I am so fed-up with the terrible restaurant service in Cape Town that I feel like having a proper rant.
I had a vein-throbbing-in-forehead experience at La Vie in Sea Point. It seems that in Cape Town we've become accustomed to waiters serving you with the indifferent charm of a bank teller five minutes before closing time, and the pace of a person recovering from a multiple hip operation.
We sat down around sundowner time and after 15 minutes of chatting, we started looking for a menu. Eventually we spotted a waiter, strutting between the tables dressed for the catwalk. He seemed to miss the point that waiters have to stop at the little people looking for service. Eventually, I had to actually grab him by his designer pants to stop him and ask for the wine list. I added some universal hand gestures of reading a book... just in case he's foreign or hard of hearing. This is often the case.
The wine list, (if you can call it that, more like a wine doodle) arrived 10 minutes later. I am sure the wine list at the Spur in Kuruman is more extensive. We fired off our order, my friend blocking the ramp before he could strut off again. A tandem operation is required for flighty waiters. We chose something uncomplicated: a bottle of white wine, ice bucket and glasses. Easy to remember and should take 10 minutes.
Yeah right... after 30 minutes of no wine, no waiter, no nothing, my friend reached boiling point and stomped off to the manager. All I saw was expressive hand gestures from her and the manager performing the not-my-problem shrug to perfection. It takes years of practice in being useless to perfect the art of the not-my-problem shrug. I presume they teach this is manager school.
Our wine eventually arrived after it was pressed and bottled in Stellenbosch. This was an hour after we'd sat down. Luckily we didn't order food because that would have probably arrived at midnight, at which point our waiter would have turned into disgruntled Home Affairs official.
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