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“Second visit worse than the first” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Harbourview Grille

The Harbourview Grille
Ranked #5 of 21 Restaurants in Campbeltown
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $35
Cuisines: British, Scottish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Large groups, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: Upscale but casual dining featuring seafood, steaks, salads, and many chef's features in a comfortable dining environment. Fine wines, beers, and other beverages available.
Campbeltown, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
86 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Second visit worse than the first”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2012

This is my second review of the Harbourview Grille, my last review was replied to by the manager and he asked if I would try eating there again.
I thought it was only fair and polite to do so.

We revisited on 04th October, there was not many people in and we refused the table that was offered to us by the waitress. She tried to put us on a table made up for two that is virtually in the middle of the room, I asked for a different table and she put us next to the toilet. The room has some lovely seats by the windows but we were not offered them, even though there was only two other tables occupied. The next person to come in after us got taken to the table in the middle of the room.

My wife ordered a burger at nearly ten pounds and I had the fish and chips at nearly eleven pounds.

Whet we got given was atrocious.

The burger was fine, but oddly was a lot hotter on one half than the other, but my fish was dismal, I tiny sliver of battered haddock placed on a plate with some REFRIED chips!!! And not refried in the good, Heston, way.
Both of our portions of chips were disgusting. They were hard and chewy and most were left.

The fish was so small I took a photo because I thought no-one would believe me, in fact the main ingredient on my plate was the peas.

I cannot believe that anyone who cares one jot about food can churn out this rubbish and charge eleven pounds for it. And I am still prepared to suggest that tiny portions of fish and refried old chips are not the policy of this fine looking establishment.

The waitress asked if everything was alright, after we had finished, and wee told her the chips were awful because they were refried, she said she would tell the kitchen.

We waited for a response but none was forthcoming so we went to the bar and paid, the lady that took our payment asked if we enjoyed the food and we said 'no, the chips were awful because they were refried' she apologised, took our money and bid us good day.

I cannot go here again, they are miles away from getting it right.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
3 Thank REMEVMA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MachrihanishDunes, Manager at The Harbourview Grille, responded to this review, October 23, 2012
Thank you for your review of The Harbourview Grille. We appreciate your willingness to try us again after your first visit and sincerely regret that you were dissatisfied with your second visit. You are absolutely correct in your comment that poor food quality is “not the policy of this fine looking establishment.” Despite your experience, please be assured that we do take your comments to heart and have reviewed them with all relevant staff in our continuing effort to offer consistently high quality food and service and good value for money to every guest. You note twice in your review that your complaints were not addressed by our staff. We do empower all of staff to immediately address any reasonable complaint by a guest to their satisfaction— it is a standard part of our training. We apologize that you did not experience this during your visit and in the aftermath of your review we have reinforced this policy again with all of our employees. Again, thank you for your review and willingness to try us again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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181 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    79
    63
    16
    13
    10
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Caravanserai
Level Contributor
29 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Could do better”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2012

Stopped in for lunch when visiting the town for the day. Good to see the place re-opened after so many years closed up. Went into the bar - called the Black Sheep Pub - for a pint and something to eat. My first question - do you have any cask ales - was met with complete bafflement on the part of the lassie behind the bar, so had to settle for the usual selection of keg offerings. The bar has a good range of malt whiskies behind, so sad to see that not reflected in the beer offerings.
I ordered a panini to go with the beer - sausage, red onion and cheese with side salad and chips. Since I hate, loathe and despise the red onion thing, I asked for no red onion, which was sent with the order to the kitchen.
It's a strange thing, but the barperson had to phone through somewhere every time she made a sale, and dealing with the computerised till took absolutely ages. I can only agree with Dave R's comment that "The staff are stiff, over- formal and appear "over- trained" and lacking in warmth."
The food arrived just before I finished my pint and was going to ask for a refund so I could get something else somewhere else. Remember that I didn't want red onion? Well, no red onion in the panini, but the salad contained it - rather than risk seeing my lunch disappear for ages, I picked it out.
Other reviewers have commented on the paninis before. It's not a panini; it's a baguette with industrial char stripes on the top, and not cooked in a panini grill. The sausages were poor-quality commercial ones and lacking in flavour and meat. That said, the salad was original and tasty - best side salad I've eaten in a pub in Scotland for a long time.
The bar itself is plush and lacks a little character - perhaps time will bestow it upon the place.
So, would I go back for lunch? Not at that quality, delay in service and price - £3.40 for a pint of Belhaven Best and £6.25 for not-a-panini not the way I ordered it.
Keep working at it - it's a great building with great potential. You just need to learn to trust your staff and allow them to crack a smile from time to time.

