The Wine Bar

Dear Diary, 

Note: this was written a little while back. In fact. it was written earlier in the year during winter time and apparently I forgot to post it!! So here it is.

Once in a while we make bad decisions. Tonight was one of them. Harmless I must say, and obviously funny enough to make it into my diary but a bad choice nonetheless. 

It was after my therapy appointment that I decided to grab dinner before going home. It was a little late but it was already a rough week, so I figured, “……oh why not.”

Looked at a fancy French Bistro on the corner and said, “nah… Can’t find a good enough reason to spend a small fortune mid week on French food tonight” and I wandered over to a wine bar next door. It used to be a mediterranean restaurant Chris and I loved going to but after they went bust, place was bought by another set of people who turned it into a swanky looking wine bar. At the time we looked at it, we were disappointed at the choices and didn’t eat there. 

So why was tonight different? Well…. It was close enough and convenient and since I was dining alone to tonight, it felt like an easy, good option. 

I choose to sit at the bar. My gut is telling this may not be such a good idea as I get the feeling the bartender isn’t as attentive as the waitress would be if I sat at the table. I should’ve listened to my gut.

One word comes to mind
So I’m sitting at the bar for a while, waiting to get a menu and the bartender/owner is busy chatting up a single blond chick sitting next to me. I take note of his wedding ring. Hm. Okay. 

Then he finally brings me the menu and serves my wine. I sense a strong accent in his english (he’s a stout, big white man) and he says he’s from South Africa. All up to this moment I have not met anyone from South Africa (and I’ve TRAVELLED) and this week I meet the second South Africa-an in my life. How serendipitous. Just so you know, this man’s South African accent sounded like a drunken Aussies with incredibly bad Cockney accent with a Eurotrash flair. 

I make a choice for my dinner that evening: guacamole as appetizer and Atlantic salmon for entree. He asks me how I like my salmon cooked so I say, “medium”. Then I changed my mind and said “medium well please” and he shouts over his shoulder as he tapping in the order, “sorry, not gonna happen!”. I thought he was pulling my leg so I said “fine, so long as it doesn’t come raw” and he then says (with an apologetic smirk), “we’re out of salmon”. Alright, fine. “Fish Tacos, then.” I said and left it at that. 

Mind you, in a menu full of Italian and French cuisine, how does a guacamole and fish tacos fit into this is a little bizarre. Guacamole came out with tortilla chips as expected and it was average tasting – a bit in the bland side. The bartender asks how it is and I said it was fine, and I asked by virtue of that, “why serve guacamole in a wine bar??”. Bartender smiles and shrugs and says, “We have everything here. People ask me what’s special about Txxxxx Guacamole (because it was branded after the bar name and I tell them, ‘nothing! It’s just guacamole!!). Oh good lord.  

Then as if he wanted to “spice things up” for me – quite literally – he asked if it was hot enough, and before I could say anything or guess what he was going to do next, he took my half eaten bowl of guac and pulled out a bottle of tabasco, some lime juice and threw some into the bowl, and started mixing it up with a bar stirrer. 

I sat there stunned for a minute, watching this freshly mixed bowl of green mush, not knowing how to react to what just happened. He took a taste from his spoon and was very happy with his spontaneous decision. Isn’t guacamole supposed to use habanero peppers, not TABASCO? 

Some where on this planet, I felt Gordon Ramsey* shudder. 

I gingerly tasted the mix (because he was watching me) and it tasted…. The same. Maybe a tad spicier and more tangier but still remarkably tame and bland. 

And all this time while he happily hopped about the bar, all I can think of was one word to describe this man:


Let’s make this more interesting, shall we?
So… After my guacamole hijack incident, I settled back into waiting for my food. 30 minutes goes by and I’m wondering where on earth my food is. I mean…. Seriously. How long does it take to prepare friggin FISH TACOS? Judging from his guacamole, I knew he was’t one to go to the ends of the earth looking for the perfect fish or anything.

Then suddenly the bartender creeps up to me and gives me this long stare. 


He slowly smiles and says, 

“What did you order after the Salmon? I think I forgot to put your order in – hahaha – sorry”

“…..? …….!”

With that he puts the order in and I’m loathing my choice of sitting at the bar. 

Another word pops up in my head:


Just hurry up and go
Finally my fish tacos shows up and of course… It’s bland. By this time another single lady sat at the bar next to me. I wanted to tell her get the hell outta here, don’t do it, food’s awful…. But she’s settled in with her book and the annoying bartender is hovering around the bar.

I don’t think I’ve ever been this desperate to leave my meal and wine and go but I didn’t want to look too obvious so I politely wolfed down my three little tacos and slurped up the rest of my wine…. And waited to pay the bill to get out. 

And of course….. When you need the tab, he’s *no where* to be seen. 


Finally unable to wait any longer, I tell a bus boy I want my check and he communicated that to the bartender (who finally shows up). When he passed the check over, he told me he comped me for the tacos. Well yeah….? 


Suffice to say I shall never go back there again.

Always listen to your inner voice, folks –

Little (pissed) Reiko and the dissatisfied (but full) Turkey. 

2 thoughts on “The Wine Bar

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