The Sweet Service Award goes to Ian Halfon and his team at Belthazar restaurant, a consistent winner of the Best Restaurant in the V & A Waterfront Award. Halfon is a busy man, also owning Balducci’s in the V & A Waterfront, and a franchised collection of St Elmo’s woodfired pizza branches around the country. However, he is not too busy to be hands-on at Belthazar, last evening even helping in the kitchen, complete with his chef’s uniform, and to make time to chat to his customers, and to offer them a glass of wine. Belthazar offers one of the largest collections of wines-by-the-glass in South African restaurants, and serves excellent quality steaks in particular. The food, service and wine range offered is exemplary.
The Sour Service Award goes to Robben Island, for closing just before the Heritage Day long weekend, due to a technical problem with its ferry. The company announced the “indefinite” suspension of the service, while it waited for a replacement part to be flown in from Germany. Tourists who had booked tickets were met with a notice, and were not contacted by the company. No contingency planning had taken place, over a weekend that saw the first signs of a recovery from the poor tourism weeks preceding Heritage Day. The ferry trips appear to not have been re-instated, judging by Robben Island’s website. Robben Island’s management is regularly in the news, for alleged financial irregularities and overspending. The Island is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cape Town, and it reflects badly on the professionalism of Cape Town as a tourist destination, especially given the 2010 World Cup being just over 200 days away.
The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at firstname.lastname@example.org. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.