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“Late Night Service”

Browns Brasserie & Bar Covent Garden
Ranked #1,598 of 22,659 Restaurants in London
Price range: $19 - $51
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Neighborhood: Covent Garden
Description: Blending European brasserie dishes and timelessly elegant surroundings, Browns Bar and Brasserie Covent Garden champions an informal yet refined concept. Renowned for indulgent twists on classic comfort food recipes, Browns has offered trademark favourites since 1973, as well as choices from the specials board or the market fresh fish of the day. Showcasing striking design features and historic or listed buildings, Browns restaurants are a refined yet relaxed dining spot, at any time of the day.
Bristol
Level Contributor
89 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Late Night Service”
Reviewed November 1, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

We visited Browns around 10.30pm after going to the theatre. The welcome was warm, the service friendly and the food arrived quickly. As always at Browns I get tempted by the outstanding Steak and Ale pie, which never disappoints. Out in plenty of time to catch the tube. Good value.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank BristolGordon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MikeyBagwell, Guest Relations Manager at Browns Brasserie & Bar Covent Garden, responded to this review, November 11, 2013
Thanks for taking time to review us.
We're pleased that offering the pre-theatre menu after the shows is popular. It's a menu of dishes that won't take an eternity so whether you're short of time before a show or not wanting to languish in town afterwards we hope to give you an exceptional time (however short it is!).
We look forward to seeing you when you're next nearby.
Best,
Mikey
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Bovingdon
Level Contributor
46 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“understaffed?”
Reviewed November 1, 2013

We came as a family after a matinee performance at the theatre - 3 adults and 2 children. we had booked our table. The ambiance was nice and we were promptly shown to our table. Pleasant waiting staff took our orders.So far so good. It was a bit of an ominous sign when we glanced around and absolutely nobody had any food - no-one was eating. we ordered from the set menu -a prawn cocktail and 2 baked mushrooms. flatbreads with tomato and cheese for the children. It took 45 minutes for our starters to arrive. The waitress apologised for the ridiculously long wait. Nobody had come over and explained there would be any delay. When the starters came - they were average and a bit tepid. The brown bread with the prawn cocktail was dried out. The mushrooms were not hot - and they really needed some bread with them or something to soak up the juices. The mains were also distinctly average. I ordered the chicken with proscuitto and cheese - with fries. This came without even a salad leaf or garnish. So it looked very bland and unappealing. perhaps if it had been explained i may have ordered a side salad to go with it or something. It was also dried out. My Dad's minute steak also looked overcooked and bland. my Mother's pasta dish also look rather unappealing and it was very spicy -perhas a little too much. My son's chicken and fries were not great either - was tough and rubbery and not really suitable for a young boy. My other son's burger seemed to go down well. it was impossible to gain attention of waiting staff to get things like ketchup or more drinks. My young son had an icecream - and my Mother ordered a coffee which was also tepid. the waitress offered us another drink on the house for the delay. we hadn't complained but it was offered which went some way to make amends. However, when it came to paying the bill, My father paid with a card. The waiter actually pointed out to him "You haven't put in a tip". My Dad said, "No - I haven't. If I want to leave a tip, I will leave it on the table." Despite the poor service and rather bland and cold food - we didn't think a tip was appropriate - and quite frankly a bit of a cheek to be asked. This is a shame. we came to Browns beause we had had a great experience in the branch in Oxford a couple of weeks previously. We also came for the quality of the kid's menu. Maybe there was a problem on 29th October between about 5.30 and 7.30?

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank MrandMrsWBovingdon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MikeyBagwell, Guest Relations Manager at Browns Brasserie & Bar Covent Garden, responded to this review, November 11, 2013
What a terrible visit! We let you down completely this time, for which I must offer my sincere apologies.
By way of a modest explanation: Diners coming in after the matinee coincide with diners going to the evening shows and consequently it can prove for a busy time of day. To report that no-one else around you was eating signifies to me that they had all been sat at similar times to you as you'll have sat down at around 4.30/5.00, the magic hour we can get inundated with post- and pre-theatre diners simultaneously. It doesn't always happen (sadly not an exact science) but if it does we need to monitor and control the influx of guests intelligently and try not to bite off more than we can chew. This I will see done, ensuring our new hosting team is more aware and has more forsight in the sitting of guests.
The food difficulties also disappoint me and while chicken should never be dry nor steak tough, I have a few thoughts. The chicken has the option of chips or salad. I would consider with the options of either/or it would suggest an absence of one if the other is ordered. The prawn and crab linguine has only the most modest amount of chilli in, this is just the second case in 3 years I have found it to be too hot for a guest. As a company we ensure none of our dishes to be ever hotter than mild so as to cater to the broadest amount of guests.
Similarly with the kids' meal range, we put a lot of time and thought into what would be appropriate versions of our classics for our under-12's and strips of succulent grilled chicken with chips seems extremely appropriate - no intricate sauces, 'weird' vegetables or anything too out of the ordinary for their new palates. Tough and rubbery food on the other hand is not just unsuitable for a child, is is wholly inappropriate for anyone and on this situation we let ourselves down badly.
I think you were quite right to refuse to tip in this instance, if for nothing else than that desultory remark from your waiter. Nothing about tipping is, was or ever will be expected, especially if the food, wait time and service is nowhere near up to scratch.
I hope you can accept my apologies again for such a failure on our part. If you're happy to take the time to e-mail us, I would like to offer you an incentive for returning and seeing us in our normal habitat - offering an exceptional experience, food, service and all.
Here's our e-mail address: david.leatham@mbplc.com
Best,
Mikey Bagwell & David Leatham
(Guest Relations Manager & General Manager)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burnley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Delicious cocktails”
Reviewed November 1, 2013

