When you hear that a Miller and Carter Steakhouse is opening up in Aylesbury over a Toby Carvery, you’re clearly going to get a little bit excited. I’ve never eaten in a M&C restaurant before so obviously I went on social media to have a quick look at the pictures of what people were eating and to gain an insight into what we would be expecting; everything I saw looked divine with people raving over the food offered.
As the restaurant was having a few dry runs for staff training leading up to the opening night I went along with a friend and our two daughters to try it out.
On arriving at this brand-new building, first impressions were great. The building was a lot bigger than expected, open and spacious, good lighting, great interior, plus a separate bar area where you could enjoy a drink before and after your meal. Note that the bar is for restaurant guests only, it’s not open to the public if you’re not eating.
As we sat down we were given a feedback form, so we were able to review the night ahead.
I’m the first to admit I have a little OCD and like things done properly. So I was rather concerned to find the cutlery placed on the left-hand side and not the right – not a good start. Then we weren’t given menus and after 15 minutes I had to ask for them – it really didn’t matter but would’ve created a better first impression. Also when we ordered water for the table and advised the waiter we wouldn’t be drinking wine; it would have been nice for the wine glasses to have be taken away, thus gaining table space.
Conner F was our waiter this evening, he was efficient in advising us on what he thought we would like. There is something for everyone, including vegetarians, a three course children’s menu for £10 and also a cocktail menu.
Once we had placed our order we sat back to soak up the atmosphere, checking out everyone’s food as it came out guessing what was on the plate. The girls came back saying how amazing the bathrooms were; with different mirrors leading upstairs to them and a large painting of a bull, it gave a classy feel to the restaurant. However my friend did point out that the lighting wasn’t right for selfies, obviously a very important detail in this day and age.
An hour and 40 minutes into the night we were still waiting for our main course; naturally I was expecting to wait longer than normal being a trial run, but as it was 9:10pm on a school night I had to ask where our meals were. The manager Nathan came over assuring us that he would go and find out what was happening; but unfortunately he didn’t get back to us… another 20 minutes later and nothing. We had clocked in 2 hours now.
Finally, my daughter’s meal came out. Don’t get too excited – that was it. A meal was brought to us but it was a mix up with another table, at that point I would have eaten anyone’s meal. My daughter didn’t want to start eating as she wanted to wait for us. Another 15 minutes later I approached the manger Nathan again, he seemed shocked that only one of our meals had come out. I cheeky advised him that it was nothing two free cocktails couldn’t sort out.
After over two hours of waiting, and two wrong meals brought out to us; my friend wanted to cancel hers. We were offered the two free cocktails to make up for it, to which I immediately accepted but my friend initially refused.
As we were in the process of cancelling our meals, they were actually brought out to us, my friends daughter ordered the children’s meatballs and pasta which was quite a small portion even for a children’s meal.
My friends medium-rare lamb was well done with far too much extra fat on it – she actually had a lamb shank at IKEA only a few weeks ago and came back raving that I had to go and eat there as it was amazing and so tasty! Therefore tonight it was IKEA 1 – Miller and Carter 0.
What can I say about my Moroccan style superfood salad with rump steak? Let me just ask “How can you go wrong with salad?” I don’t think anyone has gone as far wrong with salad as Miller and Carter did tonight.
Let’s start with the presentation. As you can see from the photograph there is no presentation, this was exactly how it was put in front of me; my 12-year-old could have presented it better.
Let’s play a game of spot the difference…. How many differences from the two photographs have you spotted? Let me tell you… 1. No roast rooted vegetables 2. No brown rice, 3. No quinoa, 4. No broccoli, 5. No pineapple & ginger dressing – there were baby leaves grapes, and tomatoes and cucumber – that shouldn’t have been there. How can you go so wrong?
Our lovely waiter Conner F, couldn’t have been more apologetic and talked my friend into finally accepting the complimentary cocktail. Only to be told moments later that they had ran out of puree, so were unable to make the cocktail! – I forgot to mention earlier that there was a number of meals on the menu that they had ran out of – for example the lobster. The manager Nathan never came back to me when he went to find out what had happened to my salad and to at least get some dressing. I couldn’t believe how rude he was. We were only told by Connor F, that unfortunately they got our order wrong and had to cook it all over again; if this was the case, surely it’s best to tell the customer and more importantly to feed the children.
Obviously we appreciated that we would experience some teething problems and maybe wait even an hour and a half for a meal, but to experience one thing after another as we did was just too disappointing, especially when everyone else’s meals looked so delicious.
I sincerely hope that what we experienced was just an unfortunate blip and that they will indeed get their act together before the opening on the 19th May as the restaurant certainly has the potential to be a really remarkable establishment – let’s hope it’s remembered for the right reasons in future.