Last night I joined three friends for an early supper at Home Restaurant and Bar in Harfield Village. On arriving and greeting some pretty and familiar faces, perusing the short but very adequate wine list (we went for the Pecan Stream Sauvignon Blanc), I immediately wondered why I didn't visit this place more often. I did have a peep into the bar area and noticed two of the same faces that were there when I first visited the place about 8 years ago (not exactly on the same bar chair Cheers style, but they were there).
We were welcomed by a friendly waitress who promptly sorted out our wine and sparkling water order (some of us are more abstemious than others). We took a look at the blackboard menu - an assortment of chicken livers, Cajun calamari, butternut and goats cheese ravioli, lamb and springbok shanks and others that I cannot think of at this moment. The four of us were debating between the calamari, stir fry or butter chicken enchilada. We were advised at the start that their seared tuna was not available (a pity as that is what I had enjoyed so much on my last visit). The mains come with a choice of rice, vegetables, thick cut chips or mashed potatoes. We all decided to go for the butter chicken enchilada and the two Jenny piggies chose the chips while the abstemious ones chose veggies. Our friendly waitress commented "nice and easy" and raced off to place the order.
The wine was perfectly chilled and a good choice, the conversation and company was warm (and a good choice). The tummies were starting to rumble and the smell of the grilled steak and lamb shanks were starting to make us regret our chicken order. Plates of food started being served at tables that had been seated long after us and the restaurant was in no way full (the bar is always full).
After a good hour of waiting (and drinking and chatting), we voiced a polite enquiry as to what had happened to our order. (I had visions of them ordering the butter chicken from the curry spot on Rosmead Avenue). We waited and waited. It must have been close to 2 hours before our food arrived (our second bottle of wine was all but finished). Our waitress did come and apologise and said that they were not going to be much longer. Once our food arrived we had another apology from our waitress closely followed by the manageress who explained the situation and offered us a free dessert or Irish coffee. Our food was great, very cheesy and the chips were superb (sorry for the "abstemious ones").
We decided on a variety of Dom Pedro's instead of dessert (why oh why did I say no to the "Lindt Ball Chocolate Volcano"?) and they arrived promptly. Our bill arrived, our accountant worked out what was due by each of us and we started digging for our cash - R460 plus a tip of R60 = R130 each. Next thing the manageress arrived and whisked away the bill. The bill arrived back in it's little box on our table and was reduced by half to R230!!
This was now a bit embarrassing as that was basically the cost of the two bottles of Pecan Stream. We called our waitress over hoping that she was in no way in trouble regarding our order. She assured us that everything was fine but they were insistent on the reduction on the bill as they had problems with their kitchen staff.
It would not have been right to pay the R230 plus a tip. We rounded things off to R100 a head and left the restaurant - satisfied customers but also feeling a little guilty because our waitress was great, the food (when it arrived) was great and we had enjoyed a lovely evening, eating in the open air with good friends. R130 a head would have been worth every penny.
Well done to Home Restaurant and Bar for turning what could have been a spoiled evening into a positive experience. We will be back and hopefully the seared tuna will be on the menu (then they will not have to run to Rosmead Avenue for the butter chicken!!).