It was my nephews’ birthday and the family were all excited for him as he had turned 17 and subsequent to his first driving lesson we had booked a table here for 10 people. It was a week day and one would expect the restaurant to be less busy. Despite this we were huddled into the far corner of the restaurant in an area where seating was barely adequate for 8 people; we had 4 tables (grouped together) designed for two people each as that was the general arrangement of such sized tables around the restaurant. Furthermore one end and one side of the group of tables were against walls of the restaurant; hence 4 people are seated in such a fashion that if they wished to go to the conveniences they would need to disturb others in the group! It should be noted that in the whole evening we observed only one other group of 10 in our part of the restaurant that arrived about 1hr 15mis after us; they were seated on a group of 5 tables with all sides and ends open for better comfort. We only remained seated here as we did not want to create a fuss and try and be less of a pain to the staff in the anticipation of good service?
I immediately noticed that the wine glass that was set on the table had “lip stick” on it, we informed the waitress for the glass to be changed and after a quick glance she said “well its only water marks on it”; we had to tell her to look closely as it had “lip stick” on it and she looked at it again closely and just walked off without any comment. We felt we had perturbed the waitress and it was what seemed like ages before she returned and took our drinks order; she was kind enough to explain that Happy Hour on cocktails was for the entire duration of the evening that day. About 10 mins later we were served drinks at which point we asked to order our starters. I had ordered a Red wine (Malbec) for myself and I was not happy with the taste of the wine as it tasted a little acidic to my palate. It had taken a few minutes to get the waitresses attention again and after explaining to her what the problem was she immediately said that they open new bottles of wine that are served by the glass every day? Hence the implication was it must be your taste buds not functioning correctly as there is nothing wrong with our wine. She agreed to get me an alternate wine and I duly chose the Rioja and when this arrived it was much better in taste albeit I was short changed with the measure of the portion as the wine level being below the measure line on the glass by about 5mm. When the waitress served the Rioja she reinforced what she said earlier with comments that had the implication – “you should be grateful as we are doing you a favour here”. Incidentally when I reordered the same wine it was the same as far as the measure was concerned short changed!! One might say why I did not complain however my mind goes back to an occasion when we visited this restaurant in the past and we sent back two Cosmopolitan cocktails due to the taste being “peculiar”; the same glasses were returned back to us after being stirred somewhat from the bar counter; we had observed this ourselves as the bar was in our full “yet distant” view. We already had inkling that the waitress was perturbed so I did not want to upset the situation any further?
After ordering the starters it had arrived in good time; however the quality of the food was not very desirable. The Casava (Mogo) chips were although crisp on the outside; they felt somewhat mashed in the inside. The Nacho (sharing) portions were tiny and did not have enough Cheese or other toppings with them. The quesadilla was the only good dish from what we ordered for starters hence we ordered more? The quality of the main meal was very much below standard when we did get a chance to order it. This reminded me back to another occasion I had come here for Lunch and the chicken was very chewy; it almost felt like it was reheated from a previously cooked batch! I very rarely send food back in restaurants and ask for something else or replacements etc for obvious reasons. Being positioned near the back near the entrance to the Kitchen one would have thought that we could have ample opportunity of calling for the waitress as she would be on her way to or from the kitchen. However this was far from the case and I feel they were very much short staffed.
As it was my nephews Birthday we had brought along a small birthday cake which we had given to the waitress at the beginning and she was kind enough to bring it out at the end when asked with the candle lit on it? We then sang happy birthday to the young lad and he duly blew the candle out. Then we waited to get the waitresses attention again as she had not given us a knife so that we may cut the cake neither did she give any small plates and spoons etc. When we asked her she was oblivious to the fact that we would need this as she thought we were going to take the cake back home with us; I am not sure what gave her that impression!
It took great effort to get 2 rounds of drinks served and we had just ran out of time and we lost the motivation to order the much needed third round of drinks. In my opinion in restaurants the waiter/waitress should be keeping an eye on the customers’ drinks and asking if they needed another the minute the glass empties or is about to be emptied; this act is for obvious mutual benefit! Again on this occasion I feel that the lack of service was due to lack of staffing?
All in all it was not the most pleasant experience and had it not been my nephews birthday I would not have been motivated to write a review of the bad experience we had here. The only reason we go here is the fact that my mother enjoys the quesadilla here? I hope she has started to understand if that is now a good enough reason for the whole family to keep going there? We have been here when it has been busier compared to the quite evening it was on this occasion and the service on those occasions had been a little better.
At the end a 10% service charge was added to the bill (I think this is normal for a group of our size) – I was wondering what part of the experience deserved the reward for the service charge! We paid this charge and exited from the restaurant and the debate on the way home centred on if we should ever make the effort to visit this place again?
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