Review: Old City Bank Brasserie, Katoomba

On our recent visit to the Blue Mountains, K and I visited the Old City Bank Brasserie, which is part of the historical Carrington hotel. It was highly rated on Urbanspoon, and recommended to me by a few different people. The atmosphere is very old-fashioned with dark walls and antique ‘bank’ lights on each table – a really nice touch in honour of the name.

We ordered three dishes – an entree to share, and two mains. For entree we shared the Char-Grilled Kangaroo with a pear, hazelnut and beetroot salad – the meat was lovely and tender and the salad had quite a light dressing that complemented the dish well.


For mains, K ordered the Porterhouse Steak with fries and a mixed leaf salad, and I ordered the Braised Rabbit Ragu with Pappardelle.



We were halfway through our mains when horrifically, a caterpillar rears its ugly head over the edge of a lettuce leaf in K’s salad and we promptly lose our appetite. The waitress offered a replacement, but by then we really weren’t in the mood for anything more from the kitchen.

When it came to settling our bill, we were informed that they had subtracted the cost of one of our beverages from the final tally as an apology for the unfortunate caterpillar incident. We accepted this as matter of fact as we are fairly easy-going people (though in hindsight, I feel indignant that we weren’t offered more) and we weren’t going to make a fuss in the restaurant. I’m still trying to decide whether to report it to a food safety authority.

My question to you is – is the cost of a single drink considered sufficient compensation for a bug-ridden salad? What is the protocol when it comes to compensating for an inadequate or unacceptable meal in a bistro-like environment such as this?  What do you do when you find a nasty surprise in your food?

Overall, I rate the Old City Bank and Brasserie in Katoomba a 3 out of 10. The food was fairly standard bistro/pub style food, but it’s hard to get over the caterpillar incident. We won’t be back, and we won’t be recommending this restaurant to anyone we know.

Old City Bank Bar and Brasserie on Urbanspoon


  1. I would have thought that they would deduct the cost of that dish from your bill, not a drink. That just seems odd taking off the drink?

  2. Amy Tong says:

    Sorry about your incident. I consider myself an easy-going person as well, and I don’t think subtracting just a drink is sufficient for an incident like this. I mean, the server could at least deduct the charge of the main course that had the caterpillar who wanna join your dinner party! I have been to a restaurant that waved the whole dinner charge for us (only charge the cocktails) because the wait time was too long for the entree. And the thing is, the server came to apologize already and we told him not to worry as we were not that hungry and we were simply enjoying the time and the cocktail we ordered. At the end, that was one restaurant I would definitely go back, of course, there food was great too.

  3. only a drink? wow… I would of screamed in terror if I saw a head pop out of no where..

  4. Food lover says:

    How precious are you ? I recently found a little ladybird on a salad and accepted that occasionally when eating products that come from the garden these things can happen. It certainly didn’t put me off my whole meal and have me screaming for maximum compensation…

    • Amanda Chan says:

      Good for you. :) I was bothered by having a large caterpillar in a salad that should have been washed, and I would expect compensation for something that doesn’t conform to food safety standards. If that makes me ‘precious’, so be it. If you feel differently and would happily pick around a live caterpillar in your food, that’s your prerogative.

  5. Miss Piggy says:

    I’m a gardener and I suspect that I’ve inadvertently eaten a few bugs in my time using home grown stuff. If a bug crawled out of my meal in a restaurant I would’ve told the staff and at time of payment would’ve said I wasn’t paying for the meal….a free drink is hardly fair. Afterall you drank the drink but didn’t eat the meal.

  6. Alan Thompson says:

    Some things in life just happen, get over it. Everything else looked good why did you not just leave the salad, enjoy (review) the rest of the meals. and leave a realistic review

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