Duo Deli Restaurant in Perth
Share this with your friends
 
Follow Us
Paula talks fondly about the customers and friends she has made in her 12 years in Perth.

It's All About You!

Paula talks fondly about the customers and friends she has made in her 12 years in Perth.

It’s All About You!

I sat down to write this blog the other day and as much as I have plenty to say I was toying with how to get out what I want to talk about this month.  After fifteen months and twenty blogs I think it’s obvious that I love to give you my opinion on everything from Trip Advisor to my mother’s cooking.   But what I really want to chat about this time, dear readers, is you. It’s about time I honoured the people who have made us successful and supported us in our quest to build great restaurants.

I want to share with you one of my first experiences with this glorious little city. It was 2002 and I was out in front of Café Tabou at 9am one morning, washing the pavement with bleach (please don’t ask, I’m a clean freak!). We’d only been open for a couple of weeks at this point and a complete stranger walked up to me and told me my business would be gone in 6 months.  Now, anyone who knows me can imagine my Latin blood bubbling away and by the time the other staff started appearing at 10am I was like a woman possessed! “Who would such a thing? Why would he say it? Who did he think he was!? “

It took two years of hard work and few tears to make Café Tabou happen. We believed in the product from the start and although we are now spoiled for choice in Perth City Centre, at the time we were one of very few restaurants servicing the middle market. You had the fine dining at one end and the bought in, microwaved crap at the other. What was missing was great food at a reasonable price point. I think this is why it worked – suddenly there was an option and you, you gorgeous people, you just got it!  Here we were with our old fashioned French bistro values and there you were, loving us.   It might be true that the people of Perth sometimes take a while to come round to a new idea. But when you do…. Ah, its loyalty in buckets!

Loyalty and forgiveness.  That’s what we earned in the early days that stood us in good stead. And boy did we need forgiveness... We opened Café Tabou on a Saturday morning at 10am. By 1pm we had run out of food because the day before we had run out of money! (I have never publically told this story before.) So, we had to close, thank the lord that there was enough cash in the till, run out to the butchers, buy more and then reopen again for round two.  Another day, knackered and grumpy and I threw a tray of crème brulees at a wall – in my defence I was young, crazy, worn out and faced with a ridiculous chef! The entire restaurant went silent. And then after what felt like 10 years the clatter and chatter started again and no-one was concerned a damn about it!  I fell in love with your ability to appreciate great food and good service and your willingness to overlook a few little mistakes if everything else was consistent.

When we opened Briezh you followed us, likewise with Sante, Pig’Halle and Duo.   It seems like such a long time ago but after 12 years in Perth I now understand why my morning visitor said what he did to me. I’m in no way agreeing with him but I get that for whatever reason, sometimes a thing just doesn’t work.  Fast forward ten years and we were attracting the same sort of reserved glances all over again. This time, for daring to open in the “cursed” Pig’Halle site. I like to think that by then  it was concern and worry that drove the sceptics – they thought that we’d lost the plot and finally bitten off more than we could chew. But then, you, our loyal crowd came, pulled up a chair, ordered the steak tartare and put paid to the chat!

My children have grown up in these restaurants surrounded by people that I have come to consider our friends and extended family.  Max says to me that when I get old he’s going to put me in a home and pin up photographs of my regulars so I can talk to you all!  The kids get it; they know that you are all behind our success and I love to see them, home from uni, walking into the restaurant and having to stop and chat at three or four tables before they reach me.   You want to know how they are, how uni is, what’s going on in their lives. It is heartwarming for me to see people that we have come to respect take time out of their meal to pay my children some attention.   Of course, I know that having been surrounded by all of you for most of their lives you have helped shape them into these sociable, likeable young adults. 

This is one of the things I adore most about our place in this small city. We have somehow become party of each other’s extended families. I have paid children 50p to help clear tables so their mother could enjoy a hot main course, I have bounced your babies on my knee, watched your daughters get married, celebrated retirements, birthdays and  engagements with you all. We sat together commiserating over coffees when our children left home and commiserating even further when they returned for the summer holidays! 

So, I would like to thank you for making this an easy blog to write. For helping to make this crazy restaurateurs life one that has been filled with love and laughter.  We had no idea when we moved to Perth that we’d make friends for life and every day I feel privileged and humbled at your loyalty.

So, my friends, on a professional level please know that I value your custom and loyalty. And on a personal level, I am grateful and admiring of your kindness to my family and our long standing friendships.  

With my eternal love and thanks,

Paula xx

 

Support Your City Centre!
Paula talks about her upset at the the closure of two great independents.

Paula talks about her upset at the the closure of two great independents.

My Love / Hate Relationship with Trip Advisor
Paula chats about why she loves to hate, and hates to love, this reviewing giant.

Paula chats about why she loves to hate, and hates to love, this reviewing giant.

Happy New Year From Paula!
Paula looks back on an incredible 2013 and plans for the year ahead!

Paula looks back on an incredible 2013 and plans for the year ahead!

Lead By Example
An online click and collect service in December? Only Herve Tabourel!

An online click and collect service in December? Only Herve Tabourel!

Michelin Guide 2014
A Very Happy First For The Team!

A Very Happy First For The Team!

The Portugeuse Family Table

The Modern / Veteran Restaurateur

The Frenchmans Family Dreams

The Chefs at Large!

Herves Love of The Boulangerie

DONALD WHERES YIR TROOSERS?

BREAK BREAD AND BE MERRY

Lock, Stock and Barrel
The Missing Piece!

The Missing Piece!

HOW A GIRL FROM PORTUGAL ENDED UP SO FRENCH!

PIGHALLES NEW BABY SISTER AND FREE PIZZA FOR ALL!

DUO MENU LAUNCHED
Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!