All reader reviews by divinedining

Pearl Restaurant & Bar

March 2007

After reading the reviews on this website and checking out the menus on their own website I decided Pearl would be an ideal location for a celebration dinner for 8 people

First impressions were good - the bar is impressive, décor luxurious and the bartenders attentive. As we were early and 2 of our party had not yet arrived, we were shown to a lovely seating area that gave the impression of being private although still open. My group included two vegetarians and someone with food allergies.

Things went a bit awry from there. Once they realised we were dining the waiters brought the canapes over even though I had explained we were still waiting for other members of our party, so by the time they did arrive they had missed out on the food -no more was offered to them. The canapes were delicious, but no -one explained what each contained so we had to guess.

The restaurant staff were keen to usher us into the restaurant quickly and once seated gave us the a la carte menus which had a good variety of dishes. These menus were then briskly taken away from us and we were told that as we were a table of 8 we were only allowed the taster menu (and only if the entire table ordered it at £120 per head) or the set menu which gave a choice of 3 starters, mains and desserts. As two of us were vegetarians and one had food allergies this left them with very little choice on the menu.

I am annoyed because at the time of booking I checked with the restaurant, which menus were available to us and was told of no restrictions. After some complaining the food allergy sufferer was allowed a reprieve and able to pick a different starter ( BIG DEAL!!) but everyone else had to like it or lump it.

When the vegetarian option arrived it was stone cold and had to be sent back to the kitchen. Our friend was left to twiddle her thumbs while we all ate our mains. When it came back they had simply reheated the same plate of food. Arent Head Chefs of this calibre supposed to check every plate of food leaving the pass??

The rest of the meal was fairly uneventful. The waiting staff were enthusiastic and friendly although when we tried to split the bill evenly on our cards managed to completely mess that up which meant we waited a good 25 minutes to pay the bill. This coupled with my friends then having to frantically search the cloakroom themselves for their belongings as the vague coat check was unable to locate them, meant we left with a pretty dim view of the place.

The food was good but at these prices I expect everything to be good. Last year I went to Gordon Ramsey and spent less money on an exceptional eating experience than we did at Pearl. A bit too hit and miss for a special occasion. The bar is the best feature.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 8 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 2

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