Hand built from recycled materials, nestled in the heart of Little Mowbray, owner run and managed, good food options to choose from on the menu, and a cocktail menu.
This is one of the most regrettable restaurant disasters I've had the misfortune to experience. What appears to be locals, hammered falling all over the place on the way to the bathroom were first to greet us. No front of house on entry. No waiter for 10 minutes before being served. At this point, I decided a pizza was the safest option on the dirty menus. My Four Seasons pizza suggested "Continental Ham". Whatever that may be, looked like sandwich ham from the convenience store across the road. Artichokes could as easily have been tinned asparagus. Partner ordered Calamari mains, which at the same price as the fillet at R140 suggested a generous portion. Feeble helping arrived. Our draught beers tasted "tinny", suggesting poor cellar hygiene or keg management. More inebriated 20-somethings staggering past from the bar area. A visibly disinterested owner heard us out. Waiter tried his best and was attentive, but obviously woefully unsupported by management/owners. Not a pleasant experience and not worth your hard earned Rands.
I've been here at various times of the day/night. The problem is that the owners are taking shortcuts. I hardly see the same waiter twice. Staff turnover must be an issue which is always a red flag. The staff has what seems like one working card machine, there are no visible lists of what is on special or in stock, no designated front door welcomer, etc. One of the managers seems to be a cranky rude alcoholic. I've seen him drink tots at 11 am. He'll laugh with customers at a joke and then shout at the bar guy over some petty mistake. The menus are another story. They are incomplete and sloppily put together so you have all these questions for the waiter who then has to run back and forth to get answers. The menus are printed on cheap paper that gets stained, yet they are reused for weeks. The tables are not numbered and the waiters have no name tags, which makes things awkward when reserving a table or asking another waiter for your waiter. Oh yes and the place is understaffed when busy. Two or 3 waiters can't do everything. Restaurants only do well when the staff enjoys coming to work, bottom line people.
I really love trying out new places. So when I heard about the Salt Yard and read the reviews online, I was very optimistic. Words like 'family', 'welcoming', 'great ambiance', 'great cocktails and food' are all really promising. Unfortunately, I had a terrible experience. The main issues were (1) the wine list promised Haute Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot Noir. When ordered, we were informed there was no stock (then take it off your wine list!!); (2) when ordering Calamari and Rice for main, we were informed there was no rice (then go across the road to the petrol station and buy some!!); (3) when ordering an 'Oreo Sundae', I received a sundae with mild sprinklings of oreo dust. If one whole oreo was used in the making of that sundae, I would be surprised. Lastly, the chef didn't know whether his beef was free range or not. In Cape Town, that is unacceptable. I won't be going back or recommending this place to anyone else.