Saganaki

>62 NewQuay Promenade, Docklands, VIC
http://www.saganaki.com.au/

A night out with some colleagues, two of whom don’t eat glutens and one of whom doesn’t eat seafood, meant that the Melbourne defaults of Italian or seafood were out. Greek it was.

It started well. Very well. Friendly staff, prompt wine service, lovely dips and bread. The conversation flowed, we perused the menu. The blokes went for large plates of meat of the souvlaki-sans-bread kind, and the girls shared mezze. Meatballs: gorgeous, done in a sundried tomato saucey thing. Cabbage salad: so good we ordered it twice. Lemonade potatoes: ditto. Grilled calamari: came in a complete grilled body, amazingly tender, perfectly grilled. Apparently the secret is to marinate in kiwi fruit beforehand. It went on and on.

Then we asked for the bill. Seven people, $50 each. No problem. Two of us remarked on the difference between the UK and Australia, in that you had to carry more cash than usual in Australia because of weird restaurants rules and the non-global acceptance of cards. It turned out, it was true of this restaurant. Three of us had cards, four had cash. The waitress did not know how to put through more than one card, and insisted that the only option we had was for at least two of the card-holders to take a ten-minute return trip to the nearest ATM in a howling gale on a windy horrible night (and one of them didn’t have a coat). Luckily I had cash myself (but only because I had found $25 in my coat pocket). The others. the ones with only cards, were ropable.

We paid and left. Despite the good food, the old-fashioned approach to bill-paying will prevent me from going there again. Who carries that much cash around with them?

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