Went a year ago on test kitchen Tuesday and had a fantastic night - excellent food, perfect service - attentive but unobtrusive, knowledgable without interrupting our evening.
Went last night and... post lockdown things seem to have slipped. We had the menu du chef with matching wines. The food is still imaginative and delicious - kitchen is 5 stars. Could afford to speed up timing between courses (or at least checking with dining party what their preference is) as all in all it took 4 hours, which was an hour too long for us. Minor gripe but the restaurant manager/ head chef should consider bringing this into practice.
Front of house staff on the other hand are simply too inexperienced, too rote and need training in fine dining service. It felt like we were on a production line, not in a fine dining restaurant.
- Waitress began by telling us at length about the bonus course of crayfish the chef had for us tonight - only to promptly then recall that they had run out and we would not be receiving this.
- Husband ordered a beer to begin which took 10+ minutes to arrive.
- Delivering food and wine - my husband and I would be mid conversation and interrupted by staff to explain at great length the food and wine. Which can be interesting if it is the unique details. But the scripted notes on the typical flavours of a chardonnay, and informing us that the duck breast is seared (obviously) is excessive and disruptive. Staff should be triained to read the cues as to what and how much info the dining party wants/ needs. If they're engaged in animated conversation - keep it brief.
- Other than the choreographed times they were to attend the table to deliver food/wine, it was difficult to attract the attention of the staff. They seemed task focussed and not scanning the room to look out for diners trying to get their attention to request drinks etc. Again, a training point.
- At the end of the evening, the waiter removing our dessert plates also took our napkins (?!?!) followed immediately by his colleague delivering the bill, EFTPOS machine in hand and ready for payment. No offer of tea/coffee/digestif. No time to sit and enjoy the end of the meal. No opportunity to review the bill discretely. NOTE- there were still 5 other tables going, so this was not a matter of them trying to close up. Just ineptitude.
Overall it felt like they had a run sheet of events that are supposed to occur, and in what order, and a script to follow. But no training on the subjective/ customer service side.
The above details would not fuss me at a low- or mid-tier restaurant. But at the price point, the above is simply not acceptable. See less
... See all