With GREAT anticipation we went to a local grill house....to experience the worst 'eat-out'disaster ever.
How did it begin: I'll go and fetch it loooong as it adds to the disappointment. I know the owner / manager of ButcherBlock Rosebank for more than 10 year now and also know their great culinary skills. So when I accidentally landed on ButcherBlock's website and saw the intro photos and menu, I knew that THAT would be my next meat experience (my last awesome grill-house experience was Hussar in Rondebosch - I need to write about that). Seeing that me and my daughter had not yet eaten, I immediately phoned "BBRose" (names have been changed to protect the innocent) to inquire what time their kitchen will close. Thinking that we would not make it from where we were, we figured that we would make the Woodmead ButcherBlock. Phoned Woodmead - not sure if I've reached the correct place, I asked particularly if I've reached ButcherBlock Woodmead. The lady confirmed (important information because that was the first 'rude awakening'.
At our arrival the first problem arose and from there everything just went worse. First we realised the interior design - not nearly as was shown on the web site. That's when the first impression of a cheap place popped in my mind; Wimpy? Maxis? Mugg & Bean (I'm not saying these places as necessarily bad; they're just not in the exclusive restaurant market). Our suspicion was confirmed when we received the menu - one of those pancake house plastic sleeve insert menus with burgers as its main feature. Clearly, that's who they want to be. I again asked the attendant whether this is indeed ButcherBlock. That's when we were told that the owner changed it because it was too expensive for their clients.
Well, that's fine, but why where we not told when we phoned and more than once asked if this is ButcherBlock? Secondly why don't they update the web site accordingly. In this era, all of us rely on the internet for information when we need it!
To cut a long story short: from there on just went from bad to worse. No special meat cuts as was advertised; no specialty mouthwatering sauces as advertised on the website. When we asked for water with ice, we were told there is no ice because the ice machine broke down (well, what about the old way of ice trays, or better yet, go and ask the next door hotel!). The beer variety was.....the 3 well known South African beers. "How about just a few other options? Oh, you're a bargain eat-out." Wine? no wine selection, only box Wine ; no desserts only ice cream ; and to top everything off all evening was when the pen was given to me to sign the bill there was no pen in the casing. Just imagine the embarrassment of the waiter. All he could say was "Eish, the manager is not here..." or "Eish, talk to the owner, eish".
The final word will go to the meat: and like the rest of the experience, nothing special! Nothing like the website advertised; nothing like the expectation that was created (I'm sure even the real Butcherblock Burger burger will be worth it). And even if you disregard the website and take this low budget as the baseline, it was nothing "wow". I think its new name is now "Eds" or TDS" or something. Do yourself a favour; if in Woodmead, just turn one set of traffic lights earlier and you will find winning meaty options.