Journal Entry: 29/08/21

I am taking the unusual step of posting a ‘Buyer Beware’ post to the Journal Entry section rather than the dedicated consumer section.

Recently, we have had two negative experiences eating at supposedly reasonable eating establishments. Both, in my opinion, were disastrous, and need to be highlighted for their sheer contempt for their patrons.

First off let's look at Moshe Segev’s kosher restaurant in Netanya: https://www.segevchef.com/restaurants/segev-natanya/?lang=en

I have something of a soft spot for Moshe Segev, watching as I have many of his YouTube clips over the past 16 or so months of the corona pandemic.

And, I should at this point make it clear that we don’t normally eat at kosher restaurants. We were given a gift voucher by a friend which is accepted at several restaurants in the Sharon area. Of those restaurants, Segev Natanya seems to us be to the best option. To say we were disappointed is an understatement.

I appreciate that the restaurant industry in Israel, and elsewhere around the world has suffered incredible hardship, not only to the proprietors but also to their legions of staff.

It’s therefore incredulous that owners, managers, and staff are not falling over themselves to ensure that customers are happy, satisfied, and enjoying their meals.

Wanting to visit the restaurant on a Thursday evening, we telephoned and booked a table in advance. The conversation started friendly enough until we mentioned that we had a voucher, at which stage the receptionist became frosty to the point of near rudeness.

On arrival at the restaurant, we were shown a table opposite the kitchen service hatch, which ensured that the area was busy and noisy. Our request to move to another table was greeted with a stern NO, even though there were several empty tables.

The service was sloppy, slapdash. We had to repeat our order to the female server several times, and even then she got the order wrong, with one of the main course side dishes arriving after we had eaten the main course.

While the actual dishes themselves were acceptable, nothing out of the ordinary, it buggers belief that Segev himself and/or his management believe that playing Queen and other similar rock bands ar near full volume enhance the dining experience.

I am a fan of Queen and certainly on occasion play their music loudly, but not in a restaurant when you trying to enjoy a meal and have a conversation. Our requests to turn the music down were met with near shock as if we were asking for the tomato ketchup to be spread on a prepared dish.

I recall some years ago reading that Marco Pierre White - https://www.marcopierrewhite.co/ - instructed his servers NOT to inquire how a customer's meal was, as dishes left the kitchen perfect according to the recipe. I’m not sure if I completely agree with this approach, although it seems the staff at least at Segev Kosher is following Marco’s lead. At no point during our meal did our server or any other member of the team inquire as to our satisfaction with the served, first course, main course, and dessert. I am somewhat ashamed to disclose that I did not leave a tip; the level of service did not warrant a reward.

Bottom line, while we will not return to Segev Kosher, nor can we honestly recommend the place, I am also now wondering what the situation is with Segev’s other restaurants, have they also gone downhill?