Cafe Alfresco

Best Part: The Drinks were quite nice


Time was not on our side this week. Mr Midweek lunch was hemmed in by meetings so we were forced to eat very close to his office on Victoria Street. To save time it was decided that the children and I (Easter holidays) would go on ahead and order his lunch for him. We too were up against it; we had a bus to catch to another appointment. We therefore truly put this café to the test. Our hour time limit was shaved to 50 minutes. Could Cafe Alfresco rise to the challenge?


Well, in short no. I have rarely waited so long for a meal. This wouldn’t have mattered so much had we not been short of time but the slowness of the service was not imagined due to this restriction. Cafe Alfresco is a bustling friendly venue offering a good range of cafe style food and some main meals. The children were excited by the milkshakes and the extensive menu of lunchtime favourites. It had a similar menu to JK Palmers two weeks ago but unlike them felt homely rather than modern and well organised.


I chose an omelette; a simple and comforting meal I am not allowed to have often at home. One boy had a beef burger and the other a fried egg sandwich. They have these particular meals often so are quite the connoisseurs. We chose a Chicken Kiev for my husband and when he arrived, tetchy and hungry he was pleased with this idea. Long years of marriage have granted me such insights into his soul.


After half an hour of Mr Midweek Lunch’s arrival we were still waiting for our food. Throughout the whole wait  I couldn’t quite ignore the possibility of there being a small fire in the kitchen. It was a least very smoky and there seemed to be a rather stressed vibe coming through the door. One fed up looking couple advised a new customer to turn around and go out again if they wanted to eat in a hurry “We’ve been waiting forty minutes” they moaned. We were honestly on the verge of cancelling our meal altogether, as Mr Midweek lunch had five minutes left of his lunch hour and we would definitely miss our bus, then suddenly it came; our food, hooray!


To break things down into their base components, the fried egg sandwich scored a 6.5/10 and my omelette 7/10. The beef burger didn’t seem to be of a good quality being rather too flat to look wholesome. The kiev was juicy and garlicky, reminding you of how good a dish this could be when it escapes from the cheap Sun Valley supermarket trappings.


However, we didn’t have time to finish our food. It was actually quite tasty and was welcome after such a long wait. I hate leaving food. I had to apologise to one son as I removed him from a quarter eaten beefburger. I paid without leaving a tip but they didn’t seem to notice or if they did felt it fair.


I think Café Alfresco were having a bad day. It was very busy due to the school holiday and they were possibly understaffed and possibly undergoing problems in the kitchen. The food was fine and I think I had a positive experience when I last dined here. However it was a pretty bad overall experience for us and therefore I am sorry to give it:


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