Cavalli Caffe – The Grand Avenues – A two star restaurant

Perfection, exclusivity, glamour, meticulous detail….these are synonymous with the Roberto Cavalli brand. I wouldn’t expect anything less, actually I would expect more.

     I recently had lunch at the Cavalli Caffe in the Grand Avenues, this was during its soft opening – one day before the official opening. Yesterday, 3rd of May, Mr. Cavalli personally cut the ribbon to mark the official opening.

Just wanted to share my experience with the food and service. We ordered:-

– Linguine pasta with mushroom sauce

– Penne in white sauce with black truffles 
– Sparkling water
– Espresso con panna
– Black tea with fresh mint
– Apple pie crumble
– Creme brûlée 

     I wasn’t really impressed by the waiters and the attention to service and this was what bugged me the most. The Italian maître d’ was constantly hounding the waiters to do their jobs, pointing out the obvious as he went along and trying to orchestrate their duties. It was obvious they were amateurs and weren’t cut out for the big time.

     We had to wait a full 10 mins until they realised they hadn’t put out bread and when they finally brought it, the olive oil and balsamic vinegar were missing (one of the main ingredients at an italian table). For each dish served, we had to ask for a missing item, either parmesan cheese, a spoon, etc.

     The service was horrible, not what you would expect from such a high end brand and especially not one day before the official opening! At one point the waiter had order the bar for still water when I asked for sparkling, after a long wait and dry throat try to dry swallow the bread, I reminded him of the water –  he was at this time chit-chatting with his other waiter buddies totally neglecting the tables. The annoying part was that our table was in a very conspicuous place.

     I can say the food wasn’t that great, nothing special honestly. My penne was too cheesy and drenched with sauce. The linguine was OK at best. My personal nespresso machine could make a better espresso and the cream was too airy and light. The black tea was what shock us the most, they offered “dilma” brand tea bags!! this is unbelievable for a high calibre restaurant. It was flat and had no taste. The creme brûlée tasted too much of egg. The apple pie crumble was actually not bad, they could’ve added more thicker slices of apple though.

The prices were actually reasonable, the entire meal cost less than 30 kd.

     I’ve noticed that soft openings and the early days of a restaurant are usually the best time to visit and take advantage of the original cooks preparing the food. This way you can really get a taste of what the food was intended to be. In this case, although we saw the Italian cooks roaming the floor, the food wasn’t up to par.

     I think if the service was perfect, then it would have diverted our attention from the food and other shortfalls. Lots of places in Kuwait, from all types of businesses, rarely take time to perfect their customer service – an area of much needed attention.

The verdict – I give this place two stars.

– location – The Grand Avenues
– decor and ambience

Would I go back or recommend this place………hhmmm……….I don’t think so, until I hear otherwise.

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