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Review of Maison Blanc - CLOSED

Maison Blanc
Cuisines: French, Cafe
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: Located on South Street just a few minutes' walk from the Cathedral and Southgate. Stephane and his friendly team will give you a warm welcome and look forward to serving you a seasonal cafe menu, afternoon tea, delicious pastries and patisserie. Plenty of seating available. Licensed. Maison Blanc is an artisan bakery renowned for its speciality breads, freshly baked pastries, seasonal menu and of course world famous cakes and patisserie - all handmade to perfection and simply bursting with seasonal flavour.We're passionate about serving innovative, charming and authentically French food that leaves our customers craving for more. Our core value is Tradition et Qualite which remains at the heart of everything we do from sourcing the finest and freshest ingredients, to the creation of our recipes and presentation of our food.Originally created in Oxford in 1980, we were the first authentic patisserie in England. We now serve a little slice of France in 14 locations around London and the South. Our cafes are the perfect place for a rendez-vous with family and friendsWe adopt a joie-de vie attitude and believe that life should be enjoyed one delicate macaroon at a time.
Reviewed 14 October 2013

Visited with my mum during a day of shopping in Chichester. We had been a year or so ago and remembered it was nice from then.
It wasn't very busy so we got a table straight away. It has been done up since our last visit and whilst I can see what they were trying to achieve in some respects, it is quite lacking in character and could be any cafe as opposed to what used to feel a little more like a cosy french cafe.
The service was a little slow - menus were handed to us and I'd spotted an picture on the way in of a salmon croque monsieur which looked lovely. I couldn't find it on the menu and on further looking found a specials list on another table which we didn't have on ours so nearly missed out there! Menus seemed to be hit and miss as to whether they had any mention of specials. The menus could also do with a bit of a wipe/refresh in places too - a bit grubby. On the subject of grubby - the toilet could really do with a bit of an overhaul!
We had a bit of a wait for our food but when it arrived it was nice and hot so we assume the wait was for it being cooked! It was very tasty too and a nice size for a lunchtime snack.
The waiting staff where all a bit frantic - not sure if it was short staffed? And we had to wait quite a while to pay the bill - which you have to go to the till for - no problem but it does mean you are queuing with people who are just in to buy take away cakes etc - would be nicer to pay the bill at the table but thats a minor point.
All in all our food was very nice which I guess is the main point but the reason I have titled my review the way I have is because the slightly chaotic service, hit and miss menus, slightly grubby feel here and there just mean that for me the overall standard is not what I would have expected at a place with Raymond Blanc's name over the door. Perhaps the issue is the focus is mainly on the Brasserie now???
I'd give this place another go - just because the food is tasty but if the attention to detail isn't improved then I would in future choose from all the other places in Chichester who do offer the whole package!

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Thank sarah_gray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (170)
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145 - 149 of 170 reviews

Reviewed 12 October 2013

I used to love Maison Blanc, even though the menu was a bit pricey - not only because their warm Almond Croissants are superb, but because it always had a real buzz to it, with customers of all ages packed in, reading the papers, chatting to the (great) staff, etc. Then, last year, it got a makeover - aka, corporate bland-over. What a shame.

Result? Yes, the Almond Croissants are still lovely, but the place has zero atmosphere, no charm and, most irritatingly, less adept staff (must have had a new manager or laid off the permanent wait staff in favour of cheaper part-timers or something, because standards of service definitely slipped, even with things like coffee slopped onto the saucer on arrival, which never would have happened before).

I've tried it a few times over the last year, wanting to give it a chance before writing this kind of review, and I'm still hoping that head office realise their mistake and put it back to how it was, but still no. Still bland, still disappointing.

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1  Thank Holly_M_99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2013

Although had read that the cafe was lacking its original charm we decided to go as service and food was always a good standard. The food we ordered was good though my salad (chicken with summer vegetables) appeared to be much smaller than it use to be? The problem was that although we were served promptly with food and drinks, service then totally disappeared. We sat for 15 minutes,our empty plates piled up on the table. Gave up trying to attract the attention of servers to order some tea and cakes. I mentioned this at the cash desk and was told that they had to clear up some plates dropped near the till....no apology. We had hear a crash but as it was 10 minutes before we decided to leave it should not have impacted on service. Service was much better previously....ie you were always asked if everything was satisfactory,did you need anything else etc...this is what made MB such a nice cafe. So disappointing and we went elsewhere for tea.

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Thank Jane S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2013

Really disappointed. Spent almost £50 for some tasteless food. Cakes look beautiful but taste of nothing.

Waited for ages to be served, would never go back.

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Thank Camilla-Rose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2013

At their request went back. Had a complementary cake and tea. They were lovely and the cake was delicious. Thank you and great to know it was just an hiccup.

Thank sgreen3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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