Saturday 12 July 2008

Bouga Restaurant, Crouch End

I don't go out often for dinner. It's not because I don't want to, but due to budgetary constraints. So hurrah, at long last it was payday last week.

We decided to go out in Crouch End, where my boyfriend lives. We originally wanted to go to Jerkmaica, but sadly it was closed on when we got there, at 7pm on a Saturday night, strangely enough.

We decided on the Bouga Restaurant. It looks quite kitsch from the outside; some of the seating consisted of couches with big squishy sofas and there were various Moroccan-looking lamps around. Having had a look at the menu, we decided to go here, especially as I hadn't had a tagine before.

The first alarm bell rang when they tried to seat us by the open window, right where the window folded back. I said no, I didn't want to sit with a huge hinge in my face, so they offered us a different table and said they needed it back in an hour and a half. Fine - do many people spend more than that amount of time on dinner, dining as a couple? It all went downhill from here. Firstly, the chairs were so low that I felt like my 27" legs were round my ears. This never happens. Then I was given the wrong main course which was then replaced by the right one, literally 10 minutes after we had ordered. If that doesn't make you feel rushed, I don't know what does. The cocktails we ordered didn't turn up until we had almost finished.

But what about the food? I ordered a lamb and prune tagine. The lamb shank was succulent and tender, falling off the bone but into a very salty and watery sauce. The poor boyfriend ordered a mixed grill. This was brought out on a big metal box containing hot coals, and then dumped in front of him, smoke billowing in his face. We moved it to a nearby table without even a whisper of help from the waiting staff. This 'mixed grill' consisted of 1 skewer of chicken, 1 skewer of lamb, a cocktail-sized sausage and a quarter of a tomato. Oh, and a side salad of cucumber and red onion. He left hungry.

When I told the waiter to take the service off the bill, he didn't ask why but just looked surly. It said it all really - miserable waiting staff, rubbish food and management obviously trying to ake as much money from as little quality as possible. It was an expensive mistake for us to make.

I don't want to use this blog as a medium to moan, but if it means that I can prevent others from being wildly disappointed with this sham of a restaurant, then moan I will.

Bouga on Urbanspoon


Jules said...

I hate it when places automatically add the service to the bill. Good on you for refusing to pay it. Sounds like a horrible place to eat.

Anonymous said...

You did the right thing to name and shame. I'm sorry your meal was a let down. :o(

Anonymous said...

Hi Schmoof, if you fancy a better North African experience then Numidie in Crystal Palace is worth a look.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

You go, girl. Places like this don't deserve to survive.

Mrs Erg├╝l said...

I agree that if you can do it to prevent others from suffering from the same plight, you should! I hate places like that!

Pete said...

I've heard great things about Numidie too and every time I try and reserve a table they are fully booked. Plus it's in SE London, yey!

Hollow Legs said...

Penny - thanks for the recommendation, I'll give it a go.

Thanks everyone! It's good to get a positive response out of the moaning, I'd hate to be seen as a whinger.

Anonymous said...

Sounds horrible

Mind you - I've had two uninspired Moroccan meals in London and I've given up. I'll wait until I get to Paris for Algerian again - a more exciting cuisine in my experience