I try not to let the little things bother me. After all, I think I would be very bothered if I did given the occasional outbursts of perfectionism. Add to that the fact that the little things are usually irrelevant or at least unimportant in the mid to longer term, it's just much simpler to laugh off the little problems in life.
So I'm having a pretty good laugh after a recent meal out, but learning from mistakes at the same time. We're headed to Danny's Seafood Restaurant in La Perouse right by Botany Bay - somewhat of an institution in the area. It's by no means my first visit to Danny's but could sadly be my last.
As we sit on the balcony I spy a rather large slug on the plastic window shutters not too far from where I'm sitting. I'm not sure what normal etiquette is when it comes to slugs but I choose to ignore him and get on with ordering dinner. I check up on my slug friend throughout dinner, which is more than what I can say about the staff service this night. I guess the half price dinner menu should have set early alarm bells ringing.
We elect to share a few entrees and it turns out to be a bit of a deep-fried episode. The jumbo prawns are actually two prawns battered together with a slightly odd centre filling including lentils, I think. It's served on a bed of yellow rice with chips on the side and a curry-ish chutney sauce. I like the concept but this combination doesn't really work.
Better are the deep-fried oysters which are surprisingly plump in a crunchy batter, sitting in shells that probably belonged to other oysters. I doubt they were fresh oysters but they were fairly good served with tartare sauce.
We also had a very generously sized rocket salad with Spanish onion, avocado and parmesan shavings. It's dressed in balsamic, oil and a little too much salt but is an absolutely huge serve.
I'm still picking chips from the prawns dish when a staff member wordlessly takes the plate from the table, leaving the used share plates and first set of cutlery. Which is perplexing to say the least, but downright wrong when the mains arrive seconds later and the used plates are still ignored; the staff member virtually expected us to move them to make room for the mains. I look at my slug friend in disbelief.
The plates are eventually removed after the other mains arrive and we try desperately not to let little problems affect the rest of the meal. My main meal is the lemon sole - a whole grilled fish in butter with parsley and lemon. The fish is slightly overcooked but a generous dish with more crunchy golden chips.
The fried John Dory dish of thin fillets curled in the cooking process is moist and smooth-textured. The mash is creamy but otherwise bland, garnished with the now ubiquitous parsley. Other mains of fried whiting fillets and fried snapper fillets are also cooked quite well, although the species of the latter main are rather questionable.
After a satisfactory meal I check on my slug friend who seems a little confused, heading this way then that way. Looking around though, it seems he has more of a clue than the waitstaff, of whom are strangely scarce at this stage. There's still several tables in the area but not a waitperson in sight. Fifteen minutes or so later, we're still seated with our plates, slug and no service.
It reaches a point of ludicrousness where we actually have to fetch someone to request our bill - for her to enquire as to whether we wanted to look at desserts. Ten minutes later we then head to the front desk to actually get our bill as it certainly didn't seem to be heading our way, and by this point we were keen to get a move on.
I bade farewell to the slug and wished him well, and left Danny's slightly incredulously, rather discontent, but happy to laugh it off so long as I don't have to go through that experience again.