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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