Ladysolly and I went for Sunday lunch with daughter.2 and boyfriend.
first problem was the first course; it took an *extremely* long time to
arrive. We got three apologies for this; the second time we were told
"literally two minutes" (no it didn't), the second time "coming now" (no
it didn't) and then it eventually arrived. The head waiter came by to
explain that there had been a problem with the printer. Don't ask my why
that would make the first course take such a very long time.
problems with the food: ladysolly asked for low salt in her soup; the
soup itself was low salt, but the thing in the midle of the soup was
very salty. Also, the soup was lukewarm. I had the salmon; usually I
would expect a spread of several slices of salmon, with trimmings. Here I
got six very tiny strips (about 4 inches by 1/2 inch), and the mustard
sauce was missing.
Then the main course. I was happy with my
roast beef, but daughter.2 ordered monkfish, and got such a tiny
helping that even she (a very light eater) felt cheated. She said it was
more like a single medallion of monkfish. We also ordered side
vegetables for the table - what we got was a single bowl, smaller than a
The desserts were good, the coffee nice, the chocolates (I had to remind them to bring them) fine.
the meal, we explained all this to the head waiter. He explained that
this was the first time that this particular menu had been served, and
he was as upset as we were. He agreed about the size of the salmon
helpings (he thought it should have been carved at table, not in
kitchen) and also about the monkfish.
He offered us a tour of the
grounds - we declined. He was keen that we should return some other
time to see how good they were. Sorry chum, there's a thousand
restaurants we can visit, why would be come back to yours after a bad
We were given a 50% discount on the bill (and no
"12.5% discretionary service charge", which I would have exercised my
discretion not to pay), which was a good gesture by the head waiter, but
what we'd wanted was a good experience at a good restaurant, and we
didn't get that.
I would lay the blame for this on the restaurant
manager. A new menu should *NOT* be tested on customers. If the menu is
changed, the management should try it out before the customers get to
see it. When you're running a software house (the situation I know best)
you don't take the software straight from the programmers and give it
to customers. You test it first! You don't wait for customers to tell
you about obvious problems.
Whatever problem with the printer had
caused the absurdly long delay of the first course - they should have
improvised a solution, perhaps use pencil and paper to write down the
orders? Leaving customers to sit and wait for ages was not the best
I suspect that whoever is the boss of the restaurant
manager will never hear about this fiasco, and won't therefore give the
restaurant manager the carpeting that he so richly deserves. Who's going
to tell him? The restaurant manager won't, and the head waiter and chef
won't go over his head. I don't even know who he is, and I doubt if
he'll read this web site, although anyone who has management
responsibility in the hospitality industry should be keen to hear about
bad experiences in their establishment, so that they can fix whatever
problems they have.
Since the problem is clearly one of
management, we won't be going back, because it's unlikely that there
will be management changes.