On the night I went to Otis Dining Hall in Kingston ACT with two other friends I can say that the dining room, its décor and ambience was excellent. The food was also very good. The Sommelier deserves a call out for excellence in both knowledge and good service.
Sadly on that particular night, that is where the good news ended.
Unfortunately, the dining room service was very poor on the night. I expect that restaurants find it hard to get good and experienced staff in a COVID environment, so I think that must be understood. I am not making these remarks to tear them down. Who would want to be in Food and Beverage business at this time.
They may have done their best on the night (and maybe were short staffed) but the poor front of house service did colour our experience that evening. Capturing the waiter's attention so we can place an order after sitting at the table for 30 minutes is not the job of the patron who is paying $150/head ($150/head incl wine is very fair price for a place like this).
Amuse Bouche arrives 35 minutes after being seated, when the waiter was finally captured and saw our plight. We had a two hour booking (which was not enforced), but we were anxious it would be and we were already 25% into our time, yet had not yet spoken to a waiter.
The food came through quite OK after that and was delicious, interesting and good. Unfortunately it was not delivered in a fine dining manner (plates plonked, rushed description, and then the waiter dashes off). We were left bemused but tried to understand the difficulties of running a restaurant when staffing may be a challenge.
But then at the end of the meal when we ordered coffee, we were informed that the coffee machine wasn't working. Apparently this fine dining restaurant couldn't provide coffee in any form. Not even freeze dried Blend 42. The waiter's solution was that we could get coffee at McDonald's down the road. We looked at each other in horror. Did we really just hear that?
I think OTIS had a bad night, at least I hope so. Food 8/10, service 2/10. Worth another try I reckon. If they can fix the service, the this is a great place indeed. Who would want to run a restaurant in COVID times. I wish them well. See less
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