Thursday, April 12, 2007

Stand back, I'm in a RAGE

No, it isn't something Majic has done. Even though he DID get at the ball of wool again and he DID chew the knitting needles up. I can forgive him that. What I cannot forgive is ineptitude when it comes to restaurants.

My beloved and I like to have lunch together on Fridays. That's my day off, and he can often do a bit of relaxing that day too. Sometimes we do lunch mid-week, and that's usually a King Street eatery where we can meet half way between home and the University.

Fridays, though, we like to go on an excursion. The seaside often beckons. We used to love The Pavilion at Maroubra Beach. It is a fabulous spot, the food was good, the service pretty good, the prices not bad. But then they went up market. The prices increased, and the ambience changed completely. The last time we were there the snazzy new refit made the noise levels increase tenfold. It was crowded, and it was deafening. Sorry to say it got crossed off our list, very sadly. It was such a wonderful spot.

Another expedition is the Boatshed at La Perouse. Haven't tried that for quite a while, but the food is really good there.

Today we went back to a place we've tried before - the Seasalt Kiosk and Restaurant at Clovelly. Great spot, overlooking the beach. We've eaten there once before. It was cold and raining and windy - the restaurant was not at its best. The food was OK, but we were cold and damp. We tried to eat there another time, but there was a function there and too crowded, we couldn't get in.

Today we were in luck. A glorious day. Time to ourselves. We got a good table, the menus came. Michael ordered a Croque Monsieur (a toasted ham and cheese sandwich, really.) Sorry, they were out. OK, the special sandwich of the day then for him, a salad for me, and a plate of chips to share. Drinks - my current favourite, Limonata.

The drinks came. The chips came. The drinks were drunk. The chips were eaten (no tomato sauce....) Nothing else. Forty five minutes after we had sat down, I asked where the rest of our food was. "Did you order?" said one of the very many pretty young waitresses who had paid us not one scrap of attention the entire time we had sat there. "Yes, we have ordered" I snapped. She went off to check.

"Oh so sorry" she came back a few seconds later. "There is a problem with the order and it didn't get through to the kitchen. They are doing it for you right now!"

"FORGET IT" I said, "WE'VE HAD ENOUGH AND WE ARE GETTING OUT OF HERE." (Well, we hadn't had enough to EAT...). They didn't charge us for the drinks nor the chips. "It is in the computer, but it didn't print out...." said the girl behind the till. "I DON'T CARE WHAT YOUR EXCUSE IS" I said, rather emphatically.

As we left, one of the pretty young waitresses smiled sweetly and said "thanks, bye bye!" I just pushed past her. I was in no mood for pleasantries.

Mistakes happen, of course. But the thing that really got me was the number of "service" people who didn't seem to notice that we had nothing but a bowl of chips, didn't ask how our meal was, didn't notice our weary droop as the hour ticked by, didn't notice our increasinly surly looks and body language.

Alas, another seaside restaurant is off our list of Friday getaways.

One day I'll have another whinge about a Newtown eatery we have walked out of after having had the menu but no order taken for over half an hour on a very quiet lunchtime. We call it the Urban Crypt, and look for the skeletons sitting at the tables waiting for food to come.

OK. That's enough. Where is the fire extinguisher for this keyboard...

Now I have to go and order some more knitting needles to replace the chewed ones. What a cute and loveable dog.


  1. Another Sydney eatery that prides itself on style over function - no wonder these fashionable places have such a limited life. Badde Manors (Glebe)on the other hand has been going for over 20 years - lives up to its name and does at least serve food when asked.

  2. heather4:38 PM

    Katie I am so with you - I HATE IT and then I feel a real uptight bitch for hating it because waitstaff can be so unremittingly NICE here, even if they show how little they really care by giving you such bad service. But it is either down to bad attitude (not understanding it is meant to about service) or a bad system. 9 times out of 10 it is the former in my view and it doesn't matter how good the food is coming out with blood boiling isn't conducive to a good experience. I liked that cafe too - I shall avoid it now!