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“Good food and atmosphere” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sankey's

Sankey's
39 Mount Ephraim, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN4 8AA, England
+44 1892 511422
Website
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cuisines: Seafood, Brasserie
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Crowborough, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Good food and atmosphere”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

Visited with my family on a Friday night during the easter holiday. Not too busy.
The food is of excellent quality and, considering there are not many Seafood bistro's about, good value.
Staff are friendly.
Only issue I would highlight is that they add 10% service charge onto the bill. This is stated on the menu smallprint and states that it does not go towards the wages but I would always prefer to have the option to give a tip.
A 10% increase on the prices questions the value.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MSankey, General Manager at Sankey's, responded to this review, April 11, 2013
Dear Mike H,

Thank you for your review. I am very pleased that you enjoyed your visit. Both our Restaurant and kitchen teams are very proud of what they do and will be delighted to hear of your praise.
If I may I’d like to explain the reason for adding service charge to a restaurant bill. Admittedly this practice is being used by some establishments to generate an extra 10% (or sometimes more, I have seen 17.5% recently!!). However at Sankey’s 100% goes to the staff, both in the kitchen and the restaurant - evenly.

Why add it to the bills via the till system you ask, well here is where it gets complicated. HMRC view tips and gratuities as an income, therefore it is subject to income tax and NIC. This revenue stream has to be recorded officially. The only way to do this is to have it added via our point of sale system. In the past we have recorded it manually; the revenue didn’t trust us and back dated our PAYE bill to the tune of 10% of our turnover! No joke!

This service charge remains at your discretion, and should you not wish to pay it you can simply cross it out. Our staff have been trained not to make remarks but to enquire as to why a service was not offered after the bill has been paid to gain feedback.

I hope this helps and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

Kind regards
Matthew Sankey
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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199 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    78
    65
    27
    17
    12
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Tunbridge Wells
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Could be so much better”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

Sankey's have a wonderful fishmongers in the centre of Tunbridge Wells which always stocks a wide variety of wonderful fresh fish. Visit the restaurant and somehow that does not come through. Don't get me wrong the food is fresh and tasty but somehow fails to make the most of available produce. We have eaten there a few times but each time seem to come away slightly disappointed. We will go again and hope that perhaps the next time there will be that extra bit of 'sparkle'. Finally, please oh please consider selling champagne by the glass - it's a wonderful way to start a meal.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MSankey, General Manager at Sankey's, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
Dear CDB404,

Thank you for your review, I am so glad you like our Fishmongers. I am sorry that you are not quite so enamoured with our restaurant. We really focus on the freshest British seafood we can buy in the restaurant from Live Lobsters to MSC certified Pan roasted Cod, Mussels to Scallops we really do try to cover all bases. Our chefs are also always trying to find new ways to present their dishes whilst not going OTT and it becoming all stack and drizzle.

Id love to hear in more detail about your thoughts, I can be emailed directly at matt@sankeys.co.uk or called on 01892 511422 no matter my location.
Kind Regards
Matthew Sankey
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tunbridge wells
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Do we look like trouble makers”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

Hilarious, an intended quick couple of drinks after eating and before heading home Saturday. We (my partner and I) go to Sankey's, followed in by the female bouncer who stood next to us listening to our conversation and watching as if we are going to start trouble. Hilarious, we are both in our late forties, dressed up to go out. Maybe my partners bald head of my high heels and evening wear was a give away to our secret trouble making ways ;-) She eventually gave up and went outside. Bizarre behaviour....I have lived here now for nearly 10 years, I go to Sankeys when the memory has forgotten how bad it is. A couple of drinks brings it all back. Decor hasn't changed in 10 years, needs a good clean and a face lift. Also, more friendly people behind the bar and on security. I cant comment on the food as we ate elsewhere.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“Valentine's evening”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013 via mobile

My husband surprised me with our 1st, but not last, visit. The food was excellent, the atmosphere was relaxed and our waitress was friendly. We will definitely return to try the rest of the menu.

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MSankey, General Manager at Sankey's, responded to this review, February 18, 2013
Dear Karen V,

Thank you for your review, I am so pleased that you enjoyed your evening in our Restaurant. I have let the team know of your thoughts and we look froward to seeing you again soon.

Regards

Matthew
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Zug, Switzerland
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
74 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Average experience”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

The pub upstairs is very good, wide selection of good beers and whiskeys, warm athmosphere.
The restaurant downstair in my opinion is a little posh for what it is. First thing the beer is bad, you cannot have the beer from the pub upstairs which has the good ones, if you want it you have to go out, enter the pub, buy it, and bring it to your table downstairs.
The startes were a bit small in portion, good food but small for the cost. I had the fishcake which was extremely hot inside, and had no taste by itself so I had to use some sauce to give it some taste.
The bathrooms are outside the restaurant, outside was cold and snowing so you risk to get ill everytime you need to go to the toilets (both gents and ladies).
I like much more the pub upstairs, the restaurant I think it's overvestimated and a bit expensive.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MSankey, General Manager at Sankey's, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Dear Died076,

Thank you for your review, I am sorry you didn’t fully enjoy your experience, but have concerns with your review.

Feedback is vital to how we run our business, without it we cannot move our business forward. I am sorry you found our fishcakes to hot, however it is our policy to ensure that our food is cooked correctly, and we provide a sauce as part of the meal to enhance the flavours of the fishcakes.

I would also like to assure you that our rest rooms are not outside, and that we have the same beers in the restaurant as we do in the bar, they come from exactly the same cellar and even the same kegs & casks.

I also feel that we are very reasonably priced, all our dishes are cooked to order prepared in house and offer a substantial meal.
Kind Regards
Matthew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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