Last night we decided to go out for dinner seeing as both my wife and myself were sick over the Xmas and New Year and didn't get out once. We went to a place just down the road from us in Clontarf called "The Bay" (http://www.bay.ie/) as we were enticed by the menu items displayed online. The place always looked busy and packed whenever we drove past which seemed to be another plus point for it. We were to be left very, very disappointed.
When we went in we were surprised by the, how shall I call I, compact and dijouness of the tables. Our table for two was separated by about 3 inches from the table beside. For me, I couldn't push by seat back at all due to the closeness of the table behind me. Putting this aside, we went looking at the menu. There was the full menu and a smaller dinner special menu both of which did not fill me full of the joys of life. See, I don't eat seafood of any type, shape or form and so the decision of what to have was sort of made for me (I have to point out at this stage I don't eat seafood, raw tomatoes or mushrooms).
The first thing we noticed that was wrong was that as we were seated and handed the menu's we were not told what the specials were. This we noticed as it said on the menu that there were specials on the blackboard of which we saw only one and it had 2 desserts and a soup on it. Not a good start.
For starters I ordered the barbary duck on a rocket salad with sundried tomatoes on a raspberry sauce. My wife had crabcakes with a salad. Nicole's starter came perfect but on mine, instead of the sun-dries tomatoes it had ordinary tomato cubes which I didn't like as you know. I had to wrap all the rocket in the raspberry sauce to get rid of the tomato juice. The duck, while lovely, was a bit overcooked. The crabcakes starter I was assured was lovely.
For mains, I went to order the organic sirloin steak but was advised that it was not on the menu tonight (may have been helpful to be told that when given the menu's initially). We both ordered the angus striploin steak, served with boiled baby potatoes and wild mushrooms. We also ordered a side each of seasonal vegetables. We both declined the wild mushrooms and asked for the sauce on the side.
When we got our main courses the steak was cooked to perfection. However, as we waited for our vegetables we enquired to them only to be told that they were forgotten and would be 5 minutes to get. We were offered some side salad but declined. The steak came with 4 baby boiled potatoes and some pepper sauce. That was it. For almost €27. Not worth it at all. Also there was no thought or presentation to the dish. Nicole didn't finish her dinner as she stated it was simply "meat and spuds" and there was nothing to complement these. I ate my steak to line the stomach for the beer yet to come. And we come to the 2nd very disappointing service part. When it was discovered that the vegetables were not made the manageress made no effort to come over and apologise. Also, as Nicole sat there unable to eat the rest of the steak the mangeress walked past twice and made not effort to check if everything was alright. Nothing.
We thought dessert might make up for it and ordered the banoffi pie with fresh cream and the warm chocolate brownie and fresh cream. Again the presentation was shocking in that there was none. The banoffi (a small slice) came in the middle of the plate with the cream on top. Even a small squirt of a sauce would be better than the nothing it came with. While nice, again it was nothing special. The brownie was lovely with a slight bit more presentation as I had 4 berries on the side.
When we went to pay for the dinner, we were expecting the usual "how was your dinner?" question. However, the manageress (she assumed she was as she dressed different from the rest of the staff) asked nothing. No apolgies for the main course. Nothing.
The whole experience has left me very unwilling to return there, even for breakfast, as I don't want to be disappointed again and I also have an issue going somewhere that makes little effort to the customers.
Overall (from 5)
Service - 2
Starters - 3
Main - 2
Dessert - 3
Value for money - 2