The Grove used to be a good restaurant - never cheap, but the quality of the food made it worthwhile, so I was a regular customer for many years. Over the past two years or so, however, my guests and I have noticed that the prices have increased while the quality of the service and the cuisine have both declined significantly. Earlier this week my family and I paid West End prices, excluding a generous built-in service charge, for another episode of bland food and mediocre service. Despite the restaurant not being that busy, I had to wave to get the attention of the serving staff, none of whom made any effort to ask whether our meals were satisfactory or to offer to re-fill our drinks. No one bothered to thank us for eating there as we left after paying well over £100. To be frank, I've had a better dining experience at Pizza Express. I e-mailed the Grove the next day to complain about the poor value for money that has become a disappointing theme at the restaurant. Instead of a professional reply, I received two very defensive e-mails which basically said that I was clearly wrong to criticise and that "It is a customer's choice to go where they fill (sic) getting the best value for their money". If you want to dine at an expensive restaurant, then I recommend that you choose one where the quality of the service and food justify the price tag and where, if you offer any critical feedback, you are not effectively told to bugger off because you obviously don't know what you're talking about. I'm very sad to say that the Grove has become a waste of customers' hard-earned money.
The Grove Bar & Restaurant
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This fun and funky neighbourhood restaurant brings the twin disciplines of Mediterranean restaurant and gastropub to Hammersmith, providing a little holiday sunshine even on the greyest London day. A relaxing oasis in W6, The Grove’s greenery lined pavement area, covered by its huge green awning, gives a clue as to what’s inside – aqua painted panelling, cream walls, stripped floors and giant terracotta urns – all bringing to mind a favourite holiday destination, especially when the sun floods through those wide windows. With a daily changing menu, The Grove keeps things fresh and organic wherever possible, combining that Mediterranean vibe with good old fashioned British comfort eating.
I couldn't get a reservation here for dinner so I settled for lunch with my companions. We were warmly welcomed and quickly served. We all were surprised when they told us that the menu is changed twice daily. It meant the food must be fresh. The menu was hand written. It was nicely balanced, containing variety of modern European dishes suited for vegetarians, non-vegetarians and vegans. So it was the wine list. It's always hard to describe the items esp when the menu is changing but everything was fantastic. What a feast for the senses! We ordered the different dishes from the A la cart menu and a lovely bottle of Crozes Hermitage (organic) to go with it (recommended by the friendly manager with Eastern European accent). Every dish was thoughtfully prepared and engaging to all the senses. We were invited to smell the sauces before they were poured. The dishes themselves were works of art and tasted like heaven. The food (of course) was amazing. But the service is what I'll remember, and is the standard that I'll hold any top restaurant to from this day on. As a relative newcomer in Hammersmith, I can honestly say that they made me feel completely welcome and taken care of, and I could not have felt more at home if I were in my own dining room. The Spanish waitress moved and spoke with grace and she was also incredible about my food allergies. She instigated a dairy substitutes where necessary without compromising the integrity of the dish and where they didn't think they could make substitutes (like the oyster & caviar sauce on my fish) they discussed it with me. In the case of the sauce, we decided together to put the sauce on the side so I could put the amount that I thought was good for me. I wasn't planning on not having dairy on a night like this but it definitely improved my experience to have them working out for me. We left excited, full (which always surprises me at places like this), and invigorated. All in all, a fabulous experience, first class service and wonderful food. Will be back again soon, if I can get a table.