A relaxing way to end the week at Cucina by Toscanis, SouthBank, Brisbane (Not)

Honesty is always the best policy….

Give credit where credit is due…..

False praise is no use to anyone….

So here goes.  Day 20 of Dry July, really challenging week at work, busy weekend ahead – Friday night so lets go somewhere different for dinner to relax and unwind. Rob, Dianne and I discussed a range of options…..  Lets go into Southbank – Should we take the train or car?  Lets take the car.

Dianne checked some of the restaurant reviews on her phone during the drive but this was inconclusive research so once we had parked the car we wandered the streets checking crowd size and menus.  Eventually we settled on Cucina by Toscanis. The menu had something for each of us, they had a table by a heater….so in we went.  Got given menus, sat down and were immediatly approached for our order – we hadn’t even opened the menus!

Made a few decisions, waitress came to take order, I enquired as to the “fish of the Day”, waitress went to find out.  Saw her ask two other staff then disappear for 5 mins. Came back with it written down and let me read it for myself….  anyway we decided to order two of the share dishes between the three of us to get started (the Flash fried calamari, cajun salt,  roast garlic aioli and  the Lime, chilli and corriander chicken skewers) followed by the Cucina chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto & sage, white onion, dijon mustard cream sauce, potato fondant & buttered spinach for Dianne, the Spaghetti, prawns, scallops, calamari, mussels, bugs, garlic..… for Rob and the Pan seared atlantic salmon, sea salt potatoes, caramalised leek, capers, wasabi sabayon for myself.  We also ordered a drink each OJ for D, Coke Zero for R and a Tonic with lemon for me (NO GIN). The waitress read back our entire order to us – impressive.

Our drinks arrive and we were asked if we would like to order anything else…um, no thanks, we will just wait for what we have already ordered.   So wait we did.  And we waited some more……. and a bit longer……and got offered more drinks…. um no thanks, we are happy drinking what is in our glasses……and we waited……    It wasn’t that long really, only an hour.  We were then approached by another waitress to enquire if we had had our entrees yet.   NO – we haven’t.  Off she returned to the kitchen, where we could see much shuffling of dockets, to see what was happening  – only to return very apologetic ‘there had been a mix up in the kitchen and our entrees were being fast tracked’ would we like a free drink?  So I am sitting there thinking ‘actually I am really hungry and all I want is some food’  and she says “you can have alcohol too for free if you like” BAH HUMBUG!!!!!  So I ordered another Tonic with lemon – tough call.  While we waited we figured that our mains had been cooked  before our entrées.  She returned with our drinks and apologised some more.

Our entrées arrived and we ploughed into them.  When we paused for breath we realised that the chicken skewers were just what we had ordered but the huge bowl of salad with some fried calamari through it didn’t actually match the description on the menu.  AH who cares, its nearly all gone now, and it was really really nice.  The chicken was good too.  While we finished off the food, and licked the plates, we speculated on what they had done with our mains that were cooked in error.  The waitress came and cleared our plates and asked if we would like to order anything else…. whats with her? she took our order in the first place and knows we still have mains to come.  So we sat a while and waited for our mains.  As we waited some more we were fairly confident that they must have decided to re cook our mains from scratch…. the longer we waited the more confident we were.  Lucky we were seated by the road as there were lots of cars and weirdly dressed people to look at and comment on while we kept on waiting.

Finally out comes the waiter with two plates, heads our way, then stops at another table to offer the meals – they hadn’t even ordered yet, so he brought the plates to us.  First look, yes Diannes has Chicken and I have salmon.  Robs plate arrive and contained spaghetti and seafood.  Time to tuck in, hang on, why is my plate swimming is buttery liquid, what are the yellow blobs of goo on my salmon and where is the wasabi sabayon? Taste the goo – scrambled eggy flavour with the texture of sticky putty.  Bugger – I love sabayon and was looking forward to it with my salmon – obviously it was badly made but I am starving and need to eat so chop into a piece of potato, into the mouth and OH NO its cold!  Try another bit, cold too, try the braised (not caramelised) vegies, cool, try a bit of vegie under the salmon, warmer…try the salmon COLD. Was this a salad I ordered? No it wasn’t because the waitress had asked how I wanted it cooked.

I will add at this point that Diannes cream sauce was also a watery liquid and the “wrapped with proscuitto & sage” was more like sprinkled with…. and the pluralisation of bugs and mussels on the menu must have been an error as they were only singular in the plate of Robs pasta.  Now you need to remember, at this point we had been at Cucina by Toscanis at South Bank, Brisbane for 2 hours and were very very hungry, so I tired another mouthful of salmon with a bit of potato and some of the yellow goo.  I cant eat this!  I got the attention of a waitress and explained the issues with my meal and my suspicion that it had not been freshly cooked. She appeared embarrassed,  apologised and scurried off to the kitchen with my plate. (Oh, we didn’t get a photo of it – never mind it wasn’t pretty) She returned and asked “What do you want to do now?”

What do I want to do now? What a stupid question, I want my dinner.  I am cranky, I am tired, I am hungry and I want to have a massive tantrum.  So I politely ask what are my options.  OH, we can cook you another meal or give you a refund.  I quietly explained to the poor lass that I really couldn’t wait another two hours for food and I would just share with my husband and daughter. Which I did – bits of Diannes Chicken, all of her spinach (she doesn’t like it anyway) and some of Robs seafood.  Incidentally, most of the seafood was still in part shells so the Mussel, Prawns and Bug all required some finger intervention to extricate the food from the shells and the shells from the pasta & sauce.  A finger bowl would have been useful.  Anyway I nibbled a bit, grumbled a lot and was generally not good company – sorry guys.

Rob went off to get the bill and while he was gone the waitress returned and asked if we would like to order anything else.  Rob came back with the bill. They were still charging for my salmon and were charging for the Scored calamari salad (double the price of the dish we had ordered) I don’t think so – so while Rob went to discuss matters with the cashier the waitress came back and asked if I was OK.  I remembered to breathe, as this is important, and mumbled something about being just fine.  Did she really want me to tell her and the other diners, prospective diners and the people on the street how I was feeling?  Wow, had to bite my tongue – actually that tasted good – no dont eat it.  Lucky I still have a sense of humour and a blog on which to share my experiences.

Bill adjusted and sorted, off we went to find dessert. Movenpick ice cream just around the corner – Hot Chocolate accompanied by Belguim waffles with White chocolate ice cream and Raspberry sorbet and Im feeling much much better.  Fantastic way to end the week.

Any way, thanks for reading my rant.  Im off to have a coffee, come back and spell check, post blog, link to Cucina by Toscanis facebook, email to Toscanis management, email to Movenpick.  Feel free to share this and or make a contribution to cancer research through my Dry July.

What I had hoped my dinner would look like
What I had hoped my dinner would look like….. sadly it didn’t

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