Eating out has left me a little cranky lately. Last weekend, we grabbed a bite to eat at Xquisito, at the Carousel Shopping Centre food hall. It was late morning – brunching time – Jac ordered chicken nachos, I ordered a 3-stack of breakfast hotcakes.
Now, this is how I would’ve prepared the meals which were ordered by two people who were clearly there to dine together (we ordered the food together, we paid for the food together, using a single twenty dollar note; clearly, we were there together, even if not recognised as a couple, definitely as friends or companions!). I would’ve started with the nachos and placed the corn chips on the plate and topped them with the chicken chilli mix and cheese. I would’ve then set that aside while I prepared the hotcakes. When I estimated the hotcakes were a couple of minutes from being ready (sufficient time to melt nacho cheese to perfect gooeyness), I would’ve placed the nachos under the broiler. Both dishes would’ve been ready at roughly the same time, or at least very close together – I’d have topped the melted cheesey nachos with the guacamole, sour cream and tomato salsa, and the freshly cooked hotcakes with the warm maple syrup and chopped banana. Voila – two meals ready around the same time. It seems that I’ve just described the obvious, right? Wrong!
Instead, this is what happened: the lady who took our order prepared the nachos – corn chips on the plate, topped with chicken chilli mix and cheese, then placed the plate under the broiler to melt the cheese. When the cheese was sufficiently melted, she topped the nachos with guacamole, sour cream and tomato salsa, and served the nachos to Jac. Then, she started to prepare the hotcakes. I couldn’t believe it. True, she wasn’t making the hotcake batter from scratch – she poured it straight out of a carton – but the hotcakes cooked painfully slowly on the not particularly hot griddle. Meanwhile, the other staff member sliced up the banana – I have never seen anyone slice banana up so slowly. As the hotcakes cooked, Jac was eating her nachos on her own. Anyone who’s eaten nachos before knows they’re at their best eaten fresh and hot – cold nachos go soggy and are, frankly, quite gross. Eating at a reasonable pace, she’d gotten halfway through the nachos when I finally sat down next to her with my plate of hotcakes. I know nachos and hotcakes from a food hall eatery are not fine dining by any means, but seriously, it wouldn’t have been terribly difficult for the Xquisito staff to prepare the meals concurrently rather than consecutively, and I don’t think it was unreasonable of me to have been annoyed. There were, after all, no other customers to serve at the time – no complex juggling of multiple orders (if that was to be used as an excuse) – and I wouldn’t have thought the concurrent preparation of our two orders would be all that complicated.
Thankfully, the food was tasty. Here are the nachos – they were really delicious. Why oh why does cheese have to be so fattening?
Here are my hotcakes. They were okay – I find that instant pancake mix tends to be a little too sweet, but the hotcakes had a lovely light and fluffy texture. Hotcakes or pancakes with maple syrup and banana is such a perfect combination.
There was another little detail that annoyed me however – my annoyance levels were well and truly awakened by now – why call it a pancake stack if you don’t really serve it as a stack? Now, this is a stack.
Feel free to share your own stories of dining out/service annoyance!
My tummy’s been growling as I’ve been writing this post – we’re off soon to breakfast to celebrate Jac’s aunt’s birthday – unfortunately, I’ve been hungry since I woke up at half past six, and now, after writing this, I am a little angry as well as hungry! :) I know some of you are wondering – why on earth would anyone without children get out of bed so early on a Sunday morning? Well, I had to fit in 40 minutes on the exercise bike and blogging time – I’ve done both and am now ready to stuff my face!