My second visit to the shard to eat but my first at Aqua Shard, Ive eaten many times at Darwins Brasserie in the Sky Gardens(far superior in everyway).This place is great for tourists and this menu is aimed at that market.This is a great pity as a lot of folk book it as a treat for an occasion, dont!. They don't care, this is as clear as day as they have a captive market. Every aspect is like a conveyor belt, the food is clearly served from a buffet table as NONE OF IT IS FRESHLY COOKED.
We arrived 25 minutes early as we hoped to catch some friends already seated. We booked in being told to wait at the bar as the table wasn't ready, fine we could see our friends.If we had to wait at the bar there was no seating, you have to stand, there is a large open area at the base of the stairs where seating could easily be provided.
We returned to reception at 2.30 we were escorted to a table with 2 females already seated, the waiter said you're sitting here with these, i said no we're not.. he then panicked going on to his head set, we then were seated as far away from the view as possible, I asked for alternative and something was mumbled to me, it was so dark we could hardly see the menu.
Although we hoped to be seated near our friends we are at the complete opposite end.
The staff faff around but appear not to do much, There are a lot of them, no one introduces themselves or explains anything, but on the whole polite, however they seem like agency staff.
The wine menu is horrendously expensive as are the cocktails, clearly this is pushed, we ordered tap water a half glass arrived and was topped up once after we requested.We also ordered 2 diet cokes, they have to be the smallest bottles ive seen, they looked embarrassing, not only that they were 4 quid a pop..!
We ordered the parfait and the buttermilk pancakes, they both arrived promptly, The pancakes should read pancake as you see from the picture its one small one with a miserable single rasher of bacon. Mine was the parfait(pictured) the pate itself was delicious but the brioche toast was old and stale , I returned it, they brought back an even more stale slice, the plates are clearly pre portioned, i was brought another from the line, the freshness was not checked at all..There was bread on the table, thank heavens as eating a blob of pate without is not fun.The syrup for the pancake arrived about 5 minutes after it was served.
Our mains were beef with veg, yorkshires and roast potatoes, baby roast chicken, i asked to replace the roast potatoes with chips, we had the same sides.Its an extra 4.95 for the beef, a rip off for 2 slices of beef. My chicken was like road kill, boiled and flashed on a grill. The so called sauce arrived 10 minutes in to the main-courses, a tiny jug, we were told to share, the pot was so hot you'd get 3 degree burns, it tasted of gravy granules with LOADS of soy sauce in which my partner hates.
The roast potatoes had been cooked the day before were inedible, we noted other diners were leaving a lot on their plates.the veg was thrown on the in fact the plates looked a fright.
The biggest problem was the cafeteria standard , it was all REHEATED..
Do not come here if you are expecting a high standard of food, you wont get it.
Finally we were given the pudding menu, and then left, not even the order taken, the copious amounts of staff all vanished..my friends came over as they were leaving and said don't bother too much about the puds as they weren't all that, the cheesecake was a blop on a plate tasting of nothing. they left I called the manager over stating she could see our menus were still on the table waiting 20 minutes. I explained we didn't want to wait longer and could the bill reflect the non desserts.
Our bill was 92 pounds with 2 small diet cokes, the desserts were taken off. The set menu for 3 courses is 44 pounds excluding service charge.This is poor food served by staff who are nice but not interested.
All in all, an appalling afternoon, I will give credit where credit is due, but I cannot here.Buyer beware.