So we enter the Hogsbreath at 5:30 p.m. or thereabouts and place the order at 5:47 p.m. I know this because it says so on the docket. We finally leave at around 8:30 p.m. In between… well lots is better left unsaid but the bare bones are clear enough.
We ask for starters… they arrive. We order the main courses… most of them arrive.
The youngest daughter ordered a chicken schnitzel and received a ‘childs steak’ which of course was returned. She eventually received her schnitzel… a rather charred one which she didn’t eat.
The eldest daughter asked for nachos… which arrived with a ‘chopped steak’ on top instead of the usual cooked minced beef… but there are no set rules so that was ok… except it was covered in spicy pepper and cumin which she didn’t like.
Three of the rellies including my eldest, eldest daughter had asked for ‘lite’ version of the steaks and asked for them cooked medium to medium rare… all were well done… well charred really.
The son-in-law-to-be (SILBE) had asked for lamb shanks and mashed potatoes and was really looking forward to them… as you would. Cooked well they are a *very* tasty dish! His arrived… and he discovered very quickly they were cold!
Back they went… and back they came. That’s when he also discovered they tasted absolutely nothing like lamb. We all had a small piece of ‘meat’ and all agreed… no idea what it was but lamb was not what it tasted like. He also found the potatoes had that appalling ‘steamed’ taste you get when something has been kept warm over a pot for too long (a well known taste to those of us who worked odd hours). Naturally he complained… but didn’t get anywhere really and resolved to take it up with the cashier when we paid.
The rest of us… i.e. the wife and I and the two small grandsons… seemed to do ok really. Our meals were nice enough and we enjoyed them despite the ongoing whingeing around us. I apologised to all within earshot for having taken them there, but, as I pointed out, we’d previously had decent meals both at Caberra, and at the Brisbane location (of course we’d fallen out badly with the Castle Hill branch of the franchise twice… but that’s another story).
So the evening moved inexorably onwards, as they tend to do, and we arrived at dessert. Ice creams for the youngest kids, two ‘Rocky Road Sundaes’ for the wife and one set of rellies, mud cake for the eldest daughter… and Apple Crumble and Butterscotch Sauce for me. Crumble and Butterscotch Sauce is one of my favourite desserts when I’m out and about so I was looking forward to it.
Naturally we also ordered coffees.
Coffees came… coffees were drunk… no dessert arrived. After 50 minutes we made enquiries and learned the kitchen was ‘short handed’ that night. How hard it could be to scoop ice-cream is something of mystery but maybe 50 minutes would be considered a ‘long time’ in anyone’s book? But still we sat there, stoically awaiting it’s arrival.
Eventually after an hour… it came! Whoohoo… Crumble at last… yes?? Nope.
What arrived at my place setting was a piece of passionfruit cheesecake. Err excuse me that is *not* the ‘Dessert of the Day’. Back it goes to the kitchen. Back comes the waitress. “Sorry… crumble is all gone”. So I ask why, if it is all gone, are they still advertising it? Why have I had to sit there for nearly an *hour* waiting for it to arrive just to be told it’s not coming? I decide I don’t really fancy anything else and off she goes… sulking. However this might be because before she left I suggested she wipe the dish off ‘Specials’ board so that nobody else would be disappointed.
Twenty minutes later the kids were finally finished and we started to prepare to leave. Just before we did I called the waitress over and reminded her that she *still* hadn’t removed the crumble from the list of specials… so she went off in a temper and wiped it.
The SILB went off to the till first… and told them there was no way he was paying for his main course… surprise surprise, they just took it off the bill. I went over and paid up and we left having had a memorable meal, but sadly for all the wrong reasons.
I think I can say that whilst my own meal was actually quite acceptable… well the steak was… the service at this joint was surly and dismal to say the very least. What is more important is that the quality of their food was really quite dreadful. It was badly cooked and actually quite suspect in parts. Basically the overall experience was something I will not be remembering with any pleasure whatsoever.
Someone else at another time may have a different and more pleasurable experience there… but best of luck to them. I doubt I’ll be returning to the Canberra Hogsbreath Cafe anytime soon!!!