Ok, where do I start? Up on the street, as that's where the visit began. We had wandered around the seafront and found most restaurants full and even booked up for the next evening too. Deciding to revisit the street behind the seafront, by chance we found Ti21, having walked past probably 5 times before whilst looking for a restaurant, but had never previously spotted it. That is the first problem. It's not easily spotted, and when you do spot it, what is it? A bar, a restaurant, or as my wife pointed out, could have even been a recruitment agency! The menu isn't that obvious outside, and the name didn't give any clue. Putting my Gordon Ramsay head on, the first thing I would do is change the name to something which represents its identity as a restaurant (if that's what it is - I'm still not entirely sure).
We looked at the menu which included burgers, pizzas, nachos, and tapas. One of the staff came upstairs and mentioned that they could do a child's portion of pizza or pasta, so we decided go in. The inclusion of a kid's menu outside might entice more families in, as with 2 young boys, it's certainly a consideration for us.
Through the door you go downstairs to the eating area, which is very smart, modern, clean, and inviting. It had the feel of being half bar/half restaurant, but couldn't decide. It looks like it's probably a nice bar in the evening, which does food the daytime.
We found it completely empty which was a worry. Why was no-one in there when most other places were full and booked up for the next night too? We decided to stay however, and it filled up a bit more whilst were there.
We chose our own table which was nice and comfortable. The menu was a little strange. It came in 3 sections, one of which was laminated, the other two weren't and we're just paper. Just a little thing which is easily fixed, but makes me wonder why they didn't bother.
One of the biggest surprises was the lack of a drinks menu. That's got to be a first. My wife enquired about red wine prices and the waiter gave her a rough idea including that of the Merlot, which he pronounced with a hard t. I asked the same polite young waiter about beers and he said he could tell me what lagers, ciders and ales they have. After listing 4 bottled lagers, I asked about bitter to be told they didn't have any. Strange when he mentioned ales, but I settled for a Budweiser. Felt a bit miffed shortly afterwards when I spotted 2 different bottled ales on the shelf behind the bar. Gordon Ramsay head on again - knock up an informative drinks menu.
Next for the food. The kids ordered a hot dog and chips, and a child's size version of one of the pizzas. My wife and I both chose the beef chili nachos. Sadly we were later told they had run out of beef chili the night before. Firstly why did the waiter not know this, and secondly, how hard is it to send someone to the supermarket for some tins of beef chili before opening the next day? Tesco beef chili would have been perfectly acceptable to me. Anyway, my wife then chose the spicy chicken nachos, and I opted for the burger and chips.
No complaints from kids about the hot dog or pizza. An adult pizza arrived instead of a small one, although we were only charged for a kid's one. I helped out with the pizza which had clearly been cooked in a pizza oven and was absolutely delicious. A good size too. The burger was good and appeared home made, but just not enough chips for an adult portion. Glad I had the pizza to fill me up.
The nachos were a good size portion, although they were clearly cheese Doritos which I don't like and aren't in my mind, appropriate for that meal. Plain nacho chips are generally what I expect and would have been much better. Also the amount of chicken was very small.
The staff were polite and friendly, and the surroundings are lovely. The background music was modern and chilled, and I could have listened to it for hours.
I really think this place could be a goldmine with a few little tweaks. It doesn't need huge changes, but more visibility on the street, a clearer identity, and better organisation could do it the world of good. It's the sort of place which deserves to be busy once it irons out a few flaws.
Worth a look so give it a go. The pizzas certainly won't disappoint.
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