Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Rating Restaurant Versailles - Durban

As the staff at the Blue Waters Hotel did not recommend leaving the hotel after dark, I decided to eat at the Restaurant Versailles, the hotels elegant restaurant on the first floor. That was plain food, slow service in elegant surroundings. The Versailles restaurant is recommended to upgrade its food to fit the style of the restaurant.

Location: BBBBB

The Versailles had a location many restaurant would dream of. Tall windows facing the beach and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. The perfect location for a romantic dinner.

Atmosphere: BBBBB-

The Versailles had an old fashioned, and slightly outdated decor. It had, however, retained some of its old world charm. It had all the accessories of a first class restaurant, white table cloth, silverware, wineglasses, and textile napkins. And you sat down on oldish soft chairs. Colours - light turquoise, beige, gold, brown and white.

Price: BBB+

As everywhere in South Africa it was not expensive, after Norwegian or European standards. Still dining at the Versailles was the most expensive culinary experience I had in South Africa, and by far the best. Compared to what you paid you were served a medium quality meal.

Service: BBBB+

Versailles seemed to be a under staffed. This may be the due to the fact that it had a buffet as the main culinary attraction. There was a charming elderly Indian waiter that did as good as he could, but the service was slow, at times. This was particularly the case the second day when I decided to choose something out of the à la carte menu.

The food: BBB+

First day I chose from the buffet. and this was first serving.

Fried ochra and a hot Asian/Indian beef stew served with rice - relatively pleasant taste.

Something I picked from an oven proof dish. It had the texture as mashed potatoes, and a mysterious but relatively pleasant taste.

All in all, good, but not great.

Second serving from the buffet.

A fried chicken thigh, not well seasoned, and I added something I interpreted as an onion stew, but was it?

The worst thing was the salad. A little limp, but the worst thing was the croûtons that were not served aside, but had been added to the slightly damp salad. And they were wet and soggy and had texture as small sponges. Ouch!!

Hardly not to look back at.

The second day I shunned away from the buffet and chose from the à la carte menu.

I love asparagus, and they were under offer with two different toppings, with butter or with mayonnaise.

As the optimist I expected home made mayonnaise, but this was after my notion something out of a can. The white asparagus were delicious, but the mayonnaise were a little too much in quantity, and did not taste very good.

For the main course I chose sole, and this was certainly not the best place to eat plaice.

The fish itself was a little dry, in spite of the parsley butter that were supposed to moisten the fish a little.

And I have never had sweet corn with this, that was a strange experience. The French fries was a little under cooked.

A plaice slightly out of place.

The wine served was a well chilled Nederburg Riesling. Dry but with pleasant fruit aromas. Not the worst choice, I just wished that the food at Versailles had met my expectations. Maybe you will be more lucky.

Rating the Versailles experience: BBB+ (3,25 points)

Great location, old charm ambiance, bad service and food. Get more staff and a better cook, and the experience will get so much better.

The Versailles:
175 Snell Parade
Marine Parade
South Africa

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