Expected at least a 3* standard at this obviously over-hyped restaurant! It doesn't even deserve 1 *!AVOID!
Booked for 1.15 p.m. Hot day. Outside balcony had several empty tables. Asked if we could have one. Waitress said "no they're already booked". We were there well over an hour and only one of these became occupied. One remained empty the whole time and another became vacant soon after we arrived and stayed that way. In my opinion the waitress was restricting diners to actual dining room so that she had less distance to travel. She seemed tired and a bit grumpy (heard her swearing as she showed a couple to a nearby table "and now I've forgotten the B..... menu! she said loudly." Not what you expect in that sort of establishment! We did not have starters. My husband had paella but it was nothing like proper paella. Each of the main ingredients were arranged individually on the plate with just a "scraping" of rice. A slice of tomato was shrunken and blackened. It all looked dried out on the plate. It was sacralege to serve a classic dish in this way. Why ruin a superb traditional Spanish dish that has "worked" so incredibly well for centuries and separate it all up on a dish?
I ordered the classic fish and chips. To my horror my fish arirved curled up at both ends and they were pointing up towards the ceiling. It looked like a horseshoe was standing erect on my plate with the open ends pointing upwards! The fish was obviously overcooked as it was an unappetising dark brown. There was a thin streak of pureed peas on the dish which had dried up! It is such a cheap veg - why so mean? The chips were okay but the fish was so dry and tasteless and there was far too much batter. It was inedible.. I complained and it was returned to the kitchen. I had to wait a long time - in fact my husband had completely finished his "paellla" before another fish was brought to me, curled up as before and still dark brown, but it had been freshly cooked and the fish inside was moist and had some flavour but the batter was still overcooked. Having to eat at separate times was not what we planned and by this time we were really annoyed. We didn't bother with pudding. I had ordered a small wine and it came in an enormous glass - filled about 1/6th of it and it looked most odd.
When we received the bill 10% service charge ahd already been added in spite of our complaints. I really dislike it when these charges are "sneakily" added to the bill. I prefere to tip separately according to the quality of food and service. In our case both leaved a lot to be desired. The charge should NOT have been added as we had suffered a really bad and dissappointing experience!
I asked the waiter who brought the bill for the name of the Hotel Manager but I was given the name of the Food and Beverage Manager instead a(Lee) and it was he who replied to my letter of complaint instead of the General Manager, Philip Walker, who was the person I had sent my letter of complaint to! He said he was away but aware fo my complaints. My complaint was NOT dealt with by the correct person.
Briefly Lee's reply stated:- "Balcony tables had all been booked that lunchtime or booked for a later time". I don't believe this. Several tables were vacant for over an hour whilst we were there.
He stated -"Lunch shifts are busy - staff get stressed but bad language is unacceptable" but he did NOT apoligse for this.!
He stated - "Paella - chef serves this deconstructed/modern". In my opinion the chef ruins the dish by doing this!
He stated - "Fish - sad to hear we did not deliver to the level of quality, despite a replacment dish being arranged a.s.a.p". He also admitted my husband's meal should have been kept warm whilst I waited. However, this would have dried up the paella even more! He made no apology!
He stated - "Wine - Dining room has only one size of wineglass" He then incorrectly interpreted my complaint. He seemed to think I was accusing them of too small a measure. I was not. I complained that the huge wineglass was far too big (like goldfish bowls) for a small wine. Again, no apology!
He claimed - "Service charge -.All service charges on bills are discretionary". He then said he was proud that all service charges go to staff. He failed to address my complaint and that was because we were so dissatisfied with the meal etc. that serrvice charge should NOT have been put on the bill at all! Once again, no apology!
An apolgy, of sorts, came in the last paragraph of the letter but to be honest the whole tone of Lee's letter comes across as arrogant and condescending and some of my complaints were not properly answered at all.
We will NEVER go back to the Electric Restaurant. It is not welcoming, decor is drab and gives a rather "cold" effect. Some staff give you the feeling it is all too much trouble and too much like hard work serving at table and it would seem they are not interested in trying to give customers a good experience. In all my many years of eating out, this is the first time I have heard a waitress audibly swear in front of customers. Food is pretentious, dried out, overcooked and unpleasant. They don't have the correct sized wine glasses for "small" glasses of wine. Sneaky service charges added to bill even if you have a bad experience. Actual Hotel Manager fails to personally answer complaints. Give the Electric a miss!
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