12 August 2012
Been twice and the first visit was far better than the second. First time round was a Saturday afternoon and we had prompt friendly service with piping hot good food. Thai noodles with chicken breast for my wife; hot spicy and a generous portion. 16oz steak for me; better than plenty of steaks I've paid a lot more for, steaming hot chips and a lovely Jim Beam sauce.
The second time was a Sunday afternoon and the service was atrocious. Dirty tables everywhere, an apparent lack of serving staff, one girl behind the var with a large queue etc. I ordered the same food we'd had on the previous visit and I was told that there was a 30 to 40 minute wait for food. I was in no rush so ordered anyway.
Just short of an hour later - at around the point where I was about to complain - the food arrived. I had ordered steak and it came with no steak knife but when I asked the waitress for one she replied "We've run out," then went to walk off! I asked her if she could get someone to wash one so that I could eat my steak, and by the look on her face you'd think I'd asked her to boil kittens!
She returned with the knife and boy was I glad she did. My supposedly rare steak was overcooked, chewy and stringy. The knife was put to very good use, cutting half of the steak up to take home for my dog. My wife's Thai noodles were oily and greasy. The chips were tepid. Not great.
And considering how long we'd had to wait and the assumption that the delay was due to being short-staffed, the waitress who served us spent the next 15 minutes at a table very close to us, just standing there chatting with what were obviously a couple of her pals. No wonder we had such a long wait.
It only goes to show that when you eat at a chain pub your meal is only as good as the teenager on a weekend job knocking it together in the kitchen. It's a lottery what your food will be like.
Bottom line? Cheap enough, generous portions, but it's hit and miss with regards to the quality of your meal.
Follow up comment 22/08/12. I complained to the Barracuda chain that owns this pub via email just over a week ago. They emailed me to confirm receipt of my complaint within 24 hours, a proper email not an automatically generated one. Yesterday they emailed me with a satisfactory resolution to my issue.
Well established that a correctly resolved complaint usually results in a more loyal customer as it engenders confidence. We will return to the Exchequer. I will update as and when.