We regularly visit the Jalori Indian restaurant in Woburn Sands, just outside Milton Keynes. Of all the local Indians it has long been our favourite for excellent food and service. So what happened yesterday evening (Sunday 29th December 2013)?
When our party of four arrived at our allotted time (7.30) the restaurant was busy. We could see an empty table, uncleared from the previous customers and were asked to take a seat in the waiting area. We waited. And waited. No-one offered to take a drinks order or gave us any idea how long our wait would be. Finally we were ushered to a table. Good. Things back on course, we thought.
Our food order arrived, apart from my rice. I asked the others to start, but they felt awkward, so I made inroads into my Dansak without rice. I chased my missing order twice and it finally arrived, without any apparent sense of urgency or understanding as to why I was becoming agitated.
A friend ordered water. On third request it arrived and the jug was placed on an adjoining empty table. Before we'd had a chance to pour, and without us noticing, it inexplicably disappeared again.
Now to the food itself. Usually excellent, last night it was disappointing. Bland side dishes, tough chicken. This was far from our worst restaurant experience, but we couldn't figure why everything was sub-standard on this particular evening. They didn't appear to be any busier than usual, or bogged down with takeaway orders.
When the bill arrived it amounted to £74. Not wishing to be petty we agreed to leave £80. I gave my friend half this amount and he intended to pay the full £80 on his credit card, but the waiter had already entered £74. When my friend asked him to cancel and re-enter as £80 he was told, extremely curtly and rudely, that it was "too late". I told the waiter he was rude and he looked stunned. Perhaps the expected service standards at the Jalori have nosedived?
It is regret that I can only give the Jalori a 3/5 rating, which is if anything generous based on our experience. Last time it scored 5/5 and has only on one occasion out of scores of visits warranted less than this.
Sort it out guys! If last night had been our first visit based on a recommendation we would have struggled to understand the Jalori's appeal.
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