BootsnAll Travel Network

Excuse me sir, is that a cockroach on the wall??

An important goal for my time in South Africa is to eat as much stellar seafood as one possibly can. Being that it’s a Saturday night, I thought it was an excellent time to work on such a goal.

I decided the Tuscany Beach Restaurant would be the dining establishment of choice. Located within walking distance, it was lauded by Eat Out magazine as eatery given the local ‘stamp of approval’ and by Time Out magazine as ‘one of the best seafood restaurants around’.

Without reservations, we were seated at the back of the restaurant, away from the view of the ocean. I didn’t mind however, since Tuscany was a nice place to look at, with comfortable seating, elegant place settings and funky, colorful light fixtures.

After switching waitresses, I started my meal with a sweet cocktail for R35. Nothing extraordinary, but a fine drink. Sean picked out a beer on tap (Amstel) for around R18.

For appetizers, I selected a California sushi roll, while Sean picked out ‘The Tuscany’ – a salad of lettuce, tomato, mozzarella, onion, olive and avocado (R46). We settled on the frutti de mare salad with avocado, smoked salmon, calamari, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, crab and shrimp with a mango/coconut dressing (R54) and grilled calamari with a side of pasta (R78) for the mains. We also asked for some bread.

Any good restaurant should whet your appetite with an excellent starter. Unfortunately, in this case, it had the opposite affect. The imitation crab in my California roll tasted off – possibly from yesterday’s power outage? Although it held together nicely, the wasabi was incredibly bland (too old, perhaps?). The bread was tasteless and the ‘butter’ was margarine. Gee, thanks. Sean’s salad was ‘mediocre’, in his estimation.

As I sat pondering the fate of our main courses, the fun began. I looked over Sean’s shoulder and saw a cockroach climbing along the wall, where we were both sitting in a booth. We warily watched it as it edged closer to, well, our shoulders. I flagged down a waitress.

“Um, excuse me, but could I have another napkin, so I can kill this cockroach?” The poor waitress, who had earlier explained that she was new, scurried off to find a napkin. Not content to wait, I used my linen one and handed her the wadded up ball with an apology when she returned.

“I’m sorry,” she said, red faced, “we sprayed for them yesterday.” I assured her it was ok, and thought well, Courtney, you’re eating in a restaurant that has its front side open all day long. How is this any different than your apartment where hundreds of ants have taken up residence?

Another cockroach scurried out near Sean’s ear.

This is very different, I decided. One, this is a restaurant. Two, it’s a nice restaurant, with prices to match. Three, it’s a fucking cockroach.

“Sean, how you do you feel about cancelling dinner?” I asked, squashing Mr. Kamikaze before he could duck back into the wood.

He shuddered and pointed to another one as it ran behind the vase above my head. I scanned anxiously for our waitress, noticing another server as she sent some plates crashing to the floor.

A food runner appeared, dinners in hand. As he set them in front of us, I looked down at my meal, unhappily. Although artistically displayed in a pyramid in the center of a large, square white plate, I was aware of the imitation crab, the cockroach laying in wait, and my lack of appetite. I didn’t want to eat any of it. The waitress appeared.

“I’m sorry,” I cringed, remembering my serving days when kitchen issues were taken out on me, “but can we please send these back and have them taken off our bill? We don’t have much of an appetite.” The deer-in-headlights look appeared on her face. “Or, can we speak with a manager?” I suggested.

As she went in search, I wondered, do people send meals back in Cape Town? Or did I just break some social taboo? I stopped pondering to return to my cockroach-hunt.

The manager soon arrived and removed the plates, apologizing and commenting, again, that they had sprayed yesterday for the buggers. Really, considering that they were threatening to wander into my meal, or, worse, my hair, I could’ve cared less. Although in retrospect, the idea that these things were crawling around laden with pesticides, looking for a place to die, makes my horror slightly more pronounced.

We slapped down cash for the bill the minute it arrived, leaving the drinks half drained.

The service and decor were the standouts of this restaurant. Too bad the food and hygiene couldn’t match it – or their price list.

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0 responses to “Excuse me sir, is that a cockroach on the wall??”

  1. Ruthie Rader says:

    I travel North America while you saunter across the world. I am humbled and envious at the same time.

    You have a very, very nice blog.

    I will follow it from now on.

    May I put a link to your blog on my blog?

    Please let me know. Thank You.

  2. Courtney says:

    Hi Ruth- Yes, by all means you can add a link. I have read your adventures from time to time – I hope Oregon is treating you well!

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