Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh deary dear. Perhaps we were just exceptionally unlucky, and I know a lot of other reviewers have had nice things to say about The Gun, but it’s amongst the worst 3 experiences I’ve ever had in a restaurant and I would never return – not even if I was personally invited there by Scarlett Johansson in order to pick up the keys to my new Bugatti and my cheque for £5 million that I’d won.
I’m really not sure, as it was so utterly catastrophic that it’s less shooting fish in a barrel than launching a nuclear strike on it, where to start but let’s go for the atmosphere. We went on a mid week evening when the English summer time, such as it is, was trying to put in an appearance – none of us had ever been but it gets good feedback and the Times had it in its top 30 best pubs to go to when the sun is out. It was packed and the tiny dining room – which is just one end of the bar – was cramped, so hugely noisy we had to shout at each other across the table and because so many tables were rammed in every time any of the staff or customers went past we got jostled. Not a good start, but maybe the food, drink and service could rescue things? Or maybe not!
Let’s do the service next – I’ve never refused to pay a service charge and demanded it was removed from the bill before – but there is a first for everything and this was that first. On arrival despite having a reservation we were just left to stand around for several minutes, when we got to our table we were promptly abandoned and a menu only made an appearance when we asked for one. Drinks didn’t arrive, water took ages and was warm when it did arrive, bread only turned up after we’d finished our starters and only then as we’d asked for it yet again, white wine was served warm and an ice bucket wasn’t offered – again it had to be asked for. When one of the main courses was sent back – more of which later – we got a distinctly surly challenge around what the problem was. Everything took too long, we sat with empty plates in front of us – in fact the only thing that did arrive quickly was the bill, and this is the only thing they do get some credit for – they at least had the decency to apologise for it being a disaster and took the bottle of wine off the bill, its the only reason I’ve gone as high as 2 for service.
The food was awful. We eventually got starters – I’d gone for Cold poached Scottish salmon, Jersey Royal, bobby bean and quail egg salad, crisp shallots – the salmon was ok, the rest appeared to have come from packets in a supermarkets bargain range with limp salad and hateful potatoes that simultaneously managed to be cold, greasy and undercooked. The bread when it arrived were, I believe, those part baked rolls you can buy in a supermarket and stick in the oven for a few minutes – sadly they hadn’t gone in for long enough and were undercooked. Then having endured this we went for a main course – in retrospect this was a serious mistake and we should have just got in the car and gone. My main course was Slow roast Middle White pork belly, crushed Jersey Royals, glazed carrots, red wine jus – for the first time ever I sent a dish back: the first time it appeared I suspect, although I’m not a pathologist so cannot be certain, the pig whose belly I was eating had been run over by a rusty van, cremated following its death and then handed to me to eat. Having sent it back the second version wasn’t a whole lot better, it at least wasn’t so crisp that it looked like an English football supporter on holiday in Spain, but it still left a huge amount to be desired having just about reached edible status. I can’t comment on dessert – by that stage of the evening we just wanted to go and so summoned the bill, refused to pay the service charge and made a swift exit never to return.
Perhaps you’ll have more luck, but if this is a gastropub then perhaps I’ve got a chance of Miss Johansson making the call to ask me out to pick up my prize! Avoid this at all costs, ii thought it was a disaster