We had read about this downtown restaurant, liked the sound of it, and with the help of "recepcion" at the excellent "Catalonia Las Cortes" hotel, had booked a table for Friday night dinner. Still adjusting to local late-eating habits, we were the first to arrive on the night - it's a modern, well-appointed premises on Calle Imperial, with predominantly black/white decor + beaty music.
Our welcome was friendly, and we had the distinct advantage of being able to pick a table. The Menu indicated a reasonable choice of Starters : my "Better Half" M selected a "Hummus" dish, while I went for the "Home-made Foie Terrine". The choice of Mains was disappointing : Squid, an obscure Japanese Fish, "Spanish style" Sweet & Sour Pork, Steak Tartare, and, believe it or not, Hamburger! Em, we both felt our only reasonable option was the Hamburger, despite the fact that we've eaten in more than a few restaurants with widely varying influences. As for wine, we attempted to order the seemingly better of the Rias Baixas offerings, but had to settle for the lesser option, making us wonder how much of the presented list was actually available?
Anyway, we ordered, and as a preliminary we were presented with a "Celery Mojito" - our Server glowingly talked this up (a practice we discovered is part of the restaurant's approach) and it was quite tasty. As for our actual Starters, M pronounced her Hummus "very tasty", and my "Terrine", while beautifully presented, suffered from being too chilled, obscuring the flavour.
Style, presentation and description are clearly "big" here, and we'll come back to that. Our Burgers (!) were in a kind-of layered format : M's was cooked as requested, while mine was nothing like the "medium-well" I had asked for in both Spanish & English. With a bit of "theatre" my Burger was taken back and replaced - one of the layers this time was about right, the other not.
We sampled one of the Desserts - an apple crumble - again introduced to us with elaborate, glowing descriptions of its ingredients, and it was fair enough. Before the end, we were presented with fancy pastille-type sweets, on a special piece of stone (of course!).
Our conclusion about this meal + our experience at "Metro Bistro" is simply this : you're clearly aspiring to be something "different", but before you get to be "excellent", you need to consistently get the "basics" right. For example, your choice of "Mains" is poor, and if you insist on including Hamburger, get the cooking right ; secondly, ensure that when the customer needs cutlery, he/she has it ; thirdly, if you're bringing a meal course to the table, make sure the last course has been cleared, if only for space reasons. And above all, don't confuse "talking-up" and "fancy presentation" with delivery of a good food & service product!
Our Bill (pre-gratuity) was a very reasonable Euro 66-60, and we would commend our main Server Michaela for her good-humoured efforts.
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