On 8th March my girlfriend and I decided to visit Cafe Belge in Canterbury with another couple who had highly recommended the restaurant to us. I must say that none of the four of us have ever received a service as rude and discourteous as we received at Cafe Belge.
We started the evening with the grave misfortune of being served by the restaurant owner who clearly lacks the necessary people skills required to echo the establishments "service and the ambience" that we were very much expecting.
To begin with my girlfriend who has a quiet and polite nature was finding it difficult to locate a suitable vegetarian option for her main course and in fact made no comment of this and was more than happy to settle for a salad. The restaurant owner made several attempts to make her feel extremely uncomfortable and was obviously annoyed that she had requested what he sarcastically referred to as holy water. Indeed if he was worried that my girlfriend did not offer a lucrative return on her highly valued seat he needed not have worried as there were three others on our table who were looking forward to tucking into mussels and experiencing the various beers on offer.
We ignored the rudeness and personal attack and decided to enjoy our Saturday night however this was made increasingly more difficult when our order was taken as there were further attempts to single out my girlfriend by firstly offering to produce any meal that she requested to then amazingly denying her the salad that she had requested. A very uncomfortable and rude ordering process took place where I was ready to leave however not wanting to ruin the joint night we again decided to stay.
Astonishingly yet another rude comment followed by the owner who again sarcastically asked if my partner wanted her salad before we had our main courses further singling out my partner and causing further distaste. Indeed at this point she was close to tears.
As bad as the evening had been initiated it was about to get immensely worse. As our main dishes came out, accompanied by a pathetic green salad for my partner, it transpired that the other lady on our table had received the wrong dish. Again no complaint was made just a request to amend the order for only for the same dish to be returned with the addition of some herb scrapings. Another request was made to add the correct ingredients when at last I was forced to complain to the restaurant owner via the waiter.
After I was able to itemise our grievances directly to the owner, after being told by the waiter that the sequence of events was merely a misunderstanding, the owner finally issued a reluctant apology to my partner. At this point however, as she unsurprisingly was not used to such confrontations, burst into tears. After refusing to leave us be the owners bad attitude amazingly worsened further leaving us with no option but to leave the restaurant though apparently we had also asked us to leave.
I must say that our company comprised of four well dress respectable adults who all have professional and responsible occupations. We approached the evening in our usual polite manner and were profusely shocked by the utter rudeness, arrogance and intended offensiveness of the owner.
After leaving the restaurant we decided to go to a nearby Italian restaurant and received Italian hospitality at its best that certainly rescued us from our plight in the Cafe Belge.
I have never and genuinely do not expect to ever receive the bad service that we had in the Caf Belge at any establishment. It is astonishing to read the bold claims on the website though the one about his wife leaving him is quite understandable. My conclusion is by all means go to the Caf Belge and enjoy the various beers and mussels on offer but be prepared for the owner. I sincerely hope that the rest of the staff does not follow his bad example as the restaurants fate is in their hands.