Sunday, 9 October 2011

Eating out

Well. I am not normally a restaurant critic, honest, and I know mistakes happen, but this place was such a disaster I felt I had to say something.

The staff did not seem to be interested in complaints...

Over at my sister-in-law's in Harlow, and we decided to go out for a nice Sunday dinner at The Gatekeerer, a Miller & Carter restaurant in Harlow.

Well, for a start they did not actually have a few items on the menu, but only decided to mention this when we started ordering. Sadly it was both items Pauline wanted, which was not a good start.

I had garlic bread which was really not impressive at all, but the BBQ chicken was apparently quite nice.

We then had a huge wait for the main course, in total an hour. The lamb was practically raw. Apparently that is how they "cook" it, but they do not say that when ordering or on the menu or ask how you want it cooked. The steak was really not very nice. Now I like well done steak, which I know is a challenge, but also I know places that can do a nice steak well done. This was charcoal practically. And the pepper sauce was horrid, not sure what they had done to it. The fries tasted like they had been kept warm for the last hour. The jacket potato was not warm enough to melt butter even!

Ok. So not good. We decide to have a dessert and some coffees. They eventually come back to say they have no hot water and cannot do coffee. However the dessert is there ready, do we still want it. 10 minutes later and no dessert.

Ok. Give in, get the bill. Thankfully Sandra checked the bill, as it had a load of things we did not order such as drinks we had already paid for at the bar, and came to £80... So they spend ages sorting it and doing a new bill, and handed us a £96 bill. WTF Eventually a correct £60 bill. No tip left...

I checked the web site and no sign of any way to send them feedback. Maybe this will be suitable feedback.


  1. Well I was there at the meal, and would like to recommend the Gatekeeper for some customer care training , How can you run a restaurant with half the food on the menu out of stock as your changing the menu next week !! On hindsight we should have waited the 1 hour at the Toby and got a full hot cooked meal. Never mind won't be going there again
    at home now and had a lovely cuppa xxx

  2. Try here.

    What difference it will make is the question though!

  3. Or even here!

  4. #1 inedible
    #2 crap service
    #3 tried to cheat you on the bill ... TWICE!

    why didnt you call the police?

    well maybe not ... but as far as I'm concerned I wouldn't have paid

    let THEM call the police ... but certainly call the damn manager

    sounds like you let them off lightly by paying at all

  5. Well. Apart from being British, calling the police or even just having it out with the manager would have made the whole event even less pleasant.

  6. PhilCe, thanks, reported, though it was rather insistent that I give an address and phone number. I hope they like their own address.

  7. They need a number to call you back, Ive been offered a few free meals and hotel stays after reporting shoddy service in the past.

    You are within your rights not to pay though, but I understand your concerns regarding a already crap experience being made worse.

  8. I am not sure I want any free meals if that is the quality of their service, sorry.

    They have sent an automated email so far.

  9. Actually I think it's easier to cook a steak rare or well done, rather than any of the shades in the middle. The difference between medium rare and medium might be thirty seconds of cooking time, but you get a bit more tolerance at the extremes.

    LOL, talking of bad service, I ordered a (raw) steak from one of the supermarket delivery services. When it arrived, it had been cut as a wedge shape! It wasn't really what I wanted, but in a way it was quite fun. The thin side ended up well done, the thick side ended up rare, and of course it had all the shades in between. :)

  10. Serves you right for going to Essex to eat! :-)))

  11. You would have done much better popping down to Epping and eating at the Clocktower restaurant.

  12. It doesn't have to be unpleasant when you refuse to pay the full bill. I've done it in the past with guests present... just hand the poor teenager behind the bar a reasonable settlement in cash, say "I'm paying this amount because this is what I think it was worth"... watch him look to the manager with scared bunny eyes and get a nod...

    It only gets unpleasant if you *let* it get unpleasant.

  13. You could add a review here:

    - and you could look up some alternatives here:

    Hope this helps! :)