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Where NOT to dine in Nelson

Posted by Lyn 
Where NOT to dine in Nelson
December 07, 2004 10:57AM
The menu we were quoted when we booked was:- 3 hot meats, selection of cold meats, 6 salads, hot veges, platters, (with what I don't know), pavlova, cheesecake, fresh fruit salad. I wasn't overly impressed with the menu for the price but went along with it. Gave in under intense pressure and went. Oh how I wish I hadn't!!!!!
Four of us arrived before the others and ordered a drink. I should have left then! We could have gone and done our supermarket shopping while waiting for it. I ordered a JD with L&P, after some hesitation she told me they had no L&P! Ok, bacardi and coke please. Haven't tasted the bacardi yet but had a very long glass of coke. No price given but got $14 change from $20. We went to go outside as we expected but were told our tables were those ones there, inside. Instead of a long table, we had 4 individual ones all set for 4. After several enquiries about how much longer our food would be, already ½hr late, they started to bring it out. Eventually they took the grotty plastic covers off the salads, a couple of flies found them tasty, especially as they were in the sun. After it had sat there for a bit longer a "waitress" went and stood behind the table to start carving the ham. But wait, there's more. She looked at us and asked"does anyone know how to carve a ham?" After being shown, we started to line up to get our fill. No tongs or even a fork to pick the ham up, just use what God gave us, fingers! When I asked about other meat options I was smartly told there was 2, ham and the chicken dish which we think, and it IS only think, was meant to be butter chicken, dry and tasteless anyway. So where was our 3 hot meats and selection of cold meats you ask, well we wondered that too. And the hot veges? Well potatoes are veges aren't they?, and they were hot.
The salads were ok, spuds nice, and the ham absolutely superb, obviously Pestells. They then covered the ham and bread basket with 2 teatowels, (which I'm assuming were clean) both of which were so badly discoloured that I wouldn't use them as floor cloths. Those who decided to have some more ham had to carve it or go without.
Dessert... Oh dear!! Out came the Pavlova, that was fine. The same can't be said about the cheesecake and fruit salad. As soon as I saw the tray of cheesecake with about 6 pieces of a different flavoured one to the rest, I knew it was leftovers. But oh gosh, just how long it had been left over is subject to speculation, with guestimates ranging from a few days to at least 2 weeks. Then we come to the fruit salad. Bits of core and stalk in the apple which comprised a very large percentage of the salad, and going brown on the edges, slimy banana, even the orange had gone brown it was so old! After a few people had dug around trying to get something edible out of it , the juice was a tan coloured sludge, with the fruit almost totally submerged. When we complained, the woman told us it had only been made yesterday, I think she should have said yesterday week! Whatever, it should have been made fresh that day. She then produced the big mudcake which was for general restaurant desserts but pretended it was for us so we all had a small slice, very restrained on our part I thought considering, while one of the waitresses stood there saying "expletives deleted
" etc no doubt worried at how much we were taking. We used less than ½ of it and there was a slice taken out before we got it.
Rebecca ordered a gin and Indian tonic, it was so sweet she thought he had put lemonade in it but no, he had used diet tonic, and didn't replace it.
The manager stood behind the bar all night, grinning continuously, whether it was from the beer he was skulling or the thought of the easy rip off dollars he was making who knows.
We asked for coffee. Out came the cups, carried with fingers gripping the insides of them, yuk. One of our lot wanted tea. She got a teapot, fine, but the lid was for a sugar bowl and looked so comical perched on the teapot. It was a good brew of coffee though.
You really had to be there to experience it, if anyone told me this story I don't think I could believe it but trust me , it happened on Friday night.

Re: Where NOT to dine in Nelson
December 07, 2004 11:53AM

I guess it was for a special occasion.

Did anyone complain????

You poor people!!!
Re: Where NOT to dine in Nelson
December 07, 2004 12:42PM
Yes, it was a Xmas "do", and they were very aware we were not happy with most aspects of it and our manager is following it up with a written complaint. And they had the gall to charge us $34 a head when $25 - $28 is the going rate here for a far superior meal and service. A friend involved with another group was quoted the same menu and price but fortunately opted for another venue. To rub salt into the wound, I had to take time off from another job to go to this "meal fron hell". sad smiley Lyn.

Raewyn G
Re: Where NOT to dine in Nelson
December 07, 2004 07:23PM
There is no doubt in my mind that you have good reason for complaint.
How dare these places get away with this sort of shoddy, substandard and down right disgusting service and so called preparation and presentation of food. I wonder where their Food Safety certificates are for a start off!!!! I would be furious if it happened to me, and having worked in commercial kitchens for the past 25 years (and many without holding a Food Safety ticket) would not have conducted myself or my staff in such a dishonest and dreadful way!!!!(Being ripped off with the agreed menu) My blood is boiling just thinking about it.
What makes me wonder is, if this service and food is what you see, what don't you see? The disorganisation and possible unhygenic, behind the scenes, state of the place leaves my mind boggling:-o:-o:-o
All I say is COMPLAIN AND WIN!!!!!!
p.s. Hopefully none of your party was ill as a result of your dining experience from HELL!!!!!

Re: Where NOT to dine in Nelson
December 07, 2004 08:23PM
Yes and word of mouth is the best advertising - so you go girl, spread that word!!!!!!!

I'm sure if I was in Nelson I would NEVER go somewhere after hearing that if I knew where it was.

Lets hope your Manager gets the outcome you all deserve.
Re: Where NOT to dine in Nelson
December 07, 2004 09:21PM
Gosh Lyn that is gross.

As an ex-Nelsonian I'm busy trying to think of where it could be. On my next trip back to Nelson, I definitely wouldn't want to be going there!

