All reader reviews by Helen

The Phoenix (Chelsea)

I used to love this place and on my recomendation we stopped in for lunch on Saturday and quite unexpectedly the dining room was empty except for one other table of two. Based on this you would expect the service to be outstanding as the bar was not overly busy either. We were seated by a lovely man who actually greeted us in the bar and showed us through to our table, he then took our drinks order, which was the only point we received what we ordered from then on.

Our waitress who clearly had no interest or understanding of hospitality then took over. She took our order of Gorgonzola burger and a chicken sandwich, not exactly a taxing order and then disappeared. The next time we saw her was bringing her own lunch in and sitting on the table next to us to eat - which in an empty dining room I really don't think is appropriate. A while later our food arrived served by the very nice man who had shown us through initially. The order was wrong but my companion magnanimously said he would have it instead, this was until he took a bite and realised it was stone cold. We then sent it back to await his original order, which arrived as I was finishing mine - which also was not entirely hot. I can only assume our waitress had placed the orders and then forgotten to take them to us as she was so eager to eat herself.

Having finished our food which we had then consumed at entirely different times, not really the idea of eating out toegther, we asked our waitress (now back from her lunch!) for the dessert menus and two more drinks. About fifteen minutes later our drinks arrived served by a different staff member. We asked him if he could get us the dessert menus, as they had still not appeared. Whilst waiting for him to return we realised the drinks were wrong for both of us this time.

When he came back, he kindly informed us that the kitchen had stopped taking dessert orders 5 minutes ago - 10 minutes after we had asked for the menus?!

To be honest at this point we were both so amused by the sheer inability of staff that the situation became laughable. So it was no surprise to then see our waitress appear from the back in her own clothes ready to go home. Realising she had passed over to no one eventually I had to get up and go into the bar to find someone to bring us our bill.

I now fully understand why the dining room was empty on a Saturday lunch when it used to be buzzing. If this is the level of service they offer all their clientele I would be surprised if they last much longer. This really is a shame as this place used to be excellent. I hope the owners/management read this and someone rescues it please!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 5 | Service 0 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 0

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