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“FABULOUS!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Retro Bistrot

Retro Bistrot
114 - 116 High Street, Teddington TW11 8JB, England
02089772239
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Ranked #5 of 54 Restaurants in Teddington
Price range: $21 - $73
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Entertaining clients
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Description: One of South West London’s premier restaurants, the popular Retro Bistrot serves excellent French-style food in relaxed and stylish surroundings. Winner of the Good Food Guide London Restaurant of the Year 2012, and proud owner of two AA Red Rosettes, the Retro manages to deliver a sense of luxury in both food and ambiance at very affordable prices. Stylish but down-to-earth diners are welcome to enjoy the full menu or simply pop in for a snack and a drink. Key to its success is the blend of great food with a unique brand of personal service. Led by the inimitable and flamboyant Maitre D’, Frenchman Vincent Gerbeau, the team provide charming, attentive but discreet service. Head chef Michale (Mikey) Collins, who previously worked with Gordon Ramsay, works with the very best ingredients to create French food with a modern European twist. They are undoubtedly a winning combination.Every last Tuesday of the month sees their regular Jazz Night featuring a range of top jazz artists. A special snack menu alongside the usual a la carte and set menus accompanies jazz nights so there’s something for everyone.
London
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“FABULOUS!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

I made reservations for yesterday evening, a Friday night for my Dad's birthday meal. He is notoriously hard to please when it comes to dining experiences but he was nothing but full of praise which delighted my sister & I, as I did not know what to expect from Retro Bistrot! We throughly enjoyed the evening. We felt so relaxed and I loved the care of the waiters who were attentive but not over the top. The presence of the owner who has his eye over everything made you feel you were getting only the best. I highly reccommend the Pork Braise main from the A'la Carte menu, the flavour combinations were amazing and the meat was stunning. We had some beautiful wine and all importantly my Dad's steak was 'cooked to perfection' so we were all happy. Thank you Retro! The Bigland's will be back

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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206 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    131
    37
    15
    14
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
1 review
“French and british Eat.Thank You .Owner V.G.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013 via mobile

Atmosphère, very attentive.
I' like resto bistro. ...
Excellent wine.
Good Service.
Good Ambiance.
Good E.A.T.
Sir.
M.D.M.R.
Dubaï.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LONDON
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Disappointing experience”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

We had good memories eating at Retro quite a while back so we booked a table for Saturday 9 February to take friends out for dinner. Initially the service was very good, having more or less a dedicated waiter for our table. He did not last long and we were served by a confusing (and confused) number of different people, some of whom freely admitted to have not a lot of knowledge of the various workings in the restaurant as they were new. Out of the four different starters, the scallop(s), actually looked more like one scallop sliced in 3, the portion was minute. After the starters we had to ask for a basket of bread, as we were all quite hungry. It took near enough an hour for the main course to arrive. When we wanted to order desert it took awhile to get our order right. All in all we arrived at 8 pm and left just after 11.30 pm, it took that long to get served. Last but not least the drink measures served for digestives (and I assume any spirit) are frankly mean: 25 cc. Even though this qualifies as the official unit for sprits, I have never experienced this so stringently enforced in a restaurant, especially given the prices charged! The quality of the food is excellent though the portions are small, and the whole experience left us disappointed. And please do not add12.5% service charge to a bill unless the service is exemplary! It is a very irritating habit that is becoming more and more prevalent in restaurants while it should be up to the customer to rate the service received.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 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.
VincentGerbeau, Owner at Retro Bistrot, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
Hello sgordons

We are very disappointed with your review especially as you did not mention any concerns to me on the evening. We are frequently commended for our high levels of service and surprised by the nature of your comments given your apparent satisfaction at the time. It matters to us that our diners have a good experience.

To pick up on a few points:

We are legally obliged to observe regulation measures when serving drinks. We cannot risk losing our license for doing otherwise. We offer small or large measures and these conform with the licensing rules.

