20 May 2016
Oh... We were so excited about Tom Sellers' new restaurant. It's nearly great. Perhaps it's the fact it's opening week, perhaps the general manager needs to be brought back down to earth a little, but the service let it down.
Firstly the food. It's amazing. Go for the food. Crab and avocado, perfect. Monkfish, beautiful. The pecorino and foie gras chips are to die for. Veal was succulent, with a rich umami Madeira gravy. Plum tart divine.
But food is only half the experience. We love going out. We love eating in new places, old favourites, exciting places. Visitors to Restaurant Ours aren't stupid, they understand fine dining, they'll spend money for the right thing. But for the restaurant to take advantage of it is unnecessary. it's a bit silly to say to customers that you "don't serve tap water, only bottled, it's £4.50" when later on you see there's a carafe of tap water being poured to guests at the next table. It's such a small pathetic whinge I know, and it is only water after all. But I'm here to relax, eat great food and of course spend money, please don't take advantage of me.
When there was a large amount of sediment in my wine (as in all the dregs of a bottle), I asked the waiter (who turned out to be the general manager) what was going on. "That's sediment sir", and shrugged, as if there were nothing he could have done. This isn't any old place, this is one of London's most anticipated new openings, you should be striving for the very best. I'm happy to pay a lot of money for the best. However, I so expect the best, or at least feel the motivation is there to give the customer the best. He gave me a coffee on the house.
This should (and no doubt will) go on to be a great restaurant. The understated elegance of Story has been cast aside for the adventure, fun and extravagance at Ours. But the general manager needs a clip round the ear from Mr Sellers, needs to pull his socks up, and deliver the kind of exceptional service that Daniel Phippard is pumping out in the kitchen behind him.