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|Address:||34 Grovesnor Square, London W1K 2HD|
|Tel:||020 7768 3419|
|Price: £59.00||Wine: £22.50||Champagne: £62.50|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-10.30pm (Sat-Sun 11.30am- )|
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When things go wrong, a really good restaurant takes this as an opportunity for showing their clients that they really care about them and make sure they fix it and that everything from then on goes even more smoothly than usual. At 34 we recently had what can only be described as a toxic mix of poor service, dubious food and strange reactions, which, if on TV in something such as the classic Fawlty Towers, could actually be funny. However in Mayfair, at this price and at this aimed-for level, it was simply shocking. Service receives it second star only because two of the eight or so waiters we saw during the evening saw the problem more clearly than the completely disorganised front-of-house staff.
The only positive point is the the nice US sourced beef, but it does not make up for a completely random Italo-American botch of a menu and a dining experience which can only be described as mechanical: every course is served by a different member of the team. Every wish is ‘processed’ by the waiter one has just spoken darting off to go and check with the head-waiter and it seems reporting lines are very long and complex. This is strange to say the least, as 34 bills itself as a easy-going ‘good time’ restaurant which aims to convey a slightly festive atmosphere. Therefore slight shortcomings on the culinary side could be accepted as a trade-off for things generally being fun and entertaining. However, the atmosphere is not all it is made out to be and the food is frankly hovering somewhere between awful, perplexing, poorly thought out and sorry to say ‘wrongly prepared’. The foie gras could be used to explain why it has been forbidden in California. Very sad as on the face of it, the restaurant 34 sets out to be is exactly what this part of London would have needed. The famous group behind 34 could sure do better.