Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Afrobev's Guide To Eating Out: The Madeira

Last Wednesday night was another date night for Philomena and I and as usual we took about an hour of the night trying to decide on where to go to eat. We parked up in the NCP next to Toys R Us when Phil decided on the old reliable. Where would Leanne go? Leanne is Legendary in the World of eating out and we know that if she likes a place then it must be good.

So we headed off down the road to the Madeira Restaurant. It looked like it had everything. A good menu, a relaxing atmosphere and it looked to be quiet (it was Valentine's day the day before, so we assumed we'd be okay).

My first impression of the staff was not a good one however. Phil asked for a table for two and the man was a bit short to say the least. Im not talking about his height either, he was about six foot and he made us feel about as welcome as a fart in a lift.

"Have you booked?" He said, looking us up and down.
"No, we haven't" Phil said. Phil and I looked at each other with the intention of telling him to stick his Portuguese Restaurant up his Portuguese bottom, then took a peak at a virtually empty restaurant apart a table of four women who looked like the cast of The Golden Girls. One even had a Blanche hair do. He looked really put out now and with a stern look on his face and obviously trying to maintain the exclusivity* of his establishment, he sighed and said "I can give you a table at the back of the restaurant, but I can only give you two hours, is that okay?"

*Is that a word?

We agreed but I was bemused at this point and wanted to walk out and go to one of the other hundred eateries in town, but we were here now and I couldn't be bothered to argue. He then proceeded to take us to a table right at the centre of the Restaurant(you really are a very strange man). The grim reaper ahem...I mean waiter came over again and seemed to be a bit friendlier(that wasn't too difficult mind you) when he took our drinks order. Phil seemed to think that it was a Portuguese trait to come across as rude and that I shouldn't take any notice and that I should just relax and enjoy myself. I was easily won around though when they came out with a basket of crusty bread for us to feast on and things improved further when our starters came. Phil had the soup and I gambled on the Scampi. Yep, things were definetly looking up.

The Restaurant filled out with some more people who obviously had the common decency to book their tables before arriving and I had started to relax and enjoy the night. I was even more pleasantly surprised when the main courses came. We both opted for Chicken Piri Piri and the results looked promising. But the best bit was the extra veg they brought out. Cauliflower in batter, Peas and wait for it....Chipped Potatoes! Now that's what I'm talking about. Mr Miserable Portuguese Git...Your previous transgressions may have been forgiven, I'm a happy man again with a full belly.

Phil said after that she enjoyed it but found the food to be too salty for her tastes and that the Chicken Piri Piri wasn't as spicy as she would have liked and I think she probably had a point. I had allowed my hunger to lead me into being too easily pleased and I expect we'll go to Porto's on St. Mary Street next time we feel like a Portuguese meal for two. If only he'd been a little bit friendlier when we came in it would have made our overall dining experience a far nicer one. Still, Phil bought me a remote controlled Dalek from Toys R Us afterwards and we saw Bryn Terfel outside the Madeira looking at the menu. Phil recognized him straight away but I didn't unfortunately. If I had I would have asked him to sing the Songs of Hiawatha. Shame!

Afrobev's Ratings:
Maitre De- C-
Food- B
Ambience B-
Waiter- C
Presentation A-
Seeing Bryn Terfel Outside The Restaurant- Priceless!!!
Overall- C


  1. I like your rating system!

  2. Thanks Ivonne for our first ever comment on this blog. I'm sure James would be happy to hear about his review system.