Miller & Carter, Worcester – review by HungryOwlOn March 25, 2018 by HungryOwl
I really don’t want to be critical about any restaurant, but it seems that I have no option here.
This Miller and Carter restaurant is based in the new Cathedral Square complex in Worcester and has a lovely patio area looking straight at the Cathedral – yesterday (25th March) it was too chilly to sit out and enjoy the view.
We arrived early and asked if we could sit in the bar for a quiet drink before going through to dinner. The table was booked for 7:15pm and we had arrived at 6:45pm – so a nice half hour to chat and relax. I ordered the drinks and had just sat down when the ‘greeter’ came over and said, “Your table\’s ready.” We never had the chance to say anything with regard to being ready, however, it was clear we had been summoned.
We were shown to a table, which was against a bench seat. People on either side of us had their coats placed on the seat where I was expected to sit. They bustled themselves around and finally I squashed in. We were presented with two very tall menus, they took up my entire view of the room and each other – clearly we weren’t suppose to have a conversation until we had decided on on our food.
The waiter appeared as we placed the menus down and took our order – both us and the waiter had to repeat everything several times due to level of noise. Almost as soon as he had disappeared FattyCat’s starter arrived – honestly it looked like someone had thrown some Nachos on an oblong plate and then thrown up on them in different colours. It was not at all appealing to the eye.
I took one of the sorry looking nibbles without any of slop on it. Oh my Lord! I have no idea what was on the thing but it took my head off. FattyCat complained that many of the Nachos were soggy and due to amount of sloppy wet dressings, he couldn’t tell if they were stale or had just absorbed the fluid on the plate.\
Mains arrived at 7:10pm to give you an idea of how fast they were pushing things out of the kitchen and they looked attractive. I had a medium Sirloin steak with sweet potato fries. The steak was cooked perfectly and was so tender that I never used the massive over-sized steak knife. The mushroom and garlic sauce was unseasoned and had not hint at all of garlic, the sweet potato fries were stone cold. I also had 2 extremely weird vegetable parts to the meal. Firstly, a huge chunk of iceberg lettuce which was supposed to be dressed with Garlic Mayo and Padano cheese – well I disagree with this description of the dressing, it tasted like cheap supermarket essentials salad cream and was a runny as water, plus again, the garlic was absent. (Clearly I was going to be a target for vampires this evening). The second was a strange gunked together blob of cooked onions that were congealed and could not be broken apart with my knife and fork, these too were stone cold.
FattyCat’s choice was no better. He had ordered the Burger with bacon and cheese, which was served with fries and coleslaw. The burger was very overcooked and dry, the meat contained no seasoning at all and the amount of cheese suggested that the restaurant had either run out or there was a world shortage! But the bacon was the oddest part – it was a cold chunk of very fatty belly pork, that was not what you expect when the description says bacon. The coleslaw was a tiny dipping bowl of dried up and curly grated veg, with no dressing and could have possibly been prepared days before.
FattyCat commented “If you can’t get a burger right, then what’s the point of ordering something more complex.”
We would have complained but the waiter only came over before I had even tasted my food and it seemed like a rudimentary question. Later when I looked around the waiters were too busy to gain their attention; there were three ‘greeters’ all stood chatting and laughing at the podium by the door.
I was desperate to find a highlight to the meal, so ordered a dessert – Lemon Posset tart with Berry Sorbet. Both the tart and the sorbet were served cold, but came on a warm earthenware plate, that very quick turned the food to a liquid puddle with a few soggy crumbs.
I have to be honest there was very little conversation during the meal due to the level of noise and whenever we did speak the people sitting on the tables either side of us looked over. There was absolutely no privacy, because were all sitting on each others laps.
One thing I haven’t yet mentioned was how every time plates were collected or delivered to the tables either side of us the waiter had to squeeze in and as they bent slightly to pick up or deposit the crockery, you got their bum in your face or rubbed against your arm. Just what you want during a meal. Which just goes to show the closeness we were sitting.
The waiters were clearly extremely short staffed and were running around trying desperately to cope. We had someone else’s dinner delivered to us, then passed to a table two away from us and the table next us had their desserts to delivered to us first – all because the staff were so rushed. Again each delivery involved someone getting a bum in their face.
In addition when they did come to the table to collect plates they seemed to be extremely apologetic “Sorry can I take your plate”, food was delivered in the same way “Sorry I have a medium steak”; was he apologizing for interrupting or did he know the food was so rubbish? Surely “Excuse me” would have sounded friendlier and less like he was intruding – are people not taught basic customer care skills these days??
I have no idea what the allowed turn around time for tables is – but the food was a complete dog’s dinner; starters and mains arrived so quickly that we hardly had chance to breathe. They all need to slow down, take their time to cook food correctly and think about presentation.
We were back out on the pavement feeling cheated and let down by 8pm.
The basics were missing here – no point looking like a ‘posh’ Beefeater and then providing service and food that was not remotely adequate.
In conclusion, this was an extremely disappointing experience and not what I had expected for the price. Lets face it, I can get better service and prettier looking plates of tasty food in The Crown, which is part of the Weatherspoons chain less that half a mile away.