We have visited Aubergine several times and I thought it was about time I left a review.
The food cannot be faulted: freshly prepared, tasty, and a good choice. I usually go for the soup-and-sandwich combo and I am never failed to be impressed by the tastiness of both. I can also highly recommend the Greek salad which is better than any I've ever had in a Greek restaurant. The cappuccinos are frothy and lovely and I have it on good authority from my children that the cakes and hot chocolate are delicious.
On the subject of children, I find the chef very child-friendly. He always ensures my very small daughter gets a 'tiger' or a 'monkey' plate, which she loves, and when he is speaking to her he kneels down to her level. These small details make all the difference. They don't have a specific children's menu but they will gladly provide a small portion of whatever my children fancy off the menu, for about half the price.
I love the decor in Aubergine - it is very homely and cosy, and is the perfect place to go for a hot meal and/or drink after a bracing walk. It is very individual - I don't know any other cafe like it in Wirral, and it makes a pleasant change from the usual chains.
The only reason Aubergine doesn't get five stars from me is that whenever we walk in there, the waiting-on staff kind of look like we'd just walk straight back out again. I know they must be busy (the cafe is always more full than it is empty, at least on the occasions we have been) but I just always get the impression that they're like 'oh no, here we go again...' I can appreciate how hard they work, having worked myself for many years in busy pubs, but if they could at least smile when we walk in and say something like 'I'll be with you in a minute' that'd make a huge difference. The first time we were there I didn't think they'd noticed we'd come in and we just sort of hovered in the doorway. When it became clear that the idea was to just find ourselves a table, that;s what we did - but then it wasn't clear whether they come to the table to serve you, or whether you go up to the counter. As there wasn't a menu on our table, I took the initiative and went up to the counter, only to be told rather exasperatedly by a blonde, bespectacled middle-aged woman to return to my table and that she would be with us in a moment. Now, of course, we know the protocol, but I can see this being off-putting to new customers.
In summary - the service when greeting customers could be improved, but this is redeemed by the incredibly friendly, amiable chef (proprietor?) who always, without fail, takes the time to come to our table midway through our meal to make sure everything is ok with our food (and it always is). It is the quality of the food, and the personal touch provided by the chef/proprietor, which keeps us going back to Aubergine again and again. Long may it continue.
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