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Good trouble at Jamie's
We were in Oxford recently and decided to give 'Jamie's' restaurant a go. Jamie Oliver is a young British celebrity TV chef who has done a lot to help young people, from championing nutritious school meals to encouraging young chefs in setting up their own restaurants. Nice guy. Likely nice restaurant? Read on...
A table was available and we were ushered down a circular staircase to bijou cavern. Not salubrious, but pleasantly basic, which suited us fine. A friendly young lady helped us choose dishes and I plumped for a spring chicken on a polenta mash with nice sounding sauce over it.
The problem came when I started eating. Every mouthful had bits of bone in it. I asked for a dish to hold the bits and quickly filled it. Getting less and less happy, I gave up. And like a good grumpy customer, I decided that the polenta mash was rather too wishy washy as well. I sat there, plotting what to say and wondering how to signal my displeasure by giving a miniscule tip.
Then the waitress came by and asked how we were doing. So I told her. Bluntly, but politely. Expecting excuses, I was surprised when she thanked me, said she was sorry and that feedback was important to them. She did try a bit of excuse by saying how spring chickens were bony, but I countered by saying she could have warned me and that bony bits could be seen as a choking hazard. She wisely didn't try pressing the argument and apologised again as she took the dish away.
The icing on the apologetic cake was complete when she came back and said that we wouldn't be charged anything for the dish. My confidence in Jamie was fully restored and I thanked her by giving an extra-large tip.
Will we go back again? Most certainly. My wife's dish was delicious, which shows they can cook well, and, most importantly, they showed that they understood good service.
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