View of Sydney CBD from Darling Harbour at night

Paying for the view: is it even true?

By Christopher Lentini @chrislentiini

“You pay for the view.”

The saying has been around for decades and is widely used by people who believe that when going to an eatery of some kind situated in a scenic place, then the food is typically bad. 

Places like these are in the city, for example in Darling Harbour, at a beach like Bondi, or even near a landmark such as the Western Sydney Parklands.

I have heard this saying countless times from a wide variety of people, including my parents, friends, and other family. 

Interested to see what others thought, I conducted a survey asking whether people believe the saying or not. 

Unsurprisingly, 80 per cent of the surveyed said they believed we pay for the view, while 20 per cent disagreed. The responses showed a common thought of expense depending on a restaurant’s location.

One survey respondent claimed: “Not really an outside person personally, but there is a certain quality to paying for expensive food just to take photos for social media or to look favourable, especially if establishments in pricey districts charge more for food or if you’re hanging around such establishments for the view (ie. eating at a restaurant near the Sydney Harbour Bridge).”

Others displayed flexibility to their thoughts: “Sometimes it is part of the experience of where you go, and sometimes it is part of the location and part of what you pay for in which it will be worth it,” said another respondent.

 Choosing to test the theory myself, I decided to go ahead and try two places, one in Darling Harbour and another closer to my area in Western Sydney.

The first place I visited was the Waterfront Grill directly across from the stunning Sydney Harbour. Upon entry, I was quickly seated although the place was almost full.

I ordered a wagyu beef burger with chips. The wait for food was average for a restaurant but quick considering the busy-ness. The food was good and the service very accommodating. 

The Waterfront Grill’s has a rating of 3.8 stars based on 475 Google reviews. This is average for a restaurant in this area with others ranging from 3.7- 4.5.

In my area, I visited a Thai Rock franchise in Wetherill Park. Wait time for food was short regardless of how busy they were. The dish I ordered, Pad See Ew, was very good. Their service throughout my dining experience was great with no issues. Upon looking at their Google ratings, they got a rating of 3.7 based on 314 reviews.

Featured image by Patty Jansen from Pixabay

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