Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews

Text

Fed up with celebrity chefs drizzling sauces over undercooked pieces of meat? I am!

I regularly dine out and am happy to share my restaurant experiences, and views on food, with you.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Albert's Table

Restaurant

Albert's Table
49B South End
Croydon
CR0 1BF

Phone 0208 680 2010

Website www.albertstable.co.uk

Overview

Eva and I visited the newly opened (so new the smell of paint was still in the air) Albert's Table a fortnight ago, and gave it a "test drive".

Albert's Table opened on the site of a Chinese restaurant on Tuesday 29th July, and serves, to quote their website:

"..dishes created from quality British ingredients chosen when they are in season and at their best. There are so many farmers in the UK producing world class meat, dairy and vegetables and these are the ingredients that we will be using at Albert's table.

The style of food is very much British, but with a slight modern take to include some of the best influences from Europe.

Our fish is all British and delivered daily. We work with the fishmongers very closely to ensure that we get the freshest fish every day and when we use farmed fish it is always organic
."

Joby Wells, the head chef, has worked at some top restaurant in London including; The Square and The Orrery.

Ambience

The restaurant is bright, white, spacious and modern. Decoration is minimalist, and the room is well lit. When we went there is was reasonably busy, which gave the place atmosphere.

As with some other restaurants Albert's table suffers from excessively cold air conditioning, I am of the view that less is more.

Menu

The menu offers meals of two and three courses for £25 and £27.50. The dishes offered include; traditional raised Middlewhite pork pie, warm duck salad, short crust tart of Dorset crab, chicken breast with lasagne and pork belly dry marinated in lemon.

Service

The service was very efficient, and extremely attentive. The bizarre issue over the mashed potato (see below) was resolved by our waitress, who persuaded the chef that the customer has a say in what goes on the plate.

That being said, there seemed to be a rather lengthy delay between the first and second course; newly opened teething problems in the kitchen I assume.

Food

I began with the traditional raised Middlewhite pork pie, served with cider jelly & gooseberry compote. The pie was first class, a quality pork lightly seasoned with herbs surrounded by a light pastry. However, the compote that accompanied it was far too strong, and totally overpowered the dish. I believe that good quality dishes such as this do not need their taste destroyed, they are good enough to stand alone on the plate.

My advice would be to either tone down the compote, or present the pie with a small salad, or quail's eggs.

My main course was saddle of lamb which, according to the menu I could not have this with mash (even though mash was available with the beef) which I wanted. I was told that the chef only allocated a certain number of pritons of vegetables per day, and does not like to swap the vegetables between dishes.

Quite ridiculous!

It was highly unlikely that there would be sudden rush of new customers at that time of the evening. Additionally, I am of the view that the chef is there to serve the customer not the other way round.

Our waitress managed to persuade chef to allow me to eat mash with the lamb.

That issue having been resolved, I settled down to enjoy my main course when it arrived. I am pleased to say that the lamb was first class, succulent and tender with just the right amount of fat to add flavour; as was the mash.

Eva began with baby artichokes poached in white wine and olive oil, with shallots, Parmesan and a poached egg. Absolutely delicious!

She chose the organic roast salmon with potato gnocchi, leek hearts & grilot onions with béarnaise sauce for her main course. This was excellent, the salmon was cooked and flaked to perfection and was well complemented by the gnocchi and leeks.

We, rather rarely for us, then chose a dessert (the posset). The posset (a mixture of cream, egg yolks and booze) was a delight, and was accompanied by fresh raspberries.

The meal, which included a bottle of Chablis and some coffees/liqueurs, came to £104 including service.

Overall Opinion

In our view the food is first class, once initial teething troubles (eg air conditioning and mash servings) are addressed, this restaurant is worth visiting.

20 comments:

rogerio said...

Alberts table has a simple food with fancy names.Owner of this restaurant doesnt know what he is doing,he is horrible to his staff,He pays 6.00£ per hour to his waiters.Plus tips are included,but not for hard working staff...They newer seen a penny..From the time when restaurant opened Owner of this restaurant fired at least 6 chefs(or they left,because they couldnt work with someone who doesnt now a thing about how to manage people or restaurant) plus couple waitresses and even more kitchen porters..He wants to be like Gordon Ramsey but He is not...Do not Try to get a job there thats the worst place that You could work....and not really plesant place to eat..

Anonymous said...

Loved the snippet of early morning impartiality from Rogerio there.
Always good to leave your job with your head held high!

Anyway Rogerio, I'll have a Big Mac plse.

Anonymous said...

Alberts table is indeed overrated. The ambience when not full is very bland along with the service. It seems owning a restaurant and knowing how to run one is another story. The food whilst good was not consistant, upon reading the calibre of the chef on the website I was suprized how many restaurants this young chef has managed to frequent in such a short time. Whilst the restaurant on the whole was good value Alberts table has a long long way to go in order to create an atmosphere that does not look strained and at any moment could collapse. Judging by the shouting and name calling coming from the kitchen, they area long way off GOOD LUCK

Anonymous said...

FOOD WAS BLAND SERVICE WAS SLOW AND INEFFICIENT, SURELY MINIMUM WAGE CAN AFFORD YOU SOME SKILLS< I KNOW THIS IS CROYDON BUT DOES IT HAVE TO BE THIS BAD ?????

Audrey, Sanderstead said...

I am very surprised at the comments above as myself and my husband enjoyed a lovely evening at Albert's Table last week when we celebrated our wedding anniversary. We were made very welcome by the staff, and when they found out it was our anniversary two glasses of complimentary Champagne arrived at our table!