The service charge is clearly marked as optional. If you do not wish to pay it you are under no obligation to do so. It is common practise for restaurants and I can understand that some diners may not like the practise, however we do not feel it is sufficient reason to downgrade the dining experience at our restaurant.

The scallops starter was indeed on the small side. We are not afraid to admit the odd misjudgement in portion sizes and ever mindful of feedback we are reviewing those portion sizes right now!

As owner and maitre d' I personally atttended your table several times and we shared a laugh. I am really sorry you felt unable to voice any issues at the time. I had to leave the restaurant just after 11pm and came to check on your party before I did so. You were all in good spirits and appeared very happy with the evening. You were on your second round of digestifs, your desserts having already been finished.

I am bemused that you suggest it took over three hours to get served! This is totally incorrect.

You failed to mention that you received canapes for free. Having listened to previous feedback our bread basket is also free.

As a committed restauranteur I take all comments very seriously, and personally find it very disappointing when customers wait until after they leave a venue and then post negative comments on public sites. Our reputation is important to us.

We urge you to please consider your comments carefully and ensure they are factually correct before committing them to public scrutiny. We care!

Yours
Vincent Gerbeau
Owner & Maitre D'
Retro Bistrot
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston upon Thames, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“C'est magnifique!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

I’ve always dreamed of having a restaurant within walking distance where the food is fantastic and the staff make you feel more than just another customer. The only reason that Retro Bistrot isn’t the embodiment of this dream is that, being in Teddington, it’s either a taxi ride or a bit of a hike along the river from our Kingston flat. It fulfils the other two requirements incredibly well, however, and is deserving of the praise and increasing recognition it is receiving.

This review follows three visits in the space of a few months, and the food has been of a very high quality each time. The style is sophisticated without being stuffy and pretentious, and the menu changes with a regularity that means you will see something new even if you are a frequent visitor. Dishes such as roast venison, beetroot marinated quail breast and pork loin with black pudding are executed flawlessly, and the assiete of pork dish I had on my first visit was probably my favourite plate of last year. And not to forget the quail scotch eggs. Oh, the quail scotch eggs… You certainly wouldn’t be disappointed if you were served this menu in a restaurant awarded a Michelin star.

But it’s the staff that sets Retro apart. Uniformly polite, friendly and knowledgeable they clearly take pride in their appearance, and the snappily dressed workers complement the funky style of the room. They are overseen by the flamboyant, snake hipped, bequiffed French Maitre’D Vincent who makes the effort to ensure you are enjoying yourself. He certainly knows how to work a room, and each visit is an experience that you just don’t find in other restaurants. If the food didn’t match up to the quality and style of the service the charge would be that Retro is all mouth and no trousers, but the thought that has gone into the menu, the staff and the setting really pays off.

They use social media really well too. We went for our wedding anniversary, and after mentioning this on Twitter our dessert came out with “Happy Anniversary” piped in chocolate without us mentioning it while we were there. A nice touch that is often overlooked elsewhere. If you want you can get a level of interaction that again makes you feel more than just a name in a reservation book. It’s nice to see the interaction with other Teddington businesses too.

This is, perhaps, a gushing review, but I think rightly so. There are plenty of good places to eat in the local area, but none such as Retro that is the kind of destination that you would normally have to go into London to find. The prices are what you would expect to pay for quality food, but don’t make a hefty dent in the wallet – I’ve not managed to go for lunch yet, but the deal they have looks to be incredible value. For me it is the best restaurant in the area, and gives those you jump onto a train for a run for their money as well.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“My favourite restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

I have been delighted with every visit I have made to Retro. The food and the service are superb. The wine list is extensive and includes some unusual but always excellent bottles. The a la carte choices are not cheap, and some of the portion sizes tend towards the nouvelle cuisine style, but the food is always top quality. The set menus, on the other hand, are seriously good value. The lunch at £13.95 for three courses is a positive bargain.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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