(I know out of season but special offer in Waitrose)
11am-2 Cadburys Creme eggs(80p each now-can you believe that?) and a bottle of Lucozade in the car on a 40 mile round trip up the Dales to view a pub
3pm-A bag of Salt 'n' Vinegar Hula Hoops,a Galaxy Ripple and a Cappuccino (back at home).
As you can see basically nothing eaten all day (other than trash),so ready for a good feed..
6pm-Newcastle Quayside for drinks,looking at The Sage across the river.
The Millennium Bridge at night
7.15pm-We arrive at the restaurant politely on time,we like this place, treated our staff to their Christmas meal here.Quite a raucous evening(hope we're not recognised).
We were offered the regular menu or the 'Valentines Special Menu' (see below).Due to our line of work its the first Valentines night we've been out in twenty years, so we decide to treat ourselves and opt for the special.
Chef is allergic to squid,so we requested they leave this off the platter(just in case of fatality).We cheekily asked if we could have a couple of crispy chicken wings instead from the regular menu.
Chef enquired if the beef was served medium rare.
'It can be if you like'replied the waitress.
'Yes, medium rare please'said Chef.
We sat back to enjoy our drinks whilst waiting for the seafood platter starter to arrive.A chilled Chablis for me,Becks blue for Chef(driving again-he pulled the short straw).
The seafood platter.
4 scallops,3 shell on king prawns,two chicken wings(bottom left-cropped off photo),half a lobster.Bowl of rocket salad.The small white pot is the Calamari which was sent anyway-I wondered if the waitress hadn't realised that this was the squid Chef was allergic to.Sadly it was of no use to use us, I couldn't eat this either as it was breadcrumbed(gluten allergy).
We frowned quizzically in unison, as a small bowl of 4 turned (torpedo shaped)potatoes and some greens arrived at the table (just out of shot on the photo).
'Thats a bit weird' says I.
'Mmm indeed,yes' said Chef,tucking in anyway..'probably meant for another table..'
I allowed Chef to gorge the lions share of the platter as I was looking forward to filling up on the rib of beef.
I politely consumed:
- 1 prawn
- 2 Scallops
- half of a half of lobster(2 bites)
- 1 turned potato
We sat back and awaited our rib of beef with anticipation.Presently,I nipped out to the loo.As I returned I observed the waitress was back at the table with menus.
'Would you like any desserts or coffee?'
'What??'said Chef....'what about our main course??'
Short stunned silence....
'But the seafood platter was your main course..'
'I thought it was a bit weird that it came with a bowl of spuds' says I..'but we asked you if we could have the beef medium rare and you said Yes that's ok...'
The waitress gave us a look of horror, then with out a word ran to the safety of the bar and didn't return to our table for the remainder of the evening.
'Ill just explain what the sharing desserts are' she advised condescendingly.......'because its quite complicated..'
'Its ok' said I, sheepishly, 'we're not stupid....'
We didn't bother with the sharing dessert.The evening had become a tad flat b'now.
9pm- back at home,Chef felt sorry for me and made this.
And I ploughed my way through half of these.
Question:-Are we a couple of planks? or would you have made the same mistake??
There's a valuable lesson to be learned from this experience.Always instruct staff that if they're unsure of what any diner has ordered to clarify at the table and not to make assumptions.I mean, did she think we were enquiring after the rib of beef out of polite interest??
Had we been informed the seafood platter was a main course:
a.we wouldn't have ordered it in the first place(would have preferred the beef)
b.we would have ordered starters.
c.we wouldn't have gone away disappointed
d.she wouldn't have cost the restaurant in lost revenue.
(Oh and one other thing,why didn't she offer us something else when she knew we were still hungry???)
Next year we're going to open for business as usual and fleece some unsuspecting diners instead..