How much does your restaurant experience depend on the particular waitperson who serves you? Having grown up in Perth I had been conditioned to accept below par service everywhere except the best restaurants. The more I dine around the world I realise my idea of better than average service is still less demanding than most others.
I recognise there are a lot of brilliant waitstaff around Australia who have continued to change what I expect from a great experience. Most brilliant waitstaff are still working at the best restaurants – not necessarily always the most expensive but often the trendiest, with an element (or several) that excites and motivates them to excellence.
Tonight at Baveras we need an injection of life because we’ve been driving and having fun all day and now need sustenance, but Geelong is generally closed. It seems almost every fish and chip shop is either closed or has already closed, and the one we’ve found on urbanspoon does not even exist any longer!
Like a shot of adrenaline we are given the warmest greeting, and after explaining Mick had called ahead ten minutes prior, we were even congratulated for taking the time to make a booking given the kitchen ordinarily closes at 8.30pm on a Monday. Sure, we were easy to please on account of our hunger and the fact that three out of four of us ordered battered flathead tails and chips, but there was something infectious about our waitperson’s enthusiasm, making what could have been a bland experience, something better.
The fish and chips themselves were excellent. Four flathead tails in a nice crisp beer batter that were evenly cooked and meaty enough to taste the fish. The chips were better than average and the side salad was quite nicely dressed. It’s a very nice venue at the end of the pier but that does translate to the prices which are about as much as you would think about paying for such a dish ($30).
The fourth member of our party had significant menu envy. The risotto of the day consisting of “goat’s cheese and tomato” somehow tasted overtly smoky but none of us could work out how. To say it was not the chefs best effort is an understatement. I wish I hadn’t tried a spoonful.
All in all Baveras is a restaurant in a beautiful location at the end of a pier, with decent food, and at least one terrific waitperson who left us all with fond memories of a dinner at the end of an amazing day along the Great Ocean Road to the Twelve Apostles.