Wednesday, February 16, 2005


I had an annoying dining experience at a respectable eating establishment, Villa d'Vine. I got my booking in really early for Valentine's Day, and proceeded to salivate over the online menu. The advertisement had said that vegetarian meals available and had entertainment etc. Sounded good, yah?

On the morning of Valentine's day, I was striding up Mt Maunganui they called me on my mobile telling me (a) that it was a set menu (i.e. my desired food was not necessarily going to be served) and that the price was $65 per person (which of course was a special price for that day, not what was on the menu). "Ok" I said, puffing, I had the booking after all and we continued our ascent. After hanging up, I suddenly thought that I should have asked what the set menu included. My mistake.

Upon arriving at the restaurant, I was asked 'Chicken or Fish?' I said I was a vegetarian. 'Fish is not meat. Vegetarians can eat meat' was the reply. Really? I must have missed the Hapuka trees in the yard. Anyway, we sat down and asked if we wanted champagne, 'No, neither of us likes champagne' so flustered, they wisely brought out the orange juice. The maitre'd ran over saying 'Well at least you could have some bubbles' and gave us two bottles of Italian mineral water.

The entree was nice, Xin wasn't happy with her chicken (which usually is Xin's favourite) but ironically the fried Hapuka was deliccimo. The dessert was good too. An accordionist marched around with tunes pleading us not to cry 'For me! Argentina!"

Noisy as it had become, we decided to leave. On the bill was an extra $11.90 for the two bottles of imported Italian mineral water... and their EFTPOS machine politely asks if you wish to add a tip before you enter the pin number... Sorry. I think I have given far too much already.

Anyway, lessons learnt.

1 comment:

James said...

It's an unfortunate experience with the set menu and the bill. I would recommend that, next time, you go out for dinner on the 13th or 15th. Then, you would probably get a normally-priced dinner. Valentines Day is such a commercial event anyway.