Note: This review is an average of experiences at Alexander's Restaurant over four visits in the past couple of months (though I have been there several times in the past few years).
I have always loved their hidden location (call ahead to book a table), their cozy setup (very comfortable), their selection of wines (decently priced too), their range of single malt whiskey (nice), and their simplicity (rustic chic). However, the quality of their meals has been shaky of late.
During my last visit, two plates of food had to be sent back as the quality of the meat was not great (we ordered the dishes cooked 'medium' but the meat was too tough to enjoy). We were given different dishes, which were then fine/enjoyable. The waiter also didn't seem happy that we opted to share a couple of salads - he wanted us each to order our own.
Our waiter was quite cocky - he kept interrupting us, sighing, and making a face best described as 'rolling his eyes'; the manager was no better - blatantly lying about supposed 'hotel policy in Tanzania', she was not able to articulate why they have a 20% service charge, and she seemed more interested in hanging out with a table of what I assume were her friends - her attitude was not pleasant either. The owner, Gordon, was better able to give the impression that he was concerned, that he heard us, and that he would look into it - I spoke to him calmly, and he responded positively and calmly as well. Mind you, this was our attitude throughout the night - we tried to communicate calmly, without causing a big fuss, and politely. Though our bill took an unusually long time to arrive, it was correct when it did (very important), thankfully.
The little things can make or break an establishment, and this rings true in the case of Alexander's Restaurant. They have very many of the right elements, but a bad attitude in the service industry can easily highlight any/many things that are wrong with your restaurant if they are not addressed.
I sincerely hope that they can look into these things, and work at making things consistently good as they were in the past.
Will I go back? Only if invited for a group dinner where I have no choice on the selection of the venue. Though they generally operate to feed their hotel guests, they cannot discount the fact that 'local' guests also contribute to their business - they should learn to value that.
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