The crab tart I had was delicious, and my husband particularly enjoyed the pheasant he had for his main course.

We've already booked ourselves in for Sunday lunch. Good luck Albert!

Anonymous said...

Three of us went there for Sunday lunch and three of us were disappointed. The decor appeared stylish and clean, however, with no soft furnishings and a hard wooden floor it was like sitting in a echo chamber. The somewhat frosty head waitress clomping up and down in her high heels didn't help either!

Two of us started with the pork pie, which lacked flavour. This may be due to the fact that it was ice cold. My duck salad, however, was good and I enjoyed the balance of flavours.

Two us of had roast beef and one had the pork. The beef was very chewy and I had a remove 3 pieces from my mouth because they were so tough! The gravy was extremely thin and had no flavour. Roast potatoes were like bullets and the yorkshire puddings were soggy and full of horseradish sauce!

Overall, we were very disappointed and won't be going back. What a shame we were hoping that Croydon might finally have a decent restaurant!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I also dined there last week. Wish I had found these reviews first.

Never again. 'Pretentious' sums it up perfectly.

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed by the previous comments... I went in with my wife 2 weeks ago, had a very nice piece of beef following a tasty cheese soufflé. We were very nicely looked after and I liked the atmosphere! That's definitely a place where we will be delighted to come back + recommend.

Simon Light said...

I had an excellent meal in this restaurant and have no idea why anyone would have a bad word to say against it. The food and atmosphere was top class. I will definitely be eating there again.

Matthew said...

The re seems to be mixed opinions. I won't go to in to any legnth of what was wrong.

It goes to show the truth behind the saying "one man's meat is another's poison". Unfortunatley for me it was the latter.

Anonymous said...

I WAS SHOCKED TO FIND OUT THAT THE YOUNG WOMAN WHO I CAN ONLY PRESUME IS THE DAUGHTER OF THE OWNER MS RAWLINGS IS SEEMINGLY IN CHARGE,,,, SOMETIMES ITS NOT FOR THE BEST TO HIRE THOSE CLOSE TO YOU. SERVICE WAS POOR AND I NOTICED ALCOHOL BEING CONSUMED BY HER AT O0NE POINT BY THE BAR. ALTHOUGH THE FOOD WAS GREAT THE SERVICE HAD A LOT TO BE DESIRED. I SHALL BE BACK HOWEVER I HOPE THAT IN MY ABSENCE THAT YOUNG LADY HAS THE TIME TO IMPROVE HER OVERALL SERVICE.

Matthew said...

Following my earlier comment I have, this weekend, found the answer to the sub-standard Albert's Table. It's only short walk away: www.lecassoulet.co.uk

Anonymous said...

may i suggest that the owners cease from indulging themselves by adding their own reviews. Lets face it you are only as good as your last service/meal whatever. inexperienced staff, judging by the shouting coming from the kitchen an angry inexperienced chef. the reviews speak volumes,concentrate on the bad ones and make it better. Get some ambience in there cause juding by the meal i had last week you have a very long road ahead of you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Matthew. I was in Croydon this week on a business trip and tried Albert's before seeing the reviews. I was disappointed. Fortunately I later saw you comment on Le Cassoulet and it was superb, I went there twice.

Anonymous said...

If this restaurant lasts the year I will be suprised. With such competition coming across the street from La CASSOULET's sister restaurant. Alberts table needs to to give the public what the public wants Not what alberts table wants to give the public. Face it Mr Wells too much shouting not enough cookin !!!

Anonymous said...

THE CAFE ROUND THE CORNER FAR OUTSHINES ALBERTS TABLE IN EVERY WAY. A WASTE OF GOOD REAL ESTATE SPACE

Mr Hurst said...

You MUST eat here.

We were in a party of 6 for new years eve and it was excellent, the food is very tasty and the beef was high quality especially washed down with a nice bottle of Chianti.

The staff were efficient and will certainly be re visiting throughout the year.

Thank you for making it a special evening.

Anonymous said...

shocking meal...front of house staff good but rather strange!! shouting from the kitchen upsetting and ruined the meal!!! think I might join Rodrego for a Big Mac next time!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, I wish I too had read these reviews before parting with £70 for lunch.
My partner and I have been wanting to go here ever since it opened, as we live across the road, but rarely have had the chance.

Soup was Luke warm, chocolate steamed sponge was dry and rock hard presented on a plate with, what appeared to be, a giant skid mark.

Starter plate was covered with greasy thumb prints, nt happy.

Starter to main course waiting time was questionable, main to dessert was a over 30mins.

Free chocolates served with the coffee were actually nicer than the actual dessert itself.

Decor is all wrong, although the frontage is very attractive, needs professional help, not a DIY and a paintbrush with cheap wallpaper.

Staff all looked scary or scared from talking to us, but they were all very polite always.

The empty Bread dish stayed on our table until the main course though.

We asked for wine suggestion with our food and were met with shock horror and given house wines instead, even though budget was not an issue!

There's too much wrong with this place to make it a regular haunt for us, and its very dissapoiting to see that nothing is being done about it. It was clearly evident that the head chef was not working today.

I think we'll pay the additional parking and fuel and do the monthly Woseley lunch dates instead.

Such a shame.

Anonymous said...

Any1 that knocks Alberts Table is uneducated food wise and should never be listened to. The other restaurant may be slating them threw various sources but look at how the other one has had to cut there opening hours during the week as its just not worth them staying open. I've been to Alberts table for 3 years and I've eaten all over the world, and they r great.the other mensioned restaurant is going under as all the business people in the area take clients to Alberts Table and not LC. What does that tell u when u need to make an impression.