Visiting for a celebration, La Veranda on the Larnaca-Dhekelia road gave off the right first impression; quite classy. The tables are all well laid out with shiny cutlery and carefully folded napkins. Even the salt and pepper mill looked quite fancy with their chrome finishing!
Upon arriving, it was a little warm outside so we asked if we could sit indoors with the air conditioning on. The waiter disappeared and returned a minute later informing us that during the summer months the inside doesn’t really operate and therefore we could not have the air conditioning on inside. We were instead, given a fan to blow at our table.
There was no hanging about with the menus. They were presented to us quickly and boasted some rather impressive sounding, yet a little pricey, dishes. There is a good variety of salads, seafood, meats and of course, meze.
Everything looked quite tempting and as a result it took us a while to decide. But we settled on kalamari and chips, seafood salad, carbonara and stuffed chicken. The restaurant was empty apart from our table so the food arrived quite quickly.
The seafood salad looked splendid! The stuffed chicken was well presented and the kalamari was as expected. The carbonara, however, was struggling to not slide off the flat plate it was served on as it had a very generous helping of thin cream soaking the spaghetti and bacon.
My mother who had ordered a jacket potato with her dish attempted to put butter on it when she realised it was not very baked at all! The waiter took it away and brought it back again after having stuck it in the microwave for a couple of minutes.
The kalamari had a very crispy batter to it but alas, was frozen and cooked too quickly so it was like chewing rubber. They were sent back immediately and replaced with the Polynesian chicken. The seafood salad, containing frozen seafood was actually the only dish that had no complaints. Suspicions should be raised when a dish including defrosted, processed crab sticks is the best one on the table!
I was worried I would receive my replacement dish just as others were finishing theirs but the Polynesian chicken came out incredibly fast. The boiled chicken, smothered in a brown sauce was actually alright, despite the sauce having a taste of curry powder.
Luckily, there was birthday cake at home so we didn’t put ourselves through the trauma of ordering what most probably would have been a disappointing dessert.
However, we were brought some unripe honeydew melon.
I snuck in to pay what would turn out to be quite a hefty bill only for the waiter to take pride in telling me that we had not been charged for the dishes that were sent back, as though they had done us a favour that we should be grateful for! There was no apology or any kind of compassion shown despite having made it clear we were not satisfied. Not even a bottle of water was taken off the bill as a ‘sorry’.
In hindsight, a packed lunch on the beach would have been a much better option. Perhaps it was just an off day for La Veranda but I will not be rushing back!
SPECIALTY European, Mediterranean
WHERE La Verand, Dhekelia road, Larnaca
WHEN 12pm-12am Mon-Sun
CONTACT 24 646777