Firstly let me be clear, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with the food at Dinings. The ingredients are fresh, of a high quality and brought together with skill and thought to create excellent modern Japanese food which, although sadly not wholly to my taste, I was able to appreciate for the obvious vision that went into creating and preparing it. The sake is likewise extremely good, and my guest and I got through a fair amount when we visited Dinings at the recommendation of a friend.
What let Dinings down for me and earned my friend a narky text from me whilst I was still sitting at my table (such was the level of my ire at that point) was the service and, to a lesser extent, the price.
Let me begin with the service. Poor. That seems a good place to begin. My guest and I were sadled with a young eastern European girl who appeared to lack any warmth or interest in the people she was serving. The only time she made any effort really was when she approached us repeatedly when we were first sat to see if we were ready to order. This to me screams ‘Hurry up and eat so we can free up the table for the next payout’ and is guaranteed to rub me up the wrong way. I say again – poor.
Although during the meal our waitress was able to redeem herself slightly by being able to prise herself away from chatting with her mates to advise us on how much we should order, she then went on to ruin it all in a spectacular fashion when, on hearing that both my guest and I would like the chocolate fondant for desert, she told us that we couldn't have it as it took a long time to make and we had been in the restaurant too long already!
I'm sorry? ‘Too long already’? Its not like we had come in to shelter from the rain or had made one bowl of miso soup last two hours. We had consumed a significant amount of food for 2 shorties and drunk enough sake to drown a tanouki. Too long? Obviously it was all downhill from here for me, especially when we were told in an extremely disinterested fashion that our second, speedier choice of desert wasn't available either. This sort of thing should carry some sort of mandatory sentence as far as I'm concerned.
I feel myself getting riled all over again just writing this review… be calm. Now what else?
Oh yes, Dinings is expensive. Very. Although you should kind of accept that, especially if you take the time to review the menu online before going, if like me you are a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to Japanese food, you will be left thinking there are at least a dozen places that serve quality, more simple food for a fraction of the price. With nice waitresses.
In summary then: Dinings is technically excellent, the food is good especially if you prefer modern Japanese to the more traditional but you will pay a lot for the privilege. I privilege which unfortunately includes some of the worst service I have ever experience.