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    Manchester UK
  1. I believe it depends on the type of improvement. The facilities manager where I work was quite upset when the canteen lost a star after an inspection found a tap on a sink wasn't working properly: it had apparently been working earlier that day and was fixed the next day but they were still docked down to 4 stars. They got the star back immediately though because it was a one off technical failure; she told me that if it had been a failure in their processes it would have needed multiple further inspections to verify that the process was both fixed and being followed. That fits in with what I was told by my regular local curry lunch spot. They initially got three stars because of some minor stuff and got upgraded quickly to five when it got dealt with. I've had a dodgy tummy from proper restaurants with five stars on more than one occasion, so I wouldn't take it as an infallible guide to what is actually going on in the kitchen out of view...
  2. Just put allegedly before anything critical...
  3. This. Not just in restaurants but generally across the board. I've lost count of the number of favours I've been done by hotels (free upgrades), airlines (ditto), restaurants etc. simply by treating them with respect and not acting like a customer is always right asshole.
  4. We live in a world of credit checks, background checks etc.etc. Surely it is not beyond the whit of the restaurants to run some form of list for persistent no showers. If you have a name and a mobile no. Don't the online services like open table etc. have a log system for this?
  5. Can entirely understand it from the restaurants point of view, with the caveat that I find it almost impossible to believe that somewhere like The Fat Duck wouldn't be able to fill a cancellation from their extensive list of wannabe diners, even at short notice. If they charge exorbitant cancellations and then fill the tables anyway then that is very naughty. With Twitter FB etc. instant communication is very easy. Text messaging would be a better way for confirmations as well really. I'm always getting calls from restos at inconvenient times, then have to listen to voicemail, ring them back etc. Simple text saying "your table for .... @ ....pm needs confirming by return text, no shows will be charged at £... per head" would be perfectly acceptable to me. If you get delivery confirmation you'll know they have received it. When I had a live music venue many years ago I used to run an unofficial black list of bands that destroyed equipment, vandalised the dressing room etc. and used to share it with other venues in a ten mile radius. If it was a touring band I'd ring the other venues on the itinerary nationally and warn them. After a while with the venues collaborating some of the bands came back to apologise or offer to pay for damage as they found it hard to get gigs...
  6. Popped in last night just for drinks. Had a wander round the resto as well. Liked it. Quite a few people from other bars in checking it out...
  7. If the restaurants want to stamp down on this they could insist that the meal is paid for with the same credit card that the reservation was made with. Or ring the mobile of the booker upon entry to the restaurant to make sure they are in the party. Gonna complicate concierge bookings and the like though. The Lowry Hotel in Manchester made the CC thing a condition at the Bourdain event for pre-ordered drinks, but in that case I think it was to cut down on dodgy cards being used...
  8. Browns Bar and Restaurant 1 York Street Manchester M2 2AW Tel: 0161 819 1055 http://www.brownsmanchester.co.uk/index.php Just got back from a meal for 4 on what I think is only their first or second day of full trading after a soft opening. ^^ Website images, not mine... First impressions are good, got a table and were seated very efficiently. http://www.brownsmanchester.co.uk/menu.pdf Starters were goats cheese mushrooms, prawn cocktail, scallops, seared peppers. Everybody happy, bit of swapping going on, all pretty impressed. Mistake with the one of the mains, kitchen error as it was read back to us correctly by the waitress. They dealt with it splendidly, offered a comp. drink and the correct dish arrived within five minutes. Well done. So mains were steak mushroom and ale pie with mashed peas and potato,crayfish crab and coriander fish cakes, grilled chicken off the specials, and a chicken tomato and fennel salad. All good, but general feeling was not quite as good as the starters. I had a 175 glass of the Merlot with the pie, very nice for a house wine. Deserts were profiteroles, two poached pear and a chocolate brownie. Back up to the standard of the starters, impressed. There were a few dropped cutlery moments and some near misses with the staff crossing one another, but overall it seems to be running quite smoothly for so early on. The whole place looks great, price wise it's in the sweet spot for the city centre (no fine dining pretensions) and if they can keep the standard up and the idiots out it should do really well. I'll certainly be back. Edit; Just to add. Make sure you tip in cash as the card gratuity rakeoff is fifty percent apparently...
  9. Michael Nadells whole multi million pound patisserie empire is based on the fact that many "high end" places pass off his excellent product as their own. Some even have the cheek to have the delivery boxes logo'd with their branding rather than Nadells in order to complete the illusion and head off the scurrilous rumours... http://www.nadellpatisserie.com/welcome.htm http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/1994/07/07/7133/Michael-Nadell.htm
  10. Epernay is cool, just hope it can survive the Bermuda triangle effect that is currently occurring on Peter Street vis a vis the bars all closing down.(Alright, absolutely horrid crap bars, but it still pulls trade away). Perhaps we should have a hit list of quieter places that deserve our support so that in a spur of the moment situation somewhere worthy gets our money rather somewhere convenient...
  11. Yeah Mary Ellen was with child last time I went and so was not in the kitchen...she was missed. Not a great meal. The first visit soon after it opened was 1* level food, but it doesn't seem to have maintained the consistency. Shame.
  12. I don't like it either. It seems the marketing psychology of keeping headline prices low and then gaining margin through lots of add ons like side dishes, service charges, wine mark ups etc. has become the norm. Presumably though, if it didn't work they wouldn't do it, which says volumes about the average punter...
  13. My guess...paid by card, got screwed on the currency conversion and decided that the restaurants had defrauded them.
  14. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-11822382
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