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“Ego problem?”
Review of The Bay Restaurant

The Bay Restaurant
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Ranked #29 of 200 Restaurants in Margate
Cuisines: British
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed January 1, 2014

After my previous visit I was looking forward to treating my parents to a meal at the Sands. I booked a table for the Saturday before Christmas. At the time of booking I was asked if I wanted the lunch menu or the Christmas menu. I said as my parents are elderly they would probably like the Xmas menu whereas my partner and I would probably eat off the normal lunch menu. Alarm bells started to ring when I was told I could only chose from one menu. If there is a choice of two menus why be limited to one? I consulted with my partner, who is vegetarian, and we settled on the Xmas menu, however the vegetarian option was risotto, which is not a good option as 1) it is very boring and 2) it frequently contains Parmesan cheese which, if genuine, is not vegetarian.

The hotel offers a vegetarian Wellington on the evening menu so I phoned to ask if would be possible to order this instead. Phoning 2 weeks before, it seemed a reasonable request. The person I spoke to said "No", the menu cannot be changed. Now I can understand if I'd walked in off the street and requested something different that the kitchen might have a problem, but by giving notice of a request for something that the restaurant offers anyway, this seemed odd. I thought about it and then called back and asked to speak to the hotel's General Manager. I explained my request to her and expressed my surprise that there was a problem, She replied that the chef was uncompromising so I asked her if his name was Lenny Henry? I thought the days of egotistical chefs was rooted in the 1980s. She then said it may cause a problem if other diners saw the dish and also requested it. I replied they could always be informed it was the result of a special advance request. Eventually she relented and said she would speak to the chef and call me back the next day. 2 days went by without my hearing anything and so I phoned around and was able to book in at another restaurant (see my review of Kathlon House). The next day I had a missed call on my phone and had a voicemail saying that the chef "would be happy" to cater for my request. Now I was totally confused, was the front of house staff turning down requests without consulting him? Did it take three days to talk him round? At any rate I did not feel like I wanted to risk a disappointing experience especially as I was driving from my home near Birmingham to Margate where my parents live. Accordingly I e-mailed the hotel as follows to cancel my reservation:

"With regret, I have decided to cancel my reservation for this Saturday lunch.

Although my request for a change to the vegetarian option has now been accepted, I feel that this was done under duress and I would rather give my custom to an establishment that is set up to cater for patrons' reasonable requests rather than pander to the chef's ego. I am sad because my parents and I enjoyed an excellent tea back in the summer which I praised on Tripadvisor and we were looking forward to lunch over-looking the sea."

I would ask the Management of the hotel to consider whether they want to run an establishment for their own benefit or that of their patrons. I am saddened as I feel the hotel is an overdue addition to the regeneration of Margate, and I note the many favourable comments from my fellow reviewers. I guess if you have any special dietary requirements, this would be a place to avoid.

4  Thank Rainstone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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223 - 227 of 315 reviews

Reviewed January 1, 2014 via mobile

We booked a table of 6 on New Years Day and had a lovely table near the window overlooking the beach. Service was attentive and slick and the food beautifully presented and decent sized portions. Our three year old was being a Handful but the staff were incredibly supportive and happy for him to play on the floor! Overall a very good experience in a lovely restaurant which I look forward to visiting again soon.

1  Thank Airedal3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2014

Visited for a family lunch just prior to Christmas. The food was excellent - my fish was perfectly cooked, and overall the lunch menu represented great value for money. Contrary to some other reviews I have read, we found the service to be excellent.
The view from the light and airy restaurant over the bay and out to sea was fabulous, we will definitely be visting again soon.
Highly recommended.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank km1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2013

Love the Sands and watched a much loved building slowly 'morph' from a sad abandoned 'blot' to the yummy, beautiful, welcoming hotel we locals are proud to have in our midst. I am a frequent visitor, often walking along the sea front from home, usually desperate for the Jing Tea. The decor is lush, always a warm welcome, service exemplary, and loos (which are uber important to some of us) are super clean with fresh cloth towels... Oh and one cannot help but be intoxicated by the view of the famous Margate Sands moreover all can immediately see why Turner loved Margate so, the light over the sea is, well, magical...

Family and I had Afternoon Tea and Champagne the day after Boxing Day (wanted lunch but sadly fully booked). Family had never been, but loved it as i do, the entire experience was as per excellent, the young woman who served us was lovely, attentive without being intrusive with a great sense of humour, which is always a plus. Afternoon Tea is perfect and feel the addition of Champagne adds value to what is always a joyful, fun, afternoon party atmosphere. We sat by the windows, with the Margate light embracing us and the view is fab...

Let's face it, its not all about rooms and food, its more, much more and yes I believe the Sands has cracked it, that's why my Bestest Friend and I love it so...

    • Value
    • Service
Thank Lili S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2013 via mobile

This was our most recent visit to The Bay restaurant, amazing flavours & well presented great service well done keep up the good work & we will keep on coming

Thank Oneboss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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