22 October 2012
In line with the current vogue for pop up restaurants, 4 of us went along to this place in Stoke Newington on Saturday night. It unfortunately suffers from the same fate as a lot of pop up restaurants, which is that because they are the perceived to be so cool the restaurants buy into their own hype and think they are better than the place really is. This is magnified in Dalston/Stoke Newington, where this is a common trait everywhere, not only in restaurants.
So how did the problems manifest themselves> Certainly not in the food, which whilst not of a superb standard was very good. Certain dishes such as the Iberico fillet pork which was cooked pink were certainly incredibly impressive, whilst other dishes were good but not out of this world.
The place was let down by its service – which was verging on appalling. The restaurant has two sitings, which is ostentiously to make service easier. This palpably fails however. We arrived at 9.15 for the 9.30 sitting. Whilst we got our table on time, we didn't get our first food until well after 10.30 which is not only bad service, but is actually bad for the restaurant, as you can't truly appreciate the food after an hour and a half drinking.
Several things compounded this problem. Firstly there was no apology or explanation (we were later told a chef was off sick but only when we were asked). Secondly, we weren't even brought any bread or anything until we asked, repeatedly. Thirdly, when we did complain, the waitress effectively acted as though we should just be thankful to be eating in the restaurant in the first place.
To be fair, the rest of the staff were very friendly so this place is just really let down, as a lot of restaurants are, by one or two people and issues.
If the service can be improved this restaurant can stay longer than its pop up status implies but as it stands it will only become a good neighbourhood restaurant, not the El Bulli of Stoke Newington which its attiude implies