I was touring Canada and the United States on a long retirement holiday and after Seeing Seattle on the Television and programmes relevant to sea food decided to have a meal at a recommended restaurant. The manger of the hotel we were staying in recommended Chandlers Crab so with a table and a taxi booked and a preparation of anticipation we left for the Wharf.
Arrival exceeded any prejudgement and we were greeted and taken to our table with speed and efficiency. We had a window table overlooking the bay which was an excellent view and gave us much to talk about whilst waiting to be served.
We were presented a complimentary starter which was a well presented crab dish which proved to be tasty though maybe a little strong on either garlic or a seasoning salt.
My partner ordered Halibut and I Sturgeon. I didn’t recognise the accompanying dishes but it was a food adventure that we were prepared for.
On service of the food I saw that I had I darn’e of Sturgeon with ‘mashed potato’ and a sauce consisting of what appeared to be tinned tomatoes black olives and a peppery spice.
I tasted the potato first and to my surprise I found it to be gritty and bitty I thought that maybe either garlic or that the potatoes were riced instead of mashed / creamed.
I believe I was observed by a member of staff who after asking me if ‘everything was ok’ took the plate away and brought me back the Fish and sauce.
During the rest of the meal every time a waiter passed they enquired if the food was to standard which included the maitr’e d. I replied to the maitre, d that I would make comment after I had eaten. The fish was delightful, however I found both the potato choice and the sauce did not accompany the fish in either texture quality or composition?
After the meal was finished and the bill was paid the maitr’e d approached me and asked for my comment as I had said I would provide. I stated “The meal was not quite what I expected” he quickly replied that most English tourists go to a fish and chip shop down by the harbour.
I was expecting to pass comment like ‘sturgeon and mashed potato’ or ‘tinned tomatoes and olives’ or ‘was there a vegetable dish’ however the comment threw me and I realised I had wasted not only my money but a very expensive trip to Seattle, both my partner and I left.
In summary I was disappointed with my Chandlers Crab experience, and on the unlikely chance that I should return would make more effort to interrogate the staff on as to what was on the menu, what ingredients were used in composition , and not to make any comment on the food until it was time to leave. The quality of food and service certainly did not match the price of the bill.
Sorry to hear about your experience, generally restaurants here are happy to substitute another dish or re-prepare your dish if you are not satisfied AND if you let them know before you have eaten much of it. Once you have eaten the entire dish and paid the bill they are less likely to do so. Also i would be wary of hotel manager's recommendations unless you are staying at a very reputable establishment with a competent concierge who takes food seriously. Better to browse sites like this for opinions. Also if you are not satisfied with your server's answers to your questions, I would feel free to ask them to go back to the kitchen or chef to ask for a more detailed answer; servers around here are sometimes little more than food runners and not always reliable sources of information unfortunately.
I've never actually known anyone that's gone to this restaurant. I've always assumed it was a not-very-good tourist place. That's a shame the hotel sent you there--it drives me nuts when concierges recommend bad, touristy restaurants. You might consider sending an email to the hotel asking them not to recommend this in the future.
re: Seattle Rose
Thank you for the advice
Apart from the corporate attitude I was stunned when i was advised to go to a fish shop after the meal?
My meal was ruined when i tried the potato, I was expecting a highter standard than i received after a few minutes i just wanted to get out.
In hindsight i can only agree with Rose lol
Heres a note for you
It is / was illigal in this country to eat Sturgeon so I had to have it in USA
re: RAF CHEF
curious whether it would be considered "bad manners" to request a restaurant in the UK (assuming that is where you hail from?) to take back a dish and recook it, replace a side, etc? Here that is considered acceptable, at least among the better establishments. In hindsight, I would speak up immediately if you are put off by something on your plate.
I owe Chandlers an apology
I was not served mashed potato.
I was served Polenta ? Which when i enquired was told it was like potato by the server.
Having just 'googled' polenta to find it is cornmeal? I am more aghast and indignant than i was before.
Of course you can complain 'barley', however as a guest in your country and after ordering the meal I could hardly grumble when they thought they were serving me food.
I have never heard of polenta in my life and one does like to try local when touring.
Of course in the unlikely event of me flying to seattle for a dinner I will avoid any Polenta serving restuarant like the plague. lol
So i got it wrong and apologise