Patriot Square (But really, the restaurant entrance is on Cambridge Heath Road)
Hey…it's me. Krista. In here. Over here. Can you hear me?
I'm IN HERE. The ladies' loo at Viajante, the new Nuno Mendes restaurant in Hackney. You might know Nuno from The Loft. And from that restaurant on Hoxton Street, Bacchus. I'm here downstairs in the basement. With the loo door closed.
It smells very nice in here. Like Hibiscus did when it first opened. All fresh wood and newness. Polish. Everything is so CLEAN. You just want to roll around in it. But that would be gross. Because this is a loo, after all.
I'm down here in Viajante's loo taking a Pinkelpause because for only the second time ever in the nearly SIX YEARS of "reviewing" restaurants on Londonelicious (six years June 26th!), I've been very politely asked not to take pictures in a restaurant. Because it's a soft opening. And although perhaps not explicitly stated, it was implied that they didn't want us to post any reviews either. I also was aware of a prior blogger incident (see Douglas' last bit) that made this even clearer. I mean, do they think we don't talk to each other?
Online information from the restaurant themselves led us to believe that Viajante WAS officially open for business. (That Facebook status update below is from Thursday, April 15th. It says, "We have officially opened today ladies and gentlemen!!! Hope to see you all very soon.") Also, see Twitter status.
Funnily, we misunderstood both of those. I guess different people interpret "officially," well, differently. To be very explicitly fair, Viajante was charging soft opening prices of 50% off normal prices the night we dined, which was a nice surprise. And certainly indicative of a soft opening. And certainly a carrot large enough that I promptly put down my camera and swore not to review their food online during this critical phase. But I'm guessing that even if I'd offered to pay full price, I probably still wouldn't have been allowed to take photos and had I written a review, I probably would have been banned for life or something.
I was reminded of this disconnect between product and marketing communications AGAIN today (Monday, April 19th) when I went to the Syrian Embassy and they told me my visa would take SIX WEEKS to process and not the SIX DAYS that their Web site states.
"How could this be?" I asked.
"Our Web site is only for British people," they said.
Well JEEZ, how was I supposed to know that? Where did it say THAT?
This is the Internet, people. People–golly gee–actually rely on it for information. To make plans. To get things done. And it's–gosh–GLOBAL.
I mean, just last year, I went to this Web site for this one site–called the UK Home Office–and I got a VISA through it. Can you believe that? Oh, and like in January, I totally paid my TAXES via the Internet. And I got a REFUND. Oh, and then this one day, I thought it would be fun to get in a metal tube and fly across the Atlantic so I actually bought a ticket ONLINE–only it wasn't a ticket. It was just a number. And I bought it with just a piece of plastic that I had signed up for ONLINE. It was AWESOME.
I know I know…everything's amazing, and nobody's happy. (Watch this, if you haven't already.)
But I digress. Let me continue my tour of the Viajante loo. Viajante must be fans of my blog because I am the only London restaurant blog (that I know of) to have featured the Dyson Airblade. (Coincidentally, in a post where I mention I'd been to the last night of Bacchus.) Viajante has a Dyson Airblade. They also have very sparkly bathroom tiles. Personally, I felt the faucet was dangerously close to the backsplash, but it was all still very workable.
I meant to write down the name of the hand wash. I forgot. If you go, take a picture of it for me. And provide me with your review. I'll post it here. And give you credit.
Date of Last Visit: 17 April 2010
The Damage: £100 each. Maybe a little more.
The Verdict: Like I told the Syrian Embassy this morning, "Really, I'm not stupid." You're not either. Of course you should go to Viajante. Should you bring a camera? Of course you should do that too. Just be ready to review the loo…and share your photos with me.
(If you do dine at Viajante, drop me a note with your review. Am curious to know what others think.)