Protea Hotel President, Bantry Bay – Getting “skewered” at the Seafood Buffet

Protea Hotel President, Bantry Bay - 9 Skewers
Protea Hotel President, Bantry Bay - 9 Skewers
Protea Hotel President, Bantry Bay - 9 Skewers


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Quality of Food

Quality of Service

Value for Money

Total Score
2.5/ 5

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Fairly large selection


Not very good quality

Posted 31/12/2012 by


In the good old days, if you wanted a lavish seafood buffet, the Protea Hotel President was the place to go.

Boundless amounts of prawns, mussels, calamari, fish and even a crayfish tail or two. Quality was top class. Service was excellent.

We’ve had the Seafood buffet at the President many, many times. Over the years we’ve found the buffet has slipped significantly. We stopped going to the President because we no longer found it value for money as the quality and choice was simply not what it used to be.

When you’re paying R220 for a buffet, you would expect tons of options and excellent quality/tasting food.

The buffet consists of soup, starters, main course and dessert. We usually only have a very small starter, as we’re really there for the mains. I don’t eat fish, so my favourite part were the prawns.

We decided to give the President another try, hoping for a good experience. First thing we noticed, there were no prawns. When we asked the chef about the prawns, he pointed to a container of skewers. Each skewer consisted of 1 prawn, 1 piece of lemon and one piece of fish. Because I don’t eat fish, I asked the chef if it would be possible to have 3 skewers with 3 prawns on each. Giving me a total of 9 prawns. He said he would go into the back to ask the head chef if this could be done. I was confident I was not asking for too much, so I presumed the answer would be yes. When the chef came out he said no, they won’t do that for me. If I wanted my prawns done that way, I would be charged R12 extra per prawn. What?? So on top of the R220 per person for the buffet, they wanted to charge me an extra R108 because I didn’t want to eat their fish. Getting charged extra for something which is already on the menu is ludicrous!

I spoke to the manager of the restaurant and told him the story. He told me the head chef should not have said that and he would go and speak to him.

When the manager came back, he too said that the head chef was not prepared to do that for me. But I was welcome to have as many skewers as I liked.

I was completely blown away. They were not prepared to fill such a simple request, but they were happy to waste a great deal of fish which I was not going to eat. Here I thought I was doing them a favour by not wasting their fish. So, after cooling down, I decided to order my 9 skewers. Please note, it took 35 minutes until my skewers were ready. The ironic thing is that while we were waiting for the skewers, a gentleman approached the chef and asked if he could have skewers with fish but no prawns. He was told no.

So I eventually had my 9 prawns (out of principle) but was so disgusted with the service that we left soon afterwards – not evening bothering to have dessert.

We left the President having eaten very little, still feeling hungry and absolutely disgusted with the service!

Without a doubt, we will never support the President Hotel again.

Below left: Plate consisting of 9 skewers.
Below right. Plate consisting of the amount of food gone to waste because they would not entertain such a simple request.




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