Tuesday, 15 April 2008

where's Gordon Ramsay when you f***ing need him?

New restaurant Ti Adoro (where Chapter One used to be on Abbott Street next door to Jute Theatre) was lucky enough to have 5 tables in for dinner (plus 1 table just for coffee) after the End Credits movie on Sunday night...a gift for business on a Sunday night I would have thought...

Let me start with the good news. The food we ate was really very good. Simple fare, well presented, fresh and tasty.

But...we arrived at 7pm, ordered three simple meals to share as a tummy grumble stopper before dinner back at home later.

A salad - cherry tomato, rocket, parmesan and olive oil ($9.50);
Bruscetta with prosciutto, diced tomato and Spanish onion, mozzarella and basil pesto ($6.50);
And an antipasto plate with dips, cheeses, egg plant, semi dried tomatoes and two slices of bread ($16.95).

Unfortunately once we had our drinks (Sav blanc @ $6.50 and tea @ $3) we were forgotten. No top up on water, no clearing of empty tea cups, no offer of more drinks... no explanation as to where our food was. By 8pm I enquired politely where our meals were.

"Terribly sorry madame they'll be out in three minutes". Ten minutes later still no food. And when it arrived we were given no cutlery, crockery or napkins to eat it with. I had to ask for these and then wait, while they set the table.

Once our meals arrived we wondered where were the cheeses and dips that should have been on the antipasto plate. When I queried this, the waitress who had taken over our table came back and said they had new staff who had "forgotten" these inclusions and "would we like them now on another plate". Of course we would. The cheese and dips (a basil olive oil and balsamic oil) arrived with two more small slices of bread. Now this oversight could have been salvaged easily by providing plenty of bread to enjoy the dips and cheeses on, but between four get the idea...

By 9pm, we had to chase our account and had given up on dinner at home, it was just too late to start again. We had had great conversation and caught up on all the news, analysed the film and several others, but were so very disappointed in what could have been a great dining experience.

I'm sure the order was lost, but that does not forgive the appalling service. Why was our table not set, drink table service offered, our lack of food not noticed and chased, our bill provided...all in a timely manner? And we noticed other tables were similarly waiting for meals.

F***! As Gordon would say!


Anonymous said...

How do you review a restaurant based on bruschetta, antipasto and a basic salad?

the kitchen slut said...

Mate, we review it on the basis of the real world actual experience. Which is what we did. I was there, it was the most appalling experience i have ever had in Cairns when it comes to service! So what do you want us to say?

Brushetta? Antipasto? Salad? The reality was that the food was made irrelevant by the service. We told the truth! That seems to be a problem now in Cairns?

'Essence' acknowledged that the food was itself ok when it came, in her opinion! I thought she was generous!

6:01 PM

Chuckie said...

Kitchen slut has a point.
Poor service can irretrievably let down a good kitchen. I had occasion to dine at Tia Adoro last night in a large group and most of the meals (when they eventually arrived more than an hour after orders were placed), particularly the pizzas, drew favourable comments. My Funghi Tortellini
($16.50), on the other hand, was served cold and bland to the point of inedible... except i was so damned hungry by this stage there was no way on god's earth i was sending it back. I did request some salt and pepper to assist in making it more palatable - it was not forthcoming. Neither was the napkin and spoon a fellow diner requested, she got it herself.
I found the staff pleasant and well-meaning, one woman in particular was completely across her brief, knew which dishes belonged to whom and managed to split a bill among 14 patrons with a minimum of fuss which we appreciated. The chef also came out personally to acknowledge the delay in getting our meals out... although detracted somewhat from her apology by telling us they were expecting 10 not 14 in our group by way of explanation.
As far as i am concerned the onus should not be put back on patrons for poor service!

the kitchen slut said...

I should also add as a positive that the female singer guitarist (who also doubled as a waitress) was delightful. Soft, not too intrusive but good real music and a great touch.

Anonymous said...

I have ate there twice and loved it both times. Its simple and easy meals, and yes sometimes things didn't go to plan, but thats part of the experience of dining. I think people need to start living life and stop complaining about small insignificant things. Enjoy your evening with friends and stop trying to find faults when dining, but remember what was good about the experience.

Considering its a new restaurant with new owners, I think they are just trying to find their feet. In the inital stages of opening its about trial and error and I think this restuarant will be a hit among the locals in no time.

The prices have to be the cheapest for Italian Restaurants in town and the menu is so diverse.

I think people should be patient and give this new restaurant a go.

The Essence of Good Taste said...

I accept your opinion Anonomous and hope then that you can accept mine - I've been patient and given it a go and won't be back. There is just so much good food in this town I don't need to compromise.

Chuckie said...

