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“A suprise Party for the ages!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Safari Bar & Grill

Safari Bar & Grill
60 Randall Dr., Ajax, Ontario, Canada
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Ranked #33 of 178 Restaurants in Ajax
Cuisines: Contemporary, Eclectic, International
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Ajax, Canada
1 review
“A suprise Party for the ages!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

So My friend just had his 30th B-day here and I was really surprised to find out they have a whole downstairs area. It really looked great, and the food was amazing for finger "Party" food (many different pizzas, fries, dips, wings) the staff passed out a signature drink for them and the staff were great, super friendly and attentive. My only complaint is that I couldn't stay longer as we had to get back home and relieve our babysitter!

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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74 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Ajax, Canada
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Bad night followed by horrible customer service. NEVER again.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

I deleted my first review as I wanted to provide an update in regards to what happened.

My original review:

I came here for my 25th birthday...our reservation was for 13 people so we spent quite a bit of money.

I spoke to the restaurant several times (had to add a few people to the reservation and also to confirm the booking) and they asked if it was a special occasion. I told them it was my 25th birthday...I thought they would have provided me with a free drink or balloons or something but no such luck.

Several of my guests ordered appetizers. One of my friends ordered the cheese dip and another couple ordered a Bruschetta...both are fairly simple appetizers. The friend with the cheese dip didn't get his appetizer until the rest of our entrees had arrived (several others had their appetizers already) and my friends who ordered the Bruschetta didn't get it until AFTER we had all FINISHED EATING our entrees! Bruschetta is the easiest thing in the world to make.

I ordered their fish special...the fish was cooked perfectly but the Polenta left much to be desired. It had been pre-made, rolled and chilled and then fried in a disc shape in a pan but it tasted like it had been fried and reheated ages ago. The outer crust was almost impossible to break through with a knife and fork.

I asked everyone how their meals were and everyone said the meals were just "okay". One friend ordered the 28 dollar strip steak and said it was not worth the money at all. The restaurant also made a mistake on her order (she asked for a substitute of fries and they forgot).

At the end of the night, we received our bills and were all quite irritated to discover that a 15% tip had been added to our bills! I spoke to the restaurant SEVERAL times about my reservation and absolutely no one told me this was their standard practice. It's also not on their website. My friends were very irritated, as they didn't feel the service justified the 15% tip we were all forced to pay.

Two of my friends paid with cash and told the server they wanted change. We waited over 10 minutes and finally someone got up to ask her about the change...and she had forgotten.

Thankfully, we opted to go back to my house for dessert so my birthday wasn't totally ruined by the bad service at the restaurant.

I had been to Safari several times before, with family members and on dates with my boyfriend...but this experience left a bad taste in my mouth and I won't be going back.

After this post, I posted on Safari's Facebook page and made a complaint about the surprise gratuity and expressed my disappointment over the fact that they did not advertise their automatic gratuity and that none of the staff members I spoke to (on 5 separate occasions) informed me of this.

Rather than apologize, Safari responded VERY rudely (their response started with "Hi Samantha, thanks for your message and your opinion"). They put the blame on me, the customer, and attempted to absolve themselves of responsibility by claiming that the automatic gratuity is such a universal practice that I should have just assumed they'd have one. The eventually deleted my posts. I emailed them and they completely ignored me, and two of my guests emailed them to complain and were also ignored.

I am NEVER returning to this place and have made a point to tell everyone about the awful customer service. SPEND YOUR MONEY ELSEWHERE.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Favorite for years, however mgmt has definitely changed...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013 via mobile

I went to Safari last night with my boyfriend (Saturday night around 8pm). The place was packed and we were asked by two different people if we were being helped. Each said they would walk around and find a table for us but nobody ever returned to show us a seat. Finally a nice waitress came and brought us to a table. Now I have been going to safari for several years so I have been in the restaurant more often when it is dead rather than full capacity. It is sad to say the service is disappointing either time. We waited last night for at least 1 hour before recieveing our food - a larger party started recieveing their salads before we did - a party of two. We asked the waitress where our food was after about 45 minutes, telling her that if we have to wait a few more minutes we will rather just pay for our drinks and leave. She said "it looks like your food is being plated, if it is your food it will be coming soon". We had some beer left so we waited and our food finally came. It is like the staff is efficient - they walk around and are visible but the kitchen is SLOW. They need to get their act together because I seriously doubt going back because I know it will take around two hours to get served, eat and pay. I am highly doubtful of Safari even more because I have been in the restaurant when there are only about 3 other tables and the wait staff and kitchen are very slow, forgetful, invisible. I think management or something has changed because I see a lot of new faces. The owner or manager definitely needs to start reading this site and make some improvements because they are definitely losing out on some repetive business and postivie advocacy. Will not recommend friends or family to go anymore because the service is just getting ridiculous.

BTW - I love the food here. But does it really matter ?

  • Visited November 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Design of restaurant is the downfall along with marginal staff”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

The restaurant design is terrible in that it causes noise amplification and reverberation making even normal conversation impossible. I don't want to have to yell across the table to my spouse or friends. Staff were hampered by children having free reign of the place often getting in the way of staff. A WSIB claim waiting to happen!. Too bad because the food is usually good to excellent depending on who is in the kitchen that night. This could be a gem but right now it is covered with a dusting of carbon!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pickering, Canada
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“No problems here!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2013

I went on a Saturday night with my husband. We're both in our early 40s and currently scoping to find a fun place to venture on our much needed date nights.

The waiter was super nice, I ordered the Red Pizza with a special 'safaritina' cocktail and he ordered the burger and a bottle of beer.

I'm not as picky on quality of food, as much husband, but we were both pleasantly surprised by the portions, price and service.

I later asked about the pool tables, and we ventured a few games in the basement below (bartender was also very friendly).

A few pool tables were reserved for a larger group, later on, but we were there early enough (around 10pm) to find a table for at least 2 hours.

Around midnight, the basement was pretty packed with people playing pool, and/or a few dancing on the floor.

I found the crowd mixed, mostly older (like us, haha), but a few young ones too. I sensed we all wanted the same thing: to have a good time, in a decent place.

All in all, we both decided to return. :-D

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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