Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Café Garcia

English was finally spoken today!

But how long for and was it just a special treat today?

Popped in for a bite and the place was pretty well full.

Had the upstairs room all to myself, this is perfect for photography.

Have to be careful here as my specs have this tendency to leave my face at certain heights.

I asked the English speaking dude for Spanish chocolate, he gave me Cola Cao instead. This is essentially Spanish instant chocolate (bit like Nescafe). Very sweet and better than our Cadbury equivalent.

Salt Cod Empanada- it was ok, not earth shattering.


When I get older I'm going to learn Spanish

(Just to come here that is)

Nothing pisses me off more than a total lack of English spoken in any establishment. At least at Wong Kei’s, rudimentary English is uttered and fully understood by the diners. The Poles for instant in any capacity speak adequate English and can even direct you with the right directions if you find yourself lost in Oxford Street. The newly arrived Turkish waiter who served my tripe soup in Stoke Newington a few months ago could even muster a fair conversation about footie in English. When in Rome, please don’t take the proverbial; even if one can’t do as the Romans do, at least speak the bloody lingo!

Ok, you’ve
seen this coming now and you’re right it’s going to be a bloody rant about linguistic incompetence through nothing but sheer ignorance and two planks’ mentality. If I for some reason decide to open up a greasy spoon café in let’s say Helsinki, I’ll do my utmost and make sure I attend Finnish classes to attain even the most basic proficiency. I’m sure the Finns would like me to offer them in their language that there are alternatives to eggs over easy or back bacon to streaky. Young folks from all over the world come to London supposedly to learn English; now in order to supplement their living expenses most of them end up working in restaurants of their own origin. This is self defeating and sadly otiose; if any of these young folks do go home in the end, they would most probably end up asking ‘what are you doing on earth?’ instead of ‘what on earth are you doing?’

The real thing

The bad toned down version

Café Garcia serves one of the best Spanish drinking chocolates in London. They also offer some delicious cakes and pastries plus the odd favourites like paella and tortilla de patatas. I’ve been here many times and the staff being very Spanish (no South Americans so I’m told by a Portuguese mate wh
o frequents here) speak a titchy quantum or no Inglés at all.

Bolos de Arroz

I needed my own taste buds to determine this is a chestnut cake, the girl who served me muttered something indeciperable!

It’s frustrating when the girls who work behind the counter are unable to describe what that flipping cake is that caught your eye and serving you ordinary diluted watery hot chocolate (If I want Cadbury’s Hot Chocolate, I’ll go home and make it myself) instead of the thick and heavy version the Spanish enjoy. This lack of communication can only lead to the service being piss-poor, it’s probably not intentional on the girls’ behalf but it certainly pertains that way. All the Spanish-speaking customers are treated with relief and glee after dealing with yours truly. My visits to Café Garcia are reminiscent of my experiences with Korean restaurants in New Malden or kosher eateries in Golders Green- these places more than often give you a blatant impression that they only welcome their own kind!

Café Garcia, wakey wakey, speak some English, you’re in London now not Londres. Perhaps maybe this is Café Garcia’s revenge on the British living in Spain who resolutely refuse to speak Spanish. I dunno, either way it’s a poor show.
No I’m not easily perturbed by this sort of farce, if the nosh is good I’ll still keep up an appearance because it’s worth it. If trauma is somewhat experienced then they’ll always get some back in return from me, usually cynically and indirectly, as I’m that way inclined. If I become the Mayor of London, there will be compulsory English language lessons but free for those who don’t speak it in the first place.

On a more foodie note, this is my past review.

1 comment:

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