Vergelegen Mediclinic Sweet Service and Giorgio Nava Sour Service Awards!

Medi Clinic Somerset WestThe Sweet Service Award goes to the Vergelegen Mediclinic in Somerset West, its staff, the City of Cape Town Disaster Risk management team, as well as local residents for their amazing work in evacuating more than 100 patients from the hospital after the dreadful flood caused by the severe rainstorm last Friday.  The news spread via Twitter, and assistance was called for.  Patients were relocated to other branches of Mediclinic. Odd was that Mediclinic ran an advertisement in the Cape Argus this week, to thank everyone for their assistance. The ad seemed to be in reaction to a critical article in the same newspaper about a flood at the hospital in August, and that no flood prevention measures have been put in place since then!

Giorgio Nava WineTimesThe Sour Service Award goes to Caffe Milano and its chef/owner Giorgio Nava, for his rude reaction in Italglish when his waitress could not explain why they do not serve iced coffee, other than to say that it has just been winter!  He arrived at the table, incensed that I would not just take her word for it, saying he does things his way in his restaurant, and that I could leave and have an iced coffee elsewhere in the vicinity. He did not ask me for my input. Usually Nava looks right through his clients, ignoring them. The fantastic Manager Charlene came to apologise for the behaviour of the waitress and of her boss, and made a perfect iced coffee with coffee, milk, and ice.

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  whalecot@iafrica.com.   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.

8 replies on “Vergelegen Mediclinic Sweet Service and Giorgio Nava Sour Service Awards!”

  1. $21015056 says:

    Chris, surely if Nava chooses not to serve iced coffee at his restaurant that’s his prerogative? I can’t rock up at Magica Roma and demand they whip up a grilled steak and chips (even if they have the raw materials for such available). If the owner chooses to do so then that’s fine, but they also have the right to stick to their menu… if the menu doesn’t offer what you feel like then surely you simply vote with your wallet and go elsewhere…

    • One could expect to order iced coffee in an Italian restaurant, and I have had it there before. They use a special machine to make it, and this apparently was out of order, the Manager Charlene told me, after Giorgio’s rude interaction. She made a fabulous iced coffee as described above – all that I wanted.

      There must have been a problem in the kitchen, as Giorgio was cooking and Charlene was there too, unfortunately not checking on what was going wrong in the restaurant. I must add that the Eggs Benedict were the worst ever – runny, even though I had requested medium. I have Tweeted on numerous occasions since they opened that they make the best in Cape Town – well no more. Maybe Giorgio should stick to cooking cheap pasta!

  2. Dagmar Schumacher says:

    Dear Chris, I have been to Caffe Milano so often and it was always perfect. If iced coffee is not on the menu they don’t serve it. And why should a restaurant owner ask for your input? And it seems to me that most of Giorgio’s guests are very happy with him and his food at all his restaurants. Otherwise it would not be so difficult to get a reservation at 95 Keerom and Carne or a table at lunchtime at Caffe Milano.

    • Nice to see you back here Dagmar.

      Perhaps you misunderstood my English: if a waitress reports a customer dissatisfaction to her boss, surely he should have the courtesy to ask for my side of the story before he fires on all Italglish cylinders and attacks his customer?

      I did not receive a menu, as the waitress was in poor shape on that day. I always order from memory, going there so often. Usually Charlene would take the order, and there have not been problems in three years – until Giorgio lost his cool! Charlene made an iced coffee for me anyway, so why was it necessary for Giorgio to erupt and put on such a drama?

  3. Henry Gum says:

    Odd, don’t know Gorgio from a bar of soap, but he has only ever been friendly to me when I eat at his restaurants and he is there. Never once looked through me.

    • Quite a contradiction in your first sentence Hennie! He never interacts with any of his clients at Caffe Milano.

      I have been there many many times, because his manager Charlene is so fantastic, but she was in the kitchen instead of in the restaurant on the Sunday this happened.

      By the way, why do you hide behind a false name?

  4. Dagmar Schumacher says:

    Easy solution: just don’t go to his restaurants anymore. That will save you a lot of stress.

    • I don’t stress about nonsense stuff like that Dagmar.

      There has been no issue at Caffe Milano in 3 years, thanks to the Manager Charlene. Giorgio did her job that Sunday, and failed dismally. He should stick to cooking in the kitchen!

      I pop in to the Mozarella Bar on occasion too, and its Turkish manager is also very friendly.

      PS Do you know that your profile pic is that of Paul?

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