Fez at Bagdad

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

Reviewed by Chris Muller

I believe this place is now called Cafe Bagdad and that it has new owners. We were disappointed with the service and the food that we experienced at Cafe Bagdad on Friday evening 2 March 2018. We got away for the weekend from Centurion to celebrate our 40th anniversary. On arrival in White River we decided to get something to eat at Cafe Bagdad before starting exploring the area for the weekend. A while after placing our order for food and drinks the waiter arrived with our fillet steaks in reduced balsamic vinegar (as listed on the menu), but instead of chips as we ordered it was rice. So before even delivering the food it was returned to the kitchen and returned about 5 or so minutes later with chips. At this time our meat that was ordered to be rare was cold. When we tasted the meat we realized that it was not served with reduced balsamic vinegar, but that the meat was marinated in vinegar and tasted like vinegar. We decided to call the manager and told him about the cold meat and the sour taste. He then told us that this was the way they do it there. So we accepted and decided to continue eating. There was no offer to either re-heat or compensate for the cold stake. We soon realized that we didn't have serviettes and asked the waiter for serviettes. She returned with nicely folded serviettes on plates and said: "here are some more serviettes". Upon which we replied: "we never received serviettes in the first place" and received a surprised look. At this time we saw another couple coming to sit at the table next to us, and after being greeted personally by the manager they soon received plates with serviettes, and a basket of bread which we never did. At this point we realized that we didn't get a good deal, not in terms of reception neither in the food that was served, and we wondered if the manager had favorite customers. I don't know if we didn't look good enough, but we never gave any indication that we wanted to pay less, or wasn't able to pay for whatever we ordered. At this point we were looking critically at the food we received and noticed that the "salad" was basically lettuce leaves with cucumber slices and some cherry tomatoes without any sauce, which didn't need any culinary creativity. When we paid the waitress she said sorry about everything so she obviously realized that something was not in order. However there was no offer of compensation like a free coffee or anything like that. On our way out the manager said: "hope we see you again soon". Which was an odd statement, him being fully aware of our dissatisfaction. In fact he seemed to be unable to receive or react positively to our complaint. Needless to say, we won't be visiting them again and we did spread the word about our experience. Looking at old reviews of Fez and some current comments from locals who were accustomed to some good experiences in the past (almost as if they were still expecting the same service), it certainly does seem as if something was lost over time and in the change of owners.
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