Well, after all these months, I finally had some down time to check out this cafe. I can honestly say that I did have high expectations when I first visited it a few weeks ago. Suffice to say I was very surprised at how much smaller it was in reality compared to what I envisaged when I checked out their website.
All in all, I had 3 separate meals there just so I could have a good feel of their food and service. And boy do I have some stories to tell.
My first visit was on a Saturday afternoon for a late lunch. When I was seated I politely asked the waitress if it would be okay for me to take some photos of the cafe (note that this is a question I normally ask when wanting to take photos of restaurants, cafes, bakeries or patisseries). This question was raised after I had placed my order with her. She indicated that she would have to ask the manager. There were seriously long minutes of awkwardness as I could see the conversation happening between the two of the them. The body language said it all! Obviously the manager was not keen on me wanting to take photos and I think they were trying to work out how to politely say no to me.
She eventually came back and was extremely non committal. The manager then strolled over and I politely asked what was the problem and if there was one I was more than happy not to take any photos of the cafe. I explained that it was intended for my blog but I was happy to refrain. But he reluctantly said it was alright. However after that I felt very uncomfortable throughout my stay. I just didn't feel welcome. To top it off, the waitress misheard me and my order of Lamb Sambo turned out to be Ham Sambo. Fortunately the Ham Sambo was quite delicious.
My second visit was a week later on a Saturday morning. I think the manager recognised me but didn't actually say anything about the previous visit. This time I sat at the counter and watched the baristas and cooks hard at work. Boy the place was packed!!! I had the French Toast with poached bananas, ricotta, honey and cinnamon. It was delicious! I loved the poached bananas on the French toast. This time I decided to have the filtered coffee, a rather large cup but I got through it.
My third visit was for lunch on the same day but at a much later point in time. I placed my Lamb Sambo order with the same waitress from my first visit. I decided to sit outside this time as it was quite a balmy afternoon. I waited and waited and no lunch appeared. Finally another waiter appeared and asked after my order. He then went away to check on it and had to return to profusely apologise as the order was not written down and never got to the kitchen. So he took my order and I was eventually served the samba with the fresh juice of the day; Watermelon, apple and ginger juice.
So I cut into the sandwich and what should have been filled with Lamb and potatoes was only filled with potatoes and some rocket. No lamb whatsoever!!! I was beginning to feel jinxed!!!! I went back in to the cafe and had to call the young man (Nadim) out to have a look at my Sambo and he (poor guy) had to profusely apologise again for the stuff up!!!! I finally got another sambo, this time I could clearly see pieces of lamb together with some potatoes. But the taste was a let down, it didn't have much flavour and I was left feeling a little disappointed. Frankly, the Ham Sambo was more to my liking.
|I should have realised this one didn't have any lamb!|
|This time there is lamb in the sambo!|
I thought long and hard as to whether I should even be blogging about this place. But why not?!? It is the truth and these are events that did occur. I just didn't feel the warmth in all my 3 visits. Maybe the knowledge I was a blogger put them off?? Who knows but does it matter? No, not really!
Youeni Foodstore Castle Hill
250 Old Northern Road
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