16 January 2015
I have darkened these doors for more than a decade and love the place; the food, the humming bar, the relatively edgy staff (for SW3 that is) and the overall vibe. I nearly always have a similar version of the same; edamame, chilli salt squid, prawn and chive steamed dumplings, sea bass sashimi, black cod with the greens of the day. Last night I added soft shell crab tempura with a wasabi sauce to the mix as my brother in law insisted.
We couldn't fault the food though the portion of sea bass sashimi was paltry bordering on mean - either find a better way to present a nil by mouth serve (á la Zuma) or large it up a little!
I'm writing this review because the service was really odd. The welcome was warm as always, and after a quick vodka tonic at the bar, we were seated. The booking was for 9.00pm and we sat down on the dot. Everything as always appeared within an instant, and so I took the precaution, as I always do nowadays, of ordering in parts to slow them down a touch.
My plan didn't immediately permeate their collective conscience, in fact it wasn't until we were handed the bill on finishing our main courses that I had to finally request they focus a little more on our timetable rather than theirs. The more I purposefully stalled the ordering, the more they briskly returned to pressure a response on the next morsel of delight, whilst at the same time clearing plates before they were properly finished - something that really irritates as I was one of those lucky little mites brought up to finish everything on ones plate. I wondered for a moment whether there was yet another sitting at 11.00pm, before remembering there wasn't.
On beckoning one of the managers over to request some tea or coffee instead of the bill, he was quick to recognise the error and amusing enough for us to let it slide, but it was the epitaph to a fairly aggressively served meal all evening. With one bottle of white and a V&T each before, the bill came to GBP175.00
Come on 8o8, for that price, I expect to be left a little more alone to enjoy the occasion, not get treated like I'm holding up the queue at Subway!