All reader reviews by Anonymous

Frere Jacques

The last time I ate a meal at FJ was great. Definately gone uphill thanks to the lovely new chef. Go there if you want a decent meal, if expensive, but for a lovely setting and to meet more swinger.s

Saturday, November 03, 2007
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 10


Went at 3.30 this afternoon. I frankly just wanted a simple steak and chips. Arrived and was sat promptly and them waited....waited...etc. 10 mins later (and I appreciate the fact that it's handover time) a waiter arrived and took my order. He had no pen, paper/pad. I immediately thought of 'Michael Winner' who always maintains that he will only give an order to a waiter with a pad as they usually get it very wrong without one. I was tempted to say to the culprit "please write it down!" but I gave him the benefit. I ordered a crab salad followed by Entrecote steak, frites and a beer.

I was not dissapointed. Having opened my paper I waited and waited. Nothing happened. I concentrated on my paper. Staff arrived and chatted at the bar. Let's not be harsh I thought and read a few more pages. Starter arrived . Loads of crab (white meat) with rocket, garlic flavoured beans.

It was good. I asked the waiter for my beer. It was not my waiter but he was the deliverer. He consulted my waiter who was chatting in a corner and delivered my beer confiding in me that I would not be charged. That was nice.

My plate was cleared and I continued to read. Wait not long now. My steak was delivered by the plump French receptionist who had first welcomed me.

"That's a nice piece of steak" she said as I contemplated the tough lukewarm looking peice of flesh which accompanied the undercooked edge blackened chips. You know the ones; soggy on the inside and undercooked but blackened on the out.

"Really" I replied; "I'm not so sure", meaning I didn't want the input , comment or advice as I've eaten enough steaks in my life to judge a good one all by my little self.

"It is excellent" she replied,"I would never allow my customers get a bad steak!"

I proceeded to cut around the gristely bits and consumed the more giving parts. Across from me another couple was negotiating a similarly treacherous task as they attempted to get the attention of a person who cared.

I pushed plate to one side with cutlery together to signify I was finished and continued to re-read my paper.

My waiter and the Manageress continued to pass my table. Nothing was cleared.

I read more... still nothing as they continued to troop backwards and forewards.

I wanted the bill and eventuall raised my voice to get the attention of waiter and asked for the bill. Still more time elapsed as staff chatted and argued.

It is the only time in my life where I have been tempted to walk out of a restaurant without paying. I couldn't as they still had my card?! ..

I signed it; (didn't think they could take youre card away for 10 minutes with a chip & pin yet alone have to sign). Strange. I waited for my receipt......

I walked out. Maybe I shouldn't have.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 4 | Service 1 | Atmosphere 3 | Value for money 4


It always amazes me that for one of the supposed gastronomic 'Capitals' of the world, we can still produce so many un-informed culinary opinions. Reading the reviews of Fino (having just returned from a fantastic dinner) is akin to reading a food review from people who have not quite progressed from 1970's school dinners. One guy even complained about the (totally normal and standard) 12.5% service charge as though it were some kind of extreme abnormality. Grow up you looser!

Another point; some feel that portions are small.. For G**s sake, that is the whole purpose and Genre of the experience; to graze and order more if required. Anyway, enough of that. Have just had a fantastic meal at Fino. Our order was taken by a very polite and chirpy Spanish lass who obviously knew menu extremely well. We started with a lovely crunchy tomato, garlic and olive oil toast which had just the right seasoning £1.50, to die for. Then in quick succession soft and unctuous melting in the mouth crab croquettas, tender squid a la plancha, razor clams (fabulous), tuna carpaccio, pimientos de padron (salty and hot). This was followed with perhaps the best pork belly I have tasted, soft and melting with beautiful crunchy crackling and an amazing sweet honey (carved) quail. All of this including a wonderful reccomended bottle of Farreido Albarino for the (oh so expensive....)?? price of £115 for two including service. Un-beatable!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8

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