, I was hoping to enjoy a nice steak, only to be served a scorched piece of old boot leather, accompanied by a pepper sauce that Black and Gold would be embarrassed to package, as well as a few limp greens and what looked like an albino cow pat. This turned out to be the mashed potato, and had the taste and consistency of Deb mixed with clag glue. However, being so hungry, I ground through it.
My son loves his fish and chips, but when he took one bite and decided to start playing, there had to be something wrong. After my mum tried it, the fish turned out to dry and tasteless.
The other meals on the table included a “crispy” skinned salmon. The skin was more like a piece of newspaper that had been wrapped around a bag of bait and left in the bottom of an esky for a few days. My dad had the crab pasta which was a pile of fettuccini in a creamish soup with a sliced crabstick dumped on top. My mum had the barramundi special, which she said was ok though the “salad” that came with it was no more than a few gratings of carrot with some limp leaves and about half a finely chopped red onion. Not even any dressing!!
I brought my concerns to the waitress, and explained why I had battled though my “meal”, so she went to let the manager know. On her return, I was offered a complimentary drink, even though I had told them I was driving and already had a wine. The answer was to have a soft drink… Pathetic, to say the least.
I decided to speak to the manager myself, only to be greeted with a man dressed more like he was running a night club (when in a restaurant, do more than the bottom 2 buttons on your shirt please!) announcing “What’s your problem.”
I explained my concerns again and pointed out my sons barely touched fish and chips, to which his reply was “I don’t care, p*** off.”
I returned to our table to collect my jacket, and relayed the manager’s comments to the other guests at the table. I didn’t yell, but EVERYONE in the place went silent.
If you go to Hillary’s Marina, and are after a pleasant dining experience, try Wok in a Box. Don’t even think of wasting your time and money on this overpriced, underserviced dump with terrible food and the most rude and arrogant fool ever to “manage” an eating establishment.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank locodavo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Meal with a view.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 March 2014 via mobile

Good value, friendly staff, kid friendly. Didn't have to wait long for meal, got water on arrival & also bread rolls. We all enjoy our meal..

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Dockers13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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