Those of you who are on my Twitter (@hampanther) will know that I took my sister to The Alchemist a few Fridays back and a night of drinking to celebrate her 18th birthday (they grow up so fast!)
I had been dying to go to The Alchemist as their cocktails are served with such skill and scientific precision that it appealed to my curious nature.
I had booked reservations for us for 8.30, we weren't seated until 8.45, but the place was absolutely rammed and it gave us chance to grab a cocktails so we didn't mind. The cocktail my sister and I chose was the Cherry Bakewell Martini- cherry liquor, amaretto, cranberry juice topped with cream and a cherry-DELICIOUS!!
For dinner my sister ordered the fried chicken wrap with BBQ sauce and I ordered a steak and mushroom sandwich- HOLD THE MUSHROOMS. Anyone who knows me knows that I cannot stand mushrooms. I will cook them, I will put them in a casserole but pick them off my plate- putting one in my mouth makes me physically sick, I am gagging as we speak. I had this conversation with the waiter who seemed to share my hatred of the fungi variety (I think it's the texture- reminds me of a slug)
Our meals came (rather super quick may I add) and we started to tuck in. Now when my plate was put in front of me I was rather deflated, my meal did not look like anything special and I guess with the wonder and magic of the cocktails I was expected a little more in presentation, BUT, at the end of the day it's a steak sandwich- what else are you gonna do with it?
My sister seemed to thoroughly enjoy her dish as all she could muster was nods of approval. My dish had a little saucer of steak gravy that was to die for- I mean we could serve this at a gathering of world leaders and world peace would be announced within minutes. My steak was juicy and tender too and I was utterly in love with it until my teeth bit into a big, disgusting mushroom. Discreetly spitting out my food into a napkin as gracefully as I could I had to inspect the innards of my sandwich and there hijacking my beautiful sandwich was some evil mushrooms.
Now I am not one to make a fuss at all, I happily took all the mushrooms off and started to power through despite my tummy feeling a little queasy, unfortunately our waiter did the usual "Just checking if everything is okay" and saw the discarded fungi and offered to make another sandwich. Now we were on a tight schedule and had to meet my sisters friends at a certain time so I politely declined and stated that I was fine and didn't have a mad appetite anyway. So the waiter went away, but brought the manager over who offered me another steak sandwich. I again politely declined, so was then told to my surprise that they would not charge me for the meal as the waiter had not let the chef know I asked for no mushrooms and that the meal would be coming out of the waiters wage.
Talk about feeling bad!!! When the waiter came with the bill I told him that I wouldn't have kicked up a fuss and that he didn't need to tell the manager as I was perfectly happy and how guilty I felt that he would be paying for my meal. At which the waiter gave my hand a squeeze and said that he would have felt awful if he hadn't done anything and that he hoped it wouldn't spoil our thoughts of The Alchemist and that we would come again.
Talk about customer care! I will definitely go to The Alchemist again as the service was excellent, cocktails were delicious and the food was hearty... I just won't order anything with mushrooms next time- I don't want the guilt!
No drama....Okay maybe a little...