Region's service battered

By Heather McCracken

Deep fried chocolate chip cookies are on the menu at a fast-food joint in Auckland - floured, battered, fried, and yours for just 50c.

Stranger and less nutritious things have been sold from a chippie - deep fried butter, for instance - but battered chocky-chips are still a step too far for me. Particularly when there is such good food to be had in Wairarapa.

This weekend I had a great morning's eating at the Wharekauhau Food and Wine Society Farmers Market at Te Kairanga Vineyard in Martinborough.

On my first visit, Wharekauhau Lodge's hot salmon ciabatta rolls had sold out before I could scoff one. No such problems this time, and that salmon was well worth the month's wait.

I had some visitors from Auckland staying this past week, who enjoyed some fabulous food too.

They didn't have such a good time with the service, however.

I found myself listening with weary resignation to stories about meals being forgotten, and of going out of their way to visit cafes only to find them shut up well before the advertised closing time.

At one establishment they were left waiting 45 minutes for two pies to be heated - which they said were among the best pies they'd ever eaten, and you'd hope so, after that long.

At another, while I was with them, a meal came from the kitchen without an item stated on the menu. When we asked, the chef retorted, via the hapless waitress, that it was on the plate.

It wasn't, but in this restaurant, apparently the chef is always right.

They enjoyed their stay, and were blessed with the most beautiful weather you could hope for on holiday.

I just wish we could expect a little more from the service.


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