By Miriam Mizzi
As its coming to that time of the academic year when work is piling up, weekends can become drab and samey. Those late nights out seem like a distant past, but it’s still so necessary to ensure weekends involved a bit of enjoyment. That’s why my Sundays seem to always consist of heading out to grab a bite to eat. Whether it be breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, Sundays are made for eating.
Rustik, a small café on West Didsbury’s Burton Road, invite Instagram pictures of appealingly large portions and colourful brunches, meaning this had been chosen for my eating destination for this Sunday’s early afternoon feast. When my housemate and I entered Rustik, we were almost discouraged by the completely full tables, however, a flustered looking waitress quickly pointed us in the direction of a few bar stools. We ordered a coffee and waited in the fairly squashed bar area for a table to become free. After a fairly short wait, we were seated on a high table and began hungrily scouring the menu. Rustik’s interior is pleasing to the eye, the wooden floor and tables allow the space to feel homely and I felt warm and sheltered from the ever-increasing rain outside. I didn’t really mind that the Saint Patrick’s Day decorations hadn’t been taken down.
The menu is long, we took an age to scan through the multitude of options, something I don’t particularly like as when I have too many options, I always feel as if I’m missing out on something. In the end, we decided to order: ‘Rustik Eggs Benny’, the vegan option of an open Kobez flatbread, and some truffle chips to share. We turned to continue our drinks, only to realise a waiter had cleared them away unfinished. Undeservingly embarrassed, I had to head over to the bar to explain and get some new drinks as ours had already been abruptly poured away. But, mistakes happen, and after working in a busy café for four years, I know that more than anyone.
I sat back down, drinks in tow and we began the unknowingly long wait for our food. Multiple times during this wait we were approached with plates piled high with tempting looking ingredients, however, we had to reluctantly say they weren’t our orders. This was when we couldn’t help but discuss the poor organisation that was blatant all around us. Not only were drinks being wrongly taken away and orders being sent to the wrong tables, orders came out without the special requirements customers had asked for and the general lack of co-ordination left the whole room feeling slightly uncomfortable.
When our food finally arrived, we almost grabbed the plates out from the waitressed hands with hunger-induced anticipation. The Kobez flatbread dish included falafel, hummus, puy lentils, pickled red cabbage, and spinach. Unfortunately, I had earlier been informed the kitchen had run out of butternut squash, essentially the main ingredient, so halloumi had been added instead. The dish included numerous punchy flavours, the red cabbage stood out as the best, backed up by the mellower flavours of the olive oil drizzled flatbread. I do wish the squash was included as I think this would have been a welcome extra to what was a completely delicious dish. The Rutsik Eggs Benny was made up of two poached eggs, cubes of halloumi, mushrooms, spinach and hollandaise sauce. The combination sounded tempting, however, the amount and taste of mushrooms on the plate were somewhat overpowering. Finally, the truffle chips – these were as amazing as they sound. Luxurious and moreish.
Our experience at Rustik left me confused. The café has bags of potential, they clearly have good chefs, a perfect location and an acceptable menu. But, the service was littered with faults and that’s something that can easily put off return customers, especially in a restaurant-saturated area like West Didsbury.
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