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A Review of Sorts – The Durham Castle Arms

By Ingeegoodbee - 10 June 2008 62

Durham Castle Arms

Green Square, Kingston


Being a rather cold and wet rainy Canberra day I thought I’d treat myself to a hot lunch. The inclement weather meant that the outdoor tables at all the regular café haunts of Green Square were all empty and the meager seating indoors full – well all except for the Durham Castle Arms that is – and that, unfortunately should have been a warning. There were a number of others who had ventured inside the Durham’s contrived faux olde English tavern interior. I went into the restaurant and chose a table near the window and perused the menu – basic pub fare: burgers, schnitzels, steaks, fried seafood and bangers and mash ranging in price between about $12 and $26.  I decided on the chicken schnitzel which I looked forward to washing down with a pint of Zierholz. Unfortunately I never got that far.  After waiting half an hour for anyone to come to take my order I gave up and left.

As I enjoyed my grilled chicken BLT at Kingston Grind I couldn’t help being perplexed at why the Durham’s employees felt they were entitled to the privilege of driving the business into the ground.  So I rang them:

Durham Castle Arms: Good afternoon Durham Castle Arms how can I help you?

Ingeegoodbee: Hi, look I was wondering, are you guys open for lunch today?

Durham Castle Arms: Yes, yes we are, we’re open for lunch until 2.00pm

Ingeegoodbee: Is that the restaurant or the bar?

Durham Castle Arms: Both.

Ingeegoodbee: Is there table service in the restaurant or do you have to order at the bar?

Durham Castle Arms: It’s table service, sir.

Ingeegoodbee: Well then why the fcuk was I left sitting at a table for half an hour waiting for someone to take my order?

Durham Castle Arms: Sorry!

Ingeegoodbee: I said, why the fcuk was I left sitting at a table for half an hour waiting for someone to take my order?

Durham Castle Arms: Sorry!

At this point the whole thing started to feel strangely like that scene from Pulp Fiction when the petrified college kid in the chair can’t stop exclaiming “what!?!” while Samuel Jackson stands over him … I left them to keep chatting about whatever it was the they were doing.

So what, if any, is the etiquette for this? Apart from posting on RA to have a bitch.  Should the customer of an establishment be forced to meekly approach the bar and interrupt in order to get service? Am I being too hard on the staff who were obviously simply catching up on their long weekend exploits?  Is half an hour not long enough?

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62 Responses to
A Review of Sorts – The Durham Castle Arms
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ant 9:34 pm 17 Aug 08

We went to this place today! And I was thinking of this review as we decided to go there (they had Chicken Scnitzel AND we were both from Queanbeyan, but we didn’t have it). We ordered at the bar, the young waiter bloke was nice and friendly and helpful (had a shocking cold, too). We both went for the pizzas, and I also went for Little Creatures on tap. Yum. The pizzas were proper ones, with pressed-out pastry, although it was a tad flat, seemed to lack yeast that had done its yeasty thing. Mine was a garlic one and very tasty. Friend had the fish one and was kept quite busy getting the mussel-things off it, and scallops and unwrapped prawns. She reckoned it was brilliant though.

It was very pleasant, we sat outside as today was gorgeous. We’d walked from the National Library along the lake shores, checked out the bus depot markets (which were hammered, even interstate bus tours were there!), and then gone in search of food at Kingston.

I wouldn’t say it was a 5 star dining experience, but it was certainly very satisfactory.

FredJ 1:56 pm 16 Jun 08

You were in a PUB for f’s sake – normal people stroll up to the counter in pubs if service is a little slow…

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