Saul’s, Strand, South Africa

I am leaving the review of Saul’s, Strand on my blog even though the restaurant is closed.

We were invited by Saul to have supper on his account at Saul’s Strand, to assess whether there had been any improvement since our first visit. Our first visit was on a Sunday evening and was a disaster. We were not greeted at the door, and eventually we were shown to a table. We asked the waitress for two bottles of sparkling mineral water and were told “sorry, we only have one”. This coupled with a few other issues made us get up to leave. We paid the bill after having to find the waitress (we were the only table) and walked out past the manager who did not say one word to us.

JULY 2011

Saul’s, Strand

Saul became aware of this after a friend of mine was invited back after her not so great experience and hence the invite. Saul was sent an email after our dinner, describing our evening.

We were greeted at the door, but no one knew of our booking despite us being told by Saul that it had been done. The water called the hostess (Janine) who called Ryan (the manager) and as we were the only people there, we could choose our own table. In my opinion the whole ‘meet, greet and seat’ issue needs serious attention as there is no need for the run around.

Once again there was no sparkling water and this resulted in us being asked 3 times what we wanted to drink – instead the waitress should have gone straight to Ryan to tell him the problem. Ryan sorted this out and went and bought sparkling water for us! However, while he was out running around the staff decided this would be a good time to start chatting amongst themselves instead of overseeing the customers and the front of house.

We were not given a wine list so even if we had wanted to drink wine, we would not have had the choice without specifically asking for the list. A small oversight, but one that is so unnecessary.

The place is clean and light and until the last 5 minutes we enjoyed lovely background music. For some reason it was turned up just before we left – and we were the only table in the non smoking section.

I was impressed with the way our cutlery arrived at the table after our order was taken and that our plates were not cleared until we were both finished. This is something we take for granted when eating out. We had the hot chicken salad as a starter to share and it was really tasty, with a generous portion of grilled chicken.

We were also asked if the chef could start our main course which I appreciate as being a work night it is nice not to have to wait too long between courses. However, there was a lack of attention to detail that did not go unnoticed by us – we asked for no raw onions with our salad starter, and yet got raw onions on our main course garnish! Small details, but they all count. The garnish lettuce did not look great by the way and we usually eat everything on our plates, but I pushed mine aside.

We had the eat as much as you can rib special and I thought that it was too soon to ask us if we wanted a second portion as we got our first one! Our chip order was forgotten and when they arrived at the table we had a large, overflowing plate of not quite cooked chips. These were sent back and half the amount was returned to us (as per the photograph). I am not sure whether the very peppery basting sauce rendered the chips tasteless, or if this is a supply issue?

Ryan was the newly appointed manager on duty at Saul’s the night we went, and he told us that improvements would be seen as he had a lot of new ideas and training to implement. I hope he was right.

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