We made reservations several days in advance to eat at Chefe Joao. The restaurant, and its waitress, Susana, received rave reviews for exceptional service and great food.
When we arrived, we expected that we would receive that exceptional service and a great meal. However, a large party arrived shortly before we did and they got all the attention as did a local couple who arrived after us.
We waited 30 minutes before the waitress took our drink order. The large party was served their starters and main courses before we were finally served our starter. Throughout our dining experience we appeared to be an afterthought.
We ordered the king prawns as our appetizer. They were a bit over cooked and the shells stuck to the shrimp. By the time we could peel it, there was very little shrimp left to eat! We thought they were overpriced as well. Our impression: frozen not fresh which is a shocker in a place that is famous for its exceptionally fresh seafood.
Then came the long wait. Finally, after an hour and a half we got our main courses. The grilled bream was excellent and my husband got the soul, which was also an excellent dish. We did not get dessert because the wait was so long and we were just tired of being the “bastard customers.” This is a case where the food is overshadowed by the restaurant’s callous disregard for its customer.
The tab was 64 euros. The next night at Bar O Arco (more on Bar O Arco soon) we had starters, main courses, desserts, and complimentary port as well as excellent service and paid less money. Better atmosphere and service.
Lesson: Don't go to Chefe Joao where the inattentiveness overshadows the good food!