OVER the years it has become a standing joke amongst family and friends that to get a good restaurant meal simply avoid ordering the same as I do.
Many times have I gazed enviously at plates of delicious looking food and thought why didn’t I order that?
Well all my bad luck rolled into one last weekend. It was Sunday lunch and a party of us wanted to try somewhere different. First choice was Mountains of the Moon near Turre. Unfortunately now that summer is at and end they will no longer be opening on Sundays. Next phone call was to a newish restaurant near Antas. The phone rang and rang but eventually a female voice bluntly answered ‘Hello’. Wondering if I had called the correct number I enquired whether I had called the restaurant. ‘Hang on’ was the gruff reply and after holding a while I put the phone down.
With 20 years experience working in the hospitality industry I know my phone etiquette which was always to say something like ‘Restaurant blah blah how can I help you’ and not ‘Hello’ and then ‘hang on’.
Next in line was a new steak restaurant in the Mojacar area. The phone was answered very politely yet I had to ask four times if there were items other than steak on the menu. Twice I was told they were out of fillet and then I was asked what time we would like even though I still did not know what was on the menu. With trepidation the booking was made and when we arrived the alarm bell sounded like Big Ben in my head. If there had been tumbleweed in the restaurant I would not have been surprised as we were obviously the only booking on the busiest lunchtime of the week.
Meals were ordered and all too quickly they appeared. The 8oz steak seemed to be at least 12oz which is off putting to someone with not too big an appetite and my 12oz steak would not have looked out of place in a Desperate Dan comic weighing in at an impressive 24oz I reckon. Quality not quantity should always be the case and our worries were well founded as the first mouthfuls proved both steaks were off. The complaint was very well handled and the chef said in five months of being open nobody had ever returned a steak. That’s alright then we thought.
Alternatives were offered and rashly we agreed as already the appetites had disappeared after eating off meat. I ordered ribs and a steak pie was ordered too. Less than five minutes passed and the food was at the table?!? ‘Good food takes time’ was the saying that went round my head. Gingerly I cut a piece of meat off and was rewarded by a mouthful of stone cold bloomin pig. Picking up the plate I took it to the kitchen and politely told the chef ‘I give up!’ Back at the table I was offered a piece of pie yet the damage was done, a chip was proffered which was almost raw. The mushrooms on the plate should have been on a salad as they were virtually uncooked. All in all an awful experience and now I know why the restaurant was empty on Sunday lunchtime.
Never mind I thought as the next stop was to see Clive and Maurice play at Titos a on Mojacar Playa. I can have a main course here. Eagerly I picked up the lovely menu and looked at the next table as a delicious and tender looking steak was admired and then devoured. Excitedly I went to make my order only to be told ‘Sorry the kitchen closed at 430!’ Of course it was after that. Clive and Maurice were food for the soul instead and they played a great set lasting nearly 3 hours. Catch them every Sunday before the end of October when the bar closes for the winter and remember never to order what I am eating for guaranteed culinary satisfaction.
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