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Aside from my table, there was only one other occupied table at Manuka’s in Steenberg. And about four staff members behind the bar having a good laugh about something.

If they weren’t going to serve me, at least they could have shared the joke with me. After the laughing petered out they had a good moan about how hot it was in the kitchen. It took a shade over eight minutes before a waitress came over and asked me if I’d been served yet. I said I hadn’t. She gave me the most unheartfelt, insincere “sorry” I’ve ever heard in my life. But at least she brought me a menu.

My mate arrived shortly thereafter and I ordered a medium rare steak with vegetables and baked potatoes (R92), my mate a bacon and avo ciabatta with chips (R65) and a large bottle of mineral water (R20) for the table. The steak was a nice tender cut and perfectly medium rare. Vegetables included carrots, herbed steamed potatoes and cauliflower and broccoli with a cheese sauce. Rather unimaginative, but tasty and tender nevertheless. The bacon and avo ciabatta got a double thumbs up from my mate.

After our plates were cleared we waited and waited for our bill to come. If my mate and I hadn’t had a lot of catching up to do, I’d have been seriously ticked off at this point. Ultimately we just got up and walked to the counter to pay.

At this point there were only three tables occupied in the restaurant.

The food really isn’t bad – or excessively priced. But the service is truly atrocious. Perhaps if there was a visible manager on duty things might have been different. But I’m certainly not going back in a hurry to find out.

photo80x80Jeremy Abbott is a born and bred Capetonian and loves everything about Cape Town,

except the southeaster, traffic jams, taxis... the list goes on... and so does he...

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