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“Service improvement & food still as delicious” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Hat & Creek, Phalaborwa Gate, Kruger National Park

The Hat & Creek, Phalaborwa Gate, Kruger National Park
2 Hendrik van Eck Street, Phalaborwa, Limpopo Province, Phalaborwa 1389, South Africa
+27 15 781 2517
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Ranked #1 of 12 Restaurants in Phalaborwa
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Late Night
Description: The Hat & Creek offers a stylish relaxed ambiance in a beautiful natural setting. Delicious food with superior wines and feel good music makes it perfect for a unique dining experience. Local, new and old favorites are available on an extensive menu specializing in meat and seafood with superb culinary flair. The restaurant is family friendly with great facilities for children and teens allowing parents to enjoy their dining experience. Suitable for business lunches, family meals, special occasions, long lunches and relaxed evening dinners 7 days a week. WIFI is complimentary and the service is excellent
Phalaborwa, South Africa
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Service improvement & food still as delicious”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2014

I had the Spinach and Chicken pasta for the first time, the pasta was cooked to perfection. It was a nice dish overall. More spinach would've been great and the chicken was a bit bland. The cakes are to die for but I tried the Fudge Picasso for a change, it was not as delicious as I was hoping, the other guests agreed. The atmosphere was welcoming with a live singer and the waiters were much more attentive than previous visits. The place is packed so be sure to arrive early or book in advance. Overall a great restaurant!

  • Visited April 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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59 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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London
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great food, terrible service”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2014

It was breath of fresh air when Hat & Creek opened in Phalaborwa, and the food there (and at the Hoedspruit branch) has always been great. The first time I ate there we received the bill that was apparently not VAT inclusive, with VAT being added after and thought that was a bit of a cheek. But it was a visit last Sunday that really appalled me.

Our waitress saw us approach, my other on crutches, and then suggested we sit in the farthest corner of the restaurant despite the place not being busy. After insisting to sit at a closer table we took our orders and I said I was having two starters as a main. Apparently she failed to understand that because she then left and did not take the rest of the order. After calling her back, she asked me how it was possible to have more than one starter as a main course. Once we had started eating, she began clearing up the table, taking scraps set aside off the plate that I was still eating off of. When we received the bill, she had brought just the slip, and stood waiting as we counted the cash to pay.

To make matters worse, we called the duty manager, who had been sitting watching sports for the entire duration of our visit, who then ambled over, dressed informally and wearing slops. After explaining our dissatisfaction at the service we received, he remarked that yes, he'd heard such complaints before and they had been training the waitress for two months. No apology, in fact he didn't seem to have a care in the world that his staff member was giving exceptionally shoddy service. But, what does one expect judging by the duty manager.

It's a great pity given that the Hat & Creek clearly aspire to be the 'best' the town has to offer, and have build and designed the place to give off a more stylish air. Now if only they could get the staff right too!

  • Visited April 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
ANDRE N, Owner at The Hat & Creek, Phalaborwa Gate, Kruger National Park, responded to this review, April 28, 2014
Dear Lisa,

Thank you for your review. The service "issues" that you experienced are not acceptable and have been addressed personally with the staff concerned. That said. you are mistaken concerning the VAT as this is included. The VAT amount shown at the bottom of the bill is indicative of the total VAT on the bill and not an additional charge. If you perhaps take the time to add up the items next time, it will be clear to you.
Like any new business, it takes time to find, train and retain good local staff and we will improve as the staff get more experienced and respond to training.
I trust that you experience will be better the next time you visit.
Regards Andre
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich, Germany
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Best in town!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014

We had a wonderful and most importantly a delicious evening at the hat & creek. the terrace is huge and lovely, an open fire side, romantic life music (it might be too loud when you sit very close, but there are dozens of tables with distance to the music so that definitely you won't be disturbed by it. the service is great, the food is amazing! and last but not least, the price is more than ok for the quality and the atmosphere.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
“I enjoyed the ambiance.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2014

I very much loved the restaurant as a whole. the staff were all beautiful and very helpful. The setting is awesome on the doorstep to Krugger National Park, the meal prices very reasonable but most of all the food was top Notch. Obviously prepared by well trained cheffs.
I liked my first visit so much that I went back for more.
Would visit again if I could find an excuse to visit Phalaborwa again.
A really high standard restaurant.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Very best in town.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2014 via mobile

Wow, what an amazing experience. I would recommend this restaurant to my friends and family. Very good service, very good food and the best setting in town. I would give this place 5 stars! The best food I have had in a very long time! Great!

Visited March 2014
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