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“Not up to Wetherspoons usual standard”
Review of The Powder Monkey

The Powder Monkey
Ranked #36 of 128 Restaurants in Exmouth
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating
Description: J D Wetherspoon Pub. Providing food from 8am - 11pm Daily. Alcohol from 9am daily. All JDW Club promtions.
Reviewed 28 May 2014

We went to the Powder Monkey in Exmouth a couple of weeks ago, expecting the same level of service as we get from our local Wetherspoons, the Imperial in Exeter, and that we have experienced elsewhere. We were very disappointed. It was lunchtime on a lovely spring day and the restaurant was busy enough, but nothing like as busy as it will be getting in the summer. To get in you go through an outside area full of tables and smokers - this isn't surprising but the way it was set up and the type of clientele made it an intimidating experience.

I am a picky eater and I don't eat chili or black pepper - I saw there was peri peri chicken on the menu and thought - that is probably not for me, but as I am aware that sometimes the only thing that entitles a dish to be called peri peri is a sauce I asked the person who served me at the bar, who was wearing a white shirt rather than the usual black so I assume she was some kind of supervisor or manager, whether the chicken was coated with peri peri seasoning or whether it was a sauce that was served separately. I was told, in a very off hand way, that there was a sauce that was served separately. When the chicken came it was absolutely covered in a spicy coating. Granted - the sauce was served separately, but any member of staff worth their pay would surely have thought to tell me that the chicken itself also had a spicy coating? Effectively that meant that I had to remove all the skin of the chicken and to avoid any part of the chicken or the chips that had come into contact with it - ruining my meal.

I am not complaining about the taste of the meal itself or the way it was cooked, I can't comment on that as it isn't to my taste anyway. I went back up to the bar to get a spare plate to put the bits I didn't want onto, and to get a glass of water. The bar itself was completely deserted with no customers and no staff. After a minute or so the person who had served me originally came back to the bar with a glass in her hand and told me somebody would be along in a minute to serve me, with barely any eye contact and no interest at all, however the young man who did serve me was very pleasant and polite and did provide eye contact.

At no time did any member of staff come round to ask if our meal was satisfactory, and they were not so busy that was impossible.

Both I, and my partner, have worked in pubs and restaurants for several years, including in management, so we know what to look out for, we know what good service consists of, and we know what level of service we should expect in various kinds of establishments. We both came to the conclusion that whereas the level of service provided by the staff in general was below average to poor, ultimately the responsibility is that of the managers to ensure that they intil a sense of pride and respect in their work in their staff and themselves, and this seemed sadly lacking.

Having said all that about the Powder Monkey at Exmouth - try the Imperial in Exeter. I don't know whether part of it may be the fact that Exeter is a University city so there is a huge pool of students available to work there and they tend (at work anyway) to be have better manners, to be generally more well-informed, and more able to pick up the niceties of good service, but we find the staff there to be pleasant, polite, interested and knowledgable. And of course this may be down to excellent management. The food is Wetherpoons usual standard, we always enjoy the steaks, and the gardens are lovely.

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Thank VisitorExeter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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243 - 247 of 340 reviews

Reviewed 21 May 2014

Arranged to meet family for lunch. Typical Wetherspoon's fare - we had the Friday fish and chip meal with a free drink. Very familiar menu and we got what we expected a good meal for a reasonable price. No parking nearby but pay and display parking within a few hundred yards.

Thank keepcruising
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2014

Exmouth has 3 cheap, family friendly chain pubs to choose from - the Powder Monkey is far and away the best (The Clipper and The Bath House being the other 2). No one should expect Michelin starred food for these prices; but you get a tasty, generous potion of classic dishes served quickly and efficiently. The staff are welcoming and helpful with advice on the different real ales (wide selection available), and are quick to clear plates and glasses. The overall cleanliness is very good - including the toilets. There is a good choice of seating areas from the snug central area in front of the bar with a lower ceiling, to the two smaller spaces either side of the front door but with higher ceilings and big windows, or the outside space with a good number of tables.

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Thank LunchtimeTeatime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2014

Normally I am a fan of Wethis and visit one in my home town almost every week for lunch with a friend, but my second visit in a year to this dive and it seemed worse than ever. The atmosphere is downright unpleasant, dreary and borderline intimidating. It seems to cater to the lowest common denominator of residents and visitors. I would not order food in this dingy, seemingly unhygienic sink hole if you paid me. The beer was fine no problem. In fact I had a pint from a swedish brewer and it was spot on. At the front of this pub there is a large open area which is sunny in the afternoon. However the large number of obscene language using messed up nicotine addicts who frequent it makes it a place to pass through quickly. Enough said except to say that the lad behind the bar who served me on 15/04/14 slammed one of our glasses down as he passed it over and had no customer service skill or interest whatsoever.

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1  Thank Bewildered1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2014

This is by far the worst Weatherspoons we have eaten in. The atmosphere is distinctly 'dingy' and the food we had was terrible. I chose a chilli baked potato ... the potato itself was dry and floury with no pats of butter and the chilli poured over the potato was minimal with an extremely low meat content and not at all appetising. My wife's dish had salmon which was extremely overcooked and not at all pleasant to eat. Based on our own expereince, I think the Weatherspoons chain should have some reputational concerns about the Powder Monkey.

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1  Thank 899MJG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PowderMonkey2014, Manager at The Powder Monkey, responded to this reviewResponded 17 April 2014

Thank you for your review. All Chilli is from the same supplier throughout the country, but it certainly seems there is a batch issue- this will be fed back to the manufactuer. The jackets no longer come with butter, but feel free to ask for some free of charge. Apologies about Salmon. We do like to resolve as many problems at the point of issue so please feel free to contact the floor team or let us know on your checkback.

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