14 April 2011
Two visits, 10 days apart, talk about chalk and cheese! First visit, busy Friday night, popped in for an early, quick dinner ahead of a visit to the O2 (long ago learned that there is absolutely no point in trying to eat at the arena before a gig – minimum of an hour queue just to eat at a High Street staple like Zizzi – I did it the once, never again!) Shown to a table immediately, attentive service, explanation of daily specials, food arrived swiftly and was exactly as ordered. Job done, all in just over an hour, arrived at O2 well fed and in good time for the start of the gig (Peter Kay, if you're interested – v amusing in an understated, old fashioned sort of way).
Second visit, a sleepy Monday night, Wharf was pretty much deserted as was Carluccio's. Similar deal, en route to the O2 (this time for the pop princess that is Kylie), bit more time to kill as she was not due on stage until 9. This time around, service almost non-existent. We were unable to read the specials board from our table and on asking for details, the waitress grabbed a small laminate card from another table and plonked it in front of us, clearly not interested in pushing any particular special concoction of the kitchen. It took several reminders before she remembered our ordered bottle of wine; the side salad to accompany my pasta arrived just as I finished my last mouthful – needless to say, it was sent back.
All that being said, the food was fine on both occasions – I can rarely be tempted away from their ravioli so I'm probably not the best judge, but all my dining companions on both occasions, finished their plates too, so a sure sign of approval on that front. Just need a bit of consistency on the service front…