I remember when Vignes&Oliviers was located down in Awkar. It used to be a creative concept hidden under the trees, a restaurant you could head out to if you wanted to disconnect from the daily chaos. I used to enjoy Vignes&Oliviers, which has since moved up to the hills of Naas Bickfaya.
Under a stone arcade, enter a private garden facing a mountain house.
A two level restaurant welcomes you around metallic tables surrounded by metal and light blue wooden chairs. You'll find a pergola blocking the sunny spells while some calm music plays in the background. The trees, birds and the sounds coming from the forest is what makes this place unique. But that was not enough... It looks haunted!
The first impression:
- The place has some bizarre vibes which makes you want to leave.
- It wasn't a great one. I felt some negative energy as I walked in.
- The owner, who was available on premises, didn't bother welcoming or say hello. He was busy chit-chatting with the other tables while puffing on his cigar.
- In just 30 minutes, I heard all kinds of stories as well as listened to them mock on close competitive restaurants. Seriously, do we all have to hear their gossip and stories?
- Chairs and tables were sticky from some chemicals that have fallen of from the trees hovering over them. No one bothered cleaning them.
The things I liked:
- Tables are decorated with salt and pepper mills as well as an olive oil bottle and another of balsamic vinegar.
- The place is so calm it makes want to stay here forever.
- A croquer
- La table d'hôtes
- Bulles et glaçons
Lunch started when a wooden board landed on our table. A wooden board with thick slices of toasted bread served with a bowl of cherry tomatoes cut in quarters. Create your own bruschetta. Tomatoes mixed with olive oil and basil leaves laid on the slices of bread. Tasty!
Orange juice for my daughter? They don't have. Kids meal? not available.
Food was served:
- Chicken (pic pic) served with grilled vegetables and potato wedges. Four chunks -yes only four tiny ones- of chicken with six potato squares and a mountain of vegetables. The plate is served on a green leaf. A stingy portion that was juicy, too juicy to the extent of being undercooked; it was sent back to the kitchen. Potatoes are oily and undercooked.
- Crostini Espagnol: on a long wooden board are four slices of bread. On each is Manchego cheese, dried figs and a spread of jam. A little chewiness and some interesting sweetness, a plate that surely looks nice but not for the LBP25,000 paid.
- FigoChevre: that's an interesting order. Four mini kaak, toasted to perfection and filled with warm goat cheese laid with slices of dried fig. What makes the difference is the caramelized balsamic which adds this interesting sweetness.
- Terrine de Mozzarella: two cylinders of mozzarella served on a rectangular plate. A layer of mozzarella, spread of pesto and another mozzarella slice. Honestly, I didn't understand what that is all about or what's the terrine about it. Not a favorite.
- Salade du potager: purslane, parsley, radish, roquette leaves, tomatoes and onions. Honestly, a ridiculously presented stingy salad that lacks freshness and taste. When I eat at home, I prepare it better!
- Pic pic meat: a plate filled with potatoes and vegetables and where's the meat? You have to look for it through the vegetables and potatoes! Four little tiny pieces of meat, dry and hard to chew but an envelop that's a bit flavorful. LBP40,000 is way too much for what it is... I'll say ridiculous.
- Grattin d'aubergine: a good one, finally! Served in a metallic pot, layers of aubergine and cheese are bathing in their tomato juice. Juicy, tender and moist, flavorful and good, something I'll repeat.
- Spinach ravioli: served al dente, five pieces of ravioli stuffed with spinach. The cream was a bit too condensed and lacked flavor, yet it was too salty! It was inedible.
- Shrimps and vegetables: a nice looking plate, colorful and served in a metallic casserole but unfortunately we had to send this plate back to the kitchen as well. Undercooked and oily shrimps. We paid the bill and waited more... 30 minutes for it to be sent back. What a shame!
What a lunch! Nothing left me impressed. The manager didn't even approach the table to ask why we sent two plates back; and the worst part, we were charged for both of them.
- I wish they would add kids menu.
- At least serve orange juice without gas for my little ones.
- All plates lack flavor and know how.
- Waiters are gentle but lack some serious training.
- $50 per person, no alcohol and no dessert, a total of $200 and we left hungry.
- Two mistakes other than the fact that two dishes were unavailable on menu, we were not even offered some coffee or dessert.
Enough for today, we ran without ordering dessert... and nobody even cared.
So sad to see Vignes&Oliviers lose its touch. I remember the welcoming, the beautiful plates and great flavors which made us visit every Sunday back then. Pity the old days are gone. It was an unacceptable experience!
The only thing I have to say is good luck!