Yesterday we celebrated ‘Cake Friday’ with a trip to Canela, off Carnaby Street. H, from work, assured me that her previous visit to this place had been really good and that the cakes were gorgeous.
It is a cute restaurant with a selection of their ciabattas and cakes in the window, very tempting. They have limited bench style seating upstairs, but some more tables downstairs, which has an underground club sort of feel. The menu is Portuguese/Brazilian, with lots of meats, ciabattas, seafood soups and salads. We decided to share a cheese board and two desserts, though the filled ciabattas looked very good too.
The servers were very sweet ladies, though we should have gotten our first indication of trouble when they served a man opposite soup, instead of the antipasti plate he had ordered. After placing our initial order, which the lady did not write down, she had to come back to tell us there was no carrot/cream cake, so H ordered a lemon tart. We sat there for about a half hour, with no drinks or anything. I wondered how long exactly does it take to slice some cheese? The server appeared after a while, with my coke – took a look at our foodless table and disappeared upstairs. After another long while, she appeared with our cakes.
Now, while I appreciate the art of eating your dessert before your dinner/lunch, this wasn’t really what we had been planning. Obviously they had forgotten all about the cheese board – she asked H whether she would like a drink. H gave me the ‘yes I would bloody like the drink I ordered half an hour ago please’ look and replied that she ordered a latte. We then asked about the location of the cheese board, to which she replied ‘oh yes, it is coming’ – so we said ‘is it being made?’ – and she smiled ‘yes I will make it for you’. Whatever!
Then another server appeared with H’s coffee, ‘here is your cappuccino’ – how it had turned from a latte into a cappuccino in the two seconds it took her to walk upstairs, we don’t know. These ladies should really write stuff down. We decided to eat the cakes anyway, since we had been there about 40 minutes at this stage. The lemon tart was a really high quality lemon meringue with a serious lemony kick – delicious. My banana cinnamon cake was a lot richer, with chunks of banana and extremely cinnamony. More like a cinnamon bun really than a cake. I couldn’t really finish it as it was too rich and overpowering.
Midway through the cake eating, the cheeseboard arrived. The server then attempted to take away our half eaten cakes. Very frustrating! The cheese board was pretty tasty I have to say, with a very generous portion of cheese. Photo was taken half way through, so we had eaten a lot. Very nice brie, stilton, and some kind of cheddar. My complaint would be there wasn’t enough bread for the cheese and they should have provided some kind of dip, as it was a little dry. We had to ask for some olive oil to accompany it. Also we didn’t get any plates and ended up eating off our napkins.
Overall the food was quite good, but the service was really haphazard, friendly but completely incompetent. They kept a lot of people waiting to order and we were there for an hour -which is not great for food which wasn’t even cooked. The bill came to just under £20 – expensive for what we got – we left about a £1.20 tip – mostly because we didn’t have time to wait for the change.