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“Most disappointing full English I have ever experienced....”
Review of Cafe Giardino

Cafe Giardino
Cuisines: Cafe, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible
Gravesend, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Most disappointing full English I have ever experienced....”
Reviewed January 12, 2014

Stumbled across Café Giardino in Lakeside shopping centre on 8th January whilst looking to kill some time whilst car was being serviced and I have to say it's the worst full English I have ever eaten.
I thought that the café looked neat and clean from the outside and the menu appeared appetising, whilst boasting that it was 'naturally good', so ordered the full English, with extra sausage and a cup of tea. Total cost £9.65- not the cheapest, but enough to make me think I would receive a quality feeding!
I should have known better when I realised I could hear no real kitchen sounds of pans clanging, or bacon frying, nor smell a hearty breakfast being prepared and what appeared confirmed my fears. I am convinced that the only piece of my breakfast that had been near a grill or pan was the bacon and that the beans, mushrooms, scrambled eggs (rubbery and tiny portion-one egg at most I think) and sausages had been microwaved. The sausages in particular were desperate-hard, dry and grainy, whilst the mushrooms had a really sour, overpowering smell that was very off putting. Didn't bother with the tomato as the mushroom smell started to make me feel queasy.
Granary toast was nice, as was the cup of tea, so if you fancy beans on toast and cup of tea, you'll be ok (in fact, I wish that is what I had gone for!), but it appears the owner doesn't trust the staff enough to cook the most classic and simple of English dishes, which is a real shame.
The waitress who took my order seemed nice enough and was kind enough to bring me ketchup and offer to get me cutlery etc, but I watched on in bewilderment as she later shouted across to couple (who had obviously been waiting an inordinate amount of time for toast) that she 'hadn't forgotten about them' and knew when it would be ready as the 'smoke alarm would go off'. This was clearly meant as an ill conceived joke, but the couple were elderly and not impressed, even less so when she offered them bread (?!) as an alternative before coming out a few minutes later announcing that she 'told you I hadn't forgotten about you'...weird and surreal customer service experience but wonderful to sit back and people watch as her ill judged service was met with morose faces.
I reckon it's ok for quick tea and toast, but heed my warning and don't go here for the full English!

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank SirGrazalot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
karen m, Guest Relations Manager at Cafe Giardino, responded to this review, February 21, 2014
Dear Reviewer

Thank you for your comments. We apologise for any dissatisfaction and have noted your comments. I trust that you drew the attention to any issues to the manager whilst on site in order to give them the chance to put any issues right as we pride ourselves on great food and service.

Kind Regards

Karen
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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37 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    6
    9
    4
    8
    10
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Essex, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“Awful Service”
Reviewed December 24, 2013

I ordered a snack whilst shopping at Lakeside. I had the unfortunate luck to deal with one of the rudest servers I have had the displeasure to deal with.

To top off the very bad service the food also tasted a bit stale.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank J3178
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sittingbourne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Food and Service very good”
Reviewed November 17, 2013

We always have a coffee and a sandwich at Giardino's sandwiches made whilst you wait, you see what you are getting. Coffee is always excellent. Staff very busy, but will always help.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank 296elliemay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
22 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Watery soup served with no spoon. Expensive especially tea. Service chaos too!”
Reviewed October 12, 2013

Badly organised service with food not communicated with the til who don't co ordinate with drinks. Tomato soup was like water and at £3.25 not cheap. Served with no spoon and after asking 4 service people and my soup getting cold, one was eventually produced from kitchen staff who were foreign and unable to speak to me. Tea costs £2.10 each for a cup, hit water and tea bag - not cheap! Panini's were nice tho so stick with them if you decide to try this place but I won't be coming back.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Riches7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
County Galway, Ireland
Level Contributor
275 reviews
165 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
“Great for a snack whilst shopping”
Reviewed October 7, 2013

Comfortable seats, fast service, big selection of food. Tuna melt Panini was nice but would have been even better with a little more cheese. Staff were friendly and helped carry food to our table as we were laden with shopping bags! A good experience.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank SFWOxford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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