I purchased an itison voucher which cost £35, the total value £70, this was for a 4 course taster meal at this restaurant.
On arrival at the restaurant we were seated in the lounge area and ordered a couple of drinks, we were then taken through and seated in the restaurant. We were seated at a table for 2. We were brought our amuse bouche which was OK, we were then brought our starters. I ordered crab risotto and my partner ordered wood pigeon. The risotto arrived at the table barely warm and on tasting it was like baby food, no bite like risotto should have it was like mush. I sent it back and it was replaced with the wood pigeon which in fairness was delicious. However no fresh cutlery was provided and I had to use my partners dirty set.
A table of 4 came in a short while after us and although there were several other tables available they were seated right next to us, meaning we could hear every word of their conversation. Not a good atmosphere when all you can hear is the table next to you drowning you out. I did notice also that this table were brought out their amuse bouche after the starters. I assume that they must seat all the Itison guests together, I'm not sure if the experience may have been different in the Bistro paying full price. I would expect to have at least 3 choices for each course on the menu, however there was only 2. The choices were very limited and definitely do not reflect the price at all.
We were then brought out our main courses. I had sea trout and my partner had pork belly. I know that sea fish are generally salty however it was placed on a bed of samphire which in my opinion had been seasoned, the dish was very salty which overpowered the flavour. After finishing our main course we waited approximately 20 minutes for a waitress to clear our plates off the table and bring our desserts. There seemed to be only one waitress who was attending to both the restaurant and the Bistro. Eventually we got up and walked out, fed up of waiting and had a train to catch. A waitress from Parklands called me some ten minutes later, at which point we were just about to board the train. I told her to call me back today to arrange payment over the phone of the drinks which we did not pay for last night.
I made a complaint to Itison this morning who I believe has spoken to Scott Edwards the owner. Scott called me today and I have to say his attitude was ridiculous. All he kept doing was talking over me about how the table next to us left a £45 tip and he tried to tell me the risotto was made to order, absolute rubbish, I have tasted firmer baby food. This risotto had clearly been made in a batch and microwaved, if not then it was overcooked to the point I found it inedible. It was also completely overpowered by lemongrass which was not stated on the menu. Scott was not prepared to take criticism of any kind and spent the phone call talking/shouting over me about how good his restaurant is, to which I disagreed and then he was not willing to compromise in any way. I paid £25 for 2 glasses of wine and 2 beers this morning with a card over the phone. I paid for the drinks however due to the bad experience I would have thought they might compromise and meet me half way but he wouldn't budge. He also threatened me with CCTV, not sure what he meant by this as at this point I had actually paid for my drinks.
I did mention trip advisor and he hit the roof. He told me "I'll tell people you walked out without paying", yeah I did walk out, but I have at this stage paid for my drinks, which I did not have an issue with. If Scott Edwards thinks that this is an appropriate way to talk to and treat customers then I'm surprised he has a business. As a business owner it is imperative to be able to take constructive criticism not call customers liars.
I trust itison as a company and have never had a bad experience with any vouchers I have purchased from them and I am highly disappointed with this experience. I don't care how many covers he has done or how much customers have left as a tip. I am entitled to have an opinion and think it's important to give feedback however it seems Scott Edwards the business owner does not agree.