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“Rude staff and average food”
Review of Hare and Tortoise

Hare and Tortoise
Ranked #1,908 of 24,429 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $10
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed May 23, 2013

Last night I was told by the manager at this restaurant that if I didn't tip, the staff would not serve me if I returned. After a very average meal and unfriendly service at the Hare and Tortoise Ealing Broadway, I asked to pay the food bill by debit card and leave a cash tip.

At this point the waitress became very defensive and demanded to know how much tip I was going to leave. I responded that it was up to me how much I would leave (the amount was already at this point rapidly decreasing). The waitress then rushed off to point out a disclaimer on the menu stating that “for parties of 5 or more a 10% service charge would be added to the bill, at the customer’s discretion”. When I pointed out that this meant it was still my choice how much tip I would leave, she rudely marched off to get the manager.

When the manager arrived I expected an apology and some sensible conversation but unfortunately he was equally rude and offensive. He suggested that I pay the tip, then write a letter of complaint to head office explaining why I’d like it refunded.

By this point I was so offended by the treatment I was receiving I said I just want to pay and leave, forget about the tip. He then informed me that if I didn’t tip the waiting staff they will refuse to serve me if I come again.

I’ve never received such terrible customer service. All I wanted to do was leave a cash tip separately and they misunderstood me and proceeded to become so rude and aggressive that I don’t think I’ll ever return.

After visiting the trip adviser website I can see that this is a common occurrence for the Hare and Tortoise and I can’t believe that a business of this size can afford to treat their customers in this disgusting way and then bar them from returning!

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11  Thank Jennifer G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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186 - 190 of 274 reviews

Reviewed May 13, 2013

A group of us went to the Hare & Tortoise on a Saturday night, we took our time deciding what to order and. although it was very busy, the staff were very patient with us. After we finally decided what to order, the food arrived quickly and was very tasty. The portions were large and, at £6-£7 for a main course, it was amazing value. I definitely intend to return soon.

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Thank CustomerK74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

Have eaten here a number of times, the Japanese options are excellent and the rice and noodle dishes great value. I have always had the Laksa which is excellent along with the sushi and sashimi. The family love eating here and the prices are reasonable.

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Thank EddieOnTour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2013 via mobile

Went there for the second time still got the service charge on the bill two of us eating and the menu says service charge for five or more people. Told the very rude waitress who said it was a option but no where dose it say that. Food is good but the staff are the rudest I have come across

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4  Thank benjwd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2013

We've been coming here as a family for years and have always been pleased with the quality and execution of their dishes. Will sadly have to reconsider coming back here based on our last visit.

Couldn't fault the starters, we picked two old favourites, the sashimi salad and pork gyozi, and were as happy as ever with those (I've tried to recreate the shoyu-based salad dressing often enough times at home with little success - so commendations to the chef for that!). The proximity of the tables to eachother in this restaurant didn't even put us out much as we're quite used to that.

Something went wrong when the mains arrived though. My mum ordered a new ramen dish, a sort of broth with udon noodles, tempura prawns and various other ingredients floating in it, including boiled egg and spring onions. Unfortunately, the soup came out lukewarm, barely seasoned, the noodles overcooked and the tempura so soggy that I'd question whether this light and crispy dish deserves to be immersed in broth. I didn't think much of my grilled eel sushi either, which I can only put down to eel just not being the right fish for me, so fair one on that.

My main quibble is with the lack of basic customer service which we received, the kind that you'd expect in any restaurant. The waitress never once smiled or asked us how we enjoyed our meal, despite noticing that the ramen had barely been touched (nor did she offer to pack it up for us to take-away, though we wouldn't expect this necessarily). On pouring the tea my mum was told by the waitress to move her hand without so much as a 'please', similarly she was indicated to repeat her order with a 'what?' instead of a 'pardon' or 'please repeat'. Our request for more tea was ignored, and so we couldn't help feeling the snub. Based on that and on the poor execution of the ramen soup, we decided not to stay for dessert or leave a tip.

Furthermore, when my mum told the waitress she didn't enjoy her meal, the waitress responded that by voicing our criticism we're offending the chef and that this hurts them. It is the right of the paying customer to be heard and our reception of the food wasn't intended to hurt or be taken personally. Perhaps all it came to was a question of personal taste and we simply picked the wrong dishes instead of our usual favourites, but I suggest that if you work in the hospitality sector you a) encourage feedback from you guests, and b) be trained in how to politely listen to feedback if it is negative, even if you don't agree with it yourself.

Sorry H&T, but I fear you'll be losing us.

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4  Thank Ealing_eater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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