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Brasserie Harkema, Amsterdam

Main course never arrived

Posted on: September 25, 2012 at 7:18PM


by batboy
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Had been here before a few years back and had great sevice and food so reserved for a 15 person business dinner 2 weeks in advance. In the 2 years between my last visit and this one the mighty have really fallen. 7pm arrrived, 7.15 drinks arrived 7.30 starters arrived 7.50 starters cleared 8.25 i queried with a waitress when main courses would arrive and were told we were the next table to get them as they were being cooked now. 8.40 queried again and got told they would check but they didnt come back to us 8.50 spoke to one of the floor managers who told us the delay was due to a big group and ours were being cooked as we spoke and they would offer us a free coffee as compensation 9pm initial waitress came to retake our main order i went to floor manager who told me that at some point in the last two hours they had lost our main course order and would start them now. Throughout the whole two hours other tables were getting starters and mains delivered and staff were clearing and cleaning empty tables. When we had arrived there was one goroup of 30 in and about 10 other diners- by the time we left another two groups of 10-15 were seated and eating (lucky them) so it wasnt like they were full and too busy. We weren't even asked if we wanted more drinks - the only service our table got was the addition of two new water bottles and before we could ask for other drinks the waitress had left - it felt like they didn''t want to come to see us because they themselves were too embarrassed by the wait - this seemed backed up by the fact that at 9.05pm with no sign of our main course we got up and walked out en masse and not one member of staff said anything to us or tried to persuade us to be even more patient and wait - they acted like it was a common occurance. Thankfully the evening was saved by the cook and bar staff at the Tara. Within 15 minutes of walking in the 15 of us were eating main courses. Harkema need new chefs, kitchen staff, waitresses and managers and they could learn a lot by following the example of the humble Irish Pub directly opposite them. I have previously recommended Harkema to people but whatever they have done in the last few years has permanently lost any chance of a recommendation from myself, my colleagues or my circle. My ratings for food and value are based on how the food and drink we did get (starters and one round of drinks) measured up against the price of the meal we would have paid for if we had ever received it. Whilst every restaurant can have odd hiccups, i find that a 75 minute delay after the starters is unacceptable, to be told they would have to retake the order is unforgiveable but to be lied to by the staff and told twice that the kitchen was cooking it when they obviously hadn't even checked shows a lack of integrity and concern for customer satisfaction. if they had really checked and discovered the order was lost when we first queried the delay, they could have rushed it through with an apology and a free drink, and salvaged their reputation.
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