I went with some friends for dinner the other night to the Grosvenor Arms in Shaftsbury after hearing how good it was after being taken over and refurbished.
We had booked a table the week before but when we got to the bar they couldn’t find the booking. That in itself happens and systems sometimes don’t work and I can survive. The staff looked through their computer and consulted over a period of time and eventually got back to us to say ti was fine we could have a table after all. The rather strange thing was there were four tables that I could see all night that weren’t ever taken that we could easily have had so why the whole drama about finding if we could have a table is a bit beyond me. I appreciate that maybe some of these tables never turned up but I’m not sure if four tables would fit that bill.
The menu sounded nice with a combination of quite sophisticated food along with pizza and salad. The one thing I would say about the selection would be there is an acute lack of vegetarian food or separate menu. I did say to the waiter that my wife was vegetarian and he did offer to get the chef to make something special for her. All of that is nice, but honestly being vegetarian is not that unusual and thinking of them before is a good start rather than we can make something up for you approach.
Everyone had a selection of both specials and off the menu and everyone had a good meal, apart from me.
I had the duck egg with celeriac and truffle oil for a starter. It sounded nice, came out looking good but was just luke warm which made it a bit unpleasant to eat, cold runny poached egg not the best thing to eat, warm runny poached egg, lovely.
I then had the rump steak with béarnaise. It came out perfectly cooked and nicely presented on a wooden chopping board with a small pot of sauce and chips on the side. All looking good but once again it was room temperature rather than actually being hot. The main issue was wooden boards don’t transfer any heat to what’s on top so it just adds a cooling effect to the food. The second was the steak was cut into three or four pieces, which looked nice, but once again basically let what heat there was in the medium rare steak out into the air leaving me with another room luke warm course.
I only ever write reviews here if I say the same thing to the people in the place where I have eaten which I did on this occasion as well. When I spoken to the staff, who were on the whole nice and pleasant, about the temperature of the food they just said ‘oh I’ll tell the chef’ the second time I said about the cold steak the waitress looked more annoyed than interested.
No matter how good a place is everywhere has bad nights when things don’t go right and that is fine and I’m more than happy to keep going to places even when I have a bad meal somewhere. However, what does need to happed is the even when things go wrong and customer says something to staff about it something needs to happen. I’m not talking about I wanted the courses deducted from the bill necessarily, although some acknowledgment of my complaint would have been nice. Maybe my complaint had been passed onto the head waiter but if I did he never came over to apologise, talk to me or anything which makes me think it’s probably more about the staff actually just not telling him what is going on combined with him not knowing either.
I realise this is quite a long review but this meal was £50 a head for not actually having three courses each so it’s not cheap and for that amount of money I seriously expect better.
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- Also Known As:
- The Grosvenor Arms Shaftesbury, Dorset