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Published September 20th 2013
Where not to dine (unless you hate those you're dining with)
In the past, I've been criticised for being too positive with my reviews. I am always honest and usually avoid writing negative reviews in fear of impacting someone else's business. This particular restaurant was so incredibly bad that I feel this review is necessary. Hopefully it will hopefully act as a public service announcement.
Last night I committed a crime. I went to Bronte Road Bistro to have dinner with my family in celebration of two birthdays, which we booked for in advance. As soon as we got there, we were instantly treated like second-class citizens and it only got worse.
We were patient about the fact that it had taken the staff over half-an-hour to take our orders in the first place without any beverage offerings. Perhaps they were understaffed, we thought. When my coat that I had neatly folded onto the spare chair was hastily taken away without my permission and hung onto a dirty coat rack, I did not say anything. I tried to hide my visible jaw drop.
At least the male waiter's service didn't ruin the barramundi.
The real trouble started when we were informed by one of our guests on very short notice that they were unfortunately not going to be able to make it as they were feeling unwell. As soon as we mentioned this, the male waiter started to be vile towards us. I refer to this man as the "male waiter" throughout this article, but for all I know, this imbecile could actually be the owner.
Without giving me any sort of warning, he snatched my table away. To clarify, the very table at which I was sitting was taken away. He then loudly and rudely shoved my water and cutlery along it, without saying a single word. He mixed up our drinks and was extremely pushy with every action.
Bewildered, I asked him what was going on and he said that he's going to use this table for another booking but that we can keep it for another half an hour if we really must. Excuse me, Mr Waiter, what were you going to do if our relative did not happen to be unwell? Furthermore, why wouldn't you politely ask before cramming the five of us onto two tables that were clearly designed for two people each?
I asked him if this was really necessary as I have an extremely painful back injury. His solution was to ask another one of my guests (the other person whose birthday it was) to move, after knowingly having me move from my spot in extreme pain.
Although the man was well aware of the fact that this was a booking with two birthdays, the disgusting rudeness continued. We ordered drinks from one of the lovely brunette waitresses. I don't know whether or not she wrote our order down correctly, but he brought us incorrect drinks. That in itself would ordinarily be quite easy to fix at a regular establishment.
Spatchcock from Bronte Road Bistro. The quality of this dish would have been artificially elevated with better service.
The issue was that he was rude about fixing this error. I politely informed him that in actual fact, there was only one juice of that type and it was meant to have had no ice in it. Two of these incorrect juices were brought out and both had ice in them. Another error was actually made with the drinks after he brought us new drinks, but we let that one slide in case he decided to spit in our food.
The issue with this particular scenario was that this waiter was not at all apologetic; he simply slammed the glasses on the table and huffed at me as he walked away in anger, as if trying to blame us for his own mistake. As I was one of the people whose birthdays were being celebrated, I felt so slighted.
The fact is that I had previously visited this establishment and although its service was never completely up to scratch, it was not usually blatantly insolent or rude like this. I will reiterate that I was being polite and kind despite this waiter's terrible attitude. By the end of the evening, I did not wish to face this man again in case he was rude to me. I did not want to look him in the eye in case he was to bark something at me in his overbearingly loud voice and negative mannerisms.
This dish was actually quite lovely. It came in a little jar and you spread the parfait on yourself.
I still feel guilty for recommending that my family and I visit this restaurant last night. Although I know in my mind that I am not at fault for the failure of this vile waiter, I feel responsible as I was the one who booked this restaurant.
The entire time that I was there, I felt as though I had committed some sort of crime by going to have a peaceful dinner with my family. It was as if I created some sort of serious inconvenience simply by visiting this restaurant. By the end of the night, I was so glad to be out of there. The only reason we did not walk out of that place as soon as the table was removed was because I could not think of somewhere else on such short notice for our celebrations.
Luckily, we still managed to enjoy lovely company and some of the food was decent (though some was a little bit heavy). At least the female service staff were nice enough. Another somewhat objective criticism is that the menu at Bronte Road Bistro is quite limited. It was nice that Marco Polo tea was on the menu. The salted caramel ice-cream also tasted far too salty, which was quite bizarre.
Overall, Bronte Road Bistro is an establishment that I would not recommend going to unless you're really trying to irritate someone or break away from a terrible relationship.
think that is a far review, sorry you had a bad night, after working as a waitress myself, there is no excuse for that behaviour, thank you for an honest review and for giving him the benefit of the doubt even though you lost your table OMG.
Happy Birthday!! I'm sure that establishment is also owned by Renato's at Coogee because we had exactly the same experience for my daughter's birthday lunch not long ago. We had a friend who couldn't make it (with a very good reason) and they were visibly annoyed by this. But at least your food was edible. One friend found a bug in her salad. To top it off on a positive note, they're finest point isn't math because they charged us at least $150 less than they should have.
Thanks for the review. You should start a blog to highlight service - far too often, people only write glowing reviews. But if we honestly want to improve the levels of service in Australia (& lets face it, we do have a long way to go vs the rest of the world). Establishments that give bad service should be shamed & those that give exemplary service given accolades. Far too often, bad service is condoned by us as customers because we take it. Lets do something about it!