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|Address:||63-64 Frith Street, London W1D 3JW|
|Tel:||020 3551 9855|
|Price: £46.00||Wine: £19.50||Champagne: £60.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-2.30pm (Sun -3pm) Mon-Sat 5-10.45pm (Fri-Sat -11.15pm) Sun 5.30-10.30pm|
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
I have been a fan of Arbutus for years and eat there regularly. The food and service is always good, especially the service – which is personable yet professional.
My visit there yesterday totally destroyed everything I've admired about their staff and ethos. It was a busy evening at about 7pm and we were seated readily. Our waiter was very nice but also very stressed. He was perspiring and sweat was literally dripping off his head. He tried to be calm but he was in a hurry when describing the menu to us. My dinner partner and I felt stressed.
My dish the Fish Boulabaisse arrived and the fish wasn't cooked through. I sent the dish back only for it to return looking like another dish. The chef has decided to fry it rather than poach it. The dish had a layer of oil floating on it. I explained to the waiter that this dish wasn't right and he tried to explain that the dish is cooked this way! I've eaten this dish numerous times and as a chef, I know the difference. The manager then came and he explained that because I had complained the fish wasn't cooked (the middle of the fish was raw!), the chef had decided to grill it because poached fish cannot be poached again.
My understanding of a Michelin Star restaurant is that the service and quality should be of a high standard and pride?. Shouldn't the chef re-cook the dish then? The manager said he could ask the chef to make me a new dish should I request so. I declined as I had lost my appetite by then. The manager and waiters then avoided our table like the plaque while I watched my partner consume his meal. When he finished his meal, the manager came to clear the table. As he was in the act of clearing the table, he told us our meal was on the house and to feel free to order some dessert to make up – all this while, he never established eye contact at all. It felt like they offered unwillingly and made to feel like we were being unreasonable.
If I was dining in a greasy spoon, I could probably accept this level of service, but this is a Michelin Star restaurant! I was very sad that a restaurant that had such quality before is now so poor. The setting was not relaxed or inviting – the lighting was bright, there was no table linen, the quality of the tables and chairs looked cheap. What's happened to the real Arbutus? OH, the pictures in this website doesn't reflect the new look of Arubutus.