This restaurant is promoted by the hotel to be a ‘fine dining’ experience in comparison to the excellent buffet at Al Tanoor, so our expectations were high.
We had booked a table outside 2 days in advance but were given one inside as the others were already taken. So already we were off to a poor start. The menu looked fishy which was the reason for booking and my wife and I ordered soft shell crab and pan fried scallops to start and ‘smash and grab’ (whole bass baked in salt for two persons) and a bottle of white wine to accompany.
The starters arrived within 2 minutes just as we’d taken a sip of our Riesling and the crab was not in a tempura type batter but in a captain birds eye version and there the similarities didn’t end. It really could have been goujons or skinny fish fingers out of a packet with a little tomato salsa on the side at £20 a plate.
The scallops came in the shell and were perfectly cooked but very oddly delivered in a vast bowl that looked something akin to a foot bath from the nearby spa and even more strangely on a bed of crushed ice!!
Why would you serve a warm starter on crushed ice??
Clearly the aesthetic overtook the rationale and a very confused dish was the result.
At no point did any staff member ask us if we were happy with our food or offered to pour our wine, which we are perfectly capable of but not something you would expect in an a la carte restaurant in a five star hotel.
Within 3 minutes of our plates being cleared the main course arrived which again gave the impression that food had already been cooked earlier in the evening and then reheated as you have to bear in mind we had been seated for under 15 minutes by that point and we had taken 5 minutes deciding what to eat and drink.
This is really a fast food place with buffet standard service.
The fish was served to us and it looked like it was just dumped on the plates. No finesse or attention to appearance was attempted and the portions were enormous and could have easily fed a table of four or five but it all ended up on our plates though we were both intimidated by the vast portions!
I have to admit the fish was delicious but our enjoyment was considerably lessened by the rather imposing size and the school dinner approach to the serving.
Again service was brusque and impersonal and once served we were ignored. Our plates sat before us for a full 25 minutes before being cleared and it had then become so bad we had to laugh.
I would recommend to anyone staying to avoid this place. At £200 for 2 people and a less than enjoyable dinner we would have been happier eating at al tanoor where at least the food is good and you know not to expect too much in service standard as with all buffers across the world.
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