Anonymous, i'm all for being positive... and accurate. Not sure where you get your information but at Piccolo Cucina it costs between $17 and $20 for handmade pasta (and $15.50 for bowl of spaghetti) that i would crawl over broken glass on my stomach to eat because it is so damned good. That's the difference between excellence and mediocrity. When the food is good, people don't mind paying more. If it's bad, they wish they'd stayed at home.

Anonymous said...

Oh goodness me, sounds like you have a personal vandetta against this restaurant. Unfortunately for you my wife and I happened to be dining on the same evening as yourselves, infact I remember your table quite well as we were seated in one of the other '5' tables closest to yours. What you've failed to mention is that although there was a delay with the meals this evening, when the waitress brought them to your table you and your friends got up abruptly and said you were leaving. When the waitress apologised profusely and offered your meals at no charge you promptly sat down! You then proceed to jump online and slander this business like the no-hoper we all know you are.

Exactly what do you do for a living? I would love to write a blog on how incompetent you are as I'm sure your pathetic attitude carries over into every aspect of your little life.

The singer who 'doubles' as a waitress is employed at the restaurant as a waitress and sings to entertain the guests. Many guests dine for this very reason, which was obviously lost on you and your unappreciative friends. I am a regular diner at Ti Adoro and have come to know and really admire the staff who always make our evening pleasurable. Quite clearly you were out of towners expecting to be waited on hand and foot as though you're the most important morons in the world. You did nothing the entire night but complain and antagonise the staff who I thought did a brilliant job under the circumstances. There was a large table there this evening obviously for some kind of function and obviously took some kind of priority. It is a smaller restaurant and as you said, although you waited the food was incredible.

This is more then about waiting longer than expected for food. I saw your pathetic little womens club of 'girlfriends' (you all know what I mean), you entered with a major chip on your shoulder to begin with. What you're reading out there is pure nonsense viewers and if you don't believe it, try it for yourself :)

Glad you women climbed back into your hole as with nastiness like that no-one wants you dining at their restaurant anyway.

Anonymous said...

could not have said that better if i tried. I have only dined at this restaurant once but we had an excellent evening. I thought the singer was fantastic and would make me want to return. Maybe it's that I am young and appreciate the dining experience and that sometimes waiting a little longer for such great food is not really a problem at all. We didn't wait long for our food the night we were there and the girl who waited on our table was lovely. If you got your meals for free, why didn't you mention it?> Says alot!

the kitchen slut said...

Geez Anonymous, what a spray mate, thanks for the comment ...... and while the kitchenslut may be a bit of a bitch at times, as a participant on the night he is somewhat confused and offended about being labelled a "girlfriend". A "little women's club" you say? Perhaps usually reliable cultural sexual markers as follicle challenged scalps and unwaxed legs were too subtle for you, despite your claim to familiarity with our table? Are you sure it was your wife you were dining with?

My recollection is that the waitress who brought the meals to our table was actually a waiter, who Essence then politely asked for some basic utensils to help with the food. Nobody stood up or said they were leaving at all. In fact, nobody at the table stood up all night even to go to the toilet until it was time to chase the account and finally go home. We paid in full for everything thanks, and at no time was there ever a request, or offer, not to charge.

There was no large table or function there that night as you have claimed. It was a relatively quiet night with a handful of couples and small groups like ours (4 people). Rather than being unappreciative if you scroll up a few comments you will find the singer has been acknowledged. In fact, I personally complimented her on the night for which she thanked me. The waitress was very pleasant, as were we, and there was no "nastiness" as alleged, which rather seems to be a speciality of your own.

What was written was a faithful anecdotal account of the night and rather than "complain and antagonise the staff" the entire night we sat and chatted amongst ourselves for an hour before enquiring how long the food would be. I thought Essence was actually very generous with the food itself which I thought somewhat less than 'incredible'.

It would appear, sir, that either you are schizophrenic, malicious, or have successfully identified another unhappy group of diners on a different night.

Anonymous said...

I am glad I'm not the only one offended at what you have written on your blog, this restaurant is taking quite a beating from you. I hope you have not or are not purposely trying to damage their reputation. I'm sure the positives far outweigh the negatives here. I have not dined there myself though I must give it a try now! I wonder how much attention your site has generated towards the business and what effect it has had :) All good I hope for their sake. I'd have signed up an account and put my name to this but it's quite a long process so I will include my name for you to publish if you wish.

- Michelle Carter, Cairns.

The Essence of Good Taste said...

Thanks Michelle for your opinion. I hope you do dine for yourself and make up your own mind. It's interesting that this blog - specifically designed for opinion - is attracting such interest still, on a post over a month old. 10 subsequent reviews of other experiences have not attracted anywhere near the interest. The beauty of blogs, I suppose... Here's to enjoyable dining in Tropical North Queensland.

Arthur Festerbestertester said...

I think the original review was fair, balanced and relevant. Some of the subsequent criticism of the review wasn't. I'll go there and make up my own mind. Thanks KitchenSlut.

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