Canteen – Spittalfield Market
Canteen is such a beautiful idea on paper that it should work. Traditional british grub, sensibly sourced and prepared should fill a gap that’s been missing for a long time from the restaurant scene. I’ve visited Canteen about 6 times now so they must be doing something right but the last two visits have proved to be the combined last straw and I shan’t return unless I am dragged.
I mentioned previously in a posting about how I loathed food with rules and Canteen are an offender especially with how they police their breakfast / lunch changeover in a similar way that McDonalds do. The thing is that Canteen is not awful and with some changes it could be made quite serviceable. What galls is that they seem to have disdain for their customer shown in their awful service and giddy pricing of their food.
We started with very a kilner jar of super crispy scratchings which was incredibly generous in size and ran the risk of filling us up before our mains came.
We ordered the roast of the day and the order was taken. Our wine arrived and was fine. 10 minutes later we were told that the roast has sold out. I like the fact that they do sell out of things as it shows that the food is freshly prepared but surely they could have told us earlier. We all switched to the chicken pie which came with mash and spring greens. When it came, to be honest it was fine but this is simple food so it should be perfect. The pastry was a little soggy and the mash a bit tasteless and underseasoned.
For dessert we had the warm treacle tart with clotted cream which was unctuous and delicious.
Hmm, its the service rather than the food that leaves the bad taste in your mouth. We were served by an eastern european waitress who was rather cold and seemed to see us as an irritation rather than a customer. There was no apology about the lateness of food, no check back that the food was ok and it took an age to get the bill.
For the first time I witheld the service charge and said that I would tip by cash which I did, but somewhat below the service charge amount. I think I’m going to start doing this as it ensures that tips aren’t taken for granted and I can adjust them accordingly.
I think I’ve had enough of Canteen now. They seem smug and take their customers for granted. The food is ok but if it has to be served so grudgingly what is the point?