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Regent Cinema Cafe- Ballarat

Ballarat’s premier evening entertainment destination is almost without question, the Regent cinema.

This cinema is beautiful, old world, full of history, and the perfect place for a relaxing, minimal effort and fuss date night with the lass.030620161972

This cinema shows a rich variety of titles, in various sized cinema rooms from new release blockbusters, to the arty limited releases, and everything in between, including a very swish gold class offering,
sponsored by Audi Automobiles.

Regent Cinemas- Ballarat

The atmosphere is relaxed, very country, sophisticated and has that extra touch of class that most cinemas in Melbourne and its suburbs just do not have, and it has nothing to do with the huge chandeliers dangling from the roof of the lobby.

Best of all, the price of going to the cinema is very reasonable- under $12 if you get the movie club card, which takes a moment to sign up to, and you get a free ticket to the movies with the ~$13 fee.

Movie Club Information

What is nice also is that there is a late night cafe-bar next to the gold class section. Craving some caffeine after watching “Nice Guys” (Which is an excellent movie, even if it is disturbing how fat, old and washed up Russell Crowe looks these days) we visited the cafe and nabbed some cake. Because it looked delicious, and we could not resist!

030620161973Two coffees, and two conspicuously large plated cakes, a Maple Pecan tart, and a Kahlua Mousse cake came to a princely $20.50, which is very reasonable. I was expecting to be slugged a lot more.

The coffees were quite presentable, but not the best, in my opinion- a bit watery, and not enough fluff in my cappuccino. Could also be the beans they use, which are some kind of generic rubbish you can buy from the supermarket by the look of it. But for late night coffee, it was ok.

The cakes were an entirely different story. BRILLIANT!030620161974

The peacan tart was perfectly made, and the Kahlua mousee cake was big, rich and delicious- plus it was just that little bit different and unique. Cafe’s in Melbourne rarely have such excellent quality.

For both value and content, the regent even beats the green cafe in Brunswick, which has a special place in my heart for being so cheap and tasty, which i have written about previously. Green Cafe- brunswick

I asked the staff, and the regent gold class cafe is typically open from 10AM to 10PM, 7 days a week, later on friday and Saturday nights. Fantastic little haunt to go to if you aren’t up for a alcoholic beverage in Ballarat late at night.

Tin Roof Cafe & Pizza- MacArthur Street- Soldiers Hill- Ballarat

This little place just opened up a couple weeks ago just down the road from my usual neighborhood, and I decided to give it a go on its opening day.070520161899

The cafe’s fresh fitout is quite nice, and well thought out, with an emphasis on being light and airy.

That said, it isn’t anything original and unique, which screams “This is where da crew from Soldiers Hill hang out, alright”  and there are no low_riders parked on the curb…..

Ok, enough references to cypress hill. the band. Lets get back to the cafe. and all its copy-cat, me too potted plastic succulent table number markers.

070520161902The concept here seems to be cafe + pizza parlour + Souvlaki. Ok, that’s original. trying everything I suppose to see what the residents of the b-rat’s most famous and oldest neighbourhood want I suppose?

Upon entering, i was most dazzled by the horde of staff milling about- about a 2-1 ratio for the 6 odd customers that were settling in over lunch. Enthusiastic, young new starters, obviously, and hopefully getting paid for their likely “Trial day” I hope!

Anyway, the girls were friendly and cheerful, and I couldn’t fault the service, they certainly were keen, chatty and attentive, as was the probable owner, an older lady.070520161901

We ordered a couple coffees and a “soldiers hill special” pizza.

The pizza took a while to come out, and was tasty enough, but for $20 I was a little unastounded.

To be honest, it was probably the presentation that ruined it for me- the cheap looking shredded ham, highly visible on top of the pizza reminded me of a home modified Mccain or Pappa Guiseppe supermarket pizza, like the sort I might cook when feeling lazy, adding extra cheese and quality ingredients on top.

Maybe i’m being harsh though- the actual pizza is in the pic above- zoom in and take a look, judge for yourself.

Being an establishment that seemed like it was pitching for the more gourmet end of town, I was naturally nonplussed- I had imagined a kind of “pizza pie”, or wood fired deliciousness like I had had at other similarly priced Italian restaurants before.

That said, the pizza was pretty good, just not any better than I could make myself, which was what I was dearly hoping for. I spoke to the chef about, how it tasted a lot better than it looked, sensitively, of course,and he angrily rebuffed my feedback, suggesting I buy a “gourmet” line pizza off the menu next time, not a traditional. Maybe he was right, the other pizzas might be better.


The silly hipster plastic pot plant of a succulent. Looks nice till you peer closely… then its just tacky.

Comment below if you give these guys a try. With an arrogant chef that doesn’t take feedback though, I’m not sure how long, he, or the business will last if the business model relied off late night pizzas.

One thing i do have regrets about though, was not trying the souvlaki they had on offer instead.

One of the excitable serving girls was having lunch next to us, and had chosen a big, tasty lamb souvlaki. We could SEE how big,  good, and fresh it looked, and could smell how delicious it was, even from the ten paces away to her table. We waved her over, and had a chat to her- she confirmed how ridiculously tasty it was.

Either way, the only competition is a little fish and chips place down the road on Doveton north, which I have tried, and their souvlaki was pretty average.

I’d say its a pretty safe bet that if you want a Souvlaki in solders hill, the Tin Roof might be a good place to go. It’s pizza, however, isn’t likely to be serious competition to THE FORGE on armstrong.

The coffee was ok, and i’ll come back here because its nice and close to where I regularly loiter in this neighborhood.

UPDATE! – I visited Tin Roof again a little while back, and tried out a souvlaki, and have just uploaded the pictures- you can read more about it here and see what the verdict is.

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