A rude man resulted in a final Chinese lunch in Africa

1041 Reviews

Star Travel Rating

3/5

Review type

Things to do

Location

Date of travel

February, 2023

Product name

Atlántico

Product country

Sâo Tomé and Principe

Product city

Sâo Tomé

Travelled with

Couple

Reasons for trip

Culture/Sightseeing

To be honest, if it hadn’t been for a rude Portuguese man, we’d never have chosen to have lunch at the Chinese restaurant, Atlántico.

We had returned to Omali Lodge on the African island of Sâo Tomé where we had a day room booked until our evening flight home. Unfortunately, by the time we had checked in and changed into swim wear, around 11am, all the sun beds around the pool were taken, so we sat at the pool bar, with a beer and Sprite, hoping beds would be vacated.

Eventually two people left, and although I took my towel over, a man who I remembered had arrived on the same flight as us, jumped out of the pool, grabbed the other bed and swiftly plonked his body on it, despite it being obvious what my intentions were. I glared at him and left him to it.

Although we were originally planning to have lunch in the hotel, we thought it might be a long day, and decided to try Atlántico, a Chinese restaurant. We’d seen it on our initial stay and although it was only a 10-minute walk from the hotel, it was not one we had wanted to do in the dark as there was no pavement. Google confirmed it should be open and after a rather hot walk, we climbed the stairs to the empty first-floor terrace restaurant.

Menus were presented by a boy who didn’t smile and obviously spoke no English, although we established we could pay in Euros as we’d run our local currency, the Dobra, down. We ordered Nacional beers and Sprite which were less than half the price at our hotel.

The menu had lots of laminated pages with pictures and descriptions in both Portuguese and English and we feared our choices of a chicken stir fry and pan-fried noodles, wouldn’t be available, but they were. We avoided the chicken feet, braised brains and descriptions like ‘old meat’ and ‘hairy pork’.

The food took a long time to arrive, which we thought was a good sign. The portion of rice was small, but we didn’t eat it all, concentrating on the two meat dishes which were pretty good, despite the odd stray chilli which took you by surprise. Bearing in mind the beer prices we shared a second beer which elicited a plate bearing a sliced banana and beautifully carved apple.

During our visit, only two other groups arrived, and we wondered what it would be like in the evening as there were three private function rooms with circular tables. The bill was shown as 605 Dobra and having presented the calculator on my phone, the guy divided by 25 and so we left €25 to cover the €24.20.

On arrival at the airport later that night, I spotted the rude man in the queue, glared at him and smiled smugly as I swanned past him to the business class check in desk.

Helen Jackson

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