Ok, it’s Saturday night, prime time for restaurants who are serious about making money and paying the bills.
Oh sorry! I forgot to mention that its also prime time to demonstrate some decent service which delivers great food to your table.
I nearly forgot, because I had visited Kuzina, a newly opened ‘authentic’ Greek restaurant in the Cape Quarter. First impressions were good; a charming hostess and attractive interior design of aqua greens, blues and classic light fittings, finished off with an antique floor which was imported piece by piece from an old building in Greece.
We were advised that some of the best food on the menu were two Greek classics of Moussaka and Kleftiko, a shoulder of lamb. Dips and pitta bread arrived first and we were left disappointed with their blandness. Two of the dips were inedible.
After a long delay the mains arrived, and as they landed on the table we knew there was trouble.
Both dishes looked dried out and tired. The Moussaka diner gave up after a few bites which resulted in the discovery of a dried out fossilised portion. The lamb was dry, grey, greasy and fatty – all at the same time. Rosemary roast potatoes arrived as an accompaniment – greasy and undercooked.
But our son had a hit on his hands - french fries and ketchup. We all dug in, much to his disgust.
A chef wandered amongst the tables, smiling at the guests and asking was everything ok. He ignored us, sitting silently behind our uneaten plates of food. The waitron arrived and asked if she could doggie bag the food. No curiosity was displayed as to the reasons for the uneaten meals. And some people think it’s fun reviewing restaurants?
I thought of our little Jack Russell, and wondered if she’d like what we rejected. I concluded that no, she too would turn her nose up at the fare. Kleftiko means Stolen Meat, according to the menu. More like a stolen evening, and a stolen opportunity for a good meal.
As we left we noticed that Kuzina was packed – and the other three were only a third full. I predict that soon Kuzina will only be a third full at prime time, unless the chef and the owner get their acts together.