    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Patthechooks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MachrihanishDunes, Manager at The Harbourview Grille, responded to this review, September 4, 2012
Thank you for your review and your visit to The Black Sheep Pub. We appreciate your comments and have reviewed them with the relevant staff. We want every guest to have a positive experience at The Royal and regret that yours was less than satisfactory. Regarding service, many other guests have commented on the warmth of our staff—we will continue to work to be sure that every guest has a warm and friendly experience. We have looked into and addressed the reasons for the delay in service you experienced. We have also taken in your comments on the panini and are making changes to improve the quality of that offering—but are pleased to hear that you enjoyed the side salad!

Again, thank you for your review—we hope that you will give us another try on your next visit to Campbeltown!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
drumlemen
Level Contributor
46 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“DINNER IN HARBOUR VIEW GRILL”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2012

Very good service in the restaurant. Prices on the high side, although one would expect to pay for the ambience of the place.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank drumlemen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeenshire
Level Contributor
198 reviews
127 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Excellent!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2012

If you are visiting Campbeltown, the Harbourview Grille is a must. We went on our second night and loved it so much we went back on our third night. Our only regret is that we didn't go on the first night!

The staff are so polite, very attentive and happy to chat away and offer you their recommendations when asked. One waiter in particular, Dean, was extremely helpful and when he went back to check with Chef when he wasn't 100% sure of the answer to my question.

It isn't that much more expensive than what we are used to (we're from Aberdeen!) but it's well worth it. We can highly recommend the Boston burger, cajun salmon, seafood pasta (my personal favourite, I would go back the 6 hour drive to have that again!) and the fish and chips. Also the lemon meringue pie is amazing!

Five star restaurant, you must visit!!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank LL_Apple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Pretentious and overpriced.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2012

Popped in for lunch with two friends while visiting Campbeltown recently, and was impressed by the recent changes made to this old hotel, which stands near the harbour, in what is a prime spot, in this picturesque, town. I stayed in the town in the late seventies and remember the Royal as being somewhere you went for a pint or two of beer of an evening, but not to enjoy the cuisine. I was told that it has only reopened recently after extensive refurbishment and is pitching itself towards the American golfers market. It certainly has been refurbished to a very high standard but has managed to retain the character of the old building unlike another establishment, I visited locally, on my reminiscence visit. Unfortunately, the dining experience was not as impressive. The staff are stiff, over- formal and appear "over- trained" and lacking in warmth. The food on offer was varied and reasonably priced with the surroundings but did not deliver on quality. The cauliflower soup was grey in colour and was of puréed cauliflower consistency, not soup- like. As for the paninis? Is no-one in Campbeltown able to bake or buy in quality bread suitable to providing the usual fillings associated with paninis nowadays? To be authentic a panini should be at least delivered on a Mediterranean type bread, not the cheap, mass produced, subway- type rolls on offer here, which are likened to those microwaved paninis on offer in a certain cut- price airline we all know. People have to work really hard these days and their money has to go far. I suspect the local people will visit out of curiosity and go elsewhere for a cheaper alternative. It remains to be seen whether the rich Americans keep it going- I would advise them to live- in but eat elsewhere.

    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Dave R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MachrihanishDunes, Manager at The Harbourview Grille, responded to this review, December 13, 2012
Thank you for your review. We are happy to hear that you liked our renovation of The Royal Hotel. Our goal in the renovation was to provide a full range of modern amenities while maintaining the historic character of the building and we pleased to know that you think we have achieved this objective.

Contrary to what you were told, our target customer base for the hotel extends far beyond American golfers to local residents and travelers of all types and many nationalities. We count many local residents among our dining customers-- many are regulars due to the quality of our setting, food and service as well as the “varied and reasonably priced” offerings you note in your review.

We regret that you found our staff to be "stiff, formal" and "lacking in warmth." We strive to achieve service that provides high quality standards delivered in a warm, friendly manner-- many of our other guests have noted the warmth of our staff and we regret that you did not experience the same. We also are sorry to hear that you were dissatisfied with your food selections-- we do work hard to produce high quality offerings and regret that your experience was unsatisfactory. We have reviewed your comments with our culinary staff and will use them to improve our offerings—we are specifically making changes to our paninis that should result in a more “authentic” sandwich.

Again, thank you for your review-- we hope that you will give us another try on your next trip to Campbeltown!
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