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Tuesday, 4 December 2007

The tide is out at Tides (on the boardwalk at The Shangrila)

I've tried eating here on three occasions now and each experience has confirmed to me that this potentially great restaurant is arrogantly uninterested in serving their customers. The food is great - last Friday for lunch I enjoyed a dish of prosciutto wrapped prawns on a bruscetta-style bread with a glass of crisp NZ Sauvignon Blanc. But trying to get service was just terrible - again.
My first experience was a ladies lunch when they first opened with about 10 in the group. It was as if we weren't there. And once we had managed to order, the meals took ages, we had to chase them for coffee and to pay. It's so long ago I don't remember what we ate but it was tasty and from memory reasonable value for money.

Then about 12 months ago I took a friend there for a late breakfast. We were the only people in the restaurant and no-one approached us to take an order, I had to go into the restaurant proper to chase up some service. I warned them we had to be gone to catch a flight in an hour and they managed to get us a meal with 5 minutes to spare. While we waited for our Eggs Benedict we twice had to go inside to chase coffee. Even I can prepare a simple breakfast choice like this in under an hour.

Why did I go back for a third try? This time the friend got geographically embarrassed looking for another restaurant we planned to visit and just sat down and refused to budge. So against my better judgement I found myself giving Tides another chance.

Why am I telling you this story? Because I am passionate about food and the emotions that food experiences can satisfy. I don't understand why restaurateurs don't 'get' that I can forgive average food if the service is exemplary, but I won't forgive average service with great food.

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