We visited with high expectations. However the evening didn't start we'll as we were seated at a table next to the ladies toilet and the kitchen. The constant to-and-thro of staff didn't make it a relaxing place to sit but that wasnt the biggest problem. It was being bumped by the waiting staff as they squeezed past me - it was very annoying. I did mention it when I was asked for feedback at the end of the meal. If I revisit this restaurant and I'm given this table I will ask to be moved or I'll leave. It was one of those situations that annoys you over the course of an evening - not enough to complain initially but becomes steadily more irritating. And it's not what you'd expect when you're paying £135 for a meal for two (with a bottle of wine).
So the seating arrangements influenced the overall experience but the food was pretty good. We chose the tasting menu and some of the dishes were delicious - the salmon kebab was cooked perfectly. There was plenty of it too. However it all lacked a bit of a wow. The spices were too often polite - I don't mean heat but the interesting combinations of flavours I'd expect from this chef. I've found the food at The Ambrette to be more interesting albeit with a more limited menu.
The service was attentive but this was clearly not a well oiled machine. On other tables I saw the wrong dishes come out or arrive at the wrong time. The management were trying very hard so I'm sure it's only a matter of time before everything works well. We were offered a complimentary drink because of our poor table, which shows they care although I'd prefer it if they removed the table and asked the waiting staff to be more careful. 3 stars this time as the food was decent but I'm hoping for something better next time...
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