Poplars appeal lies not only in its seasonal cooking, but also its natural warmth and effortless charm. In summer, the gardens provide for an al fresco feel; while in winter, log fires in the open brick hearths create a cosy retreat.
The restaurant is located on the D’Aria Winery in the picturesque Durbanville Valley. The restaurant is open Monday to Sunday with a modern European grill menu that pairs perfectly with the area’s famous crisp sauvignon blancs and juicy reds.
The restaurant is only 20 minutes from both the Cape Town International airport and the city centre, and it's renowned for being an intimate conference and event venue. The building boasts three private dining areas, mature gardens and a backyard braai area, accommodating parties from 20 to 250.
I am writing this email to you to inform you of our horrific experience at Poplars Restaurant on the 20th of December.
When my family and I arrived at the venue we took our seating outside the front door. After about 20 minutes I went inside to find out if we can order anything because nobody came to our table. To my surprise, the person that told us we can sit outside did not know who I was and I had to explain to him that he just welcomed us at the front door. I think his name was Petrus, unfortunately, I cannot remember his surname.
When he eventually came to our table he did not provide any drinks menu and told us to ask him if they had what we wanted and he would go and check if they have it. My fiancé asked for a straw for her drink and he brought her an old dirty one where the paper was already half open. After we ordered our drinks we ordered our food. All four of us had the sirloin steak with chips.
When the food arrived the steak sizes differed immensely, two of the steaks looked like minute steaks. The steak was covered in soot and tasted like it which I can only think is from a dirty grill. My fiancé's and father's steak which was ordered medium was completed dry and cold. I would not have fed that to my dog. When that same waiter passed our table and asked how the food was my fiancé told him that her steak was cold. His reaction was to say "Are you for real" and walked away.
I went to the small office before kitchen looking for a floor or kitchen manager to complain about our experience but that waiter told me that there is no manager available. How is it possible that no manager is available at a fine restaurant like Poplars? While I was complaining to the waiter, because no one else is available, your snotty kitchen staff with utterly bad behavior told me that there was nothing wrong with the steak and that the burnt stuff on the steak was soy sauce. All the time laughing as if this whole thing is a big joke.
We have been to many restaurants but I can assure you that this place was absolutely the worst by far. I have never been treated like a fool as I was that evening at your restaurant and I was ashamed to have brought my family to a place like that. The food and the people serving the guests (from the waiter to the kitchen staff) were the worst that I have ever experienced. For a lack of a better word, it was shit, at best. An utter disgrace for the name that Poplars and D'Aria have.
I am writing this email to you so that you will hopefully do something about what we experienced so that no other guest will have what we had at your place.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Very bad in every aspect. We waited 45 minutes to get our meal, that’s 4 very simple cooked steaks with fries. Our waiter totally ignored us. Soft drinks are not indicated on the menu and overpriced. Two waiters were requested to bring my kids tomato sauce once the food was eventually served and only one waiter returned to us after our meals were finished to inform us there was no tomato sauce at all. The jungle gym in the isolated play area was filled with bird excrement. When I wanted to settle the bill, I was informed by the manager that nobody but the missing waiter could assist me and I had to wait another 10 minutes. During this period 2 wild peacocks descended on the porch and my family had to hastily make way as the birds caused havoc. I brought the service issues to the manager’s attention who said they are very busy (the restaurant was half occupied or even less).
We had our son's first birthday party at The Backyard Restaurant at D'Aria on Sunday 11 February 2018. What a disaster! I have been corresponding with the owner and the Events Co-ordinator for almost a week now and they just want to compensate me by a mere apology for the lack of service and all that went wrong. They did not meet ANY of my requirements that I clearly stated on an e-mail to them before hand. The service was pathetic on the day and the after service is even worse.
List of points that I gave through to them:
• When we arrived at more or less 12:00, the tables/chairs were not moved as discussed to have enough space for the Safe house. We had to move it out of the way to start the setup as the people would arrive in an hours time and the photographer in an half hour. My husband, my father-in-law (of almost 80 years old!) and a friend had to assist. We originally agreed that we start setting up at 11:30am. Thus we were running late, but it was still not ready when we arrived.
• We had to sweep the floor and clean it up when we arrived in order to setup, as it was very dirty.
• The tables where not set with the necessary cutlery and juice/water. After I requested that, they also did not bring the ice. We had to make do without it.
• I requested a plate to place my cupcakes on from 3 different people, before I was assisted
• I requested the pizza order twice and then we waited for over an hour to actually receive it. The adults started eating the children’s food as they were so hungry!
• My son had a bad cut in his toe because of glass pieces that was lying around the left hand side of the area. We had to take him to the emergency room after the party to have a look at the cut. My Mother also picked up a few glass pieces on the other side under the table and threw it away to avoid another accident. That is not very child friendly and I would think you would make extra sure of that if somebody booked the venue for a children’s party.
• On the invoice we noticed that there was a “cake handling” fee that I was not informed about. Thus I do not agree that we had to pay for that.
• I went inside the restaurant and requested that waitress assist my friend with 2 little children to order something for them, but nobody arrived.
I would never recommend them to anybody that we know. We are also in the kids entertainment industry and you have to meet the client's expectations and give the service that you agreed to beforehand and if not, you compensate them for the lack there off. You do not even negotiate or communicate up and down about it. You try to make up for it in any way you can to keep the client as a future supporter. But they just ignore my requests and say that although their service was bad (which they agree) they do not feel that they need to compensate me at all. Only for the cake fee of R100!
I took an overseas friend for supper this evening to sample the food at what I believe to be one of the better restaurants in the area. The preview service in the bar was both professional and courteous. Unfortunately this was not the case within the restaurant. The staff did not show any attention or requested any comments on the food served.
We ordered the salmon and line fish of the day dishes. The portion of both dishes was minimal with a complete lack of vegetables and side offerings. Considering the price charged for the dishes was above average, we felt that we had poor value for money.
I would find it very hard to recommend the restaurant to any of my friends or colleagues.
The service was terrible and the food was worse. We ordered our food and then waited a good 1 1/2 hours for it. They want you to drink lots of alcohol, apparently! We did not. Food arrived cold. Menu items aren't what they propose themselves to be - waiters argue when you point out you didn't get what you ordered. I wouldn't go back if someone else paid for my meal. I wouldn't go back if they gave me a free meal. Infuriating, expensive, tasteless and cold (and I do mean the staff as well as the food). Honestly, I have never gone out of my way to write a review like this, but our experience (5 of us) was so atrocious, I simply had to. Be warned if you choose to go anyway. Wish I could get my time and money back.