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“Good food but poor service”
Review of Durham Ox

Durham Ox
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Ranked #1 of 2 Restaurants in Crayke
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Gastropub
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Families with children, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Reviewed August 28, 2013

We were recommended this place by our landlady. We had booked a table in advance for 7.30 but, after having been shown to our table and given a drink, we were left for half an hour without even ordering until I got up to speak to one of the waiting staff. This was after having caught the eye of one of the waitresses who proceeded to ignore us. I was rather annoyed as we had opted to go after 7pm thereby paying full prices rather than the special cheaper option. Maybe it is better to go after 8.30 once they have served all the early birds. This definitely spoilt the evening. However we tried the Bay Tree a couple of miles away the following evening which had excellent food, services and worked out cheaper!

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Thank 177Karen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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312 - 316 of 466 reviews

Reviewed August 21, 2013

Having recently eaten at this restaurant I have to say that after reading some of these reviews there is just no pleasing some people. We had one of the best meals we have ever tasted with the scallops and fishcakes from the specials along with the grouse (amazing!) and trio of lamb. It was an absolute pleasure to dine at this restaurant and we will be returning again very soon. Cannot recommend highly enough and for those other reviewers its such a shame that the service let down what could, and was for us, a taste sensation. Cannot wait to go again to see what other dishes awaits for us to try.

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Thank Foodie_Yorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2013

We decided last night to have a drive out to the Durham Ox and admittedly we didn't have a booking, we arrived there at just before 7 and went into the bar area at the front of the building. We were behind one more couple waiting to be served, there were four staff behind the bar at one point and they couldn't even have the decency to say "I'll be with you in a minute" "sorry to keep you waiting" etc so we stood there like stooges waiting to be served.
After the bar staff had served the couple in front and bundled around the bar in a chaotic manner for a few more long minutes we were finally acknowledged after being stood there for over 10 minutes (I know people over exaggerate in these reviews but bear with me).
We got some drinks, I had a pint and my fiancee had a glass of wine, we asked the bar man if they had any tables available and he said they were full, (there were 3 empty tables behind us - 2 of which were still empty when we left).
I had resigned myself to the fact we'd have to eat somewhere else so we carried on with our drinks, 15 minutes after the drinks arrived we were then told by the bar man that they had a table in the area to the back of the building so we said that would be great, he said the previous occupants of the table were just paying and had subsequently just left the table and he would have it re-laid immediately, we were given menus and had decided on what we wanted to order.
We stood in the bar for a further 15 minutes with our empty glasses before the table was finally set and it was pointed out to us (we were not taken to the table as I would have expected).
We then sat at the table, ready to order and were completely ignored by the person who I would surmise was the restaurant manager/supervisor, she seemed more interested in gathering the tips from the tables who had started to leave however left us surrounded by un-cleared tables.
After sitting at the table with our menus and no drinks for 10 minutes I said to my fiancee that I would give them a further 5 minutes before we left as no matter how good the rest of the experience could have been it would not have made up for being ignored for such a long period of time, I said at 7.55 we would leave and surprise surprise after 15 minutes of sitting there waiting to order, the couple who were before us at the bar originally, had to get up and get some more of their own drinks from the bar and still were only just ordering food after 1 hour, we decided to call it a day.
As we were leaving a waiter followed me into the lobby area and said is everything ok, now by this point I had started to become quite irate, I assured him there was nothing he could do, he apologised and I told him it wasn't his fault - it had taken us an hour and 10 minutes to get to this stage, I was thirsty and absolutely starving by this point.
The issues I raised above are what I would expect from a run down pie and peas pub with a pool table in the middle of the bar and a line of gambling machines in the corner, individually these issues are not ones which would cause you to leave a place however when grouped together they are unforgivable at such a level and cost of dining.
This was the worse dining experience of my life by a country mile.

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9  Thank Matthew H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2013

It was mine and my girlfriends 6 month anniversary, so dinning at the Durham Ox was a no brainer as friends and family have given it rave reviews on experiences that they’ve had at this venue. However the experience that myself and my girlfriend had was not one to remember!
As we arrived at the Durham Ox through the front door, it was for us to make ourselves known to a member as we were not greeted whilst there were several members of staff behind the bar standing around doing nothing. Once a member of staff had acknowledge that we were waiting he showed us to our table, which was disappoint to say the least. Tucked in back of the restaurant out of the way (even though there were plenty of free tables seeing as it was 8:30), next to a door leading to the kitchen, I presume as members of staff were walking in and out constantly was not the best of starts. Once we had our menu’s in front of us, 15 minutes had passed until a member of staff bothered to ask if we would like to order, bearing in mind that we hadn’t even been asked for something to drink. In those 15 minutes a waitress was stood with her back to us less than a metre away sorting out cutlery who did not acknowledge us once (also wouldn’t hurt her to crack a smile), and at least a dozen times members of staff walked in and out of the door without paying us any attention.
Food arrived which was alright but was interrupted none stop by people walking past us in and out of the door making eating very uncomfortable and struggling to make conversation as it was so loud. Once we had finished our meal, we had to go out of our way to ask for the bill, I feel we were given poor customer service as we are a young couple and we don’t know anything about fine dining. The fact of the matter is that we have both worked in a restaurant and know all about it and we are paying customers and no matter what the age everyone should be given the same customer service which in the case of that evening was appalling.
Our evening was ruined, when it should have been a night to remember and celebrate however it was one of embarrassment for the Durham Ox as I will not be paying a visit any time soon and will be advising friends and family to stay away until they sort them act out. They need to take a good long look at their customer service which in all honesty have had better from fast food establishments.

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1  Thank A-Robert-F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2013

Oh dear what has happened to this pub! Always loved it and the food was fab, but today the food was awful. Sea bass with braised lentils was one sea bass fillet with lentils,overpowered by balsamic vinegar, at £16.95. Wish I had just had a sandwich!

1  Thank 469J_D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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