Three weeks after first visiting Vaudeville, I returned with family.  I am a firm believer of the “second-time-round syndrome”, which can make one disappointed when one returns to an hospitality establishment, due to the service and product mix differing each time.   Everything was different, except the show, which is still as good as ever. 

When we arrived at Vaudeville I was spoken to by the girl at reception as if was a third party.  My three guests had already arrived, but were not given a welcome drink.   Our waitress Elaine left much to be desired, and the service became progressively worse during the evening.  She did not know what “vintage” meant.   Our Neil Ellis Shiraz never returned to the table after the first round was poured by a very rough and unpolished barman doing us the “honours”.  We were never offered any more wine by the waitress, nor told that it was supposedly finished.   Jennifer claimed that I had my back to the table to see the show, and did not see the waiter pour more wine, but no further wine was brought to the table.

A positive surprise is that Dish caterers have listened to feedback from their customers about the food, and the main course choice and dessert had changed since our last visit.   The dips, salad and ciabatta are still the starter course.  The misleading “sirloin” has been replaced with rolled Karoo lamb with mustard sauce (the portion size had increased, but the sauce and the lamb preparation may not to be to everyone’s taste) and two further main course options were linefish (we were not told what fish it was), and butternut and amaretti ravioli.   The dessert changed to a very bitter “bruleed” lemon tart with berries and creme fraiche.  The “brulee-isation” of the dessert was not visible and could not be tasted.

The music was incredibly loud, so that we could barely speak to and hear our guests.  Then we were badgered 3 times during the evening to sign the credit card slip for the first 50 % deposit, something we did not have to pay last time.  I asked them to bring it with the final bill when we leave, but this did not happen.  I was mad when disturbed about this during the highlight tango towards the end.  By this time the waitress had disappeared completely, and we had to beg another waitress for a bill.  Then the credit card machine did not work properly, nor did the stapler to staple all the paperwork together.

But worst of all was the unbearable heat.  They claim to have airconditioning in the building, but we were so uncomfortably hot that the loud music and the payment hassles just became a greater issue due to the discomfort.  Apparently the aircon blows above the drapes, but the drapes block the cool air from coming through into the theatre.   This is an urgent area of improvement. 

The GM Jennifer is very nice, but showed a not so nice side when we queried what had happened to the rest of our wine.  She did bring 2 extra glasses to the table, but with huge attitude.  She fobbed us off when we raised the issue of the extreme heat.

A most disappointed evening at Vaudeville.  We have told so many Capetonians about it, and feel even more disappointed as a result.   Vaudeville is more ‘dreadville’ than ‘wonderville’ now!   Read our original review.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com