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21 August 2013
This isn't the place to come for a quick bite and run. The service is Mediterranean paced. So is the heavily Spanish influenced menu. Some excellent tapas style starters. If, like me, you like your meat and happen to have an obliging friend, I highly recommend the Rib steak for sharing. This is the place to come and relax, take your time grazing though the starters and work up an appetite for the mains. Warning…on a sunny evening you better book a table in the garden or you won’t get one.
11 August 2012
I am a local who wanted to take some relatives to a nice local pub that was reputed to provide good food. Summertime – so evening dinner in the pub garden.
It took 20 minutes to persuade a waiter take our order and a further 40 minutes to be served. I was then berated by anti-smoking Nazis – when we were sitting outside in the garden! The interior, entirely smoke-free restaurant was completely empty but they pesristed, which only added to our annoyance while we waited and waited.
This gastropub has great pretensions of being a Spanish tapas bar. When we were served, eventually, the salt cod fritters were no more than deep-fried, mildly fishy-tasting balls of mashed potato – a far cry from the rich, roux-filled bacalao croquetas they were supposed to represent. The gazpacho (the last dish to arrive, after the other starters and main courses had been served) was inedible. The chef had been far too generous with the vinegar – I thought they had mistakenly given us the salad vinaigrette. Nearly took all the enamel off my teeth. To be fair, they did deduct it from the bill.
The double-espresso I ordered was clearly a single in a tiny glass and they forgot to bring several items we ordered, for which the waiter had to be reminded, whenever one drifted near enough, about every half an hour.
1. The food is definitely sub-standard and priced as if it were of a much higher standard.
2. This pub pretentiously sets out to be more gastro than pub while the dishes are more Vauxhall than Valencia, to appeal to tourists who won't come back (like me). Locals beware.
3. Service was woefully inadequate and staffing is one-third of what it should be. If we had not flagged down a rare passing waiter when we had lost patince completely, I fear we would still be there now. You could see they were sweating and practically running from table to table. Menus were dumped quickly andf we were told “I'll be back later” before the waiter shot off without asking for drinks order. He did return, much, much later by which time one of us had decided to order drinks from the bar.
There are much better pubs in Chiswick than this and also much nicer pubs with decent food. Don't be fooled by the ersatz Spanish veneer.
31 August 2009
I went to the Duke this evening with three friends. We'd all been before and enjoyed the quality of food and service. Tonight was a different matter. As I type this, I am increasingly nauseous. The reason: a barely edible skate that tasted and smelt of ammonia. I had to give up on it two mouthfuls in. It smelled so badly of chemicals that I've kept a sample in case I need to give it to a doctor. Minutes after I gave up on the skate, a friend found a large piece of tin foil in her (runny) chicken pie. The waitresses were sympathetic and apologetic but the chef was completely nonplussed. The excuse offered was that skate are prone to going off without warning. Surely there's a way of checking that before serving it?! As for the tin foil, no excuse was offered.
To be fair, we paid only for the one main that was edible (albeit after negotiations) and the manageress did apologise. But I've never tried to eat anything that tasted so foul. Go there by all means, but avoid the skate and pie.
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