After hearing lots of talk about a relatively new restaurant in Dublin we thought it was high time to check it out. I also thought it might be review-worthy!
It was, but I’m not going to review it, instead I am going to take this opportunity to have a little rant about Dublin restaurants and their booking policies. Because it’s not just this place that does it, it seems to be anywhere that’s in any way popular or trendy. I called on a Saturday looking for a table on the Sunday evening and it went something like this…
Restaurant: What time would you like to come in at? (This question turned out to be entirely irrelevant!)
Me: 7.30 please.
Restaurant: We can give you 7 o’clock.
Me: Oh, could we have a table at 8 instead?
Restaurant: We can give you 9 o’clock.
Me: Right, so you only do sittings at 7 and 9?
Restaurant: Yes. (See first question, why even ask if you’re going to dictate when we can come in?)
Me: Well I guess we’ll take a 7 o’clock sitting then.
Restaurant: You need to be off the table by 9 o’clock.
There was nothing unpleasant about this exchange I suppose, apart from my inner dialogue of irritation. Anyway, it didn’t end there, they called me the following morning to confirm my booking, (I’d only booked the previous evening, was this really necessary??) and she said “You have a table booked from 7 o’clock to 9 o’clock” three times during the conversation. OKAY, I GET IT!! We will be gone by 9.
It was said again when we arrived into the restaurant. Sigh. It really tainted the dining experience for me, and after all that the place wasn’t so busy. We would have stayed and drank plenty more wine and probably ordered desserts but we were so put off by the constant badgering about how long we had the table for that we left, at 8.15. The food was good but I don’t want to review, or even name, the restaurant because I had such a (non-food related) bad taste left in my mouth.
Maybe I’m alone but being told we have to be off the table at a certain time just really bugs me, especially if you’re booking in advance. I don’t have a problem if I walk into a busy restaurant with no booking and they only have a table free for an hour and a half, we will be quick then, other people have booked, fair enough. I also think it simply doesn’t need to be said, unless I’m eating late I rarely lounge around a restaurant for longer than two hours, and, really, shouldn’t it be up to the restaurant itself to make sure your meal is served in a timely manner?
As far as I know, it’s the done thing in America, but I’ve never seen it anywhere on the continent, mainly France where I usually go on holidays, and the restaurant business there is doing justfinethankyouverymuch. What do you think readers? Does this bother you as much as it bothers me? I should probably learn how to meditate or something.