We went for my husband's 70th birthday (a present from our children) and had the 10 course taster menu. We were not offered a free drink as a previous birthday celebrant. We chose a lovely bottle of NZ sauv blanc and had a couple of glasses of special reds.
First impressions were poor, the decor was dull and there was no atmosphere. The atmosphere improved as the restaurant filled up and alcohol was consumed by all, but we were freezing! The air con was on full belt and even though we asked for it to be turned down, it kept coming back on so that even the next table of men in jackets asked for it to be turned down too.
Staff were lovely and very friendly and helpful. The food looked beautiful and it was not too much food as each course was minute, but we thought the ingredients were very ordinary (like the menu was done on the cheap) and not everything tasted as good as it looked. The most exotic item on our menu was a single langoustine on the fish course and a minute portion of very bland lamb for the main. Our fish course was undercooked and still opaque, though not enough to send it back. Some of the bread with the soup course was burnt. A couple of the canapes were cold in the middle. The Ox course was nice, but like someone else said, the coal oil taste was too strong and quite unpleasant. Most of the meal was made up of leaves and vegetables in various guises, some of which were delicious. Deserts were rather ordinary.
As we waited up to 20 minutes between courses, we became bored with the whole experience and as we had been eating for 3 hours and were being picked up, we had to leave before coffee.
Overall, we would not recommend it except as an experience. We watched the TV program where they said they were struggling with meeting their food cost and in our opinion, it showed. We will try Manchester House next.
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