28:50 Mayfair: Gone downhill (April 2015)

It had been some months since I last ate here and while the concept (being able to sample a very broad range of wines at reasonable prices) remains as strong as ever, both the service my comrade and I experienced on a recent visit as well as the food had notably gone downhill. To begin, despite having booked in advance and arriving at 12.45 with quite a number of tables still unoccupied, we were shown to probably the worst table in the restaurant, wedged right in the corner right by the bar and the serving staff. When I was asked whether it might be possible to move to a different, free, table, I was summarily dismissed, being told they were all pre-reserved. This seemed odd. Surely I had pre-reserved too? Apparently not, since one staff member told that ‘regular’ customers always wanted or expected their preferred table. The whole set up seemed most unprofessional and only after a little more remonstrating were we finally moved, not with the best grace either. Onto the food, and our set menu was – frankly – bland and uninspiring. The portion sizes of the trout with which we began in particular and also the chicken main were meagre to say the least. Moreover, the chicken seemed not quite as warm as it should have done and my accompanying side of new potatoes was left almost untouched owing to the appearance of a rather unexpected and unappetising crème fraiche topping. At least the wines impressed (particularly our Margaret River red), and next time I will more likely be returning just for drink.