My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Three strikes and you're out, Onba

I'm a firm believer in second chances. Even third chances are okay on the odd occasion, circumstances pending.

Onba however, has just run out of chances.

For those non Hobartians, Onba (corner of Elizabeth and Burnett streets North Hobart) should be a lovely wine bar / supper club, with an impressive cocktail list, and an amazing selection of tapas, served until the wee hours of the morning.

Onba is not any of these things, that we were so faithfully promised before it opened its doors to the public, about 12 months ago. I've had a few disastrous experiences here in the last few months, but due to lack of other options, I have had the misfortune of handing over my good money for services un-rendered, my own fault really.

Perhaps due to lack of patronage, the menu has shrunk to almost nothing, their opening hours are severely restricted, and they seem to have employed a bunch of muppets who wouldn't know fine service if it slapped them in the face.

This morning, my latte was delivered to me on such a severe angle half the coffee was consequently tipped onto the saucer. The waitress did not even notice. I sent it back. My second coffee (15 minutes later) arrived a bit on the cold side, with an uncanny resemblance to an instant coffee I might have made myself at home. I was so desperate for caffeine by this stage I drank it anyway.

Out of interest I had a quick look at the recently re-printed menus. The breakfast page was littered with type errors ("poaches" eggs anyone?) and seemed to have an almost random use of capitalisation. Why "Mushrooms" (in the middle of a sentence) would get a capital letter I have no idea. If a document was going to be read by potentially thousands of people, you think it would have been proof read by someone who has even a basic grasp of the written word. And on that note, I did proof this post, but I bet there is a type error or two to make me look stupid.

Needless to say, there are no more chances for Onba. Which is such a shame. It is a great location, and a beautiful venue, and honestly I expected more.


Rita said...

Totally hearing you there Maggie. Feedback here in the blogasphere reflects exactly that. The menu (mis)spellings ditto. That really erks me when I see it on a menu, and I think the same thing - why would you let such a document do your marketing for you?
BTW - check out your usage of "it's" in the body of your post if you really want a proof reader!(..."Onba is not any of these things, that we were so faithfully promised before it opened it's doors to the public...")

Maggie said...

Aha, thank you Rita! I knew there would be something hiding in there. Hard to proof read your own work off the screen.

This morning has really ruined my whole day (although I am about to do something fun to try and salvage it). I thought my scathing review would make me feel better, but it didn't. I just feel like a massive cow!

Oh well, call em' like you see em' I say.

Rita said...

Mm. I agree about the calling it like you see it too! I wrote an inspired post last week for my blog, then sent it to a trusted relative/friend to read through. It was me letting rip on a hospitality subject close to my heart, and trying to get it off my chest via the blog. He got back to me that even though he realised where I was coming from, it would do much more damage to me if it was picked up by, for instance, the media, or by the person I was writing about! So I now have the offending post languishing in my documents - never to see the light of day! It didn't help ME either, as I haven't changed my mind or opinion at all.

Lisa said...

Scathe away, Maggie, for too many people in the industry do not pay for a simple proof job that can make the difference between making it or breaking it. It's this attention to detail that makes me wonder just how much management really wants me to stick around to see if the cook can put together a proper meal. Hell, if it's not spelled correctly on the menu, do I really want to take a chance on ordering it?

And I flippin' hate muppets! :)

Maggie said...

Rita, I would be very interested to read your nasty blog. Possibly because I am the media, but never mind about that.

Lucy said...

Did you change the grammar on the menu? I often find it difficult to resist crossing off an incorrectly placed apostrophe or correcting a misspelled word. It's really tragic that I've seen the word "cuppacino's" in a cafe more than once in my life!

On the subject of Onba... despite the fact that it has a nice sunny courtyard (desperately needed in North Hobart since the closure of Aroma), and, well, it has a nice set of toilets, I've sworn never to go there again. Like you Maggie, I think I gave them too many chances. I've had the worst omelet in my life at Onba (how hard is it, really?), the worst antipasto plate (also, how hard?), and I won't even go into the sandwich 'experience'....

Onba won't be around for much longer. Too many people have been 'burnt'.

Rita said...

Maggie - send me an email and I'll forward my post to you, along with an explanation of the specifics of why it would be so defamatory, as they are not immediately obvious unless you know the story behind it. Sorry to sound so mysterious. I'm obviously still frustrated about not posting it!

Mary said...

I must say, I am rather glad to have Pigeon Hole as my new 'local'.... the North Hobart restaurant strip has plenty of cafes, but is severely lacking in any that are decent.

I have - more than once - dropped into Onba to get a takeaway coffee on my way to work, when I was still livingin North Hobart. Despite the establishment clearly being open, when I walked in there was nobody behind the counter. Not a person in sight! I waited around, tentatively called out "hello?" - but nothing. So I had to continue on my way, coffee-less.
And this happened to me several times! I gave up on them after the second time, I think.

Also - Onba employs one of the rudest waitresses I have ever experienced. Ugh.

Susannah said...

Proofreading is indeed an irksome task (although I am not sure if it is ever performed by erks, Rita?)

I don't mind the odd typo in a blog, or even a grammatical or spelling error. While the mistakes of others jump off the page or the screen, I am hopeless at proofing my own work.

Having said that, I do think that mistakes in menus indicate a lack of professionalism, and I am not sure that it inspires me in relation to the food on offer. Perhaps I am old fashioned, or overly pedantic, but there it is.

I usually resist the temptation to make corrections, but a few months ago I did correct a menu at a local cafe. I may have been mistaken, but I suspect the "Houn Mushrooms" may have in fact come from the Huon Valley?

Love the blog. Keep up the good work!

Rita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rita said...

Good on you Susannah! I too find the same as you - that others typos jump off the page at me but my own leer at me much later!
As a young mum, I always used to take a texta with me to the supermarket as their spellings annoyed me so much. I regularly altered aDvocado on the fruit & veg stands, as I did on my own blackboard menu at the cafe when my daughter religiously spelled it the same way - with the D added! I also agree about the word Huon - how many times do people spell it Houn?
But don't get me started...!

Tassiegal said...

Onba has been off my list for at least 6 months. They really have let the side down. It's a pity as if they were still open late I suspect alot of theatre types would pile in after the show has finished for a drink and a bite to eat.

Iron Chef Shellie said...

Oh what a shame! I went here on my first night in town and I loved it! Admittedly we only went in for dinner, but the food was fantastic, and we had great service.... =/