HaHa Bar Redux

29 Oct

HaHa Bar was one of the very first places I ever reviewed. To sum it up, I thought the service was a bit lacking but the food is divine. Two years is a long time between (reviewed) visits, so I thought it was time to put HaHa Bar under the microscope again.*

We’ve got an hour before we need to be on the road to the Mt Majura wine blending class, but I figure we have plenty of time.

HaHa Bar is under similar time pressures. It’s packed – both inside and out – and after a fairly lengthy discussion we’re offered the only empty table. It’s empty because it’s reserved for people coming in – yep, you guessed it, an hour’s time.

We’re asked if that suits us – ie, if we’ll be done in that amount of time. I’m on the verge of saying, “Of course – but it depends on how fast the food comes out…” but Boyfriend diplomatically steps in and says, “That’s great, we’re in a bit of a rush, too.”

HaHa Bar gets Restaurant Service 101 right: seating us, giving us water, giving us menus as we sit down (take note A. Baker), and asking if we want coffees to start with. Boyfriend does; I don’t. But fortunately, I’ve got the menu so I can quickly choose my poison of choice (a mocktail – All Muddled Up). Whoever though I would appreciate basic table service so much!

Our food orders are taken quick enough (“quick enough” is best defined as “I don’t notice how long it takes for you to take the order”). Boyfriend’s flat white comes out quick smart … but he’s almost finished it by the time my All Muddled Up comes out.

All Muddled Up with meta-pretentious (it's mocking its own pretentiousness) water bottle

All Muddled Up with meta-pretentious (it’s mocking its own pretentiousness) water bottle

The All Muddled Up is as delicious as it looks. I take my time drinking it, but unfortunately we’ve got a long time available before our meals come out. Again, granted, there are a lot of packed and large tables, and it’s a very pleasant environment to just while away some time and enjoy the beautiful mid-morning, our drinks, and muse about how great it would be if they utilised La De Da (upstairs) as an additional breakfast dining space.

But we don’t have the time to while!

Meals keep getting delivered, so I’m not cranky – but I am annoyed that the onus is still on us to leave quickly. We want to, but we can’t leave if there’s no food in front of us…

And then. Our food gets placed on the serving bar of the kitchen and the bell is dinged. We can see it. It’s just metres away. (We know it’s ours because I ordered a really odd meal.)

And it’s ignored.

One of the waitstaff (and maybe she’s dedicated) fiddles over the biscuits that go with the coffees right next to the kitchen. We’re debating going up and helping ourselves, particularly after the bell is dinged again (!) but then the very effective waitress who seated us swoops in and saves the day.

Hooray!

We have 15 minutes to eat our food, pay, and be on our way.

You know how I mentioned I ordered a really odd meal? By that I mean a big meal.

Blueberry ricotta pancakes (for me)

Blueberry ricotta pancakes (for me)

Hash browns and mushrooms (also for me)

Hash browns and mushrooms (also for me)

Never mind! Also, don’t judge me.

Thankfully my boarding school experience has taught me to shovel food down as quickly as possible, but this is still no mean feat. Mostly it’s because I actually want to savour the flavours. The hash browns – basic as they are – are perfect. The blueberry ricotta pancakes (with maple syrup, strawberries and cream) are fluffy and sweet and savoury and creamy. The mushrooms are good, but they necessarily had to be sacrificed when determining what I was going to concentrate on eating.

Boyfriend’s arguably got the same task ahead of him with the big breakfast.

Boyfriend's big breakfast - hash, portobello mushroom, bacon, chorizo, spinach, poached eggs

Boyfriend’s big breakfast – hash, portobello mushroom, bacon, chorizo, spinach, poached eggs

But I forget he doesn’t eat chorizo or bacon (I know, right?) so he has an advantage. (I don’t know why he ordered it either.) (He enjoys what he does eat, for the record.)

SuperWaitress comes back in our final few minutes of stuffing our faces and asks if I’m keen for another All Muddled Up. I really am, but the clock’s ticking.

We pay, and we’re on our way to Mt Majura with one minute to spare.

Date: Saturday, 26 October 2013

Cost: $48 combined

Worthwhile factor: Worthwhile/bordering highly worthwhile. It was worth going back to, and I’ll keep going back. The food is so good. My pro-tip is to only go if you’re in for a lazy morning (NOT if you’re in a rush) and to book a table in advance. (HaHa Bar’s mantra is that ‘breakfast should be lazy’.)

Want more? The HaHa Bar menu is here. My original review is here. I also reviewed the lovely La De Da a few months back (I still think it would be a lovely breakfast venue! But maybe it would put even more pressure on the kitchen… be careful what I wish for, eh?).

* Plus, I had the camera with me anyway, so why not? (Also, Sage has been subject to more reviews by me than anywhere else, so it’s only fair that my attention turns back to others.) (No, I’m not running out of ideas!)

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6 Responses to “HaHa Bar Redux”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Canberra Centenary Trail – Section 1 (Mt Majura to Mt Ainslie) | In The Taratory - November 18, 2013

    […] HaHa Bar Redux (inthetaratory.wordpress.com) […]

  2. Penny University, Kingston | In The Taratory - December 7, 2013

    […] and ricotta hotcake ($16) which would allow me to draw comparisons with my favourite same dish at Ha Ha Bar, but I can’t go past the cazuela ($16). Other temptations include the breakfast pudding ($15 […]

  3. La De Da Sunday sesh* | In The Taratory - October 23, 2014

    […] made no secret how big a fan I am of Ha Ha Bar and its upstairs venue La De Da in Belconnen Town Centre. Ever since I first set foot in La De Da I […]

  4. Heather’s House of Cake, Belconnen | In The Taratory - March 19, 2015

    […] better use of the lake. Along Emu Bank, many of the restaurants face the street, not the lake. (Ha Ha Bar and La De Da are notable exceptions.) The access point for the restaurants is from the car park […]

  5. Trev’s at Dickson, Dickson* | In The Taratory - October 10, 2015

    […] any dish – that has poached eggs. The eggs usually win (unless it’s pancakes from Ha Ha Bar – then pancakes are […]

  6. Ha Ha Bar, Belconnen – revisited* | In The Taratory - March 23, 2016

    […] addition to plenty of brunches and dinners there, you can read my first review in 2011 here, and 2013 here) even if the service left a little to be desired, but it hasn’t been what you’d […]

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