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Restaurants & Bars 29

Matsuhisa Warning: Timed Tables

Plain Jane | Oct 15, 200302:09 PM

I went to Matsuhisa last week after making a 7:30pm reservation for three people, including one out-of-town guest excited to try it. We showed up at exactly 7:30pm and were told by the front staff that we had our choice of tables--either one that was small in which we would be allotted 1.5 hours to finish or one that was larger in which we would have 1 hour and 15 minutes. I was too surprised to fully comprehend and assumed that one hour must be more than adequate time if they have these kind of limitations (or that the policy would be waived if it took an extra 15 minutes or so), so we opted for the larger table. We ordered one round of food and it took a while for it to come so we flagged down the waitress at about "half-time" to order the second round, which also took a long time. The food was very good and I have no complaints about the length of time to prepare, but everything was very rushed. About one hour after we were seated, the waiter came to take away our dirty plates. At that time the waitress informed him that we were done and he should take the cutlery, etc., without consulting us or asking if we want desert or anything. When she brought us our check I asked her why she didn't ask us if we wanted anything else and confirmed that it was due to the time policy. I told her that the policy was not told to me on the phone when I made the reservation and that we didn't have much of a choice when we arrived (other than go to another restaurant) and that she should tell those in charge that the should tell people BEFORE they show up about the absurdly short time limitations. She said she would. In retrospect, I should have had a word with the front staff, but we just wanted to leave after being so rushed. So, a warning--if you go to this very expensive restaurant ask in advance about the time restrictions they may impose and perhaps make a late reservation if that means there are no restrictions. I would hate for someone to go for a special occasion and be treated this way.

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