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Barbados Restaurant & Dining Reviews

The Cliff 06/09/2007
Reviewers Rating: Fair
I had to book the restaurant 6 months in advance for a Christmas Eve booking for a family of 4 adults.
I was given the usual 6.30 or 9.30 choice of seating (I am sure they reserve all middle bookings for 'named' guests!)
The day before Christmas Eve I received a phone call from the restaurant asking if I would prefer to be seated at 9.00 instead of 09.30 - a major breakthrough I thought!
My party arrived at the restaurant at 8.30 to enjoy a cocktail before the meal - the bar area has a beautiful seating area on a balcony overlooking the sea.
We had to wait 30 minutes to get a waiter to take our order for a drink and an additional 20 minutes to get a seat in the bar area - our fault you may say for going early?
However, by this time we were supposed to be seated at our table.
After another half an hour I asked when our table would be ready - I was informed that I should 'take a look around and see how busy they were that night'.
Believe me when I say I was a little put out at this comment.
When I tried to explain that I had received a phone call asking me and my party to arrive for 9, I was told that no such thing had happened and I must be making this up as this is not company policy to do this.
I was by now, even more than a little put out.
We were eventually showed to a table at 11.00pm with no apology for the wait or any drinks to keep us going - I was not going to order another round as by now I was more than a little put out.
When we were seated, we were told that there was an hour wait to be served as the kitchen was very busy - hard to believe when the restaurant was now only a quarter full.
We eventually ordered our food to be told that most of the things we requested were no longer available.
We were by now so fed up that we just ordered anything to get some food so that we could leave - it was far too late to try to get in somewhere else.
The service left a lot to be desired as the staff by this time were tired and really wanted to get home to their families to start their own celebrations - so did we.
On trying to ask for the duty manager to let them know how we felt, we were told that the restaurant manager was not working that night and the assistant manager would see us.
When I pointed out all that had gone wrong, I was told that I was just making trouble and that all of this could not possibly have happened to us as no other complaints had been made that night - I didn't want to point out that I had seen at least 2 parties leave under a cloud earlier in the evening.
As if to make matters worse, the manager then said that they were closing soon and as I did not have a valid complaint, if me and my party did not move they were calling the police as he felt that my complaint had somehow verbally abused him.
I assure you that I was very polite and refined to this point that I was completely taken back by this comment.
By this point my party were ready to do more than that to him, I can assure you but we left without a sorry from the whole night!
I have had a few great nights at this restaurant in the past and that is where they will be staying - in my past.
I have not taken anyone there in a year now and do not intend to do so in the future. I was given a telephone number to call of the manager who I rang the next morning and I have heard nothing back from him at all - another case of poor management skills!
Everyone that comes to visit I tell about my experience and choose to go to one of the other superb restaurants on the Island - Sassafras and Lone Star come immediately to mind.
I am sure that they do not miss my patronage as they seem to be consistently busy when I drive past - but I can't help feeling that they thought I was a tourist who they could treat how they wanted as I would not be able to do anything about my concerns - beware all fellow 'tourists!'

Jonathan Pullen

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