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The Pantry - silent service - servicexcellenceblog
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The Pantry – silent service

Good evening to all of you!
I hope you enjoyed the public holiday and made use of the time to explore another hot spot in Dubai, like us.
Being open for quite some time now, we thought it was time to pass by The Pantry, in Jumeirah for a late lunch, early dinner.
We arrived at around 16:45 and the restaurant was empty. Besides 10 other guests the huge dining hall, which looks very similar to the famous Jones the Grocer, was far from being busy. More to our surprise that none of the five waiters or two managers took not of us, or greeted in any way. We made our way through the restaurant to look for the best spot to enjoy a meal for two. One waiter took note of us. He pulled the chair away for my companion but not for me, looked at us, passed over the menu, turned around and left. No you did not miss what he said, as he said nothing at all. Not feeling very comfortable, we decided to get up and move to one of the high tables next to the window. The table was still dirty from the previous guests, and again no one took note of us until we waved one waitress over. She approached us and without saying a single word, waited for us to share our desire. Well we just wanted the table to be cleaned and wiped off. She nodded and left. When cleaning the table, again nothing. We took our order and all of a sudden she started talking when telling us that the Refresher juice on their menu was not available, so was the Digestive Juice and the Red Apple, due to a lack of apples and carrots. We asked for the soup of the day, sweet pepper or beef soup and wagyu beef burger. Beef burger was not available as well, and she offered chicken instead. The final order was one Berry Juice, Lemon Spritzer, sweet pepper soup, a salmon sandwich and chicken burger. The lady – no name tag and therefore Miss Anonymous – repeated our order and left. 11 minutes later our drinks were served. This is when we made use of the time and observed the service. None of the service staff seemed to be in a hurry, as said, there were literately no guests around. When serving drinks or food, they looked calm, relaxed and did not demonstrate any sense of urgency. One of the managers, walked around in the restaurant jawing and observing the slow service of his staff. Observing the service for quite a while we were not surprised that our soup took another 6 minutes to arrive. The soup, was full of oil on top and tasted more like lobster bisque than pepper soup, but with a lot of bread and driven by our hunger, we started digging in. No we did not finish the soup. Unfortunately is was not what we expected of The Pantry Soup of the Day. Still being hungry we were hoping for a more satisfying main course. Wondering what the chefs were doing in the open show kitchen, looking at the manager, who did not react at all, we waiter for more that 32 minutes for a cold salmon sandwich and a chicken burger. The burger was unfortunately a disaster. The bun sweet and cold, one leaf of lettuce, two dried tomatoes, two pieces of stone hard, over cooked chicken and far too much Piri Piri sauce, for a bit of taste. Disappointing, despite the fact that the restaurant was empty, the food took far too long and besides the salmon sandwich was a very unfortunate choice and experience. We decided to share the sandwich. No one asked if we enjoyed our mains, no ones reacted on us when waving for assistance, as they were busy polishing cutlery and turning their back towards all guests. Finally someone took notice and from far we pantomimed that we wanted the bill. Within 2 minutes the same was presented, AED 201 for two drinks, a soup, a sandwich and a burger. If the service and food were up to satisfaction an adequate price for such a stylish location and venue, but today we did not find any value for money. Again we waved for a waiter to take our money and again without luck. We paid cash, got up and left. The most shocking experience today however was, that no one even noticed us leaving and while passing by other waving guests, we observed service staff to see what their reaction would be when discovering our table to be empty. But even from outside the restaurant, when looking back one more time, none of the waiters neither took note of the lady who was still gasping for a waiter’s attention, nor us leaving. We were so excited to finally make it to The Pantry and left being disappointed and with bad taste of memories. Are we going to return one day, maybe for coffee if we are close by, as the venue itself is cosy, stylish and reminds of our beloved Jones the Grocer, but then again, I think we will stick to the original.
I wish I could have shared another, a more delighting experience with you today, apologies.
Take care & stay in touch.
Keep exploring,
SEB

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