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#1 Fri 13 Dec 13 3:34pm

GregAnyone

Member
Occupation Financial Consultant
From The Netherlands
Member since Fri 13 Dec 13

Does Jamie ever visit his restaurants?

Yesterday we visited Fifteen in Amsterdam.

I was there 3 years ago and have good memories of it. Over the years we have accumulated many J.O. cookbooks since we too are very demanding when it comes to taste, ingredients and preparation.
Good enough is not good enough.

Yesterday was a very special occasion so I decided to take my daughter to Fifteen.  She adores Italian and has never been there.

I made reservations on the site easily enough. However I quickly discovered the English on the site to be pre-high school level in terms of spelling, grammar and sentence structure. In a joshing tone, I sent the restaurant an email saying I hope this is not indicative of the quality served.
Boy, was this ever writing on the wall (well website)!

Entering the advertised parking garage took 15 attempts which had annoyed the drivers behind us. We tried to telephone but no one answered.

Our welcome to the restaurant was pleasant. The place looked neat and “gezellig"  as the Dutch would say meaning cozy and relaxing. We quickly discovered that the online menu is vastly different from the menu offered at the restaurant. Not to mention the prices – the Rib-eye, for example, was 5 euros more expensive than online! My daughter ordered the Buffalo mozzarella with rocket. It was over-oiled and every second bite was spiked with a chunk of salt. Were they trying to justify the € 11.95 price? As for the mozzarella itself, well let’s just say that it is a far taste from Puglia or southern Italy where I am assuming it came from. The waitress asked how it tasted. We answered her. She left and quickly returned to apologize for the new person who apparently just started in the kitchen.

We ordered the Chardonnay from Puglia. It was good except that it was served at room temperature. A bucket of ice brought the second half of the bottle to its more palatable temperature.

So thinking the €5 increase in the Rib-eye will surely translate to even more quality and exquisiteness, I again was proven wrong. I was served two (!) patty-like slices (I guess they must have been 300 grams together once upon a time). We were told when the main course was served that the funky potato side dish we ordered will take another 5 minutes. I really did not want steaming hot potatoes to be served by the remains of the sliced meat which by that time was surely cooler than the Chardonnay. So I cancelled that order.

It took 20 minutes to get our coffee and tea. Paying the bill went fine (I did not bother asking why they charged €3.95 for the few slices of bread they put on the table when we were seated).

We felt sorry for the poor waitress who probably had a night to forget. All kinds of things were happening around us as well. She informed us that two colleagues had called in sick. We didn’t tell her that this only partially explained the mishaps of the evening.

Speaking of which….
After we gave her a 10% tip for her efforts, she kindly showed us the way back to the garage. She told us that as soon as we ring the buzzer, she would open the doors to the garage. Indeed, it took 15 attempts before we realized that the doors are not going to open. My daughter went back to reconnect and 15 minutes later we were finally on our way.

Except of a photo of Jamie Oliver on an olive bottle, there are no traces of his aura anywhere in the restaurant. This is why I wonder if he ever visits his restaurants.

My intention here is not to plaster this on Tripadvisor or such. I just hope management, and in particular, Jamie Oliver, will take this as a wake-up call. There are too many shortcomings that make me think this is structural (at least for this particular restaurant) and indicates that Jamie hasn’t been around for a while (at least I hope he has not). So I do hope Jamie and the management take the opportunity to change the situation. Other customers might not be as demanding as we are but in the long-run, this lack of quality will catch up and impact the revenue.
As for us, we will be chilling Jamie and the Chardonnay for a while…..

Last edited by GregAnyone (Fri 13 Dec 13 3:42pm)

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#2 Fri 13 Dec 13 9:11pm

MsPablo

Forum super champ
Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: Does Jamie ever visit his restaurants?

At the top of the page, you will see a 'Quick Links' option and through that, a link to 'Fifteen' headquarters in London.  It's a good idea to contact them soon and let them know the date and the various troubles you had.

While it is fine to post about your experience here on the forum and people will try to help you contact the team, the most direct way to get a message to the people who need this feedback is through contacting management directly.

I'm so sorry you had a disappointing experience.  We were in Amsterdam many times and never got a chance to experience Fifteen.  I've heard good reviews of some of the other Fifteen restaurants, but haven't heard much at all about the one in Holland until now.

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#3 Mon 16 Dec 13 9:04am

GregAnyone

Member
Occupation Financial Consultant
From The Netherlands
Member since Fri 13 Dec 13

Re: Does Jamie ever visit his restaurants?

Thank you, MsPablo. I agree with you.
I followed up on the links you suggested but I was unable to find an email address for the Fifteen headquarters or management.
Hopefully someone there scans the forum and will stumble across my experience.

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#4 Mon 16 Dec 13 3:22pm

MsPablo

Forum super champ
Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: Does Jamie ever visit his restaurants?

I'll link this to the Website issues thread.  There's a link on the left for 'Contact Us' and through that, you should at least get the forum team's notice and they will direct you further.

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#5 Tue 17 Dec 13 12:08am

1weirdsheep

Member
Member since Mon 16 Dec 13

Re: Does Jamie ever visit his restaurants?

We also had a disappointing experience last night at Jamie's Italian in Glasgow.

I am sure that neither the food or the level of cleanliness/ hygiene in some areas of the restaurant would meet with the standards that Jamie would expect his name to be associated with.

We had gone there as a staff Christmas treat and although the staff were friendly and served us promptly the food was not up to expectations.

I will contact the restaurant to complain, but do wonder if Jamie is aware that the poor experiences that people are having in this restaurant is tarnishing his reputation as when I was talking today to people who were asking how our meal had been they were telling us that they had previously been there and had been disappointed.

From the image that Jamie has I am sure that he would be horrified if he thought that people were leaving a restaurant with his name on it feeling disappointed so feel that he should be made aware of these issues.

Like GregAnyone I am not going to put this all over TripAdvisor but hope that someone who can will see that checks need to be done regularly and unannounced on the restaurants to make sure that they are meeting a expected standards. neutral

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#6 Tue 17 Dec 13 10:27am

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Does Jamie ever visit his restaurants?

Welcome to the forum 1weirdsheep  smile

I am sorry you were disappointed with your meal ... Can I ask you ...
Did anyone tell the staff at the time that they were disappointed ?
It's a bit hard complaining after the event as it never has the greatest impact.

The majority of time in restaurants the waiter or waitress usually come along and ask if everything is ok with the meal , so that would be the best time to discuss any issues. It's always better to say something when you are there. 
Particularly as with many chains of restaurants complaints tend to be dealt with by a central office that us often far away from the restaurants , complaints sent via email can end up buried amongst piles of emails etc and take a while for a reply .

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