In the area for a sporting event and table booked for 8 o'clock.
I'm happy to admit that our original booking for 8 expanded to 12 people (not 13 as suggested!!) but still 10 of those were pre-booked and the 2 walk-ins we asked about and were told that, although it would be a bit "cosy" it wasn't a problem. IT DEFINITELY WAS!!
Drinks were served promptly and continued to be throughout the night and the food order taken although we laughed with the waiter about the fact that he "strongly" advised us to order quarter portions of duck to share, rather than half portions (when I say "strongly" he practically refused us the half). The starters didn't take that long to come although one order didn't arrive at all. No fuss was made. At various points during the next hour and a half we had visits from staff about various issues with our order, to do with the rice!! Initially I was told that I couldn't have the boiled rice that I'd ordered so would egg fried rice be an acceptable alternative. Fine! Then the team boss was approached and told that there wouldn't be ANY rice so they would substitute noodles which we refused. When the main meals arrived, an hour and a half after the starters and after the team boss had been through to the bar to find out what was going on, three of the ordered rice dishes arrived but no sign of the egg fried rice for three of us, despite the waiter telling us that there was a great big bowl of it on the way out. One member of our party had no dish at all, three of us had no rice, the plate of noodles that we hadn't ordered DID arrive and was sent back and all in all it was a farce!!! The missing main course eventually arrived by which time the rest of us had finished our meals and the person waiting had shared with someone else.
This is not the first time that we have visited this establishment, it is a regular fixture on our calendar when we are racing in the area and we were all disappointed. The gentleman suggested that he would take the starters off the bill but when the bill came there was a deduction of 20% but we'd also been charged for things we hadn't had. When I went through to the bar to sort this out I was greeted by an extremely aggressive man who introduced himself as Kerry's father. I would suggest that in future he not be allowed to stand at the bar, let alone converse with or about customers (in any language!!!) as, given recent reviews of this restaurant, allowing him to tell customers "if you don't like it don't come back" could be detrimental to his daughter's career prospects.....although at least she's got her black belt (3rd dan) to fall back on!!! Let me be clear....at no point was I anything other than polite to any of the staff and to further add insult to injury he accused a member of our party of trying to order alcohol for a minor.....who was 19!!....and repeatedly reminded us that our party size had changed. We pointed out, pleasantly, that they were under no obligation to accept our booking or accommodate our guests if they felt unable to cope and should have told us that they didn't have the time or ingredients to cater for us.
There was always going to be a conversation with staff about how best to resolve our dissatisfaction and, bearing in mind that I was the only female in the group and had been on soft drinks all evening I felt that I was the most appropriate person to do that BUT it's a jolly good job that I'm not easily intimidated.
After consulting her boss, Kerry came back to us with an adjusted bill and we paid it and left.
I'd like to thank Kerry's dad for his suggestion re: not returning (the thought had crossed my mind WAY before he suggested it) and assure him that not only do I have absolutely NO INTENTION of EVER going back inside the restaurant, I intend to make our experience known to others so that when we're up later in the year for the British Champs NONE of the teams have to suffer the same appalling service or intimidating behaviour.
My rating of choice for this experience would be NOTHING but as this is not an option I have had to highlight one circle.
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