Just remember - word of mouth is good payback

HEre's hoping your next dining out experience is MUCH TASTIER!

Cheers, Wilmsmiling smiley
Lyn can't you tell us where it was?
Or am I being legally naive?
Re: Where NOT to dine in Nelson
December 08, 2004 12:30AM
My thoughts too. I am not planning a trip to Nelson in the near future, but these people deserve to be named and I think we Foodlovers, deserve to be protected!!!!winking smiley What a miserable experience for you. Look at it like this.... if that is their standard, imagine their own Christmas fare at home... a bit sad isn't it?
Re: Where NOT to dine in Nelson
December 08, 2004 05:01AM
Why not name and shame. Protect other diners from the stress of the same dissatisfaction.
Re: Where NOT to dine in Nelson
December 08, 2004 11:31AM
I am reluctant to name the restaurant on a public forum in case of any legal ramifications, either for Helen or me, but am happy to reply to any emails. smiling smiley Lyn.

Re: Where NOT to dine in Nelson
December 08, 2004 01:20PM
Thats just downright disgusting! I feel sorry that your dining experience wasn't very nice but if it were me I would have complained as soon as the seating incident happened..not to mention the flys in the salad....yuk!
Anyway I hope the restaurant gets their just deserts!
Hi Lyn

I had the same experience last year with a restaurant in Auckland. I named them here and suffered no ramifications.
I actually wrote to the restaurant and complained, very heatedly, to which they sent back a $100 voucher to dine in again. As we were heading off overseas, I gave it to the kids to dine there after they had farewelled us at the airport. Funnily enough, I was in Auckland the other weekend with my daughter and it was mentioned as we drove past about the awful meal we had had at the restaurant. She then informed me that when the 3 of them went back and used the voucher, it was even worse. They had forgotten my sons meal, bought out the mains before the entree and had to wait 30 mins for a drink to be served!!!!

Some restaurants just dont change. This one used to be called Guado. It now has another name and probably serving just as dodgy food.

Helen CB
Re: Where NOT to dine in Nelson
December 08, 2004 11:17PM
I agree you should name and shame, after all you are only commenting on your experience, and should there be someone out there that does not agree, well they can write and let us know.
Lyn ( P. Nth)
Re: Where NOT to dine in Nelson
December 10, 2004 12:36PM
I agree totally with all Raewyn G has said!! Good God!!......I would have absolutely refused to pay for that meal, or at least demanded my money back if prepaid. I pay out a lot of money each year for a Food Safety program for my staff to attend so that they are ALWAYS reminded of how important Food Hygiene/Safety is. Rest assured that so called Restaurant will not be in business long, whether you name it or not. Have you considered calling the local City Councils Health people?? Complain to them. They WILL go check it out I promise you. It may be wise to do that, it may prevent serious illness or even death if they are that bad!
Sacre bleu!! Sometimes I think we are a 3rd World Country hearing these stories, kinda like the shop I reported for carting whole pig carcasses in rusty wheelbarrows into their premises. After leaving them a few hours on the back of a truck. True story.
And apart from the horrific experience with the food, the service was obviously disgusting. This is just the thing we need to show tourists visiting beautiful Nelson.:-o
I have vented, lol...I just hate these people who ruin it for the majority who in their own food business, are training staff, paying Health Licenses, spending heaps on extra cleaning, and getting small returns as this industry is renowned (sad smiley) for small profit margins. Geez.
Report that place. Name it and let this be a message to all. It seems every Tom Dick and bloody Harry can go open a food outlet without a problem nowadays. Mastery of the English language may help in some cases, so that rules and regulations are understood.

Enough said..I think I really blew up, oh well. I feel better anyways

Lyn ( P. Nth)

Raewyn G
Re: Where NOT to dine in Nelson
December 10, 2004 09:03PM
Good on you Lyn.........You will feel better now that is off your chest........and I back you 110%. Go Girl!!!!!!
p.s. Give me a ring sometime as I may be able to put you in touch with a company that provide Food Safety programes for free or at a reduced price. You know where I work. Extension 236 Mond-Frid 8-5pm
Re: Where NOT to dine in Nelson
December 13, 2004 12:33AM
Hi folk, Helen is happy for me to name (and shame) so.... The restaurant in question is Crusoes, which is in Robinson's Complex just south of the Stoke shopping centre heading toward Richmond. We have been told this business changed hands in the last couple of months, quite clearly they were out of their depth as far as our buffet was concerned, but I cannot speak for their BBQ or a la carte service.
We can only hope they have learnt from our experience but I definitely won't be returning. Everyone is entitled to make a mistake occasionally but there were too many here to tempt me back given the numerous choices we have here in Nelson. Have a great day everyone. smiling smiley Lyn.

Re: Where NOT to dine in Nelson
December 13, 2004 06:07AM
Hi Lyn (Pth)

Make sure if you do ring Raewyn G you name her extension number - otherwise you run the risk of being put thru to me in the nurses station - and altho it will be nice to talk to you - I won't be able to help you with Food/Safety.

Raewyn G
Re: Where NOT to dine in Nelson
December 13, 2004 07:08AM
Or alternatively if you have a nursing question, DON'T RING ME! I haven't a damm clue about those things and no interest in it either. Just give me my kitchen, with not too many interuptions and I will work miracles!!!!!!Well maybe........on a good day.
I am very fortunate to work with Raewyn and she is a REAL gem.
Raewyn G:}
Lyn ( P. Nth)
Re: Where NOT to dine in Nelson
December 13, 2004 07:17AM
Sounds like you are both gems to me!! And, I look forward to meeting you both. Still havent come to see if our plate is still there.smiling smiley

Lyn ( P. Nth)
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