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The Fat Duck Brasserie - never again....

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The Fat Duck Brasserie - never again....

cappers | Jul 1, 2002 06:36 PM

Oh Dear. What started off as a promising venture that produced quality food is now a dirty cafe geared towards filling tables and serving people overpriced food by French school leavers.

As we walked into the cafe, we fought through the strog cooking smells and we were greeted by a girl. My mum's heel slipped on the wooden floor which she seemed to find funny. If she had slipped over, she and Heston wouldn't have found the legal proceedings funny!

We were then presented the wine list by the waitress who barely spoke a word of English and got our order wrong too. More of that later. they were clearly full today buti didnt expect them to cut so many corners. All the staff had changed as well. All were now very French (ie rude) and obnoxious.
No time was given to explain the food to us. We were just expected to order and take what we were given.

It was all so rushed and disappointing. when we went in February and March, it was fabulous and staff too ktheir time to describe the food to you. Now, its made of an ignorant aussie and 2 young girls barely out of school in France who are typically French and cant be bothered to explain anything about the food.

Now the menu was already presented on the table in a tatty brown envelope which unfolded to reveal the menu, full of grease stains and all. the menu had become very wide on starters (mostly cold) and even incorporated snacks etc now....

Starters: Caesar Salad. Oh Dear. We asked for it without Bacon. Instead it arrived with Anchovies. It was plain and uninteresting. a few leaves and sauce out a jar for a fiver. Perhaps it was a bad choice though. I had the Sardine Tart. It had a pleasent flavour but the number of lethal bones in it was a joke and i ended up spitting most of it out into tissue. I didn't think the top end of the Sardine would have been so bony. Disappointing.

Main courses were better. Lamb shank was nice but dry (so much for the slow cooked bollocks in a tub of water at 60 degrees celcius!) Hammed duck leg was delicious but the duck was almost raw and the Ribeye steak was excellent.

The triple cooked chips were also a let down. In the past they had been cooked properly but today, they couldnt be bothered. They were tasteless and much like the pomme frittes. Also, the portion for £3.95 had shrunk in size since we last visited a mere 6 weeks ago and was barely large enough for a childs portion. Also, now you have to pay for bread at £2.50. It was placed on the table before.

The highlight was talking to the Head Chef there (Irish guy) who recognised me and had time to chat while he and his brigade prepared food. I can see why others have jumped ship. Maybe hes the next to go... If he does leave, it will go down the tube further becuase when he is allowed time, space and creativity to be a Chef, he is VERY good. He made the greatest boudin blanc ever last time.

Also, the cafe was sadly full of flies buzzing around and the odd wasp. I know it is unavoidable being by the river, but when you are paying £14 for a main course, you expect a certain standard of service and quality.

I for one will not be going back again EVER and will not be recommending it to anyone anymore. It would be a crime to send someone there. We didn't pay the 10% service charge today and were hesistant to pay for much at all. Puddings looked ordinary and boring. We didnt stick around.

It is a real shame that what started out to be a quality haven for excellent food has now become an overbooked, overpriced trap for yuppies who only care about a river view. The changeover of Staff I think has had a huge negative impact on the way the Brasserie is run. Jerome (who used to be incharge) was excellent at his job. He should be laughing now as the Brasserie has gone down the plughole. As I said before, i wil lnot be going back.

Heston, I tried to email you but the email account at CS wasnt working. I hope you read this because the slide has been so fast of the Brasserie. You know how much I enjoy The Fat duck and your concepts and style of delivery. The Brasserie today failed you miserably.

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