Sunday, May 06, 2007

Victoria Room, Victoria St, Darlinghurst

Victoria Room, Victoria St, Darlinghurst
Sunday 6 May, 2007

I've had some great experiences at the Victoria Room but unfortunately today was a shocker. The Victoria Room experience is described as,

On Saturday & Sunday afternoons at The Victoria Room in Sydney’s Darlinghurst, crooking one’s pinkie finger and sipping fine tea is de rigueur. From it-girl gatherings and generational get-togethers to hen’s days and birthdays, ladies of all ages (and many a fine gentleman, too) are enjoying the company of dear friends over this wonderful revival of British tradition. High Tea is served every Saturday between 2.00pm and 4.00pm & Sunday between 1.00pm and 5.00pm. Bookings highly recommended.
Standard High Tea $30.00pp (excl 10% Sunday surcharge)
Royal Tea $40.00pp (excl 10% Sunday surcharge)
Walking up the stairs to the Victoria Room is always a treat - the tea light lined stairs are dark and inviting as if you are entering a secret, invite only party. On time for our 3.30pm High Tea booking we walked into a half full dining space. There were plenty of staff walking around but unfortunately no service.
After 15 mins of being seated a staff member approached and introduced himself as Patrick - our waiter for today. He left us to view the menu not acknowledging that we already had menus on the table and were ready to order. We tried to explain this but he disappeared so quickly.
We then spent the next 15 mins trying to attract the attention from any staff member to place our order. Bizarrely, after another 10 mins a different waiter appeared with our tiered tray of goodies which we hadn't yet ordered. Not willing to wait any longer we took it. This waiter was very enthusiastic and offered a good run through of each item on the tiered tray:
- Afternoon Tea Sandwiches - Chicken & Wild Herbs, Cucumber, Creme Fraiche & Dill, Smoked Salmon with fresh Rocket, Lemon & Capers
- Scones & Conserve - Date & Plain Scones served with Triple Berry Conserve & Chantilly Cream
- Assorted Sweeties - Mini Florentine, Sticky date pudding, Vanilla Bean Cup Cake topped with Pink Icing & Confetti, Passionfruit Yo-Yo
As great as the food looked we explained that what we really wanted was to order our tea/ coffee. Surely, it would have been obvious to any staff member that our table was missing tea/ coffee? Anyway, we literally had to call out to our waiter Patrick to get him to come back to our table. I ordered a coffee and Patrick shared that the coffee machine was broken so they had a substitute coffee in place - substitute? I didn't know what that meant but ordered anyway. We also asked for some more jam & cream for our scones as they just didn't give us enough for three scones.
The tea/ coffee arrived but sadly no jam & cream. We, again, tried to flag down a waiter........just anyone (Bueller, Bueller......). We repeated the order for jam & cream and by now our scones had gone cold (they were initially served warm). With the delay everything just fell flat. The food was OK not great and the coffee..........shocking.
Not sure why today's service was so dismal - there was plenty of staff around just not enough initiative. For a fan of the Victoria Room this experience was really disappointing.
Victoria Room - 235 Victoria St, Darlinghurst - (02) 9357 4488


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it near Gelato Messina, steph?
Never notice there is tea room nearby that gelato joint....

8:32 pm  
Blogger Steph said...

Hi Anonymous,
Thanks for your post.
Yes, it's literally 3-4 doors down (heading south). I stopped in their afterwards to sample a flavour of two. Have you tried it? I can recommend the Rum & Raisen.

10:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So how does messina fare against gelatomassi?

I still put my faith in messina, =)

2:34 am  

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