We booked a table for two and drove for almost 45 min to get to this place for dinner with great expectations. It had received raving reviews , and was voted one of the best restaurants in Carmarthenshire. We were received by a friendly waitress that took us to a tiny table positioned just before the stairs so we asked to be moved , which was not a problem.
We sat by the window where we could see the cars speeding in the night. The table was also tiny, and there was no table cloth (not even a mat), but I had instead a loose TV aerial to play with at my feet. The décor is rather quirky, dominated as it is by a hideous red carpet (who puts carpets in restaurants these days?) and a low ceiling that makes it somehow claustrophobic.
Nobody told us anything about what was on the menu, and there did not seem to be any day specials. The menu is very meaty oriented. There was only one fish as main dish in the list (seabream) but after 20 minutes of waiting we were told it was sold out. One expects to be told this things before ordering. The people at the next table ordered Welsh black beef but a quick glance was enough to dissuade us, it looked dry and unappetizing . So we ordered a salad of smoked salmon and mackerel and a basket of bread with olive oil as starters, with risotto and stuffed chicken as main courses . No wine list was produced so we had to ask for one. The wine list is rather cryptic, it tells you the types of grapes your wine has but not where it comes from, or its vintage.
After another rather long delay, the starters arrived. The smoked salmon and mackerel salad was good but there was far too much lettuce and precious little fish in it. The basket of bread was just three pieces of anaemic, bland dough and not really the rustic, warm bread that we had anticipated. Try dipping that into olive oil, it will soak and become soggy like a sponge.
The risotto was slightly undercooked and utterly bland. It was just rice with big chunks of onion and tasteless mushrooms. It had a crunchy texture. Definitely not the creamy, oozy risotto the we had anticipated. My chicken was stuffed with pork and a tiny amount of mozzarella but this was again quite bland and pretty tasteless. In disappointment , and after another long wait, we asked for our bill. We waited for ages, so eventually we had to stand up and go the bar to pay.
We were asked how our food was and were given apologies for the wait. When we explained, the waitress was again apologetic and sympathetic, but lacking experience . In another place they would not had charged us for the risotto, which we had left half eaten in the plate . She asked us to fill a questionnaire with feedback, which we did (we learned then that they are asking customers to recommend this placed for Michelin rating – we could not believe it). She also called the chef, but he did not appear. We felt really awkward because she was obviously embarrassed (this at least shows she cares) but it was hardly her fault.
All in all, we felt cheated and mislead. It may be that we were really unlucky , and that this was just the chef’s bad day, but we feel this place badly needs a reality check. The staff were attentive and I am sure they were trying their best but they are not very professional .We were amazed that the place is getting such good reviews. The food is mediocre at best. We thought we may gone to a different place. We will not call again.
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