cafe kati would-be report (long)
i tried to go to cafe kati last night.
the two of us waited outside for a short while for a table. the chef/owner (?) came out and chatted for a little bit. he talked about how he had planned on going surfing, but got called in, and challenges in assigning the cooks to the stations best suited to their personality (who should saute, who should bake, etc). it was interesting.
he was wearing board shorts, sneakers, a tshirt, and a chef's jacket. he also appeared frentic and spastic, and though i definetely don't know, he seemed to be on drugs. he also said that he was training a new staff that night. this information should have tipped us off.
after an acceptable wait time, we were seated. the chef/owner ran through the specials. they both sounded good (lamb burgers, and a curry whole snapper).
for the first several minutes, we had one empty water glass. then it was filled, but a second glass was not forthcoming for some time. our drink orders were taken then.
we then did not have contact with any staff for the next 25+ minutes. drinks did not appear, no orders were taken. we each attempted to make eye contact with staff, but efforts were unsuccessful. having spent my own time in service professions, i know it can be hard when you are new and/or busy, but still. it wouldn't have taken long to just stop by and say 'someone will be with you soon, sorry for the wait.'
while we were attempting to make contact and get our orders in, the chef/owner in this very small restaurant pulls a server aside and tells her to go serve a specific table. she looked over in our direction and he said something to the effect of "don't worry about them, they'll be fine." he then sat down with another table and chatted with those seated there.
we sat for several more minutes and then left. in all, we were there for maybe 45 minutes without drinks or orders taken. maybe it was an off night because of training the new staff, i'm sure that that can really back up the kitchen, etc. but i do wonder what happened to the previous staff. and it doesn't seem right to ignore your customers.
i'm sorry that it went this way, the menu seemed so interesting and i was really looking forward to trying it. should i give cafe kati another shot? what do you all think?
We went a few years ago for our anniversary and didn't have a really good experience. I can't remember too much detail about the service, just that I wouldn't describe the staff as "warm and friendly."
As for the food....it was memorable for the wrong reason. One, the fried whole fish I got was bone dry. I couldn't eat but a few bites of the fish. Another issue i had with the food was that 3 out of our 4 dishes (2 apps and 2 entress) had the same beet strings as complements. For the price, I expected more. After the meal and the slow service, we didn't bother with dessert.
We ate there the night before last, and also had some problems with service. The food was excellent, as usual, but it took 3.5 hours to get through the meal, and some fairly simple courses took an unreasonably long time to come. We were having a good time in our party, so it wasn't that much of a problem, but it certainly was nothing like our previous visits. Strange.