The Sweet Service Award goes to Mezbaan Indian Restaurant in the Hilton Cape Town, for its invitation to try their Thursday ‘Curry Cup’ Buffet (R151, inclusive of soft drinks) last night, which consists of a soup, salads, sambals including poppadoms, a selection of nine curries (Fish Masala, Vegetable Jalfrazi, Dhal Turka, Butter Chicken, Lamb Saag Ghost, Lamb Vindaloo, Garlic Chicken, and Lamb Sheekh kebab) with Basmati rice, and a selection of desserts (rice pudding, cardomom chocolate créme brûlèe, mini milk, apple and almond tarts, and cheesecake). No alcohol is served, as the restaurant is Halaal certified. Chef Mohammed Kahn invited me to check out his kitchen, and he explained all his spices (e.g. salt, tumeric, chilli, coriander, garamasala, roast garlic, fennel seed, dried parsley, cumin) which he sources for his curries from Atlas Trading next door, and Dader Spices in Rylands. He showed me their Tandoor oven, in which the dishes are prepared. After dinner, Restaurant Manager Burhaan Kongisa showed me around the hotel.
The Sour Service Award goes to Spar in the Cape Quarter, for their slow service at the till, and for not having enough staff on duty at its ten till points. The store has been voted the top Spar in the country, and is well-supported due its spaciousness, range of products, cleanliness, and parking availability, but the queue to pay is irritating. On a recent visit the manager Milo, who was in a different part of the store and was not aware of the long queue at the tills, just shrugged his shoulders when called, and said that all four his cashiers were at the tills, and that there was nothing he could do. No manager senior to him was on duty, he said. After Tweeting about the poor service and attitude, a more senior manager Dirk called 24 hours later, apologising for the queue, and his classic reply was that a queue of 20 – 25 wasn’t as bad as they have over lunchtimes at 40 – 50! He did not seem to think that this was a problem at all, as they have ten staff on duty at lunchtimes, he said! Dirk also told me that all the senior managers had been in the store when the problem occurred the previous day, contrary to what Milo had said!
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.