Hill of Grace operators consider suing over Lethleans no stars review

22 February, 2016 by
Aoife Boothroyd

Adelaide Oval’s Hill of Grace Restaurant is considering legal action after a scathing review penned by The Weekend Australian’s John Lethlean was published over the weekend.

The operators of the Adelaide fine diner say they're consulting with their lawyers as they feel Lethlean's comments are defamatory.

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“… He has gone way beyond objective criticism,” Stadium Management Authority chief executive Andrew Daniels told the Sunday Mail.

“I think this review is so negative, so bad as to lack any credibility – I have never in my entire career read a review like it.”

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In the review, Lethlean describes the look of the venue as “a business incubated in a catering company boardroom,” with “bland, lifeless, beige-on-beige" interiors.

In terms of the food offering, Lethlean describes the duck sausage’s pig liver sauce as “brown, mucoid gloop,” and a Filipino stew as “not a pleasure to eat.”

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“Hill of Grace occupies some kind of sad, ill-informed contemporary fine dining void; it’s like the rest of the restaurant world doesn’t exist,” Lethlean wrote in his review. “I’m trying hard to think of someone I’d recommend it to. I just can’t”.

In addition to the review, Lethlean also took to social media to express his distaste for the experience. A post on Instagram reads: “If you're wondering what this brown mucoid gloop is it's the Hill of Grace duck sausage with pig liver sauce. It's not ok. And if you want a glass of red with that there's no sommelier on duty but not to worry because according to the waiter "a few of us here know a bit about wine". Let's not forget this is a restaurant named for Australia's second most famous red wine, the association with which the Henschke family really should have a good hard think about. I could go on- pick up a copy of the paper for the full run down. #hillofgrace #adelaide #linkinprofile #nostars"

Daniels says that the “overly negative, critical article” represents a stark contrast to the many positive reviews that the restaurant has received.

“We have had many other reviews to almost universal acclaim and have had thousands of satisfied customers. I question his motives in writing this and then carrying on with childish comments on social media.”

*Update. The initial article stated that an Instagram post from Lethlean had been removed. No social media posts from Lethlean relating to the review have been removed or edited.