My husband and I had just been to wine tasting at Stonewines opposite (a great wine shop I cannot recommend too highly) and decided on the spur of the moment to go out to eat locally. This is something we rarely do as we find most of the local restaurants somewhat mediocre, two exceptions being Chez Tonton and Ci Vediamo Li, both in New Barnet. Do go to them if you have the chance.
However, I had had a nice lunch with my friend at The Haven over the summer so we decided to give it a go.
The restaurant, which is very large indeed, was full up. Unfortunately, this made it somewhat difficult to hear what my husband was saying. At first, we had a very efficient, professional waiter who helped us with our choices. All the staff were very busy and did not seem to be solely allocated to an individual table so over the course of the evening, we were served by other members of staff.
My goats’ cheese salad was very nice, as were my husband’s prawns though he thought the plum sauce was somewhat gloopy and certainly not made from fresh.
Our aperif drinks were also very nice but when my Rioja came, it was like slight sour and fruity dishwater. Not good.
My husband found his pasta main too salty but otherwise somewhat flat taste-wise. My ribeye steak was mediocre. The texture was quite succulent but this belied a rather bland taste.
My husband had cheese instead of pudding and the selection and quality were pretty good. My pudding was fine but how much can go wrong with Môvenpick ice-cream?
Thus far, we both thought that this was an example of yet another mediocre Whetstone restaurant but this one is more pricey.
During the latter half of our meal, we were served by a seemingly amenable waiter who had an accent. My husband is notoriously bad at distinguishing accents and asked the waiter if he was Israeli. He told us that he was Turkish but that he understood why my husband had said that because there were so many Israelis in this area and indeed in this country. To my knowledge, this country only has a small Israeli population. I asked him whether he meant Jews or Israeli as Barnet has a disproportionately large percentage of Jewish people. He told me that it was the same thing and the impression he had in the 8 months he has been in England is that the Jews own the country. He encouraged us to agree with his point of view until my husband pointed out that we are two of those Jews. When my husband told the manager what the waiter had said, he told us, “Everyone has their opinion but he shouldn’t have said it.” Either the Manager is an extreme liberal who believes that freedom of speech trumps all, or he was of the same opinion. To be honest, if someone is going to think racist thoughts about a group of people to whom I belong, I would rather know. But ideally I would prefer not to be served by a racist. Full stop. We won’t be going back.
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