My wife and I have just returned from a weeks vacation in the town of Alvor in the Algarve.
We had a wonderful time, the weather was great and the town of Alvor was very welcoming especially its wide variety of restaurants, well all accept one that s to say.
On the second last night of our holiday we visited the Ababuja restaurant down by the harbour it looked very nice from the outside and so we decided to take a table. Our waiter came over fairly promptly and provided us with menus, while another server brought a selection of the days catch to our table to view.
We were asked what we would like to drink and my wife inquired if we could get a jug of sangria, the waiter was unsure and went away to find out if this was possible only to return and tell us no that they didn't do sangria. I am not a big drinker so with no sangria I opted for water and my wife asked for just a glass of house white. Again the waiter was unsure if he could do this and need to go away to find out if it was possible before he returned some minutes later with an opened bottle to pour my wife her glass of wine and take our order
To start we ordered the special seafood salad for two which when it arrived looked lovely but was very small. To follow we got the seafood cataplana for our main. This was shoved on to our table by a surly waitress. The cataplana was lovely filled with Monkfish,Prawns and Clams..
Time for dessert and our original waiter came with the dessert menus which had lots of choices on it and we both opted for Banoffi, its one of our favourites, alas our waiter informed us they didn't not have any Banoffi and then he stood there inpatient while we perused the menu again.
I had chocolate cake and my wife opted for a mousse. I finished my cake and though my wife had put her spoon down she was not finished her mousse when our waiter ( the original one) lifted my empty plate and attempted to take my wife's dessert, he apologized and walked away with my empty plate. Less than 5 minutes later another waitress attempted to take my wife's dessert because she wasn't eating it. plus she did not apologise to my wife.
When we finally finished our meal I asked for the bill and I have never seen a bill returned to a table so fast. It felt like a case of "Here's your hat, whats your hurry". Now if the restaurant was packed and they had guests waiting on tables i would have understood, but almost half the tables in the restaurant were empty.
Overall we were very disappointed with the whole experience.
Ababuja is a big restaurant and making a jug of Sangria should not be a major problem.
Waiting staff should not need to go away to find out if it is possible to provide a customer with a glass of wine.
If something is not available from the menu the waiting staff should know this and should advise the customers before they try to order it.
No waiting staff should ever try to remove a customers plate before asking if the customer is finished.
Finally no customer should ever feel that they are unwelcome visitors in any establishment.
While the food was good it was not great and when compared to other restaurants in Alvor Ababuja is quite pricey add to this the poor quality of staff and you will see why we will not be returning.
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