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Has anyone tried the new Waterloo Brasserie - good or bad?

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Monday 7 January 2008 11.52am
Went there last night with two others. Onion soup - excellent and large bowl, fish soup ditto, brie tatin ok but pastry a bit hard on bottom, chicken spaghetti was sent back because chicken not great and NOT spaghetti but very soggy noodles, exchanged without quibble for lamb shank. Lamb shanks good. Whole crab mayonnaise. Crab absolutely enormous and excellent value. However, served on a bed of ice which melted rapidly leaving me to splash around a bit while attempting to dismantle it. Fortunately I went to the ladies' room after eventually finishing it, and came back to discover that the waitress had spilt crabby water on my coat and bag. Thank goodness I was not sitting there. A word with the manager removed the service charge and he offered to pay for drycleaning my coat. If you have crab or seafood there, just ask for another bowl and tip all the ice into it before you start. Also no fingerbowls! We did not stay for pudding. At least they try to put things right. Generally I would definitely recommend.
Wednesday 30 April 2008 9.38am
Mr Mac and I couldn't be bothered to cook dinner last night so, having been handed a 15% off voucher outside Waterloo Brasserie, decided to go there for dinner. We have eaten there before, just after it first opened, and had quite a nice meal. However, last night the service and food was pretty poor. Mr Mac, feeling flush, ordered us a glass of champagne each, which took an age to arrive and only materialised after we repeatedly asked for it. The bread came after the main course. My fish was quite nice but Mr Mac's steak was cold. The waiter had a 'what do you want me to do about it' attitude and eventually took it away, only to bring it back minutes later dried out and shrivelled. It had been put back on the grill to re-heat. Mr Mac ordered it medium-rare and it came on the medium side, which was fine, but with the re-grilling it turned out very well done. Mr Mac suspected that it might have been a nice piece of meat (good quality) so it was a pity that it was ruined by the kitchen. Restaurants do occasionally get it wrong and have off days, but it was the attitude of the waiter that was annoying. He totally ignored Mr Mac's complaint that the steak was inedible, not even apologising. I think it may be a training issue, but instead of having a nice relaxing evening of not cooking it turned into a battle to get served and then going home hungry.
Wednesday 30 April 2008 10.54am
It's appalling. Avoid.
Wednesday 30 April 2008 10.55am
I think "appalling" may be overstating it, but I wasn't hugely impressed. I had three courses, none brilliant and none dire. My main issue was with the rather complacent attitude to service.
Wednesday 30 April 2008 11.07am
Went there again the other day to have a special offer two courses and a Bellini. We had to ask for the Bellinis, a bit slow in coming, but good. My friend ordered the gravadlax which was on the skin and a bit firm but tasted fine apparently. We both had coq au vin which again tasted OK but was a bit dry and stringy. The best thing was the pud which we shared, a berry crumble served with ice cream.

Not that good at all, but not really appalling.
Holiday flat in Barcelona
Wednesday 30 April 2008 1.20pm
It was truly appalling the night we went. Here's an excerpt from the review I wrote on the reviews part of this site about it.

- When we arrived we had to wait like lemons at the counter before being greeted by the staff, who were sorting out some admin problem.
- It was a constant struggle getting our sweet but obviously very inexperienced waiter's attention.
- We were there for nearly three hours for three courses, and not in a nice, relaxed lingering way. You wouldn't want to risk trying their pre-theatre deal for fear you'd miss the play.
- Our waiter offered us a cocktail when we sat down, which was nice. But it was the only time he asked us if we wanted something to drink.
- We had to ask for the wine list and then again to actually order the wine. Due to the difficulty of getting the waiter's attention, I had finished my main course by the time it arrived.
- We had to ask for tap water twice.
- We ordered a side salad that never arrived.
- My husband was so parched for a drink that at one point he had to get up and go and buy one from the bar.
- It was quite distracting being surrounded by the hordes of staff - and all other customers clearly experiencing bad service.
- I noticed that the guy at the next table had to get up and retrieve his white wine bottle from the cooler across the room. A real example of style over substance - if you haven't got waiting staff who can monitor the customers' glasses, just leave the bottle on the table for god's sake!
- The piece de resistance and not blamable on the computer problem at all: the ladies toilets were an ABSOLUTE DISGRACE!! Not a single sheet of loo paper in any of the cubicles and the shelves were almost bare of clean hand-towels - the bins on both ends of the room were overflowing with used ones, all over the floor. It looked like they hadn't been cleaned all day, which put me in mind of the chef Anthony Bourdain's comment to avoid any restaurant where the loos aren't clean, because if a restaurant doesn't care about cleaning the parts that are on public display, imagine what the kitchen is like...

We came out saying to each other: 'that place won't be here this time next year'.
Wednesday 30 April 2008 1.33pm
Beowulf wrote:
We came out saying to each other: 'that place won't be here this time next year'.
You never know, though, do you? It amazes me when I read so many reviews that say: " was rubbish...but we'll go again and give them another chance".

My opinion is: we've got so many places to eat and drink around here that I don't really need to go back to a bad one again. Especially with the prices people charge.

To contrast your experiences of the Waterloo place with (what I consider to be) a good restaurant (at similar prices), I was in the Blueprint Cafe a few weeks back and they were obviously having a crisis (I didn't know at the time, but they told me later that the front of house mgr had had a fall during service and had to go home injured). One of the results of this was that we had to ask a couple of times for glasses to be refilled (it's not that my arms don't work, it's just that they keep the bottle away from the table so I didn't know where it was) and service in general was noticeably poor for the sort of place that they claim to be (and the sort of prices they charge).

We complained, and they were SO apologetic, showered us with freebies, and were either very good fibbers or were so demonstrably upset that they'd slipped up, and they rectified the thing within a few minutes and we left as happy customers.

...if you press it, they will come.
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