Here we go again! A restaurant that gets so much right but fails heavily in one section which taints the whole experience.
This was our second visit to Bistro Madeleine in as many weeks which as you may expect from the name offers French cuisine . Our first visit my wife enjoyed more than myself as I had to excuse myself from the table before the end of the meal but never thought that it was anything to do with the restaurant. I wont go into detail!
I had ordered a fish dish and it tasted OK. During the meal a table behind ours had reason to complain about their meals and the staff were very apologetic and wanted to put things right, but for whatever reason the customer did not want anything else.
We passed off these incidents as unfortunate events but not enough to put us off trying again – as we have just done.
Well this time we turned up for a very early evening meal about about 6 o’clock and as you might expect we were the only ones in the restaurant. We were greeted by a lovely lady, Joelle I think her name was and she offered us the pick of the tables in the restaurant – good start.
We ordered drinks and without giving a thought to our previous experience my wife ordered duck and I gave the fish of the day a try. Well the drinks turned up and a short time afterwards the meals arrived. As they were placed on the table all looked fine – as ever never judge the preverbial book! Taking my first cut the fish was warm but raw! How! How! How! can only two guests in the whole restaurant get an uncooked meal served at the table. Staff must have out numbered us by five to one.
Once again the lovely smiling happy waitress comes over and I explain that the food is not cooked. She then asks if I want anything else in replacement, which is the right thing to do, but by this time the penny had dropped, the run to the loo, the table behind us and now raw food. Apologies for being a bit slow but the chef has a problem with cooking food which is something rather career limiting if you want to run a kitchen of a restaurant. Rather bizarrely all the time we were discussing raw fish with the waitress the chef with his big white hat and pressed white linens was marching around the restaurant proud as a peacock. Bit of advice Mr Chef go back into the kitchen get yourself a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall cook book and learn how to prepare and cook fish.
I genuinely don’t go looking for this sort of thing just to blog and make a nuisance of myself but dining out with friends or family is a ceremony that is dependent upon a seamless series of mutually dependent skill sets that seek to meet or exceed a customers expectation. You Chef, let your team down.
Would we go back? No, which is a great disappointment as the staff front of house are delightful and the setting is very comfortable. We just don’t want to have another culinary disappointment.
- Give the chef some support to understand what is going wrong in the kitchen
- Give the staff some feedback that they can relay to customers regarding the feedback forms that are touted at the end of the meal
- If the chef is going to strut his stuff in the restaurant then get him to engage with the customers – I could give him some feedback