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“Raw fish and superficial service!”
Review of Church Tavern

Church Tavern
Ranked #1,540 of 2,204 Restaurants in Birmingham
Cuisines: Bar, British, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Child-friendly
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Birmingham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Raw fish and superficial service!”
Reviewed 30 March 2014

Absolutely spoiled my birthday party. Two of my guests were served cheap catfish ( in batter) which was slimey and inedible...it tasted raw. The rest of my party agreed, after tasting, that they couldn't eat it. At first the manager said it was Pangasius and not cod; it WAS cooked and was supposed to be slimey. The mushy peas served with it were stone cold too, whilst chips served to a toddler as a 'kids meal' were too hot for an adult to even touch! After repeating our complaint three times to different members of staff the meals were removed with the offer of replacement which would take over 20 minutes to do (on top of the in excess of 30 we had already waited -not an option for my two guests who were totally nauseated and annoyed).
I was not charged for these two meals but two of my guests had to watch the rest of us eating with no food themselves. So, although my meal was edible, it was spoiled by this mismanagement.
Read reviews on this cheap imported fish ( Pangasius ) and the horrifying repercussions that can ensue on eating it!

Worrying point 1 : the fish provided tonight were not the same as those we ate 4 weeks ago on a Sunday...are they ripping off the Saturday night clientele by providing cheaper fish at the same prices?

Worrying point 2 : the fish meals do not appear on my bill yet other items which were discounted in an attempt to pacify me did appear along with their removal at the end. Will management ever know?

I saw other plates of untouched food being returned to the kitchen.

Worrying point 3 : the staff are well trained in courtesy which seems great at first, but as soon as there is a problem their words are shown up as superficial, empty and worthless.
Suffice it to say I will not be visiting the Church Tavern again -nor will I ever recommend it to anyone.

I wish I had read reviews on here first as I have seen another complaint about about raw fish being served.

The problem has obviously NOT been resolved with training.







recommending it to anyone.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank amen98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grant T, Manager at Church Tavern, responded to this review, 4 April 2014
Dear Amen98

Thank you for your comments. My Name is Grant Tickell I am one of the deputies here @thechurchtavern and the manager on duty during your visit. Unfortunately I can only agree and apologise somewhat as you have provided some false information in your review.

But first let me apologise for the fact that your mushy peas were cold, had this been the only issue we would have exchanged straight away without delay.

With regards to the children’s meal, i.e. the hot chips, im sure you can appreciate that not all children who eat off the menu are toddlers, because of this all meals we serve and served hot and fresh. If we had the served the chips to you luke warm, they would have been cold within a couple of minutes leading to the child leaving them and a possible complaint regarding this matter from yourself.

I would now like to review your response on the fish. You have stated that the fish served to you was a Pangasius. This word is polish for a species of shark catfish. the long winded name for the Panga we serve is Pterogymnus laniarius. This is verified by Wikipedia and also has reference to the fish you stated in your review and confirms my comments. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panga ). We as a company are not in any wrong by serving Panga nor do we promote that we serve cod, and we will happily explain to any customers what fish we serve, this i did mention also on Saturday night. I would also like to add that this fish we have served has been the same throughout my working life within the company (4 years) and definitely was the same when you dined on your pervious visit.

Unfortunately on the evening you dined it was the weekend of mother’s day, although we had extra staff working we were busier then expected. Sadly this did have an affect on our food service times and with regards to the replacement meals, that would have been the quickest we could serve them, its not ideal but i always try and ensure all customers are fed because that is what you visited for, however you did politely decline, it is at this moment i had decided to make sure your desserts were complimentary as a gesture of goodwill even though you did not request this.

Finally with regards to your bill. Only management can alter or deduct products and or money from a bill. Since i was the only management member on duty that evening i can assure you i was aware of the changes.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to leave your review and please feel free to contact me if you have any queries with regards to my response 01213564389

Grant Tickell
Deputy Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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177 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    47
    36
    18
    24
    52
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Crewe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“good food - dont take your kids!!”
Reviewed 8 March 2014

we went a few weeks ago - food was nice - service good - then took our children into the play area - it was expensive to take them in - i think 3 pound each - there was a kids party going on - one of the kids dads decided to go in the play area and slid down the slide and knocked a little girl flying - the little girls dad went completely mad and started shouting, swearing and threatening this man - it frightened all the kids and us, we left ! - what i couldn't understand was why the men who had completly ruined the party and our kids fun weren't thrown out- wouldnt go again!!!!

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Julie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“The Church Tavern,Birmingham”
Reviewed 7 February 2014

went to Church Tavern in January with my husband, and family for a meal, compliments to the chef for excellent food. it has been completely refurbished and is much better, with very attractive decor and even a nice fireplace where one of the exit doors used to be. there is waitress service for drinks too. there is still the area for families with children. will definitely visit again.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Carole K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Broomfield, Colorado
Level Contributor
63 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Tasty, hot food, good prices, comfy atmosphere”
Reviewed 26 January 2014

My husband and I went here three times while we were staying at the nearby Travelodge (within walking distance). The atmosphere was welcoming and cozy on some rainy, cold nights (we sat sort of far away from the kids' zone thing). The dining room is quite large, sectioned into separate areas. We ordered at the bar and didn't have to wait too long for our food on any of the occasions. The food was hot and tasty. The best meal I had was the bangers and mash, which was served in a giant Yorkshire pudding with peas. The appetizer I ordered one night came out before the main meal, as it should have, and I was happy about that. The only issues we had were that the portions seemed small on certain meals, and my husband was disappointed with the meager amount of custard he received with his dessert. Prices were very reasonable. There was free wifi (via O2). I would definitely go back if I'm ever in the area again.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Marilynn76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
1 review
“Tad on the expensive side”
Reviewed 15 January 2014

Been a couple of times to the Church Tavern. Both times the customer service was what you would hope to get in a pub. One member of staff was outstanding. Unfortunately there are some dishes on the menu which are of poorer quality than others as a friend and I both agreed than the second visit the food was better. The cost of the meals do seem to be higher than in other pubs which isn't a problem if the food is outstanding, unfortunately it doesn't quite justify the high price tag (would say the quality would justify a price around £8.95 per dish rather than closer to £10)

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Benedict_Adams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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