Aqua Eight arguably offers one of the best asian food in Ipswich and if it's only for the food, I would choose nowhere else to satisfy my frequent asian food cravings. Having said so, I am put off by what I believe to be their bar drinks up selling technique. During my last visit, I noticed empty tables on the ground floor yet I was advised that none of the tables were available and I would need to wait up. My first thought was that all empty tables downstairs were reserved, which was fair enough. As I was waiting at the bar, more and more party arrived and they were all told the same thing. It took me quite a while to order my drink and I noticed the other party who came after me was promptly escorted upstairs once they ordered drinks. My table was then ready after I ordered a drink. Imagine my surprise when I got upstairs and half of the restaurant was empty. No indication of any table being reserved and no guest left the floor while I was waiting by the bar.
They question is, why made us and everyone else wait if the restaurant was empty?
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
January 9, 2013
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We're so glad you really enjoyed the food at Aqua Eight but we'd like to enquire further about what you refer to in your title as "aggressive upselling. Can you kindly call Helen Oldfield, our PR Director, on 07974 502847, to explain what was your experience? We'd like to understand fully what happened so we can put right anything that isn't working.
We can tell you that all our guests are asked if they would like to order a drink before dinner, unless they are late for their booking or unless they have explained that they want to go straight up. In our experience, if we didn't make this invitation, and simply took guests straight up to their tables, we would have complaints also about feeling rushed through service! Also, some diners prefer to have a drink after their meal too, so it's quite a difficult one for waiting staff to judge, and that's why our policy is to invite every diner to make their own choice.
We'd like to assure you that there's absolutely no policy of Aqua Eight staff trying to upsell more expensive drinks than the guest had actually requested, so if you did experience that, then our management team would want to know about it.
So asking diners if they want a pre-dinner is part of the service we offer and, when you return to Aqua Eight (as we hope you will), do just ask to be taken straight to your table if that's what you prefer, and the staff will be happy to do that.
Thanks for your feedback, it's appreciated.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.