A nice lunch out.

I am a considerate dining client. I made a reservation 2 days in advance and advised this ‘we consider ourselves an upmarket restaurant’ that my mother used a walking frame. On the day we were going out to lunch, my husband was free to join us so I phoned to check it would be okay. They were appreciative of this and it gave me a good feeling. So please tell me, why was it when we arrived exactly on time, they hadn’t set a table aside? Instead we were asked where we wanted to go which is sometimes a little awkward when you aren’t that familiar with the restaurant. We decided on a table on the deck. Our server was a young woman who looked to be about 17-18 and was all smiles. We didn’t order drinks but looked at the menu which I thought was not the same as the one I’d looked at online. I’ve just checked again and yes, there are a couple of items missing. Interesting. Anyway, my almost-90-year-old mother liked the idea of the garlic shrimp in the ‘beef and shrimp’ meal and asked if she could have that dish, minus the beef. Horror strikes the server. ‘I’ll ask the chef about a side order.’ No, we don’t want a fuss. Just give her the dish without the beef. Off she scurries shaking her head and returns with the good news that the chef can do a side plate of garlic prawns – but he won’t do anymore side plate orders. We were a bit perplexed. We weren’t the ones asking for a side order. But she hadn’t finished her report. ‘It’s because he defrosts only a certain number of prawns each morning and he doesn’t want to run out.’ Well that’s a load of complete tosh. Who calls themselves a chef and can’t defrost a prawn in less time than it takes to cook a steak? I was beginning to wonder, and when I got my burger with the rind still on the bacon and the disintegrating brioche bun, I was pretty sure we had the ‘chef’ who was still deciding whether to attend cooking school or take up engineering. One really good thing about the overly-high burger (well you have to stack it up don’t you when you’re charging $25) was that the avocado slid out onto the plate. I’d already donated 90% of my really nice chips to my mother and the avocado with the ‘homemade chipotle sauce’ (that had no bite whatsoever and tasted eerily similiar to the barbeque sauce I have in a bottle at home), was something she never gets in the Rest Home, so she devoured that as well. It was not a bad dining experience but it was pretty much what you’d expect of a place that’s staffed by children and overseen by someone too busy to check they knew what they were doing. The properly defrosted prawns were perfect, my husband said nice words about his Caesar Salad and the chicken in my burger was lovely, but I still left feeling as though I could’ve made a better meal and for what it cost, I could’ve hired someone to serve it to me. Of course, that person would have to have the ability to keep quiet about just joining the gym the day before and telling me if they were walking funny, it was because they were stiff.

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