Societi Bistro has received some good reviews and accolades over the past year or so, for this reason I’ve been quite keen to try it. I had dinner there the other night with 3 friends.
The place was not very full, but despite that it retains its warm ambiance. The service was good, but obviously that could change when the restaurant is full. We didn’t order a bottle of wine but I had a glass of red for R35. There are several options available by the glass and if I remember correctly, the wine list was small but diverse and not too badly priced.
Now for the food. I had the Pork Neck (R96), it was pretty good, but nothing to write home about. It came with a sprinkle of green beans which were still slightly crunchy (the way I like my veggies), and a few baby potatoes. The sauce was very rich. One person had the Kingklip on the bone (as opposed to those I&J type steaks) (R95) and the feedback was that it was nice but not great. Another person had the Sirloin steak (R93), nice but not great. The 4th meal was the Chicken Salad (R74), quite good but too much dressing.
We didn’t have any starters or desserts. Overall, I would say it’s quite expensive for what it is. I can’t see any driving reason why one would choose Societi Bistro over the other above average restaurants in the Waterfront.
50 Orange St, Gardens (they have moved from the Waterfront)
Tel: 021 424 2100
I need to let you know that I am most disappointed with the dinner we had tonight at Societi Bistro.
The Puttenesca Pasta I order was cold and almost completely dry – for R 90 – absolutely atrocious !
My wife had a Ribeye Stake – R 105 – overcooked and miniscule !
I can continue in this vain for the rest of the company.
I have had some good meals when you were at the Waterfront (lamb shank and slow roast pork belly) but spending R 800 on a meal like this was a total loss.
My sincere apologies for the poor service. It is only through constructive criticism and compliments that we can continuously strive to improve.
I have checked with Stuart, who served you. You were unhappy with the Puttanesca when it arrived as there was no pomodore based sauce (our menu does state that it is Olive oil based and not a traditional presentation “ Olive Oil Puttanesca – anchovy, olives, capers, fresh tomato, olive oil”. Stuart offered to it back and add pomodore sauce or bring you a portion of the sauce to add to the pasta. It was agreed that a portion of the sauce be brought to the table, which you then added to the pasta. During the course of waiting for the pomodore sauce, the pasta had become cold. You brought this to Stuarts attention, and he took it back to the kitchen immediately, had it remade and a fresh portion of pomodore sauce separately. He checked if you were satisfied, which you confirmed. The plates that came back to the kitchen were empty.
No mention was made of the disappointing steak? According to Stuart you were extremely happy when you left and complimented on our desserts but that we need to work on our pastas. The bill total was R 720.00 and you tipped him a further R 90.00, for which he is very grateful. Please could you verify that he is telling the truth?
Your bill was as follows:
1 Bottle Hartenberg Cab/Shiraz R 87.00
1 Bottle Durbanville Hills Chardonnay R 90.00
2 Glasses House Red @ R 20.00 R 40.00
2 Glasses Dville Chard @ R 30.00 R 60.00
1 Full Puttanesca R 90.00
1 Full Pork Belly R 92.00
1 Ribeye R 105.00
1 Bacon and Mushroom Pizza R 60.00
2 Cheesecake @ R 38.00 R 72.00
1 Earl Grey Tea R 10.00
1 Americano R 10.00
Total R 720.00
I cannot begin to apologize for your poor experience, however, I urge you to raise your dissatisfaction with anything with your waiter immediately, and if you are not satisfied with their solution to ask for a manager. We strive to make every guest happy and to have a memorable experience.
I can understand using a public forum such as this if we had not made any attempt to rectify your complaint or if anyone had been rude to you or your guests. Please appreciate we are a small business and negative publicity like this is very damaging. Many of the people we employ are sole bread winners for large families. It is my responsibility to these people to make sure Societi is a success. My philosophy is to offer value for money in an informal bistro environment, which under promises and over delivers. Every guest’s satisfaction, within reason, is vital to the success of our business and the continued employment of all our staff, we take every complaint very seriously.
Once again I apologize for your poor experience, and please let me know should you decide to give us a second chance, as I would like to personally express my apology and attempt to compensate for ruining your experience.
Thanks for your response, Peter.
As you say this is a public website and reviews/comments can therefore be quite damaging. This is something I try remember when reviewing.
While a site like this can be damaging it can also provide an opportunity for redress which would not otherwise be available. In the past, people shared restaurant experiences by word of mouth and the owners/managers never had an opportunity to defend or explain themselves. With a forum like this, readers can get both sides of the story.
I’m surprised that more owners/managers don’t take advantage of this opportunity. I’m even more surprised when they contact me directly to tell me their side of the story, why not let all the readers know?
I hope that JD will return and perhaps respond to Peter’s comment.
After hearing mixed reports about Societi, thought I would try it for my self…. and was pleasantly surprised!
Atmosphere relaxed, view fantastic looking up at the mountain on a balmy summer evening. Service was slick and efficient with the waitron not’in-your-face’ but there when needed.
Food… tasty. Mains included the rooibos duck which was excellent and the kudu steak in a phenomenal sauce…
would highly recommend it and would not hesitate to go back…
Societi Bistro moved from the Waterfront a while ago, taking up residence in the building around the corner from Nonna Lina (I think it used to be The Lab and then The Kitchen or something).
I’ve been hearing good reports but tonight was my first opportunity to visit. I went for the Beaumont wine tasting and stayed for dinner.
I had the silvers line fish with a very tasty potato side (R95) and my partner had the fillet steak with pepper sauce and frites (R115 for 180g). We both enjoyed our meals and decided to end by sharing the bread and butter pudding (R37) which I didn’t enjoy. I was expecting a light pudding but it was very dense and served with custard, not what I am used to.
One thing really impressed me; As we had just come from a wine tasting we were feeling a bit wined out, so we asked for 2 glasses of water. The waiter didn’t ask us if we wanted still or sparkling, he immediately brought us 2 glasses of tap water with ice and lemon.
I also really liked the bread, it tasted homemade and fresh. I wasn’t that hungry but I ate 2 slices. It was a little curious though that the other tables were offered a basked of bread and could choose what they wanted but were were just given a side plate with 3 slices of bread on it. Not sure what the deal was there.
The place had a good vibe, partly due to the warm decor but also largely due to the fact that it was full. In fact they turned several tables while we were there. It’s great to see them doing so well. I like the venue, I think it suits a restaurant. It’s quite big but still warm and intimate because of the various rooms.
The separate bar is nice but it’s the smoking area so I won’t be spending much time there.
I’ll be back and next time I want to try the cassoulet (R115).
I’ve copied this from Societi’s newsletter as it may be of use to someone.
Should you book your next lunch meeting at Societi, request our Chauffeur service, and we will book a driver on your behalf at an exclusive rate. In true Societi-tradition, you will be collected and dropped off in style by a professional chauffeur. Vehicles include a Mercedes Benz for up to three people, an SUV for larger parties and People Carriers should you be bringing your entire office!
Cape Town CBD prices start at R40 per trip and we will add this to your final lunch bill.