I watched Ramsay's the F work last night…and had to comment on my experience at York and Albany on Friday, September 10th.
I was expecting smooth service, quality staff informed and capable, and solid food in terms of standard and refinement as his establishment. Was that what I was treated to at the York and Albany?
was it F***…
So when we ( a party of three) turned up and see the man himself meeting and greeting diners as they round off their evenings, I thought we'd be In for a good time. Surley with Ramsay in the house we’re onto a winner…
We arrived 20 min early for our 930 booking, a late dinner so to beat the busy drinking and dinner crowd. Its a god call the place isn’t busy the small drinking parties and couples seems content occupied in conversation. So, we head to the bar planning to kick off the evening with a cheeky cocktail…
We check in wit the maitre de and sit at the bar, the staff for some reason flustered, greets us with a hello and the three of them get back to what looks like serving the only two other people at the bar and of course orders for table service. But there are three barmen and the place is not exactly big and is only a third full. 15 minutes later, we are still sitting at the bar….
Finally he serves us.
‘A Mint Julip A Martini* and a Summit please’
Er… a Summit. It’s on your bar menu…’
‘a Summit’ he repeats…
He then shrugs looking baffled and walks off….
We all look at each other, what just happened.
First drink arrives 5 minutes later, the next five minutes after that and my Summit eventually turns up.
Nice. The Julip has melted away, the Martini is doing a good job at warming up….
We should’ve ordered beers, but I fear he would’ve hopped on the Eurostar to Belguim to go fetch them and brought back two Pepsis and a Sunny Delight instead.
Not the greatest start
So now we have out drinks and so get to work on them in their various states the maitre de comes over,
‘You have table was booked for 930 right?’
‘Yes we do’
‘Do you still want it, it’s just, well your still at the bar and its 9:50…’ with the slightest hint of pompous attitude…
I explain to him quite shortly we are only at the bar still because it took them half an hour to serve and make three drinks…
He apologizes for the bar staff and our wait
So to speed things up we decide to take our drinks to the table…
We ask if we can have a corner table, its not busy so figured it wouldn’t be a problem.
So when we walk in we find we are slap bang in the middle of the room with out table trust up against another party dining directly behind us we all are suppressing our irritation at the nights events. We take it, grit out teeth and settle for dinner.
The room is lit intimately, the few remaining diners seem to be into the tail ends of there meals… we see desserts and wine on the few tables left. Its not busy out here
So our waiter turns up, a few read by rote pleasantries and dumps the menus unceremoniously in front of us and skuttles off
So we browse the menu, talk amongst ourselves, look around, read the menus again, talk… and talk some more. 10/15 mins later; Where the hell is our waiter?!?!?!?!
One has appeared briefly I hail him as he brings coffee and aperitifs across the way, again seems startled that we want service…
We order, he takes it, and flees again.
Maybe there is a staff diner being served about now?
He Arrives back sometime later with our wines, pours it out like its soda at a kids party.
The starters arrive, one good, one questionable and mine bad… Breaded fried oysters, crunchy and tasty to begin with until they went off like a depth charge in my mouth with no amount of pinot blanc to quell that taste…
Whoa mamma that was fishy.
it got worse but you get the picture. I wanted to eat here for several months as I walk by on the way to Regent's Park frequently…I now wish I didn't. It was one of my work dining experiences in London to date.
Although this is my first review, it won't be my last. I usually am overly positive in my reviews however, this experience was just THAT bad that I can't help but share to save other diners this sort of experience. Maybe his other restaurants will be better…Frankly, I'm afraid to try them at this point.