I ate at Bonsai on Saturday 22nd August. I would definitely not go back.
I know restaurants are busier during the festival, and you have to wait a little longer because of this, but I found the level of service here awful.
The waitress even exclaimed loudly “at last!” when the table next to us left, as if they had been inconveniencing her by staying so long to eat. If you can’t serve a full restaurant efficiently, don’t book it up so fully. The food was nice, not exceptional-other Japanese places in Edinburgh do equally nice food but actually provide good service with it.
Only go if you’re sure it will be quiet, if you have plenty of time, and definitely not during August because after all “it’s the festival”-so bad service comes as standard.
We were seated 25mins before we managed to snag a waiter and ask if we could please order some food. Most of the food came after 20mins, but the duck I ordered didn’t appear. I had to ask about it, and it arrived 45mins after it was ordered, cool and tough. I think it had been sitting under the heat lamp the whole time. I told the waitress and she offered to replace it or take it off the bill. We had plans and I didn’t want to wait an age for more to be cooked, so I asked to have it taken off the bill.
The person I was with was still hungry and wanted more sushi roll. We asked for 2 more drinks and the menu. The menu and drinks took another 10-15mins to arrive, and again we had to ask for them a second time. At this point I had had enough and though I was still hungry, I wasn’t interested in trying to get any more service out of the staff.
I complained to one of the staff, telling her how long we had waited and that I had had to return my duck. I also said that I knew it was a Saturday night in the festival, but waiting 25mins to have a drink order taken seemed excessive. She was nice, offered to take the price of our drinks taken off of our bill, and took the bill away to change it.
A different waitress came back with the bill, unchanged, told us that she had talked to the boss and he wouldn’t take the drinks off and that they were sorry about the wait but we would just have to pay.
I asked to speak to her boss to explain why I was unhappy and she said he was “too busy in the kitchen” and that he “couldn’t afford to come out” to speak to an unhappy customer. However, I was given permission to complain in writing or wait until after 11pm, when he would have time. Since I wanted to complain about how long we had waited, I was unimpressed at being given permission to wait 2hours more to complain.
I was basically told that I should be grateful that they had been kind enough to take my bad (uneaten) duck off our bill, and that we should just be happy with the bad service because after all “it’s the festival”.