Thursday, 13 February 2014

Afternoon with Gems

by Bex

I recently had a catch up with Gemma who I hadn't seen for almost a year!  London is just too far away :(

She was coming up with R to visit family and while he was at the football, I got Gemma all to myself for a proper chin wag and lunch :)  I booked us in at The Grill on the Square at 29 on the 2 for £29 deal which includes 2 courses and a glass of wine.  I've been here plenty of times before and always loved it.  Nik has always booked either this deal or their Sunday roast menu which is also good value.

After I met them at the station we headed straight for the bar at 29 and settled into comfy seats with a bottle of delicious Malbec.  We chatted about books, life, books, wine, books, fashion, books, jobs, oh and books.  (It helps that Gemma's new job involves books!  Lucky Duck!)  ;)

Anyway, we soon moved through to the dining room for lunch and perused the menu.  I chose pate to start followed by the breaded chicken stuffed with cream cheese, chives and garlic (basically a posh chicken kiev, yum!) and Gemma chose the Caesar salad to start and the beef olives for her main.  I also noticed on the menu that the bread was £1.  Not expensive, no, but it had always been one of the nice things about the place that they bring you a lovely, warm loaf of bread and now they're charging for it.  This sadly wasn't the only disappointment as I was asked if I wanted any of the sides (added extras of course) with my chicken as it comes with nothing.  Nothing.  Not 'just a few veg but no potatoes', literally nothing else on the plate other than a tomato & basil jus (which looked and tasted a bit like soup).  Bit odd.

One of my pet peeves is somewhere that offers a deal and then adds lots of extras.  Fair enough add things to the menu to maybe tempt us to spend more money but practically forcing the option on people is really not fair.  A piece of stuffed chicken is not a main course.  I ordered the mash.

Anyway, we both enjoyed the bread (we ordered it as I had been raving about how lovely the bread is, Gemma had never been before), our starters were nice and we both thought the mains were OK but nothing special.

Chicken on a plate

Service was a bit hit or miss.  In the bar our waiter was attentive and friendly.  In the restaurant, we felt like a bit of an annoyance.  Also, I assume they are supposed to fill up our glasses as our bottle of sparkling water was in the ice bucket next to us and I filled our glasses a couple of times, this didn't bother me at all, I'm happy to fill my glass but while I was doing so, a waiter appeared and took the bottle off me mid-pour which I thought was also a bit strange.  I said I was fine but he insisted and took the bottle anyway while still pouring.  We were taking our time over lunch but after about an hour and a half we were informed that they needed the table back and would we mind moving back to the bar.  We didn't mind at all but again, it seemed a bit strange as the restaurant wasn't full and in fact there were quite a few empty tables by this time (around 3.30pm).  We finished our wine (the glasses that were included with our deal) in the bar before we left.

On previous visits I've always loved the food and been very impressed with the service.  This time was definitely less impressive as far as the menu, service and price goes.  We still had a lovely afternoon but we felt a bit cheated.  I'm not sure I'd choose it for a nice lunch with a friend again.  I've experienced better deals for around the same price.

The Grill on the Square on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Unknown said...

That sounds a bit dissapointing. At least the company was good!

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