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“Average food, no atmosphere and pretty poor service.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Admiral J McHardy

Admiral J McHardy
37 Arbour Lane, Chelmsford CM1 7RG, England (Formerly Alma)
+44 1245 256783
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Ranked #164 of 252 restaurants in Chelmsford
Cuisines: Pub
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Description: The Admiral J McHardy offers classic pub food but produced with fresh ingredients, our menu changes regularly in line with the seasons to offer the freshest and tastiest dishes we can. We are not fast food and we are not a restaurant, we are a good local, friendly and relaxed pub with a nice dinning area.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Average food, no atmosphere and pretty poor service.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013 via mobile

We had visited the Alma a number of times with mixed results but generally the food was good.

We were excited to hear about the refurb so checked the new place out. I like the bar and the tables to the front are ok but the rear is dark and characterless.

The menu is basic, but pretty standard for a pub. This wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the poor service.

Last night we were confronted by a new member of staff who told us she had no idea about anything as she was new.

Due to this, we ended up getting two bills, one for drinks and one for food. When we settled up, we only got the drinks bill. We could have done a runner having paid this, considering four of us had four meals and starters. We were honest and settled the whole lot to which the waiter said "he'd have done a runner".

After leaving, the same waiter came running out thinking we'd over paid and left a £45 tip (we paid £45 cash and £70 card). Then he realised after we explained again. Lovely bloke but needs to get his act together.

All in all the service wasn't great and the food was average. I wouldn't totally write the place off as I'm sure the staff will improve and the rear garden is always nice in the sun for a drink.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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75 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Essex,UK
Top Contributor
160 reviews 160 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
136 helpful votes 136 helpful votes
“Much improved from the 'Alma' days”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

Visited at lunchtime today with a couple of friends. We sat outside to enjoy the sunshine and ordered the from the Light Lunch menu. This is an absolute bargain as you get a lunch plus a drink (water, pop, or wine) for c.£5.95. I had a goats cheese and beetroot salad - absolutely delicious. With extra wine and coffees afterwards, the bill for 3 was £28. The service was relaxed and pleasant and it's somewhere we would certainly return to.

Just a small point for those unhappy about the time taken for a waitress to appear, it's not table service - you need to order at the bar and they will bring out the food when it's ready.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Terrible service and the food wasn't much better.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

Visited here on a weekday lunchtime with friends. The sole member of staff saw us arrive and we seated,ourselves in the restaurant. We helped ourselves to the menus from the bar and waited and waited and waited. Eventually, one of us went to the bar to ask about ordering and she said she would come over.
I ordered the beef open ciabatta with mustard mayonnaise and it was very unappetising to look at. Obviously, left over beef from the day befores roast (nothing wrong with that) but then mixed in so much mayo with loads of whole grain mustard added. The mustard was so overpowering and killed any taste the beef had. Could not eat it all as my mouth was on fire!
After a long wait, the waitress cleared our plates and then fetched the dessert black board. She just held it on the table, no smiles, minimum communication and we ordered. I ordered the chocolate orange cheesecake which looked lovely. After a few mouthfuls I found a very hard, odd textured lump in my mouthful. It looked disgusting and I was certain it wasn't gelatine, as I am a keen cook myself and know what an undissolved bit of sheet gelatine looks like. After trying to get her attention for ages, she finally came over and I showed her what I had found. She didn't look at all bothered, even after me saying I didn't fancy eating the rest. She took the plate away to show the chef and came back and said it was gelatine. Gelatine it was not. I had previously taken a photo of it, so will upload so you can see. There was no apology, no offer of a replacement dessert and no offer to take it off the bill. I could not believe the bad attitude of this member of staff, she was clearly doing a job she hated and would not be somebody I would ever place front of house. Perhaps, she hasn't had any training, in which case I blame the management.
There were 4 of us in our party and we stayed for 2 and a half hours. In that time, there was only one other party of 6.
Will not be returning.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 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.
essex
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“A cut above similar style restaurants in Chelmsford”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

Such a relaxing lovely lunch today we had at this place.
The décor is trendy and comfortable with a fresh feel.
The very professional and efficient waiter was very polite and was flexible to our needs.
The food is obviously sourced from high quality suppliers and this shows in the quality of their meat, veg and fruit.
We would have expected food of this quality to be a higher price than was charged.
We both had a substantial main meal, 2 drinks each and 1 dessert for £35.
We are delighted to have found somewhere where the food is as delicious as this and serves dishes from a usual menu but specials added for something that little bit different.
The chilli with rice was the best my wife had ever had and the Hunters Chicken was by far better than any I have had elsewhere in Chelmsford.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Mid week meal - excellent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

My husband and I popped in for an impromtu meal last wed eve. The resturant wasnt very busy, but there were only two staff on duty 'out front', which ment they were both very busy. I think the duty manager was behind the bar and the delightful young lady - Bobbie? who was waitressing for the whole pub, was rushed off her feet. having said that, the service was great and she was polite and smiled all evening. (treat her well Mr Manager - she is a god send to your establishment! ) The beefburger was FABULOUS! Moist and meaty and full of flavour. The chicken in ciabatta was succulent and tasty. definately worth a visit - esp midweek, when you cant be bothered to cook!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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