The Sweet Service Award goes to Bread at The Bromwell in Woodstock, and its manager Ivan da Silva, for his service recovery when I had lunch there last Saturday. I arrived in the deli and bakery section without any staff present, and when a waiter did arrive, he called another colleague who was upstairs at the time, but was meant to man the section. Ivan listened to my complaint about the unnecessary waiting time. He also took immediate action when I challenged him on the menu description of the buttermilk pancake with ‘fresh seasonal fruit‘, which was hidden away inside the pancake instead of being on top, and was not fresh at all, being cooked pears and apples. He accepted that the description of the dish was misleading, saying that the fruit was fresh when it was cooked! His staff made a new portion, topped with a beautiful selection of fresh berries, strawberries, apples, and pears!
The Sour Service Award goes to Bosman’s restaurant at the Grande Roche hotel in Paarl, and is nominated by Dieter Weiss from Germany. He wrote: ‘with interest I have read your comments about Bosman’s Restaurant at the Grand Roche Hotel in Paarl. The fact, that I already wrote a negative comment about my visit to Bosman’s on January 31, 2014 in Tripadvisor and Rusouws (sic) Restaurants only shows how angry I am about the lousy service I experienced at this place. I have many friends who regularly come to South Africa and several of them recommended that we celebrate my wife’s birthday at Bosman’s. In addition I had read about the exquisite kitchen and the award winning wine list. No doubt, I wanted this to be the place for my wife’s birthday together with friends. Now I will not point out all my disappointments but focus on the absolutely negative points: Together with the seven course Degustation Menu I ordered three different wines, which all have a high ranking at Platters. I was astonished to learn from the waiter a couple of minutes later, that the first white wine I had chosen was out. (Warwick Professor Black Sauvignon Blanc, not a big deal to make sure that this is in stock if it is on the wine list. Warwick is just 5Km away from Bosman’s). The red wine for the main course I ordered already with the Menu and asked it to be decanted (it was a 2006 Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon, which needs to breathe in order to develop its bouquet). When the main course was due after two hours, the waiter appeared and told me the red wine was out as well. He apologized and said he had forgotten to decant the wine. Well, that was some news. Where was the management, where was the sommelier? Don’t they know what is going on in their restaurant? Do they care at all? I read one of your comments that they are focusing on German customers. Well, I am German and if they do, they do the worst job one can do in a restaurant, they ignore their customers. So I asked the waiter what we gonna do now. He recommended me to take the 2001 Kanonkop instead. I told him that this wine was even older and had no chance to develop at all, as it had no time to breathe. The answer was: “As this wine is older, it doesn’t need to breathe that much anymore.” I didn’t want to spoil the birthday dinner for my wife in total, otherwise I would have started a big discussion now and call for the manager. A 12 year old wine that doesn’t need breathing is a dead wine. How can it be that Bosman’s has such unqualified personnel?’
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.
Chris von Ulmenstein. Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage