I thought of going to Roast for a Christmas lunch (25 peope) and I have been trying to call them for the past 10 days but nobody ever answers their phone. Last year we went to Fish in Borough market and it was very nice, seems like I might not change the venue after all...
> Samuel Wrote:
> > Service, as is the irritatingly predictable
> > in SE1, seems to be a problem ...
> I rarely seem to have this problem, must be my
> winning smile!
Never thought of that. Will try. Doubt it'll work at the Hartley.
(The service was a bit crap when I went to Roast, but I put it down to first-week-jitters. The food was superb and I love the restaurant itself. I'll be going back.)
Dunno about "first week jitters". We went there yesterday (group of four people) and found experience underwhelming.
The food was okay but pretty unspecatular. In fact, considering the long list of specialty suppliers they claim, one has to ask how they can make such mediocre food with such good ingredients.
Worse still the service standards were poor. After they served us appetizers and we ate that, they cleared our plates. From that ppint then we waited about 20+ minutes before we any main courses turned up.
It gets worse: first two of us recieved our main courses - while the other two were left looking at empty space on the table. No one turned up to explain or apologize. After about 5 minutes, we complained. No apology or explanation. They other two main courses turned up another few minutes after - by which time the original two main courses they had served were getting cold.
Through all this, no one made an apology or an explanation. None. Mistakes are always made - even in good restaurants. But lack of recognition or apology of your mistakes means you don't really have any idea what you're doing.
These people them had the gall to present us with a bill at the end of this meal, which included a 12.5% tip/service charge already in the total. I told them that we were not giving them a 12% gift for such poor service. No way. We did not give them that and we had them remove it from the bill.
Frankly, where I come from, people would be embarassed to ask for a tip after that kind of service. In fact, some places might even comp you part of the bill as a way of apologizing. Not these folks - they were actually assuming that they could demand a 12% tip for the work they hadn't done.
I think these guys are hoping to ride the back of an interesting "famers market" location and a list of fancy looking list of "specialty" suppliers. Doesn't seem to me that they have any idea how to run a good restaurant that you'd want to keep coming back to.
So personally I won't be back and I'd not recommend this place to any of my friends.
Anyone been to the new oyster bar that has opened next to Monmouth, opposite Roast? Went last week for the half price opening night and it was fab. The freshest rocks and natives I have eaten in London.
We had a very average breakfast for four on Saturday 19th November and whilst the staff were freindly and charming on the occasions that we saw them , it has to be said that the service was dire. And as for the food itself, at £80 it does not represent value when there are so many better flavours to be had in the market.