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“Portuguese foods”
Review of Adega

Ranked #418 of 1,210 Restaurants in Johannesburg
Cuisines: Sushi, Portuguese, Seafood
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Nashville, Tennessee
Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Portuguese foods”
Reviewed 11 April 2014

Peri Peri Prawns Lorenza Marques used to to be the hit with Portuguese African Foods. Adega used to offer such very authentic foods including chicken Peri Peri. Times change.. chicken Peri Peri is still around but other authentic Portuguese delicacies are vanishing from menus'.. It might just be change of time.

Regardless, I will frequent Adega in the hopes that the Adega Group will focus on their customer demands.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Ralph W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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23 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cape Town
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Terrible Adega”
Reviewed 12 February 2014

I'm endeavouring to describe an experience of eating at a Adega Restaurant in Johannesburg, South Africa and my subsequent complaint lodged with the CEO of the Adega Group of Restaurants in Johannesburg. Although very long and time consuming, I would urge any prospective reader to read it to the very end. It's a most amazing exchange and gives a rare insight to the public of the type of characters who would appear to be in charge of eating places in this country and which the unsuspecting public visits with the expectation of an enjoyable meal and experience.

It has been my and my friends' misfortune to eat at the Bedfordview Adega in Johannesburg last month. I took a party of eight including one child to this eatery for dinner, the place having been chosen by the mother of the child because of its play facility for children and all day opening so that the child could eat earlier. She also made the reservation.

I should have listened to my well-honed instincts regarding good management of restaurants when on arrival we found our selected table was occupied by others. My friend's enquiry as to why the table was given away solicited an answer to the effect that 'They' wanted it so we gave it to them. Clearly, my understanding of the reservation system is at some variance with that prevailing at Adega restaurants. No apology or any sign of remorse from the management.

Eventually a new table was cobbled up from two smaller ones and we sat down. A young lady appeared and introduced herself as our waitress for the evening. I need to say at the very outset that she was very charming, bubbly and a pleasure to talk to. Some ordered soft drinks and as the host, I ordered white wine for the table. In due course, the drinks arrived piecemeal and the wine with one glass only. Having explained to the waitress that there were seven adults at the table, other wine glasses were brought in stages. Rather frustrating as it took some time and a little persuasion to ensure that we all had a drink at any one time.

Whilst the drinks were being served tablecloths were brought as well as side plates which made enjoyment of our drinks somewhat perilous.

Having overcome this obstacle, matters went from bad to worse. You may find it difficult to imagine it, but it's true and please read on.

After ordering our first courses, the waitress brought bread and butter. Whilst very welcome, she omitted to tell us that some of the small plastic butter packs were not chilled and the butter inside them was liquid. This led to more problems as the content of liquid butter from one pack ended up on my shorts and in the case of one of my guests, on his shirt. To alleviate the problems, the waitress brought a cup of hot water and a napkin but sadly to no avail. It does not work and it should never have happened. My shorts will never be the same again. Why wasn't the butter chilled as in all normal restaurants? One would have thought that by this time and following all the faux pas so far, someone from the management would intervene and bring some order and a minimum standard of service. No such luck, management on the retreat and in the far distance.

First courses arrived, again piecemeal over some eight minutes, a salad being the last dish to arrive. It was not a salad containing some exotic ingredients so why did it take so long to prepare? It would be interesting to find out the rationale behind the preparation of such dishes. I ordered a chorizo and Dijon mustard. The waitress brought English mustard which I patiently explained is not Dijon. The waitress not being familiar with the French version, I suggested she asks the management. Alas, she returned with the answer that it's not known this restaurant. It's unbelievable that one of Adega’s restaurants does not have Dijon mustard and that the personnel and probably management in that restaurant are not acquainted with it.

Having ordered our main courses, I ordered two bottles of red, which on the Wine List was shown as 2008 vintage. The bottles brought were 2010. When I pointed this out to the waitress she was rather lost and shrugged her shoulders. Again I very politely suggested that she goes back and brings me the wine which I've ordered and as shown on the Wine List. She did so and returned after a while telling me that the 2010 is all we've got. It was pointless to prolong this painful discussion as wine wasn't the waitress's forte and the management couldn't be bothered to help her or provide me with a rational, or for that matter, with any explanation. Eventually I ordered a different wine. Still no management in sight or even a feeble attempt to explain the disasters so far.

This is getting long but believe me we're not near the end.

The main courses arrived, again over a period of time but no cutlery was provided. Having waited for a suitable period of time and having unsuccessfully appealed to the waitress to bring it, I ventured deeper into the restaurant and asked to see the manager. A man presented himself claiming to be the manager. Having informed him that we were still waiting for our cutlery in spite of the dishes being on the table for sometime, his response, in a very indignant manner, and please pay attention to what he said, was: "I'm getting it". He did not seem to appreciate or did not wish to appreciate that getting the cutlery after serving the food is not in how it happens in a proper restaurant. His attitude was deplorable, no apology or even a hint of it, just rudeness and insolence and an attitude of: "What are you going to do about it?" Of course there wasn't much I could do but to show my dismay at his conduct and behaviour. Disgust is perhaps more appropriate.

