Drove out to Poachers Pantry for a relaxed Sunday lunch with friends today. Having eaten their delicious pate previously, we were really looking forward to it.
We had booked for four adults and a child. When we arrived our table wasn’t ready and we had to kill some time in the shop and the little one went outside to look at the sheep with her dad.
When our table was ready 10 minutes or so later, we were sat at the table next to the band. I like a little music over lunch, but it made conversation next to impossible…. unpleasant when you’re out with friends for lunch.
We ordered… the service wasn’t great – weren’t asked if we wanted bread, weren’t offered anything specific for the little one… but all would have been forgivable. The food was good – we had two serves of barramundi at the table, the lamb and the special risotto.
However, our time was obviously up at this point, because they were whipping plates away from us while we were still chewing the last mouthful. we were offered coffee… but when we requested the dessert menu were told we couldn’t eat dessert at the table because the second sitting was starting. There was no-one waiting for a table, and there were several empty tables (of the same size) around us. They offered to make us a table up outside… but as nice and sunny as it was today, it was still chilly outside in the breeze. People were sitting there wrapped in blankets!
I understand that restaurants do more than one setting at meal times… fair enough. But our table wasn’t ready when we arrived, and no-one had mentioned that we would need to be out at a specific time. We were left feeling badly treated – and went and had coffee and dessert elsewhere.
Overall, even with the good food, it was a disappointing experience, and I won’t be heading back out there. It was also a pretty bad business decision, because between the four of us with dessert, coffees and purchases from the smokehouse we probably would have laid down another $150 if we’d felt welcome and relaxed. I’ll be warning all my friends too.