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1. Sandi on Saturday, January 16, 2010
Must say very disappointed by the whole experience. Although the car park is convenient and the interior is pleasant enough…unfortunately what really lets this place down was the food. Both courses were below average and I didn’t want to wait around for a third. Cannock you deserve far far better!
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2. highlandboogieman on Monday, August 16, 2010
These people can turn a Clay Pot into stainless steel....
Dining out on a Sunday night should be a pleasurable experience, not a challenge. When my wife and I arrived at this stylish Indian restaurant, we were not exactly welcomed with open arms, but asked to sit and wait. We smiled at the waiters, which turned out to be pointless.
Although there were plenty of vacant tables set up for dinner in a quiet area, to suit the waiters we were shown to a table next to a group of 6 kids around 16 years old celebrating a birthday. They had finished their meal, as had another large table, so all the tables had been served, and there was only one other couple waiting for food in the restaurant.
This is a bring-your-own bottle place, and despite my beer bottle being on the table for 15 minutes, not one of the dozy waiters noticed it needed opening. After more than 15 minutes perusing the menu, not one of the waiters (mainly glum-faced bearded guys) had asked us what we wanted to drink. I had to call a waiter and point out that my wife did not have a drink. Everyone having guests to dinner offers them a drink when they arrive, so the restaurant failed miserably at this first basic rule of hospitality. I have no idea why it took them another 5 minutes to pour my wife a glass of plain sparkling water lacking either ice or lemon. They didn't leave the bottle of water, as is customary.
Poppadoms arrived after 20 minutes, and they were nice and crispy. The accompanying dips were thin and very sugary. Our mixed kebab starters were okay. They took nearly 10 minutes to clear away our starters, then the background music got so loud that I couldn't hold a conversation with my wife. I asked for it to be turned down, but it was turned back up again shortly afterwards. It seemed that that the music was to keep the waiters awake rather than provide a relaxing ambience for the customers.
With only one other table waiting for food, our main courses arrived a mere 38 minutes after we had finished our first course. My wife had chosen an item from the menu called "Clay Pot", which was in fact a stainless steel balti dish ! It was basically a chicken bhuna with red food colouring and added sugar (way, way beyond what can be achieved by caramelising onions). If we order a Moroccan tagine, it is served in a clay tagine, and I think my wife was hoping for something special and authentic. This dish is simply a shameful con trick, and Staffordshire Trading Standards should take note. The plain nan bread had a sugary coating too. It was as if they had had an accident with a sugar jar in the kitchen. Way too weird.
They got our rice order wrong. A waiter offered to change it, but he could see I was past caring by then. In fairness, he did kindly change it for special pilau rice and we weren't charged for this jaw-clinchingly dry stuff. My tandoori mixed grill was fine, with plenty of vicious red food colouring, but there was none of the usual curry sauce with it, so it was a disappointingly dry meal.
None of the waiters ever bothered to ask if we were happy with either of our courses. They just walked around aimlessly, trying to avoid eye contact. I had to stand up and show a waiter my second bottle of beer which I needed opened as I had omitted to take a bottle opener. I should have gone to a bring-your-own-bottle-opener restaurant ! These waiters were glum, disinterested and terminally useless no-hopers with more interest in noisily moving tables around for the next day than serving their customers.
The young kids at the birthday party weren't glum though. They had a great time - though clearly under-age, they had brought their own vodka, and they yelled enthusiastically each other increasingly louder while my wife and I tried to hold a conversation. The music got louder too - I guess the waiters couldn't hear it for the noisy kids so they had to turn it up again. One of the kids was sick in the toilet, too much vodka and coke, not that any of the waiters would have noticed. This restaurant is in Chadsmoor. Our son said it's known locally as "Chavs-moor". Guess why. If you want an archetypal example of style over substance, look no further.
One star for the food (I'd have made it two if they hadn't put so much sugar in it). Half a star for the service, and that's only because I stood up to ask the waiters for attention. As an overall dining experience, how on earth could I give this place any stars at all? However, if you know of any fellow wanting to spend a romantic night out with his loved one waiting interminably for a sugary curry while being ignored by the waiters and deafened from all sides, Garam Masala should fit the bill. As for everyone else, please don't waste your money.
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