I arrived at 7:30 and seemed to startle the waitress by asking for a table in the restaurant. I was asked if I wanted a drink and having paced my order was directed to the table I was standing by. She brought my drink and then said she would take an order from another table and then bring me a menu - perhaps they only had one menu?
After 10 minutes I asked a passing waitress if I could place an order at which point the young barman intervened to say that there was a delay in taking the orders as they only had one chef working. I suggested that this was bizarre and he went on to explain that if they took my order there would seem to be a long delay before I got my food, whereas if they delayed taking my order the delay would not be as long! Again I suggested this concept was bizarre as the accumulated delay would be the same. He became frustrated in trying to explain his concept and ended with the comment that there were two other tables ahead of me waiting to order.
5 minutes later he took my order in a most curt manner - the concept of customer service having passed him by.
My starter (the black pudding tower with potatoes and topped by a poached egg) arrived 10 minutes later and was very good.
My main course of 'posh fish and chips' arrived 25 minutes later - not a ridiculous wait - it was a medium sized piece of cod loin that was meant to be in lemon peppered batter, but I think the pepper was missing. The 'hand cut chunky chips' were of the twice (or was it thrice) fried variety and suffered as a result. The mushy peas were nice.
Desert was ordered at 8:30 and was the house sundae. It arrived some 15 minutes later altogether underwhelming.
Three redeeming features of an average experience, the two charming waitresses and the 50% Tastecard discount.
I think I have deduced the reluctance to take the order - there were times on the bill and I guess they may be monitoring the time from order to service and so delaying taking the order would reflect favourably on these times.
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