I have been to this restaurant with a friend a few weeks ago. I am a frequent guest here at Il Gallo d'Oro, Riso etc. Someone recommended this restaurant, but I have to say it was a bad experience:
I ordered a kir royal as aperitif. The champagne was not sparkling anymore, so they replaced when I mentioned (this is not really a complaint, because this seems to happen a lot, even in very luxury hotels I went abroad).
We ordered two starters. The soup I had was not good, way too much cream and served cold. The other starter was with shrimps; they were okay, but not special.
For the main course my friend ordered tuna. I tasted too and I had to agree this was the worst tuna I had tasted in my entire life. Very bad quality and completely overcooked. We complained. First, the waiter said very rudely we had asked it well done, which was not even true (as if one would ever ask for a tuna well done...). Afterwards someone from the kitchen came to our table. He even agreed there was a problem to find good quality fish here (a lot of people think that it is easy on Madeira, being an island. However, this only applies to scabbard fish,...). If one has tuna on the menu and cannot find good quality locally, then they should import or remove it from the menu... In the end we did not need to pay for the tuna. However, I do not come to a restaurant for not paying. I do not mind paying, but I want the quality I pay for. The lamb I ordered as a main course was okay.
Positive: The wine that accompanied my lamb was very good. The sommelier was very kind actually. He offered himself to open a bottle that was normally not available by the glass. That I appreciated a lot and he was very friendly and skillful.
The interior of the restaurant looks very cheap. It seems they wanted to create an Eastern atmosphere but in our impression it looked more like a canteen. Cheap materials throughout. Also the chairs in the lobby were very uncomfortable. It looked like they had tried, but that it could not cost a lot of money, so everything looked rather cheap (I cannot comment on the rooms since I have never stayed at the hotel).
However, the prices they charge are not low at all. We left the restaurant with a high bill for the quality we got in return (even without the tuna; I do not mind paying at good restaurants, I even went to 3 Michelin star ones, but I want a good price/quality).
I noticed a lot of guests were enjoying their meal. I also notice a lot of positive reviews here. I do not think I am a difficult guest. In fact, I almost never complain and I am very tolerant. Sometimes I wonder whether people these days actually taste that it is not good...
Later I heard at another hotel that Choupana seems to have a lot of problems. A lot of staff is leaving the hotel, some are not paid for 2 months in a row etc. If I look at the prices they charge and the quality they deliver, I was not surprised hearing that...
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