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After a strenuous day of walking and shopping we decided to have dinner in Rosebank as opposed to trekking back to the East to find somewhere to chow. BMF and I were keen to go to The Fish Monger, but Angel was adamant that she wanted to eat at Mike’s Kitchen. As she’s a Gemini she gets two votes, and as she was tired and irritable, we weren’t going to argue with her.

Now I must quickly point out several facts.

I don’t like Mike’s Kitchen. Not due to any prior bad experience, but merely because it’s a steak house and not being able to eat red meat, I prefer to frequent places that specialize in chicken or feesh.

I give restaurants 3 strikes before never returning. I understand that sometimes the waiter and/or chef could be having an off day, so I feel I am quite fair in giving an establishment a fair chance.

We stood at the entrance of the restaurant where there were a few waiters / managers milling around. I had to walk up to one of them to request to be seated as they all seemed to assume someone else would do it [strike 1].

We were finally seated on the balcony and a waiter provided us with menu’s. I wanted a smoothie but the menu didn’t state what flavours they had, so I asked the waiter. He didn’t know either and went to ask. [strike 2] He returned to state that they had mango and white berry.

Personally I am not familiar with white berries; blackberries and blueberries certainly, and even bunching the red ones together calling them red berries would be understandable, but for the life of me, I don’t know this white berry.

I told the waiter that this sounded very interesting and asked exactly what it consisted of. He said he didn’t know and would go ask. [no strike here, as I’ll contain it under the previous one]. He returned again and told me it’s a smoothie [I already know that part] make of white berries.

BMF had a brainwave and asked whether he actually meant wild berries. The waiter said he would go ask. [getting close to giving another strike but to be fair, we’ll keep the white berry incident under one strike]. He returned to say that it is indeed a wild berry smoothie. Ok, a bit of miscommunication between the drinks bar and himself, but we can forgive that.

BMF and I each ordered a wild berry smoothie and Angel ordered a chocolate milkshake. As we’d had enough time to peruse the menu during the white berry saga, we ordered our food at the same time. Madam and I decided to share a portion of halloumi for starters, and BMF ordered crumbed mushrooms. For mains Angel ordered the ladies spare ribs, myself the chicken schnitzel and BMF a rump steak.

A few minutes later the waiter returned with our drinks and to inform us that they had run out of halloumi as well as rump steak [strike 3].

We asked for several minutes to decide on replacements. Us girls selected fried calamari and BMF went for a Monkeygland burger. Not off to a great start, but we were hopeful yet.

Angel went off to the playroom to climb a wall and BMF and I chatted. A waitress arrived with a plate of fish and attempted to put it down on our table. We informed her that it was not ours, and we watched her weaving her way around the restaurant attempting to find the rightful owner. That was pretty entertaining and that plate touched down several times before flying off to another table, so I decided not to give a strike.

Suddenly Angel’s ribs arrived. And when I say ribs I mean two. Not two racks, two ribs. As in double what Adam gave to Eve. Also disconcerting was the fact that we hadn’t yet received our starters. [strikes 4 and 5]

One of the managers could see my blood now rising, and came over to the table to ask what was wrong. I pointed at the ribs and asked; politely I may add, I am never rude; whether Angel had received the kids portion of ribs or the 300g ladies portion we had ordered. He said that he would go ask the waiter.

WTF? You’re the manager and you can’t recognize what’s on the plate??? [we’ll keep this as strike 4 as it related to the ribs].

Before he departed I asked him to please inquire as to the whereabouts of our starters as we would’ve liked to eat them before the main meal arrived. I had visions of my calamari doing the Macarena around the restaurant just as the fish had.

The manager returned to say that it was indeed the ladies ribs, and that because it was Halaal we shouldn’t expect it to look like a normal rack of ribs. That made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever and I again asked him if the two fingers of meat actually weighed 300g as they looked more like 30g.

He assured me that these ribs had hardly any bone and was mostly meat, but he said he would arrange another finger rib from the kitchen for Angel. I thanked him, told Angel to tuck in and again asked after our starters.

These finally arrived and I had just taken a bite out of the second unlucky octopussy when my chicken and BMF’s burger arrived. The dancing waitress looked as if to ask us to remove our starters so that she could place the food down. We in turn looked at her as if to say WTF are you doing bringing our food when we’ve barely touched our starters! [strike 6]

Another manager came to our table to find out why the waitress was standing there and not placing the food on the table and we showed him, as if he could not see; that we had just received our starters and were we not entitled to enjoy one course at a time. He didn’t quite know what to do either and not wanting my food to dry under lights, or risk it being spat in [I’ve worked in a restaurant – be glad I never served you] I asked them to just place the plates on the table.

BMF ordered another wild berry smoothie and this time he received a white berry smoothie. I kid you not. It was just ice. With a faint hint of pink. With only near-starvation keeping me rooted to my chair we summonsed the manager again and he suggested that BMF rather order a mango smoothie. BMF stated that he doesn’t like mangoes and would rather have a coke, preferably in a can, and preferably unopened.

Another manager [or perhaps the owner now] came to our table to find out what was going on, and so I painstakingly took him through all the strikes. He said that he appreciated our feedback as they only opened for business on Friday and were still getting up and running. He assured us that we would receive another rib for Angel, who by this stage discovered that her second rib consisted purely of fat and bone, not a gram of meat; we were also told that we would received coffee’s and dessert on the house and that we wouldn’t be charged for the white berry smoothie or coke.

Well without drawing this tasteless tale out any longer, Angel did not receive another rib. We also did not receive coffees nor dessert, and when the bill arrived, it included the white berry and the coke.

Strike 7.

You’re out.