Hospitality – The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors or strangers. The Oxford English dictionary eloquently describes the definition of hospitality. Unfortunately the staff at Rosita and the sherry bar clearly didn’t get the memo. I usually try to avoid tearing a restaurant to shreds when I review them but in this case, I am going to make an exception. Rosita and the sherry bar on Northcote road in London, did everything they could possibly do to ensure that they were about as inhospitable as it is humanly possible to be. If you thought that the Antarctic was one of the most inhospitable places on earth, then you clearly haven’t been to Rosita and the sherry bar. I’m pretty sure that the reception in Antarctica would be less frosty.
Harsh? Maybe. True? Definitely. Now, yesterday was a special occasion, it was my birthday dinner and I was heading out with twenty of my closest family and friends. Twenty people dining, generates a pretty hefty wad of cash for a restaurant and boy was it money down the drain in this case. Luckily, I was blessed to be dining with amazing people and this went some way towards distracting me from the mediocre food and the surly manner of the staff. When we arrived, there was no warm welcome, there was no-one to liaise with me about numbers of guests, dietary requirements etc. I turned to one of my guests at some point during the evening and asked if they too felt like they were making a guest appearance in an episode of Fawlty Towers.
I will briefly touch on the low points of the evening, as I don’t want to waste my time writing lengthy descriptions of the varying degrees of average that Rosita and the sherry bar exhibited. The food was plonked on the table with no announcement of what the dishes were, the food was about as unexciting as staring at a plain white wall, condiments would arrive ten minutes after the food it was supposed to accompany, I was not able to eat a lot of the food as it was not gluten free and was provided with very little in the way of supplements, I had to repeatedly ask the staff to clear the already overcrowded table, whilst paying the bill, we were repeatedly given filthy looks from the staff as they wanted the table back, they dropped cutlery down my guests back and didn’t apologise. To top it all off, I awoke today to discover that some of my guests have experienced upset stomachs. I will desist at this point. I think you get the picture.
To sum up, I will leave you with an overview of the very restrained conversation I had with the manager at the end, restrained on my part anyway. I told them that I had a very unsatisfactory experience and asked them what they thought. To which, they responded, “You are not happy, we are not happy, we have people waiting for that table.” At this point, I pointed out that if the food has been brought out faster, we would have vacated the table sooner. When I continued to complain, one of the managers said “this is why we didn’t want to take such a large booking on a Saturday”. Again, I suggested that this was not my problem, nor my fault and that hopefully they would learn from the experience. At no point was there any trace of an apology, they showed no sign of remorse and they demonstrated such a startling ineptitude for running a restaurant that I am amazed they are even in business. Obviously, this is only my opinion and the opinion of the majority of my party of twenty. Rosita and the sherry bar provided one of the worst dining experiences I have ever had the misfortune of partaking in and it happened on my birthday. Good job Rosita and the sherry bar.