what the critics say
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Visited this eating venue and believe me this is one experience you don't want to miss. Front of house welcome made me feel like we were important customers. Ambiance was serene with a background gentle hum of satisfaction.
Waiter service was bordering on theatre with all dishes explained and information on how best to experience the food. The maitre d' was friendly and helpful with a genuine desire for feedback. The food looked like small helpings and some unusual combinations of colour and texture but the taste experience was very satisfying. Although we were expecting three courses there were in fact an exquisite little starter dish and sweet dish with the coffees as extras. And always my yardstick of a top notch establishment, the toilets were first class. Individual cotton hand towels and handsoap and cream which smelled good enough to eat. Don't delay book your table today!
Comment on this reader review
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 6
Monday, March 05, 2012
We were eagerly anticipating our first visit to 'The Greenhouse' to celebrate a very special birthday. We had researched exhaustively, shortlisted to four and then edited down to 'The Greenhouse', mainly because of its 9/10 ratings for service and food.
Sadly, on many counts, we were to be disappointed. On arrival we opted for 'the bar' in advance of being shown to our table. No-one came near us, though plenty of staff walked past. After 10-15 minutes, we took the initiative and ordered champagne. It wasn't anywhere near cold enough when it arrived so we asked if we could wait while it 'chilled'.
When shown to our table, we were given three menus to look at: a tasting menu, main menu and a la carte. We asked if we could 'mix and match' the main and a la carte menus and were told, 'No problem'. My partner went for the tasting menu and I chose from the main menu.
When it came time to order, much to our surprise, we were informed that if one had a tasting menu, then we both must have it . I have certain food intolerances and had deliberately avoided the tasting menu, including the vegetarian option, however, it was my partner's birthday and he had been keen to try the tasting menu and I had no intention of spoiling it for him.
From then on, the woman taking our order - clearly someone 'in charge' - made us feel most unwelcome, a nuisance. Yes, in the end, my needs were accommodated, but only following some embarrassing exchanges. When one of her colleagues kindly offered to help, he was told to mind his own business as he was, 'in charge of wine.'
My meal was OK, though interestingly, the two courses I had wanted to order from the main menu, neither of which would have presented me with a dietary problem, were by far the tastiest for us both. No comparison to a bowl of bitter tasting lettuce that masqueraded as one of my substitutes.
My partner did enjoy the tasting menu, though any real pleasure was overshadowed by the feeling of being an inconvenience, which made the atmosphere seem distant and cold - though the sommelier and one other young waiter could not be faulted for their attempts at being cheerful.
We do think that under other circumstances, the food is probably at least good, as is the service - maybe we were just unlucky to cross the path of this particular woman on this particular night - but we will not be in a hurry to return.
The same cannot be said for Gordon Ramsay's Chelsea restaurant where we dined last night: service excellent, champagne suitably cold, food very good. My dietary requirements were dealt with efforlessly and seamlessly and we left feeling we had experienced an evening of dining as it should be in a top London restaurant.
Comment on this reader review
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7
Thursday, February 02, 2012