Sunday, January 07, 2007

RESTAURANT: Zest take two

Type: Modern Australian
Location: City Tattersalls club, 202 Pitt St, Sydney
Booking Required: Sometimes.

The Zest restaurant was selected as the venue for a Christmas party at work. About 9 days prior to the Christmas party, a menu was distributed to invitees, which portrayed a wide variety (perhaps too wide) of what initially appeared to be tasteful & exotic dishes. So I figured I'd invite Jobe along before hand to see what kind of experience Zest had in store for our Christmas party.

The 1st visit: Jobe has posted a comprehensive summary of our visit in his post on December 16th, but here are some highlights of a perfect display of stupendously substandard service:

* Requested booking in the early afternoon via telephone, arrived to find no booking had been taken.

* Slightly disgruntled response to water being asked for prior to ordering, which was followed by a rapid recovery and a question of "Sparkling or Still".

* A bottle of Yarrabank Cuvee ordered, one would expect to receive a nicely chilled bottle with glasses poured and contents tested and enjoyed, prior to entree being served. In this case, bottle was provided after entrees were consumed. To add insult to injury, the Cuvee was still well above the recommended serving temperature level for Sparkling wine and was also half flat, due to an attempted (failed) rapid chilling process.

* I'd recommend Zest hire's some waitresses that can pour sparkling wine without spilling a glass worth in the attempt.

A very poor performance all-round on the service front, however I considered it may be possible to get better service with a larger group of people (more profit), so I decided to re-evaluate when I returned for the work Christmas party.

1st RATING: Forced to return to - will re-evaluate open-mindedly

2nd Visit: Arrived on time, the same waiter was on duty, and apparently did not remember me from the previous week (I wasn't expecting him to of course - but I was trying to be optimistic !).

The evening started with "Set Menus" being placed before each attendee. The set menu had a small variety of choices for each of Entree, Main and Dessert. A couple of the guests did not like any of the items on the set menu and politely asked if they could order from the A-la-carte menu. This initiated a woeful warfare of words between the waiter and the organiser of the Christmas party.

Organiser: "We'd like to order from the A-la-Carte menu if we could please".

Waiter: "When you made your booking we were expecting 15 people to order 3 courses from the set menu".

Organiser: "As you can see, only 9 people have arrived for the evening, , and you don't appear to be very busy tonight, could we please order from the A-la-Carte menu?".

Waiter: "When you made your booking.....(repeats previous argument with different wording)

Another guest: "Thank you, we understand that, but as there are limited choices on the Set menu, we would like to order one or two items from the A-la-Carte menu.."

Waiter: ".....(Clearly angry which is definitely unwarranted since it was a fair request) okay I will speak to the Chef and see what we can do"

Waiter: "(Waiter returns after taking a very interesting route to the kitchen...) No, you can only order from the Set menu...(Walks away)"

10 Minutes later, a group of 20 people who made a booking walk in and make their order from the A-la-Carte menu...

I have a feeling the Chef would do much better with different management/service staff as I actually enjoyed the dishes ordered on both visits, however the poor service and poor attitude of service staff made for an overwhelmingly poor overall experience.

2nd and final RATING: Will never return to

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Calypso! It´s amazing how shit some people can be when it comes to decent service.