My friend ordered his steak medium-rare, it arrived very well cooked. My sole was cooked in rancid butter/oil making it practically inedible. We elected not to complain having reached the end of our tether. The management won hands down and who says that intransigence and particularly bad service do not carry the day. Bedfordview Adega does.

It seems to me that the franchisor, The Bedfordview Adega being a franchise, knows very little as to what happens in his outlets or perhaps is not particularly concerned about it. The Bedfordview Adega should not, by any means of the wildest imagination be called a restaurant. As I've said above, the waitress was a delightful young lady but not endowed with too much common sense and most certainly has been sent to serve customers without receiving any rudimentary training. Surely, a minimal training of staff in the franchises ought to be one of the principal requirements of any franchise and be fully implemented under the jurisdiction of the franchisor.

I've nearly forgotten. Whilst we sat outside to be close to the play area, when going into the restaurant itself, I had to negotiate numerous pallets of soft drinks and beer which occupied a large area of the floor space and making access to the toilets difficult. They would have been a hazard in the event of an emergency and could have resulted in customers being trapped inside and suffering the inevitable consequences. In a first world country, such disregard of safety measures would not be tolerated by the Safety Enforcement Agencies and inevitably results in a heavy fine or closure of the premises.

I feel it's unacceptable that such places are allowed to masquerade as restaurants. It's disingenuous to do so. The franchise appears to be totally motivated by profit with minimum investment in people and the food and wine offered. Even today I'm still very angry at the extend of the rip off and the total indifference of the management. To add insult to injury, I had to pay for it. Over R2000.

Following this dinner, I contacted the CEO of The Adega Group of Restaurants in Johannesburg acquainting him with what has happened to me and my guests and opining that the Bedfordview Adega franchise is a total disgrace and that he must be held responsible for allowing it to happen and for abandoning his supervisory role as the franchisor. I also advised him that it was my intention to post my experience and views on the Trip Advisor website and other restaurant review websites but before doing so, and out of courtesy, I asked for his comments.

Sadly, his response was very disappointing and I was accused of threatening him. I felt it necessary to advise him that numerous websites exist for the benefit of the general public to offer their commentary on their experiences, be it critical or complimentary and that most establishments who have confidence in their performance actually invite customers' reactions and opinions, which they can than use for to their benefit, unless there are skeletons in the closet. I also pointed out that his remark would indicate lack of confidence in his operation and fear of public exposure and that unacceptable service should not be swept under the carpet and the culprits allowed to get away with it scot-free. The innocent masses should be warned.

I suggested that he accept constructive criticism and the narrative of the event as a benefit, not a threat.

This resulted in a most extraordinary response in which I was accused of blackmail, asking for a freebee, etc. My approach was termed confrontational and, according to him, I should have approached it differently. All this because I had the temerity to complain about shocking service in one of his outlets and advised him that I intended to post my experience on the Trip Advisor and elsewhere.

I couldn’t leave such disgraceful accusations left unanswered and responded by informing him that blackmail and extortion are serious offences in the wider world and that my sole intention in emailing him prior to posting my commentary on Trip Advisor and other similar websites was to give him the courtesy of time to provide an explanation or, at least, a reasoned response. I also reminded him that at first he thanked me for my long email, which was sent without any conditions attaching to it, and only later referred to by him as extraordinary, confrontational, etc, etc. Quite an illuminating change in approach to a complaint.

The Bedfordview Adega restaurant emailed me and advised that they have investigated this matter and have taken the staff concerned to task. They also offered profuse apologies for the fiasco.

I think this write-up is largely self-explanatory. The franchisor, masquerading under the grand title of CEO does not appear to have any interest in his customers but seems to feel that any criticism or dissatisfaction should be attacked and invokes expressions such as blackmail. This country is doing its best to attract foreign tourists, sadly people like this CEO are doing their best to torpedo this attempt.

The CEO should learn from Victor Hugo's quotation: "Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause".


  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank CapeTownCharles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Very disappointing”
Reviewed 20 September 2013

We ate here on a Tuesday night. The restaurant was fill and there was live music for entertainment. We ordered the mixed sushi plate to share for starters and it was really bad. The rice was poorly cooked and stodgy. It felt if it was made early in the day and left out in the open to dry. Completely tasteless. We complained and they did discount the price for us.
I ordered the prawn curry. It tasted good but it was more a case of prawns added to a spicy sauce and an actual curry - which I didn't mind as this was not an Indian restaurant. The problem was that within an hour or two eating the meal I developed a very bad case of diarrhea which lasted all night and all of the next day despite me going to the chemist and getting something for it.
It was clearly a case of poorly prepared and poor quality prawns used or a case of poor hygiene in the kitchen. My flight home was not pleasant and I had to take the next day off sick to recover.
Definitely not recommended.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Sajit K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best seafood by far”
Reviewed 13 September 2013

I like to visit on a sunday when they have a buffet. Eat as much as you like and they have a nice variety.

Visited July 2013
Thank puddycat203
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Krakow, Poland
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Best place for B'day”
Reviewed 4 February 2013

We've met in the restaurant for suprise birthday and farewell for my partner we had some Chourico Slices, and chicken livers and then I had 1kg of king prwns and i forgott about whole world it was wonderfull fresh and juicy and NOT overcooked that i can't remmember what was on the other plates=) But i'm sure it was as equisit as my dish. If you will be in Joburg try=)

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank ketepasa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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