Friday, 8 August 2008

The complacency factor

I am doomed not to eat out in the near future. Why, when you find a decent restaurant and go there more than a couple of times, do they get complacent and treat you as though you are a money-loaded piece of rubbish? Usually with vastly over-the-top obsequiousness for further insult. Restaurant 1 - Quattro Stagioni Italian restaurant. Reasonable prices, good pizza, dog friendly (sitting outside) - always bringing water for the dog, olives with drinks, nice views. Having finished our food, well almost finished - I left some for the dog for the morning after - we asked for a bill and the doggy bag. An hour or so later, the waiter came out shame-facedly to tell us that they had put the left-over food in the bin. I had left that food very carefully so that Pippa would have some tasty food with his breakfast. I can't bear waste at the best of times and I think throwing food out is verging on criminal. I am not interested in what anyone thinks about my request for a doggy bag, I have paid for the food and I want to take it home. Thank you. Then we had to wait another half an hour for the bill. Restaurant 2 - Waterfront International cuisine on the waterfront. Good choice - four options can be regarded as a good choice - of vegetarian main courses. Potato and Carrot Tarte Tatin, Pepper Coulis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £12.95     Mushroom Stroganoff, Rice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £12.95     Vegetable Wellington, Red Wine Mushroom Jus (contains cheese) . £13.95     Potato Cake, White Rice, Sweet Chilli Dip . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £12.95   Note, the potato cake and mushroom stroganoff are both accompanied with rice. According to the menu. As part of the main course. Note also: All main courses served with either Chipped potatoes or Potato of the day. Vegetables, Rice or Salad can be served instead of Potatoes So for example, if you have the vegetable wellington, you can choose between, potatoes or vegetables or rice or salad. But equally, when choosing mushroom stroganoff and rice, or potato cake, rice and dip, one should also receive something else, eg potatoes, vegetables, rice or salad. Because the rice is described as a part of the main course. So I asked for vegetables with my mushroom stroganoff. The very pretty and totally dateless waitress - who had already brought ice in my drink when I asked for it without ice - came back and told me that wasn't possible. Well, I wasn't happy with that so I called out the manager. I didn't think it was too difficult to understand. I was ordering a main course which included rice. And I also wanted one of the extras that are served with all main courses. No, he was adamant, if I wanted vegetables I would have to pay extra. So I said no. Well, guess what? The vegetables arrived anyway. So I sent them back. Guess what again? Instead of being charged out at £12.95, the stroganoff had mysteriously escalated to £14.50. So, I pointed out the bill was wrong and got it reduced to the correct price. Bye bye Waterfront, you won't be seeing us again for a while. Restaurant 3 - Maharajah When all else fails, go to the Indian. Great choice of vegetarian curries, freshly cooked, inexpensive. But when there is only a handful of people in, why do we have to wait over an hour after we have made our order? And no, we didn't want another drink while we were waiting. And no, we didn't want any poppadums or anything else you suggested we stuff ourselves with. Eventually Partner stormed in and said we would have the food as a take-away as we were both falling asleep waiting for it. Then two hot plates appeared while we were waiting for the take-away. The plates went cold. Nothing appeared. Not a take-away or any food. At which point I went in and told them to forget it. I didn't want the food in any form, either on the table or in bags. Sad waiter pointed to the bags sitting ready for us to take out. Tough shit. I really didn't care and had sat there so fucking long I had totally lost my appetite. It was a nice gesture though not to charge us for the glass of wine and the bottle of beer that we toyed with while waiting for the non-appearance of the food. And I am sure the delay was nothing to do with the fact that you had a take-away customer who ordered lots of food for six people and spent far more than us. So I hope that there is a sudden flurry of new restaurants opening in Gib, otherwise I will run out of places to go if the complacency factor creeps in after two visits, which seems to be par for the course based on the above three experiences.


Jurassic said...

oh I liked this post because my hobby is reading menus when I cannot stuff my face with food.

You had terrible service though, I would have shouted much louder!


Rae said...

This kind of thing is par for the course here in the frozen north.

I cannot count now the number of restaurants where we used to be regulars and now no longer visit. There are just too many.

Personally I hate waiting too long for food, I understand having to wait if it is freshly cooked, but those times were far too long.

Good for you for complaining and naming!