We had heard a lot about this new Restaurant "Kat@wa" as the this was the new place the chef from MYA was working at. If anyone had been to MYA, the food was excellent and the chef's creativity amazing.
The restaurant is located just through the hotel lobby. It was unfortunate there was no one there to greet you as looking around the restaurant was almost empty. After a few minutes, we were shown to a table, which to be honest was very comfortable and suitably places for "people watching". The waiter, who I must state at this point, was the only person working the floor in the restaurant, however, there were only 3 tables occupied when we arrived. Glasses were filled with water and menu's were offered, then nothing for another 10-15 minutes whilst room service orders were fulfilled as well as service for the other "3" tables (sense the sarcasm??). This gave us the time needed to review, what was a very sparse menu - 5 appetizers, approx 8 main courses and 4 desserts. We were informed at the point of being handed the menu that there was only 4 of the 5 appetizers on for the evening.
After the wait and sipping ice cold tap water, the Chef came to the table, introduced himself and started to explain a little about the menu and the history of the food. This, to our surprise was not the chef from MYA, she was "apparently off that night", when asked what nights she works, he was very coy in stating that she only works on the menus and he has learned a lot from her..........(hhhmmmmmmmmm!!!!!) Orders were taken, however, a main course I selected was not being served..... The chef was remarkably polite, energized and enthused about his food and so he should be - as when the appetizers (Talamanca Shrimp and Grilled Calamari) came they were well presented, tasted great and was of just the right size.
Unfortunately as we all know a lot of good restaurants in Costa Rica suffer due to the terrible service, it's a shame Mat@wa is no exception..... It took the Chef to come out and clear the plates after they sat around on the table for another 10-15 minutes, then immediately replaced with the main courses, which again, faultless........ The Tuna was very was very well presented and excellently cooked. The chicken was just was nicely presented, very well cooked and both with excellent flavor.
Now, for a new place, I understand there will be growing pains, but with the rate new "good" restaurants are going up in Costa Rica, I feel the service in these places really lets the establishments down. Serving a full menu of course is another must.
My experience was very mixed:
1 - Appetizers missing
2 - Main Course not available
3 - No Sprite available
4 - No Mint Tea (when asked what type I would like)
These are all trivial issues that can be overcome, however coupled together with a price that is comparable to Doris, Bacchus and Product C, I would have expected way more from this place. First impressions do last and make or break a returning customer.
Awesome food and very passionate and enthused Chef
There was upon leaving a complementary card offered when returning for a free glass of wine at the bar, which was a nice gesture for those enticed by that sort of thing.......
A return?? I will have to scope this place out again for better/more service on the floor and/or watch out for more comments.