Tag Archives: credit card machines

Uber Sweet Service and Cinema Nouveau Sour Service Awards!

Uber ice creamThe Sweet Service Award goes to Uber, for its innovative international launch (in 130 countries) of #UberIceCream 2014 tomorrow, to ‘turn the other cheek to the winter chill’ in South Africa, and to position Uber as much more than an alternative taxi service.  Packages of tubs of frozen yoghurt, toppings, Uber swag scarves, and delivery tomorrow between  11h00 – 17h00 are available to order on the Uber app at R120 in Cape Town, and R165 in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Johannesburg.  To launch the campaign in South Africa, it is linked locally to Nelson Mandela Day today.  Sick children at the Johannesburg General Hospital will be spoilt with an ice cream delivery this weekend.  The company will also bring children from the Alex AIDS Project in Johannesburg to a Filo Yoghurt outlet, and to Myög for children from the Uluntu Centre in Cape Town, so that they can make up their favourite frozen yoghurt treats. Continue reading →

Alexander Forbes Sweet and AMG Panelbeaters Sour Service Awards

The Sweet Service Award goes to Prosper Nkabinde at the motor vehicle insurance company Alexander Forbes in Pretoria, who gave exceptional service in processing an insurance claim for a motor vehicle damaged at L’Omarins in Franschhoek during the Concours and Time Trial, requiring a new radiator and fan, and panelbeating.  Prosper approved the costs involved in towing the car and repairing it.  He also negotiated the excess down from a total figure of R 5 000 for the standard excess and for the excess due for the driver being under 25 years, to R 3 000.   When the panelbeaters refused to accept payment for this amount by credit card, Prosper managed to pay the panelbeaters at short notice, to get the car released from them.

The Sour Service Award goes to AMG Panelbeaters in Maitland, for the lack of communication about and attitude relating to the method of payment.  The company was recommended by the radiator parts supplier.  Just three days before collecting the repaired vehicle, the panelbeaters had decided to return their credit card machine to their bank, as they no longer wished to pay commission fees on credit card transactions.   The company did not communicate this to the customer, who only had a credit card for the R 3 000 insurance excess payment.   The owner Mike Adamo with his son Gino were absolutely inflexible, refusing to release the car without the immediate payment.  Alexander Forbes came to the rescue, and guaranteed the payment.

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 info@whalecottage.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.

Restaurant Review: Wild Woods too wild!

For being one of three judges for the annual Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards; being known as a celebrity chef, restaurant consultant and food alchemist; and presenter of the Kitchen Cowboys cooking workshops, our first visit to Peter Goffe-Woods’ new Wild Woods Bistro & Bar, at the foot of Chapman’s Peak Drive in Hout Bay, was a disappointment.   Our expectation was of a quality restaurant, that reflects what top restaurants aspire to : good food, good service, good ambiance, and if one is lucky, a good connection, which makes one feel that the restaurant is one that one would like to return to again.   Sadly, this expectation was nowhere near met, and it appears as if Goffe-Wood is not serious about his new venture.  Given the stature he holds in the Cape Town food industry, and being a judge of other restaurants, Goffe-Wood may seriously disappoint his followers, and may even damage his reputation.

We sat on the terrace with a fantastic view across to the Hout Bay landmark The Sentinel, for a Saturday lunch, and our first surprise was that we were seated at a very battered looking wooden table.  My first reaction was to ask the waiter if he would bring the tablecloth, as the tables inside the restaurant all have one, but those on the terrace do not.   There is no attempt to even cover the well-worn tables with place mats.   The decor inside the restaurant is very basic – the table-cloth covered tables, wooden chairs, and very basic and functional lighting, with a bar counter, behind which the Manager Rory was to be seen most of the time, even though most of the few clients sat on the terrace.  The word “unpretentious” came to mind immediately – paper menu, paper serviettes, the decor (or lack of it), and the battered tables.

We were asked for our meal order immediately, and were not offered a winelist.  An ordered beer never arrived.   Our waiter was friendly, and took the order efficiently, and brought us bread with only one place setting, but brought another when requested.   The bread was lovely, clearly home-baked.

The menu lists eight starters, ranging from R 45 (mussels, chicken liver parfait and two salad choices) – R 60 (gravadlax, caprese salad and cured ham).  The main course list was commendable, in that Goffe-Wood has clearly capped his prices at R 100, for a substantial plate of food, offering seared tuna, sirloin steak and lamb rogan josh at this price, mushroom risotto at R 60, angel fish at R 75, and chicken breast, pork belly, veal brisket, hangar steak, and a sirloin and egg sandwich range between R 80 – R 90.   The pork belly was served with a generous portion of mash and a little spinach, and was most crispy and delicious.  I would have preferred to not have the gravy, which is not mentioned on the menu.   The steak and egg sandwich was a substantial meal for a hungry student, and the chips tasty.  We did not have any of the six desserts offered, at R 40, nor the cheese plate at R 60.  Having seen the menu on the website before we came, just 2 days before our visit, I was disappointed that it differed so vastly from that which we were presented.

The menu carries the S A Sustainable Seafood Initiative logo, so subtle that most would not see it or recognise it.   The menu has a welcome non-smoking sign on it, and welcomes “restaurant friendly children”.

The Manager Rory only spoke to us when we asked about the lack of 3G connectivity in the restaurant, especially outside, and he confirmed that they struggle with it too for their credit card machines because of the mountain.  This prevents the patrons from being able to Twitter, which Goffe-Wood should attend to, being on Twitter himself.   Rory previously was a restaurant owner himself (Rory’s in the City Bowl and Observatory) before he opened a restaurant in Arniston. 

Goffe-Wood was not seen at all, being in the kitchen,  which is a good place for him to be for the benefit of his clients, but connecting to his customers in these early days of his restaurant opening would go down well, especially as he is a very likeable and sociable person.  Goffe-Wood’s charming wife Elize was not at the restaurant. 

The waiters need training, our waiter not only forgetting the beer, the Manager nor the waiter checking our satisfaction with the meal, the waiter removing our plates while we were chewing the last food on the plate, and the waiter wanting to take our money before we had finished our coffee or looking ready to leave. 

POSTSCRIPT 25/4/11:  After just over a year of being open, Wild Woods is closing at the end of this week.

Wild Woods Bistro & Bar, Main Road, Hout Bay (next door to Chapman’s Peak Hotel), Tel 021 791-1166, open Tuesday – Saturday evenings, and for Saturday and Sunday lunch. www.wildwoods.co.za Twitter  @peteGW

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