We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Appalling service, overpriced and chaotic” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Sparrow Kitchen & Bar - CLOSED

Sparrow Kitchen & Bar
10 O'Connell Street, Adelaide, South Australia 5006, Australia
08 8267 2444
Improve this listing
Price range: $21 - $51
Cuisines: Contemporary
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Adelaide, Australia
20 reviews 20 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Appalling service, overpriced and chaotic”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2012

A group of 9 of us dined at Sparrows on a Friday night recently and we felt uncomfortable as soon as we arrived. Our booking was for 6.30 - no one was in the restaurant and I even checked the door to make sure they were even open. The waitress showed us to a table which was only setup for 6 and after some debacle, another man showed us to the right table.
It seemed to take a very long time for our drinks order to be taken and when my wine arrived I they gave me the wrong wine but didn't explain this to me - they explained it to a friend sitting next to me instead?
The meals were ok but expensive and not worth the money to order tapas only.Several drinks were ordered throughout the meal that never seemed to arrive and a few of the men left towards the end of the meal to grab some more cash from the ATM and all of our plates were cleared without us being asked. At least 3 people hadn't even finished their meals! Plates and glasses were cleared and by this time we were pretty fed up so we asked for the bill. They then bought out the desert menu? Thank-god we didn't choose the 2 1/2 hour chef's menu tasting platter as only god knows what we would have gotten.
We complained about our dishes being cleared and we received a minimal discount and we just got the hell out of there. We won't be back. Don't know why it was all so complicated as there were only a few people there and our group of 9 was by far the biggest booking of the night. Very disappointing.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

44 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Adelaide, Australia
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Good food variable service”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

The tapas dishes were lovely. You would go back for the food. but... we ordered the first bottle of wine from a smallish but good wine list. The friendly waiter came back and said this was a new list and this wine had not arrived yet so we ordered another. We ordered a second different bottle poured by a different waitress. No tasting just straight into the 4 glasses. Food was good so we ordered a third different bottle. Waitress cleared the glasses for new wine but took one glass still half full before we realised - oh well. Again the 4 wines were poured, no tasting, and because they were poured too full, she asked whether she might just finish pouring the rest of the bottle! No thanks we answered. we were then informed kitchen was closing at 3 - we were thinking the tapas went all day - our mistake though. So we ordered 2 desserts to share between 4 and 2 Montenegros' from the liqueur list. Waiter came back and said the Montenegro for the new list had not arrived yet. So we decided to forgo liqueur. Might have been better to say they had run out, so would we prefer something else? We can't blame the young waitress for the poor wine service but the management which should provide training. In times of great competition, service is paramount, smiles, knowledge of the hospitality industry etc. Off we went, happy to have been able to stay and spend more but..... finished off up the road at the quirky Royal Oak for a nice bottle of red.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Food great...service could use some work...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2012

The food was all fabulous- I had a Steak Tartare that I would recommend to anyone- unfortunately the service whilst not bad, is very disorganised. We had all finished our entrees when the last one finally showed up. This continued to main coure and dessert.

Visited May 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“New ownership and it shows!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2012 via mobile

Absolutely perfect!
Great wine list
Tapas that were full of flAvour
Spectacular rabbit and mozzarella pizza
Service friendly and cool
Perfec tsunday long lunch! Try this old favourite again as its Had a clean up and a new lease on life. Revisit as you won't be disappointed!

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
1 review
“Unimpressed to say the least”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2012

Recently I dined at your restaurant (Friday 18th May) with my partner, brother & sister in law (who are down from Newcastle) and mother in law.

I chose your restaurant to take my family to as my last experience was extraordinary.

On this occasion however it was far from that.

I rang Friday lunch time to change my booking from 7 people to 5 people and to start with my booking could not be found (I made the booking Saturday 12th May), when we arrived I told the waitress who I was and the time of our booking and was told that she would have to “shuffle” our table around as she was unaware of the change in numbers and our table was not ready?

When we were seated we were asked if we would like still or sparkling water for the table – we opted for still. I noticed that all the tables around us were drinking filtered water from jugs. When we received our bill and were charged $15.00 for 2 bottles of water I was most unimpressed. Our waitress did manage to remove that charge from our bill however if we had the option of filtered water from the beginning I would not have had to query that charge.

I was upset to see that you no longer serve Paella; this was the highlight of my previous experience with you. I understand that there is new management; I would highly recommend that it is added once again. This was the ONLY reason I suggested to my family that we dine at Sparrow’s, and to not have that meal at a “Spanish” restaurant was extremely disappointing.

Throughout or evening our waitress not once came to our table to ask if we would like any more drinks – I had to call her over on 3 separate occasions so we could order more drinks, on one of those occasions we did not receive the drink we had ordered which I had to ask for again.

After our tapas our empty plates sat on the table until our mains came out, this was for approximately 45 minutes, and then after our mains the table was not cleared until we had asked for the bill, approximately 30 minutes after we had finished. We were not offered the option to look at the dessert menu or if we would like a coffee.

Our overall experience was far from satisfying, our booking was for 6.30pm and we left the restaurant at 9.15pm, nearly 3 hours we were in your restaurant and not one of the people I was dining with could say that their experience there was good. Our waitress apologised every time she came back to the table “I’m really sorry for the service tonight, I do apologise” is what we kept hearing yet nothing changed.

I am quite upset with the service that we received; I had been talking very highly of your restaurant to my family and to come back a second time and have such a poor dining experience was an embarrassment.

The prices that you charge and the service received do not reflect each other.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Sparrow Kitchen & Bar also viewed

Adelaide, Greater Adelaide
Adelaide, Greater Adelaide
Adelaide, Greater Adelaide

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Sparrow Kitchen & Bar, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.