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“A superb evening”
Review of The Laughing Onion - CLOSED

The Laughing Onion
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Brackley, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“A superb evening”
Reviewed 1 December 2013

Had a wonderful meal last night at the laughing Onion. The waiting staff were lovely and knew their stuff as I couldn't decide between a few of their delicious menu choices they explained what they all were and how they were cooked. My partner is a vegetarian..well eats fish and prior to our visit asked if the fish dish which contained pancetta could be prepared without. On the night when I ordered mine the waiter turned to my partner and said " and yours sir is the monkfish minus the pancetta" ..... Brilliant! We had a lovely bottle of red and a glass off sparkly ( as it was a special occasion ) The atmosphere was a very Christmassy which added to our evening.
We celebrated our 13th anniversary here as being previous visitors we had enjoyed its so much we wanted to return . Thank you to the brilliant chef and all the staff who made our night ....just perfect.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank maria_gowland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

96 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    54
    28
    10
    4
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“not up to scratch”
Reviewed 20 November 2013

Having tried this place for lunch shortly after it opened back in July, I hadn't intended to visit again after my mainly positive and constructive review on Trip Advisor was met with, what I considered to be, rather defensive and slightly patronising remarks from (I presume) the owner.

However, we decided to give it another go in any case and booked for dinner on a Saturday night last month. I ordered the spicy potato cake with home cured salmon to start and the gilt head bream as my main. The potato cakes, although good in texture, were almost completely tasteless, apart from the faintest hint of cumin. They were not spicy in the least, and to call the dish "Spicy Potato Cake" was a completely misleading description. The salmon was fine, although I would have expected it to be more carefully trimmed whereby the brown flesh was removed (almost always done in restaurants of a decent quality). However, it was Saturday night and I was keen to focus on the positives and so looked forward to my bream. However, about 25 minutes after I had ordered it, our waiter came to tell me that the bream was "off". Not sure why it took 25 minutes to tell me that, but there you go. I initially assumed he meant the last portion had been taken, although my wife interpreted his remarks as meaning the fish itself had gone off (i.e. spoiled). In any case, I then ordered the saddle of lamb which was very good, albeit served as a rather petit portion with as much fat as meat on the plate. I recognise that much of the flavour derives from the fat, but I would have expected the chef to trim it to some extent before serving. My wife ordered the beef bourguignon on the basis of the rave reviews on Trip Advisor. That too was disappointing, lacking the depth of flavour expected in a slow cooked dish. It was as if no red wine had been used, or too little stock. We were then offered deserts on the house (by way of compensation for the bream no-show) which were perfectly good, although its hard to make money when you're regularly "comping" people for drinks, desserts etc (as I heard other diners being comped too).

The young staff try very hard and I was impressed by both their enthusiasm and friendliness, although they do come across as a bit inexperienced. There was no sign of anyone who appeared to be in overall charge, such as an owner or manager (which I would have expected on a Saturday night of all nights). In short, I won't be dining there again, although I do think that if this place is going to prosper the chef needs to focus on dishes that he /she is capable of delivering.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Steve W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Judi B, Owner at The Laughing Onion, responded to this review, 26 November 2013
We're sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy your latest visit. We do believe that the chef generally does deliver on the dishes - as evidenced by the rave reviews for things like the beef bourguignon - however it does sound like on this occasion we didn't manage to produce the high standard expected, for which we apologise. Also, it certainly isn't good enough to wait 25 minutes before being told that a chosen dish is not available. To address a couple of other points specifically: because the brown meat on salmon is as flavoursome as the pink meat and is the part that is high in omega three oil we take the decision not to trim it all off, but we are sorry to hear that this was not how you wanted the dish. We always have the manager working on Saturday night, and we are not sure why this person was not apparent to you. We did not aim to be defensive or patronising in our response to the previous post, we were just trying to explain why we were not open at the times mentioned. Finally, we agree that if we have to provide too many free drinks or desserts that this is not a good business model, however we do believe it is important to provide recompense where mistakes have been made or customers are unhappy. Fortunately we do not have to do this too often. We always work hard to try and ensure our customers do have a good time with us, and we hope that you will visit again so you can experience our food and service at its best.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brackley, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great New Restaurant!”
Reviewed 19 November 2013

We have now eaten several times at the Onion and have not been disappointed. The menu is always very tempting with new additions and seasonal changes. The quality and taste of the food definitely lives up to the enticement of the menu. The staff are all really friendly and Lee always makes sure we have everything we desire. We recently had the chateaubriand which was superb. The chef really has a great eye for presentation and producing dishes with great flavour combinations. We enjoy eating out at a variety of restaurants from the most basic up to Michelin Star level and are very interested to see how this chef progresses - definitely one to watch. We are already looking forward to our next visit.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Hemmingjak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Not what I expected”
Reviewed 17 November 2013 via mobile

I went midweek for dinner with a friend. We like to support local an with it being midweek we didn't want to travel far. It was quiet so we had good service from the staff.

When we received the menus there wasn't much choice and it wasn't a menu I expected at all (but that's just a personal preference I suppose) All the dishes on offer seemed quite heavy meats or fish.

I had a fish dish and it was a very small portion of fish with a few sliced potatoes and a little veg in a thin sauce - not very filling. I didn't think this was good value for money either.

We did have a complimentary appetiser from the chef which was yummy!

I would like to think I will return but it would be great to see some small changes to the menus. Some antipasti, olives, choice of accompaniments would be nice...

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Amyelizabeth2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
245 reviews
169 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Putting Brackley on the culinary scene”
Reviewed 17 November 2013 via mobile

We are here on Saturday 17th.

Since our first visit their have been some nice improvements, with the music now on to help the atmosphere, Ortopilot was a great choice.

The service was great, several very attentive waitresses and Lee made the evening very pleasurable.

Two uf us opted for the Signature Beef Bourguignon it was absolutely sublime, the Beef just melted in your mouth, served with some delicious creamy mash.

The Puddings were a little disappointing, although on at a lower price, the Brûlée had not quite set, and the Panna Cota was a little overset, but this did not spoil a delightful evening. Kevin with your Memory Lane / Craigmiller experience, maybe I'd expect a little more.

Mr Blinn and his team have made a great addition to the Brackley culinary scene, keep it up, we will be back.

Helpful?
Thank GFwarrior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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