06 September 2010
Booked by phone, hostess insisted abou 5 times that I give my surname rather then first name. Only when she saw that I might change my mind and take another restaurant, she accepted the booking.
Arrived at 8pm on a Saturday evening. Cute restaurant, nice atmosphere though half empty on a Saturday night in the heart of Chelsea, atmosphere looked promising. Been sat on a nice table, not too close to the neighbour, breadbasked on the table already. Bread dry and not definitely not home made, grissini sticks nice touch and the olive butter heavenly. Only when the menus arrived we saw that the breadbasked was £ 1.80 per person. Don't mind paying for it, but in this case I felt cheated.
Good menu with promising dishes. Food was excellently prepared. Description of the wine was lousy, did not reach to the expectations.
Waiters were something between 30 and 60 yo. Normally you'd expect a great service from people that age (like the guys in La Brasserie in South Ken), but there was no interaction at all, most of them looked horribly grumpy.
For main I ordered grilled Sardines and after having had in Italy many times grilled Sardines, I expected small fish with soft bones, where bones were no problem. The waiter took the order without any comment. Fish arrived, 3 big fish, about 15 to 20 cm. Full of bones, very difficult to eat. After giving it a go with the first fish, I gave up and called the waiter. Explained to him that these fish are impossible to eat. In a very friendly tone. He took a snotty look at me, said he will call his colleague. An old gentleman came, asked me what the problem was. I explained, he kept interrupting me, told me that I am wrong, I didn't have Sardines in Italy, their way is the only way to prepare Sardines. He didn't want to have my feedback and I insisted that he takes the fish back as even after filleting it correcly myself it was still inedible. Again a snotty look and he took the plate away without so much as a sorry. The attitude of the hostess, the snotty waiter, the attitude of that old guy who wasn't able at all to handle complaints completely spoiled the dinner for me. We wanted to have desserts and as usual coffees after dinner but after this poor experience we just paid the bill (2 starters, 2 mains, breadbasket, water, half bottle wine £ 67) and left. Of course, they did not remove the fish (£ 10) from the bill.
What a shame. Good food, nice decor but we will certainly no go back and this is due to the attitude of the staff. The restaurant is around for already 40 years but it was half empty on a Saturday night.