Saturday, 8 August 2009

Possibly the worst restaurant in Sydney?

Last night K and I had by far the worst meal / eating out experience we've had in Sydney, where generally the standard is pretty high and you usually feel like you've had good value. Not this time.

The culprit - the Coachmen in Surry Hills. It's a Russian restaurant which may not be instantly attractive to everyone, but was the appeal to us as we still have very happy memories of the fantastic Russian place in Glasgow's East End.

Sadly this was a complete letdown on all fronts:

Service - appalling. Slow and totally incompetent. Long wait to ordering, then once we'd ordered, the waiter came back not once, but twice over the next ten minutes to tell us that first one of our starters, and then one of our mains wasn't available. Then he brought the wrong bottle of wine, then he took ages to bring the right one. We had to ask twice for tap water, then we had to stand up and search the place to get our bill at the end of the night (the waiter was found in the bar chatting to his mates).

Food - mediocre at best. 3 out of 4 of our first choices weren't available. K's borscht and beef stroganov was ok apparently. My crepes with caviar were ok, but my cabbage rolls with beef were pretty disgusting and I had to leave half of it. Our selection of pickled vegetables had come straight out of a supermarket jar as far as I could tell.

(Note when waiter came to clear our plates, he asked how my cabbage rolls had been and I said 'hmmm, so so', to which he replied 'oh well, at least you've left some for my dinner' - cementing him in my top 5 bad waiters of all time list!!)

Atmosphere - non existent. The place was cold (the advertised 'roaring log fires' were piles of ash), the music was dodgy, the 'decor' consisted of shelves lined with cheap Russian dolls, the bar / lounge area where you're supposed to relax with a vodka was full of staff loafing around and/or shouting at each other.

Price - shocking. We chose the place partly because it's in the list of places we can use our Sydney Entertainment Book (various discounts & offers), so we got one of the mains free. But by the time the $5 per head charge for the 'floor show' (some dodgy singers that we could hardly hear or see) and the 2.5% credit card surcharge was added, not to mention the pretty exorbitant prices in the first place, we'd paid $120 all up (about £60). For Sydney that's expensive and you'd really expect to get fantastic food and service for that.

Please never, ever, ever go to this dive of a place.

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