Canteen used to be one of my favourite places for a quick lunch or a leisurely Sunday breakfast - tasty, simple food, great ingredients and friendly service. But it seems in the past year standards have really slipped - I want to like it, and keep giving it a chance, but I'm afraid my patience has run out! A few months back I went to the Spitalfields branch for breakfast - my eggs benedict came out rock hard and cold - obviously been sitting around too long. I sent them back and they came back runny, but the hollandaise on top was cold and starting to congeal - I didnt bother sending those back, we just left - they very kindly (!) removed the eggs from the bill.
The South Bank branch doesn't fare much better - and the service is consistently terrible. A few weeks ago a group of five of us went for lunch, it wasn't too busy, we sat down and ordered our food along with a bottle of wine. The food arrived, it was fine, nothing special, but bottle of wine arrived after we had finished our mains (despite asking three times for it). We then had to wait 30 minutes for a waiter to come with our bill. Luckily we had a bottle of wine to bide us over...
Last night I decided to give it one more chance. We ordered a pint of prawns which would have been lovely, had they not been chilled to near frozen, so pretty much masking any sweetness that would have been there. My pork belly with apple sauce had the consistency (and flavour) of soggy bread and the 'apple sauce' was an apple cut in half and warmed through - they were so hard, any attempt to cut them resulted in a slice of apple skidding across the table. We had to ask twice for ketchup and when it arrived, there was about an inch left in the bottom of the bottle.
Sorry Canteen - I really want to like you, but I'm sick of being constantly disappointed!