All reader reviews by I Give a Fork

Dans le Noir

I went to Dans Le Noir last night as a birthday present for my girlfriend, and what started out as an amazing experience quickly turned to disaster. The other reviews are right - it is bizarre and wonderful, but there are some serious problems they need to address.

The starters arrived quickly, and were ok, but served lukewarm and over seasoned. Then the problems really began - people around us began to receive, and then finish their main courses, whilst we were still sitting with our empty starter plates. Some 40 minutes passed and our server (very good and polite, but totally overworked with the large group of 20 sitting shouting at each other nearby) appeared and we told him that they seemed to have forgotten us. He came back a few minutes later to clar our plates and told us the main courses were on their way. Meanwhile, desserts were arriving and being consumed by our fellow diners, and still nothing from the kitchen. By this point, the birthday girl was starting to get a little upset, and we were both starting, after nearly two hours and one course later to need to loo rather badly. So, as people started to leave, tummys full, we decided we would abandon ship and leave too. Our server came back, and we told him that we'd like to leave and he said he'd check with the kitchen - returning 10 minutes later to say it would be 2 minutes, and was that ok? We reluctantly said yes. Mistake. Another 15 minutes and the food arrived. Not bad, but again, lukewarm for food that has just been rushed out of the kitchen. My partner's food was totally overspiced, and almost inedible, so we decided that enough was enough and asked to be shown the door - literally in this case!!

When we came out, we were greeted by the overly smarmy manager, who greasily asked us how things were. Calmly, I told him that there had been a major problem with our "experience" as they like to brand it. I retold (very politely, I might add) the story and he started muttering into his radio. A few minutes later, expecting an apology, he sidled over and said - "shall I print your bill sir"? I replied that I wasn't overly keen on paying the whole bill, and offered to pay for the starter and the wine, but no more. This is when it got very rude indeed. To cut an already long story short, he didn't want to know, and behaved in a way that I can only describe as "Parisian". "We are not a fast food restaurant", he offered. Unbelievable - nearly 90 minutes had elapsed between starter and main. After a bit of insistance, I managed to get him to concede that waiting over an hour for one's food despite two polite requests from the server was not really acceptable, but he was adamant that "you received your main course, you pay for it". Begrudglingly I agreed to pay, and, wait for it, was presented with a bill for all three courses! At this point, I became very unhappy, as I had really had enough. "I am sorry for the slight delay" was the best I'd got out of this guy (as well as "take it easy"!), and he didn't even mean it. So, this nightmare cost me £83 and a ruined birthday. There's no point even writing to them, as this guy was the manager. I would like to add at this point that I'm not an agressive or habitual complainer - I just couldn't believe the attitude of this guy.

Go to this restaurant for the experience, but understand that they are hiding totally inadequate food under the veil of that experience - and boy do you pay for it. I only hope that they're paying the servers well - ironically, I didn't leave a tip because I was so upset, but this is the very money that I would have been happy to hand over. Very disappointing indeed.

Friday, January 12, 2007
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 2 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 1

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