rooview wrote:Having said that, even as an “unpublished” reviewer I’m treated better when I’m making notes or asking “intelligent” questions. At one well-known restaurant this led to extra courses in a degustation and extra glasses of wine – it could just be good service (as the entire experience was flawless) but I wonder if it would have happened if it weren’t for the notes?
Whenever I try a new restaurant in future I'm going to take a small notebook or a microcorder, plus a small digital camera.
We (and many of our friends) enjoy cooking so much that we don't eat out at restaurants all that often, but we tend to be fairly ruthless regarding a return visit if the service or food is "off".
We visit Sydney to do a restaurant binge long weekend about 3 time per year, we haven't been back to Rockpool since the time they stuck us uptairs in a corner away from all the action and provided fairly ordinary service. I'm sure the food was better than the experience left us remembering, but we now usually go to Marque instead as our headline restaurant for a gluttonous long weekend.
Our first visit to Atelier after reading many positive reviews will be our last, we struck a very busy night with some pretty patchy service and I thought the food we were served was not of the expected standard.
We are a big fan of the cooking of James Moussilon (Aubergine and Courgette) in Canberra and used to dine at Courgette approx every 2 months. About 18 months ago we had a wine dinner at Courgette with 11 people, provided our own wines and had arranged a reasonable per-bottle corkage. All went well with food and service until I opened a half-bottle of Tokay at the end of the meal, it had been sitting in plain sight all night on the small wine table thoughtfully provided. As I poured a couple of glasses the waiter mentioned there was a differnt corkage charge for fortified, $35/bottle. I expressed my surprise that this had not been mentioned earlier and put the bottle awy. The $35 appeared on the bill and no amount of negotiation would remove it or reduce it and I didn't want to make a scene by asking for the chef, so paid by credit card rather than the cash collected from the diners and left no tip. I faxed the restaurant asking for comment / explanation and received no reply. None of this party has been back since and the word was spread far and wide.
On the subject of paying, can anyone tell me why, at the end of a meal, when a couple or group of diners has obviously finished last coffees/teas, etc it is nearly impossible to catch the eye of the serving staff to organise the bill and then it takes an age to appear and complete payment? Are they trying to avoid the appearance of rushing people out or have the staff moved on to the cleaning-up phase of their night?