Friday, 12 March 2010

15 to 1

The below is Susanna's sent from Toby's computer and thus says Posted by Toby at the end in error.

fifteen to one

I had high hopes of 15 but must sadly say the restaurant, the food and the service, was appalling. Of course it was lovely to spend time with my fellow diners and I particularly enjoyed getting more than a little tipsy with Julia.
I have very little to say about the uninspired food, so here is a list of my key complaints:

1) The meal was grotesquely over price for what it was.
2) We had to chase our drinks in the bar and were told to be patient as the bar was 'backed up with orders'.
3) No one came to the bar to let us know our table was ready.
4) The room downstairs was airless, over heated, and badly lit.
5) There were at least four couples with over-tired, strung out young children (please leave them at home).
6) The tasting menu was not a tasting menu at all. We had to do all that hard work choosing all four of our courses.
7) All of my courses which were supposed to be hot were on the cold side of tepid.
8) One of my courses (the duck ravioli) was inedible and sent back to the kitchen. The replacement was equally bad. There was no apology for this and it was not reflected in the (grotesquely overpriced) bill.
10) The somelier kept mixing up our wines.
11) He served a rather strong red wine with the halibut. I would have preferred a dry white.
12) The food was bland and utterly soulless - clearly cooked in a formulaic way with no flair (only my first course was good and that was very much an assembly job: prosciutto, rocket, mint, pommegranite, balsamic vinegar etc.).

I think this was far worse than my last failry awful choice. I give 15 1 out of 10.

Lamentable !

Diners should steer clear of this grossly overpriced eating house with its mean portions, mediocre food and indifferent staff. The place trades on Jamie in the menu with allegedly "incredible burrata" and "wicked" fisherman's stew but it's clear from the food that he and the kitchen have long since parted company.

The bar was cold and chaotic and we got our cocktails only after a long, draughty delay and a prompt to the waitress. It took a further prompt for us to be conveyed to our table. Excellent bread and very promising saucisson arrived but nobody came to ask us what we would like to drink. My burrata was a very mean slice of mozzarella. Tonight's menu was supposedly a tribute to the recently deceased Rose Gray; she must have turned in her grave at the sight of our floury, undercooked duck stuffed ravioli and the sulky manner in which the waitress dealt with our complaint. Cooking it further was something of an improvement but who in their right minds would marry pasta with pomegranate seeds ? My halibut on a bed of very anaemic carrot puree was ok. My ginger sponge pudding was rather dry but was helped along by a marvellous glass of Italian sweet wine.

All in all, the food just wasn't good enough - this was supposed to be their Tasting Menu - and the staff did not care a toss either . At no stage did anyone bother to ask us whether we had enjoyed our meal. Having now looked at other reviews of this restaurant it seems that we are not alone in having had such a disappointing experience. Feeling ripped off leaves a most unpleasant taste in my mouth ! Score 1/10

Wednesday, 10 March 2010


Started with a delicious rhubarb martini upstairs with ju-to-su.
Descended to the restaurant proper with high hopes of some goumet grub. After all, we were having the 'tasting menu' alongside the 'wine package' which would set us back a hefty wedge of moola. I am rather of the opinion we have been 'had' by the over-inflated reputation of this no-doubt admirable charity, and feel that Mr Oliver would shun it himself. He certainly would not like to put his name to the food we had, which was distinctly un-Jamieish. In fact, not only the dishes were disappointing (and the portion sizes were sub-tapas!) but the whole establishment suffered from a lack of management and training. The service was poor, the ambience and food lacklustre. Plus, some of the young diners brought their babies(!) out to dine with them. Is this a new trend? For the record, I had smoked eel salad, oxtail gnocchi (a nice spoonful) and 'wicked' (ha ha) fisherman's stew (under-flavoured somehow), followed by chocolate tart (ok).
Poor show: 3/10

Saturday, 6 March 2010

The bill!!

Oh Jamie, Jamie

After a six month gap, finally JU-Ti-Su-To was reconvened and what a delight that is. We arrived at Fifteen and admired the building from the outside and stepped in to the disorganised chaos. An overcrowded bar, late arriving drinks and having to ask if our table was ready did not bode well. The dining room was cold (and over-heated), dated and unpreposessing. The waiting staff were curt and sloppy and when we were presented with the "tasting Menu" it turned out to be a set menu.

MY food was ok but not at all inspiring or exciting - the salami at the start may well have been the highlight. The Amuse Bouche was fine but a little lacklustre and I followed with the eel and potato salad. Now as Ti said (and he knows a thing or two) that is a great combination, and it is, but this was at best a fairly average example. The pancetta was bacon by the way. This was paired with a bone dry Austrian white - fine but not great. Next a crab risotto that was underseasoned and a lttle dull with a rather unsubtle but perfectly drinkable Viognier. Next a very average lamb dish - not great lamb and very dry with an over tannic Italian red and finally a very deliscious Panna Cotta with a good Spanish sweet wine.

Overall the food was ok but esentially dull, the wine choices were ok but not of great quality, the service was very slap-dash, even the charming sommelier kept getting things wrong, and the price was outrageous.

A generous 4/10.