First of all, what the hell is up with shit service in DHA?
I went out for dinner to Hob Nob with Amina, of Gelato Affair fame, and Reza, with the bald head. When we got there, at 10 P.M., there wasn’t a table available so we waited for a while. Meanwhile, I constantly reminded all the waiters, and the manager, that we came before everyone else who was waiting. I also requested that since it was crowded, they ask the people who were done to leave.
Fifteen minutes later we found a place to sit. I say “found” because we were not informed; we saw a few people descending the stairs and assumed that they were leaving. We pounced on their empty table. Since we had managed to read the whole menu inside out while waiting, we knew what we wanted to order, and the manager did take our order rather promptly. Of course the smokers, Amina and Reza, requested an ashtray.
The ashtray and poutine arrived in about 10 minutes- not bad for Hob Nob since their service is always painfully slow. They operate at a snail’s pace. The poutine wasn’t up to mark though- it was dry and should have had more gravy. Nevertheless, we managed to eat the whole thing and waited for the rest of our food. The amount of time it was taking was getting on my nerves. When the waiter finally arrived with the soup, he brought the wrong one. We informed him of his mistake, and he got us two hot and sour soups- the very same one I sent back – even though we had ordered the chowder. Basically, he went back to the kitchen and picked up another one of the rejected soups and came back to our table!
“We ordered chowder!” I said to the manager in a frustrated tone.
“But there’s no bread bowls left,” he informed me.
“So bring it in a regular bowl then,” said Reza. “And use some common sense,” he muttered under his breath.
The muddled waiter and manager left.
I must take a minute here to diverge: Why on earth would you switch soup orders without asking? Who the hell does that without asking the customer?
A good 20 minutes later we were wondering what the hell was taking them so long.
“They’ve gone to buy the chickens,” Amina thought aloud.
“Yes, and then they’re going to slaughter them, pluck their feathers, and then cook them.” I said in response.
Finally, our soups arrived- in bread bowls- which they had run out of… We reminded the waiter to get the drinks and he nodded and ran off. Meanwhile, we sipped on our chicken chowder which, for some odd reason, tasted like aniseed. Also it was too thick and had way too much cream in it. The food arrived while we were halfway through our cream of aniseed chowder. It was an interesting theory: bring the soup right before the main course so that your customer doesn’t have time to finish it. Also, make sure you don’t ask the customers in question if they’ve finished or not.
It was past 11 and we gobbled down our food since we had waited for a freaking long time! While we were eating, the drinks managed to arrive. The chicken with mushroom and thyme sauce was mediocre at best.
Once we finished, the smokers lit up. The ashtray, however, was missing. We beckoned the waiter, yet again, and asked for an ashtray and a coke. The coke came and it was hot. Reza asked for some ice. The waiter arrived with an ice bucket which didn’t have any ice in it. Reza kept putting a spoon in and he kept getting water with a few tiny particles of ice. Amina, meanwhile, helpfully managed to take out a tiny amount and put it in his glass.
“This place is just ridiculous!” I said, wanting to scream at the manager. I think I would have if my friends hadn’t stopped me.
“Let’s just ask for the cheque and leave,” Reza said. Both of us concurred.
Before we asked for the cheque, I got the stopwatch on my phone ready so that I could time just how long it would take. We all predicted it would take no time.
“Can we please have the cheque and an ashtray,” said the exasperated Reza to the manager.
As predicted, it took only two minutes for him to get an ashtray (from the neighbouring table which had people who were smoking) and the bill. It was now 11:30 P.M. and we were really quite sick and tired of the place.
“You should start a restaurant review website.” Reza said to me.
“I write about this stuff on my blog.” I told him.
“No, I mean a proper website. Lahore has a million restaurants. Surely there should be a review website.”
“Then you make it and I’ll write.”
“No you do it. I can’t make websites!” Reza, the computer whiz, lied and killed the idea outright.
We left at 11:35 P.M. feeling full but aggravated at our ordeal. As soon as we stepped outside, we saw a waiter merrily chatting away on his cell phone. I guess the mystery of the slow service at Hob Nob has finally been solved.
Postscript: It is now 3 A.M. I’ve thrown up twice- quite violently- and my stomach is royally upset. Thank you Hob Nob!