It has been known for my family to go out for a meal to celebrate special occasions. This month is my Gran’s birthday so, true to form, we went for a spot of dinner last Sunday evening. Having all visited the Left Bank before, it was a popular choice for a return trip. It’s true what they say about first impressions, and on this occasion as far as they were concerned things didn’t get off to the best of starts.
On arrival we were directed to our table in the upstairs part of the place, a cosy corner with plenty of space. Having been given menus, we were surprised to wait quite a while before the waiter even asked us if we would like a drink. We put it down to a busy Sunday evening, and waited a bit longer. Eventually we were served by a member of staff who obviously didn’t want to be there. Whether after a long day of working or because he was still overcoming the effects of his previous night, it wasn’t really the best of starts.
I had previously been very impressed with the menu at Left Bank; a creative mixture of tapas style plates and more generous full course meals. This time was no different and I was pleased to see that there were a number of changes from our last visit, something I consider the sign of a good chef, who’s keen to keep evolving his or her menu.
We all ordered a range of options, from the monkfish kebabs, to the lamb leg and fillet steak and waited with anticipation. As is usual with left bank the plates offer a creative, and sometimes complex, range of flavours. I was pleased to see this continued. Again, what let it down was the service. Two of our orders arrived and were set down, less than daintily, in front of us. Sadly, they already seemed as though they had been sitting for a while as they weren’t what you would consider piping hot. Cold plates wouldn’t help, especially with a fish course. However, what made this worse was the 4 or 5 minute wait before the other orders arrived. The food itself was still very tasty, reminding me of the good flavour combinations I had experienced before. However the presentation was less than clever, with no great effort put into our offerings.
Overall, the meal was average, leaving us feeling like we had the sous chef serving us, with the head chef away for the evening. However, it was the service, which did the most damage to the evening! When you visit a good restaurant its a real disappointment to find it scoring low on a return trip. I will probably visit again, but if this standard is maintained it will definitely be my last!
Overall score: 5/10