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Reviews of Mar i Terra

Gambia Street, London SE1

 

Some reviews on this page may refer to a previous operator of the same premises.
Lovely
Do not get why people complain about this place - always good food and service friendly - Seems family run. Never had a bad experience and much better food than Meson Don Phillipe. Delia loves it too - and Delia is not wrong.
Mar i Terrable
If you're happy to wait an hour and a half for your food; if you don't mind waiters coughing loudly and wetly all over you; if food which should be hot arrives cold; if you like your patatas bravas microwaved and then smothered in pink gloop; if your idea of a perfect calamari is a pasty elastic band wannabe and if the patron treats you like you're an intrusion on his space and time, then this is the place for you.

This was my first (and last) experience of this establishment. Really and truly dreadful. Avoid!

WHAT A DISAPOINTMENT!!
Nice little place however:
the waiters have no idea what they are doing we went there on a saturday night it was empty and the waiter kept lingering next to the table asking if we were ready to order we had just been given the wine menu so how could we have looked at the menu already!! after picking out what we wanted the waiter then turns round and says we dont have three of those things, so wouldnt it have been easier to tell us before we order what was not on the menu,

AND THEN the cheeky waiter asks (when we produced a card to pay) would you mind paying the service in cash.

the food wasnt even all that do your self a favour and give it a miss the tapas in the lower marsh is much better!!!!!!

Extremely abusive Manager - visit at your peril!
I visited MariTerra with 3 friends on 6 March 09. The food was fine, and service adequate, but boy did things change when we didn't feel it justified paying the full 12.5% "discretionary tip" they added to the bill.

Our bill before tip came to 93 - we choose to pay 100 - basically acknowledging the fact that we would pay around 8% for service, but didn't feel it was justified to pay it all.

The next thing we knew, the Manager came to our table and said "What gives you the right to not pay the tip" (whereas we had in fact paid two thirds of it).

He then stormed off in a temper. We then decided now was an appropriate time to leave. However I wanted to understand the Manager's issues more clearly.

I calmly asked him why he was so unfriendly, given that we had just parted with 100. He then started verbally abusing me - calling me (and I quote) "a f*****g c***" and that we were not welcome in his so called establishment again.

I tried to discuss the situation, at which he continued to verbally abuse and show abusive hand gestures to me and my party. He did this in front of the whole restaurant, so I hope everyone else who witnessed this situation could see the disgusting service we had been given

I am now going to report this matter to every restaurant review forum possible, as well as Southwark Council.

Some of you may wish to side with thh Manager's point of view, in that we should have paid the full tip. However this was discretionary tip, and we were not at liberty to pay any of it.

Superb food; landlord questionable...
I rate the food at Mar i Terra as some of the very best Spanish food in London, and - unlike some - I rate the wine list pretty highly. It is certainly a highly personal restaurant, however, and the landlord will not be to everyone's taste:

http://whining-and-dining-london.blogspot.com/2008/08/mar-i-terra.html

Good food, shame about the vino!
We tried this last Thursday (Gambia Street, Balackfriars), with the fantastic Meson don Felipe tapas bar on Lower Marsh being full to overflowing and - a first? - taking bookings. I mean, for tapas!!!?

Anyhow, Mar I Terra was a good, solid second choice, and we were interested to see if things had changed since our last visit 2 years ago when the food was excellent but the wine was poor for the price and very expensive. In short, we had not been back.

Sadly, whilst we were made to feel very welcome and we enjoyed a delicious selection of excellent hot and cold dishes, the choice of wine is still the achilles' heel of this restaurant. We paid 18 for one of the cheapest bottles on the menu, and it could be only described as distinctly average "mountain wine". A half decent riocha - nothing special in Spain (or come to think of it Tesco?)- will set your wallet back significantly in the order of 30 plus, removing the "cheap" from the phrase "cheap midweek tapas".

Perhaps with Brindisa at Borough and Meson don Felipe so full, people are telling Mar I Terra to think again about their wine menu? I certainly am!

Rip off merchants
Food is OK but they rip you off. I took a large group here and they overcharged us for people who didn't show, food we didn't order, for a tip we'd already paid... etc etc.
I would not recommend this place!
Overpriced
Overpriced....And the tip in cash business is a bit bizarre!
Not the best tapas
food here is so-so. shared some tapas recently to decidedly mixed responses.the Tortilla espagnol was good enough and the pimientos de padron were a delight.however, the sauteed squid was awful and the chicken livers not much better. again the staff were up to their old tricks - intimidating us to tip in cash rather than through our cards. these guys have such a cheek. they need to remember it is up to the customer to reward good service, they have no business to demand it. wont be back.
Tip Problem
Haven't been hear for a while but sister in law over from South Africa so we took her for a treat. The tip problem mentioned earlier seems to have become a fixture and there was a little tension when waiter insisted on getting it in cash. Told him to put it on the card or go without. He did but wasn't happy. Nor was I, spoiled an otherwise good evening!
Could improve
Good food, sloppy service and a rather cheeky demand to pay the tip in cash. Thought that choice was up to the customer!
Thanks
Eat here every few months so can't really be called a regular but when I arrived recently without a reservation on a very busy night expected to be turned away. Manager greeted us like old friends and found us a table without much delay. Ordered too much food, which is easy from a tapas menu, but it was great. Had a nice bottle of red at 14 (which is a lot more than I pay at Sainsbury's but it is a restaurant) and went home full and happy.
Mar i Terra
Lovely intimate tapas bar which very good prices - try the padron peppers - so much better than meson dom phillipe. A great place for a romantic tryst.

Where an establishment has changed hands or rebranded, reviews on this page may refer to a previous operator of the same premises.

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September at a glance
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