You know those meals where the service is snappy, the food is memorable and when the bill arrives you are pleasantly surprised at how inexpensive it was? Yeah...this was pretty much the complete opposite.
On Saturday morning I went for brunch at Cafe Neo in Mouille Point and was horribly disappointed. I realise this is a favourite of locals and has a strong and loyal following so I am well aware of the reaction my review might get but I'm just calling it like I see it. My personal experience there was terrible. I have been there quite a few times in the last few weeks and have never been blown away but this was especially bad. Let's get into it...
The place itself has a pretty good vibe. Simple decor with a Greek-inspired menu written on a huge blackboard. The setting is awesome and I was happy with a table outside. I sat down and waited. And waited. And waited. Eventually we were helped and, feeling like a smoothie, I asked them what the vibe was. They said they had chocolate and strawberry smoothies. I asked them if they had any smoothies made with real fruit, not powder. The waitress told me no, BUT she could make a fruit shake with yoghurt. I got one of those. It was a smoothie. Just like hundreds of other smoothies I have had. But it was good so I was happy.
I ordered the Bircher muesli and The Princess went with poached eggs. She asked if she could possibly have ham instead of bacon. Here is a summary of the mindfu*k of a conversation that followed, starting with the waitress's reply:
Waitress: "No, we don't have ham"
Princess: "Umm...okay. How about some turkey?"
Waitress: "Ooooh, I don't know if we have turkey either."
Jamie Who, *pointing: "There is a turkey sandwich written on the blackboard over there..."
Waitress: "Aah yes. let me ask the chef what he can do."
Well, would you believe it, the chef managed to put 5 slices of turkey on a plate. Splendid.
My Bircher was decent - what eventually arrived for The Princess was very average. (Maybe it's just me but I absolutely hate poached eggs made from those mould things. You know, the perfectly round ones. Is it just me?)
The real shock was when the bill arrived. Have a stab at what you think we were charged for the turkey? Go on, have a guess. If you guessed R35 you are correct. And probably the owner of Cafe Neo. I was absolutely floored. I asked the waitress (who was actually quite sweet by the way) if there was some sort of mistake. She seemed more embarrassed than I was angry and said no, that is what she was told to charge by the manager. Unbelievable. R35? Come on.
Once outside the restaurant Elvis lifted his leg and gracefully pissed on their wall. I couldn't have said it better myself.
P.S. The photo at the start of the article is of a turkey, not the manager.