Spoon Cafe, Paddington, Brisbane

To call our dining experience at Spoon disappointing wouldn’t do it justice, it was much worse than that. Located in the trendy Brisbane Suburb of Paddington, Spoon is nestled amongst some of Brisbane’s best cafes. At first look, it appears to be a classy place, taking a clean conservative approach which contrasts its trendy, chic neighbours. It is a massive cafe with a large covered outdoor eating area with big tables, an open kitchen and a pretty standard menu. It is positioned perfectly on Latrobe Terrace and unlike most cafes in the area has access to parking and is close to other shops and restaurants. Yet its complete lack of acceptable service puts it in the “never again” basket.

Things didn’t start well with one of our lunch companions mentioning that there was no chance he would have booked a lunch party for 12 at the cafe, offering a few alternatives. At this stage, the damage was done.

On arrival it appeared that the booking had been completely disregarded. Speaking to the wait-staff they indicated that the table I was standing near would do and walked off.  This was a table of 8, not the booked 10. After a bit of rearranging of tables, and chairs we had a table with 1 menu.

Spoon has made the interesting decision not to provide table service instead only taking orders at the counter. Perhaps this works with a streamlined front counter where it takes very little effort to go and order a drink, but the single front counter attendant is preparing cakes and pies while taking orders. The line was regularly 5 and 6 deep, ordering a beer or coffee was a 10 minute mission. 10 minutes we could have spent drinking, and probably ordering more beers.

The meal service was similarly appalling. 45 minutes from the first order of a chicken burger and a lamb burger was delivered, 30 for a rice pudding and beers were anywhere from a 5-15 minute wait. All of this served up with a healthy dose of attitude from the staff scorning our very presence. Clearing plates was a nonstarter, with not a single glass or plate making it to the dishwasher, not to mention crockery on nearly every other table in the restaurant.

The food itself, was mediocre at best, a steak sandwich was half filled, poached eggs with runny whites, overcooked chicken burgers and cold chips as sides. Even the beer was a failure as they ran out of Pure Blonde, perhaps the only thing that wasn’t a complete disappointment was the coffee. It was neither good or bad, at this point it was a relief.

Thankfully the beer was cold and the company was good.

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