Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Jamming it up at H Jones and Co

Geez that annoys the crap out of me! I’ve moaned about it SO many times, and still it happens time and time again!

Restaurants who have a website, complete with menu, and fail to update the bloody menu online!

If the information on your site is out of date – what’s the point of investing all that money on a website? I was relying on their website to tell me the prices and description of what we ate tonight.

Deep breath Rita……

Apart from that minor irritant, we enjoyed a beautiful meal at Henry Jones tonight. We ordered (and shared) a Beef Tartare, which was actually quite splendid. If you know me of old, regular readers, you will know exactly how I have my steak, which is the polar opposite of tartare style! So you’ll understand the full impact of the statement I have just made about the splendid-nous of the Beef Tartare. It was a tiny serving size (slightly bigger in diameter than a 20c piece, and the thickness of maybe six 20c pieces piled up) but beautiful all the same.

We also had a confit of salmon, served with baby beets and a fingernail clipping-sized dob of crème fraiche – a combination of subtle flavours which blended well.

For mains, Kim had the free range (Mount Gnomon) wessex saddleback pork which had been well sous-vided, and I had (in tribute to it being Bastille Day today) the Beef Bourgignon. The beef wasn’t quite your usual BB dish, but also sous vided till it was SO tender to eat that the knife was superfluous. It contained the single token cocktail onion and mushroom cup but that’s as close as it went to your common or garden BB. I loved it.

We ordered steamed vegetables as a side ($7, I think) but didn’t really need them.

There were only two other tables in the restaurant, which was a shame, but hopefully they picked up some more in-house diners after we left to scurry home and watch Masterchef!

At ordering time, we had asked the heavily-Pommy-accented waitress about the origins of the pork. She returned from the kitchen telling us that “the pork had come from the NW, around Cygnet”! She didn’t appear to believe us when we expressed doubt about her explanation of the pork’s origin. In the end, out of the kitchen came 2nd chef Vincent (from memory) who kindly helped us out with answering our questions about the food, and how certain aspects had been carried out. That was a great example of excellent customer service, and I thank him very much for going to the trouble of explaining how he had dealt with the various dishes.

So – Christina – you should have been there. I hope T42 was as brilliant as H Jones was for us.

Kim had an Entertainment Book voucher for Henry Jones, so after we had used that, and halved the bill, we both owed $35 each – excellent value for top class food – and it has made me rethink my bias against the Entertainment Book. I am seriously considering getting one now.
Posted on by Rita


Anonymous said...

I also love looking at restaurant menus before hand although I am VERY disappointed when I do find they are updated on arrival at the establishment! I love to read the menu beforehand to get a feel for the food (and price) as it adds to the excitement of a meal out (especially at a half decent place). However I really love it when presented with a different menu on arrival - I still get to enjoy reading the menu, making decisions with my partner (not a screen) in the actual restaurant!! Yes I get to decide there and then - in real food time...although if you have to be home by 7.30 I fully understand your dilemma……(is that why you didn’t order the tartare well done - time restraints??). You know you can watch MC if you have the correct Telstra App on your mobile phone…..

sir grumpy said...

Sounds a bit like you had a boil-in-the-bag night, Rita, however posh.
Reminds me of my Findus boil-in-the-bag chicken curry with plain rice. It was yum and I miss it.
That and Marks & Spencer's chicken curry in a can (hot or medium!) from around 1980.
And Mark's country cake and giant european peanuts and prawn cocktail crackers.......
Still haven't had proper meal (just morning tea) at the Jones shack. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

No offense Rita - but you're the kind of customer that an establishment would hate see using an entertainment card, particularly if it happened to be a night when they are turning away customers who might enjoy the entire dining experience, coupled with wine. After paying for the laundry of linen and perhaps credit card fees, extra wages I wonder how much profit came out of the $35 per head you paid. Worth mentioning also that those who believe that the proceeds of the book go to charity might be interested to know that non profit organisations (ie work social clubs aren't exactly what I would call a charity.) Some people use the book in the true spirit of the promotion, but most are just tight cheap-skates who buy not only one book,but several and of course they return - as soon as the next book is published. Makes you see people in a whole new way

Rita said...

No offence taken Anon 4.41 - in fact I agree with you, and since I wrote that, have thought about it and decided not to buy one, mainly for the reason that I am happy to pay the going price for my meals, and in doing so, feel I am contributing to our industry's wellbeing and ongoing sustainability.

Christina said...

I would like to know why Rita would be "exactly the kind of customer" a restaurant would hate to see using a entertainmaent voucher?
I DO believe that the proceeds of the book go to charity, as I CHOSE to purchase mine from the Hobart Cat Centre instead of Stonemans Garden Centre or elsewhere.
So what Anon 4.41 differentiates between the "true spirit of the promotion" and a tight cheap skate?
This is me starting to get really pissed off about this issue and I can't wait to hear your answers!!!
By dining out Rita, I also feel Phil and I are contributing to our industry, a lot more than some, as this is our passion. I feel the need to explain once again my reasons for using a voucher book, but having to justify myself every time, I nearly feel like shove the bloody lot of you.
As you can tell I've just gone passed "starting to get" and I'm now there!!!

Nuf Sed said...

Well if we are going to turn this into another discussion about customer behaviours then I am going to throw my two cents worth in...

The last customer who made a booking in my restaurant and did not turn up learnt the hard way that communication is important!

He also learnt that I am probably the last business owner you do a no-show on!


A few years back when I owned a top-end Hobart Restaurant, one of our regular customers was a well known Hobart Millionaire businessman.

He frequently dined with us, and often brought along 20 clients/associates with him. An arrogant prat, but he spent money, so was respected by us. Always paid with an American Express card.

One evening he had a booking for 6pm and come 6.30 when he had not turned up, I rang his Mobile to re-confirm his booking. (Which had already been confirmed!)

The rude thing told me he was taking his group of 20 to another restaurant they had decided on! No explanation, apology or anything.

So I went ahead and put through a four and a half thousand dollar charge on his American Express Card ($4500 was close to what he usually spent), and I bet every dollar I’ve ever earnt that it was the last time he no-shows for dinner at my Restaurant!

Nuf Sed