Foot sore and a little bit weary we stumbled upon Browns by chance and having visited the ones in Edinburgh and Manchester we went in to rest and refresh. Service at the bar was speedy and the signature cocktails were delicious and good value for central London - £5.00 Sunday to Wednesday. On this occasion, we didn't eat but the food that came out of the kitchen smelt and looked good.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Soulsister10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MikeyBagwell, Guest Relations Manager at Browns Brasserie & Bar Covent Garden, responded to this review, November 11, 2013
Lovely to hear! The bar team are all real gems at Covent Garden, we're really quite proud of them. Glad to hear you think as much of them as we do! Next time get them to suggest some nibbles to go with those oh-so-moreish cocktails,
Thank you for your feedback, we look forward to seeing you again soon.
Best,
Mikey
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Cool Place”
Reviewed October 31, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Great place to chat up with friends, have dinner or just few drinks in very nice atmosphere. Prices are very reasonable...

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Agy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MikeyBagwell, Guest Relations Manager at Browns Brasserie & Bar Covent Garden, responded to this review, November 11, 2013
Great to hear you had a nice time, we look forward to seeing you again!
If you're coming in for drinks, remember Sunday-Wednesday from 4pm is cocktail Happy Hour! Take advantage of our barmen's expertise and have something super whipped up just for you.
Thank you for your feedback.
Best,
Mikey
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“Favoured restaurant - but this time, appalling service”
Reviewed October 30, 2013

I like Browns. I've lived in Oxford for many years, and it's always good and reliable. My mother lives in London and likes this one too - as a theatre reviewer and arts editor she naturally gravitates to this place. It's a great space, nice bar, and the food is good: I largely enjoyed my asparagus/egg/ham followed by calves' liver this evening. But tonight I had a poor experience. Why? The service was dire. (I should perhaps add that I'm not normally someone who makes a huge fuss about such things - classic polite middle-class English male who tends to put up with most things and obeys the conventions.) Here's what went wrong:

If you offer a special offer via voucher, I don't expect to have the terms of it queried - particularly when I'm right.
I expect someone to offer me the chance of ordering an aperitif. I don't expect to be sneered at when I do order it.
It would be quite nice to be asked if I'd like some bread or something with my aperitif - no big deal, just would have been nice.
If I order a gin and tonic in this kind of restaurant, I expect to be offered a choice of gin. (Not precious, but there is a big cocktail bar to the side.) And yes, I - and I suspect a number of other professional London customers - can tell the difference.
I expect to be offered the chance of ordering a glass of wine. I don't expect to have to ask for it again because it's been forgotten about.
It would be quite nice to be asked whether both of us have enjoyed our meal (at some point). No big deal, but no one seemed to care.
Circling the part of the bill which indicates that no tip has been charged is not subtle, and, one might argue, downright rude in this context.

I didn't leave a tip, and that's very unusual. I know that most waiters are poorly paid, under pressure, and have difficult lives. I don't expect someone to treat me like royalty. But if I'm out having a meal and paying for it, I do expect to be made to feel welcome. Do better.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank FriendlyDoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MikeyBagwell, Guest Relations Manager at Browns Brasserie & Bar Covent Garden, responded to this review, November 5, 2013
Thank you for your review.
I'm sorry to hear our service fell short when you last visited by quite a long way. Very disappointing to hear as I am regularly convinced our service is one of our strongest facets.
We expect our floor staff to be at all times attentive, helpful and . Anything less than that is unacceptable. Our service cycle is in place to ensure the same exceptional experience for every guest. In this instance it seems the waiter has entirely dispatched with the cycle and his devil-may-care attitude has let him down thoroughly. And the hubris they must have had for circling Tip not included' makes me ashamed of my fellow team-mates.
You should have been offered a second drink - especially if you started with an aperitif - and bread & water offers should have followed suit.
The majority of the team never give service like this and I would like to consider it an aberration in our normally very high levels of service.
I look forward to seeing you for a return visit to see how high our usual standards are.
Best,
Mikey Bagwell
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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