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Pont de la Tour

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Still hungry
Thursday 11 July 2002 5.30pm

Went (was taken!) there last week. Can't say I was over impressed for the following reasons:

1. tiny tiny portions. A good pile of roast potatoes? not a hope; a mouthful of mash instead.

2. cold plates. When you're serving a delicate tiny (exquisite) piece of foie gras (and no, I didn't expect to get full on that), then it should come on a warm plate, otherwise it's cold before it leaves the kitchen, let alone by the time it arrives at the table.

Has anybody else been there? Moreover, has anybody ever paid to go there (fortunately I didn't get to see how much it cost....)

Anyway, still hungry, I returned home for that staple of dimly remembered student life, Marmite on toast.
Thursday 11 July 2002 6.55pm
I went there with my Significant Other this Spring. Nice meal. French style. Elegant. Very rich. Sat at a table next to Duncan Goodhew and his charming family. No change from 140 for the two of us, including a modest wine.

Things go well until, right at the end of the meal, the S O pipes up with "That man on the next table looks just like Duncan Goodhew!!!" Manage to stifle the rest of the sentence "...and that girl looks like Duncan Goodhew in a blonde wig!!!" She does too. The sweetheart.

You should not have put up with cold plates and tiny portions, especially at those prices. They do chips on the side. I concede that it is embarrasing to complain when someone else is paying. Write to the restaurant explaining why you didn't complain at the time and why you were dissapointed. Don't ask for money. You may be pleasantly surprised with their response.

Remember: Be nice to the person that serves your food.
Friday 12 July 2002 9.54am
I think chop house is a lot better
Monday 15 July 2002 11.42pm
Chop house is incredibly expensive for what it is. The service can be a bit snotty too.
Thursday 18 July 2002 7.07pm
I don't have much good to say about recent Conran, post Conran eateries. I think Pont had a Michelin star at one point, maybe it still has? They are only good for the cheap meal deals they sometimes do. Most of them represent upmarket food faddy standardisation, no character, individuality or emotion. Nouveau riche need only apply.
Thursday 18 July 2002 9.43pm
The best thing about Pont de la Tour is walking past on a Saturday or Sunday morning before the restaurant opens and seeing all the staff eating their gigantic portions of chips and other delicious looking things. They look really satisfied!
Thursday 18 July 2002 11.37pm
If they only feed the staff at weekends, I bet they're smiling.
I suppose they have to slum it at the Cantina del Ponte weekdays?

The best thing about Pont de la Tour is watching the wino lying on the promenade bench in front of the restaurant and regailing the diners:
"Havin' a good time? Well sho am I".
And he is.
Friday 19 July 2002 5.19pm
The Chop House has a good trick - it works like this.

Place a board with big letters outside: "Lunch: two courses - 9".
(That sounds like a good deal!)

Offer diners the choice of inside or outside seating. Well it's a nice day - of course they want to sit outside. Offer diners menus but ensure the daily specials card covers the prices or give them the bar menu.

>Present bill and when they complain that the price of the set meal has doubled point out that they are sitting in the restaurant not the bar. Show them the menu (ensuring it is the restaurant menu this time) and make sure you swop the specials card to the other side so that they can clearly see the inflated price.

And when they complain that the menu is the same, point out they are getting better (more fussy) service - the price for which of course you add automatically anyway.

Adding a Gallic shrug of the shoulders is always a good final touch.

This is a good scam and neat way of getting an extra 20 for nothing. Of course it works only once and the number of real (as opposed to business customers who can let their company pick up the bill) tends to diminsh over time.
the arch druid
Wednesday 24 July 2002 3.21pm
Izzy - you rule!
Spot bollock anaylis of Conran's miserable empire.
Thursday 25 July 2002 12.09pm
The one time I went to the Chophouse, I had something which sounded nice when described, but when I got it, was tepid mushrooms on toast with cream poured over them.

I started to feel a bit ill when eating it and couldn't finish it. I then threw up on the way home. I do have a bit of a sensitive stomach, but I still blame the chophouse. And they charged 5 for a bottle of water!
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