Pescarne, Main Road, Hout Bay
Late last week there I was beavering away at the keyboard and the phone goes, breaking all thoughts of what I was doing. To my pleasant surprise it was the sultry voice of a very dear friend whom I had not seen for quite sometime saying they had arrived for their regular holiday in Cape Town. She asked me to join her hubby and his sister to join them for lunch, which I gladly agreed to. They had lived in Hout Bay some twenty and then some years ago and had returned to Europe after a number of very happy years of living here. Now I have not been on that side of the mountain for a really long time, so was excited at the prospect of visiting the area again.
Yesterday, Tuesday, I headed for the Republic of Hout Bay, remembering how bad the traffic and access was I made sure I left with plenty of time to of arriving with a little time in hand to pick them up. On arrival at the Beach Club and joined them for a cup of coffee and catch up before heading out for lunch. The chosen venue was discarded due to the extreme windy conditions, and went on a search of Cheyne’s in the old village, which had been recommended by a friend of my lunch hosts. Finding parking and getting ready to walk to the restaurant, we were asked by the friendly manager of the close by Pescarne, if he could assist, and we told him we were looking for Cheyne’s and he pointed us in the right direction, quickly looking up the info on Zomato found they weren’t open for lunch. Never having been there before, we were invited by the manager to check out Pecarne.
There is a large outside deck area, again due to the wind we elected to sit inside the large dining area. The waiter introduced himself, Jimmy was his name, and presented with a number of laminated menu’s. After looking through and discussing the options, we ordered our drinks, a glass of red for my mate and myself, which we later found out to be Spier Signature Shiraz at R35 per glass, My host had to glasses and I had one. The ladies opted for a couple of glasses of Spier Brut Sparkling at R59 per glass and a small bottle of sparkling water at R15. I though good chance after all the fuss about water in restaurant to ask for a glass of tap water, Jimmy immediately asked if I would like ice and lemon to which I said yes please. Good start not so?
The menu was quite extensive and covered all bases, breakfast, burgers, steak, , Seafood, Shellfish, Greek Cuisine, Salads all pretty reasonably priced. My companions decided on the seafood option with my host and his sister opting for the Baby Calamari he with Chips and his siter with Baked Potato at R79, my host’s wife on finding out the line fish option was either Cape Yellowtail or Dorado, decided on the latter at R99 with salad instead of chips stating she’d not had it in a long while. Both of the fishes are on the SASSI Green list. I decided to go the Carne route and ordered the Beef Trinchado at R79, a favourite of mine. I then asked Jimmy if the chips were fresh or frozen, he was unsure and hesitant, but said fresh, being the sceptic with that answer decided on the baked starch instead.
The food arrived, with the Calamari looking reasonably good but the chips were the frozen variety, The line fish, was not Dorado at all but a couple of fish fillets of indiscriminate type and totally dry, fried and not grilled as requested. The Trinchado was not much better swimming in some sort of spicy pinkish orange liquid with the meat tough really awful, BTW it came with a bowl of those frozen “chips” instead of the baked potato as requested. I tasted and immediately sent it back and eventually the “Dorado” was also returned. I was not asked is I would like anything else but saw the kitchen was fussing over another portion of Trinchado and said I was not willing to have the dish again and again not asked if I wanted something else from the menu, to late I said my friends had already finished their meal.
Coffee and Espresso at R18 each, sent mine back as the cup was chipped and the crema was almost black, second cup was much better with the crema the right colour.
A very disappointing lunch at Pescarne and I asked for the owner to voice our complaints. He eventually arrived at our table apologising profusely laying blame at the feet of his new Malawian Chef who came with good references. I asked if this new Chef had cooked his signature dish and a dish from the current menu, you’ve guessed right, no he had not. That’s not the way one hires a Chef, on paper and telephonic references at all. A few other excuses were used by this time I was so over the discussion. They also had an extensive. Sushi menu and there was a Sushi Chef on duty as well. Jimmy had tried his best, but was lacking in training, not his fault, and he did not know what the food was like on the menu. When I chatted to him a little earlier. When I was in the trade I made sure all of my staff tasted everything on the menu over a period. When a new dish was due to be added to the menu the entire staff, from waiters/waitresses right through to dishwashers all tasted and gave their opinion and that opinion was highly regarded. Will I go back to Pescarne after the abortive disgusting lunch, the answer is yes as I always promise to do.
The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Grub Rating
★ = Really bad, horrible, unpleasant, and abysmal, blerry awful
The Klutz in the Kitchen always revisits establishments whether the review is good or bad because nobody has a good day everyday. Looking forward to a return visit.