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|Address:||224 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HP|
|Tel:||020 7930 0488|
|Price: £53.00||Wine: £22.00||Champagne: £47.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-2.30pm 5.30-11.30pm (Sun- 9pm)|
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
I wish I could have had a more positive experience at the Criterion. Although the food is average, the dining room is very striking and they might just have got away with it, were it not for the appalling service.
There was no one there to greet me at the front of the restaurant, or by the cloakroom, and the bar staff were nowhere to be seen leaving me waiting for a good five minutes with my coat on! I would have thought the place was closed, had I not come at 1pm, and seen a few other diners seated, looking miserable.
…I should have taken the hint.
I ordered a starter of smoked fish with horseradish mousse. What appeared before me was what looked like 3 lumps of sashimi, and although the portion was small, I will give it credit for looking pretty. The horseradish mousse was nowhere to be seen – instead replaced by two large blobs of crème fraiche that dwarfed the fish. When I spoke to a waiter, he assured me that there was horseradish in the crème fraiche. Horseradish is pretty hard to miss as a flavour, but for my own peace of mind I asked my companion to taste it too, who agreed that it was definitely lacking anything resembling horseradish! The waiter was absolutely insistent, and I did not want to cause any further fuss with the waiter arguing black was white with me! The waiter eventually agreed to bring me some horseradish sauce – by which time I had pretty much eaten my 3 mouthfuls of fish.
The menu was missing the fun/unusual element that I had heard about -no popcorn or bobotjie. However my fish main course was nice and the lamb that my companion had looked lovely and succulent. For dessert I desperately grasped for something out of the ordinary to make up for my starter experience – the south african pudding (which was overcooked and stodgy) served with a fairly decent amarula ice cream. My companion fared better with a fairly decent chocolate dessert, but I can say with certainty that neither of us will be returning!