Jack Astor’s Bar & Grill-London

On our way home from Easter weekend, we decided to stop here for dinner. The place is clean enough (explain that later) and the host seated us quickly and with a smile. Our server approached us and asked about our drink order (he seemed like he was in a rush as he repeated himself). When he returned with our drinks, he asked about our food order. We needed a few minutes so he asked about our appetizer order. I saw that their menu had Tuna Poke on it, so I requested that. I have had Poke in Hawaii and other places so I was excited to see how their’s was.

He returned moments later to say that they were out of Tuna. On their menu, their are 4 other Tuna dishes. This I am sure would not go well. For anyone who has had Poke, you know that once you want it, nothing else really can match the hype. I chose the Calamari instead. The Calamari is very thinly cut and breaded. Deep fried until it is saturated with oil. There were puddles of oil on my plate when it arrived. My wife ordered the Caesar Salad and could not eat it. It was like they used 2 lemons squeezed over it. I couldn’t eat it and I love lemon. The babies ordered fish on a stick and salad. My baby girl picked up the first fish stick and had oil drip on her. she wasn’t thrilled at all. At least she ate the salad. My baby boy had the burger and salad. The burger looked good but that was it. It was drier than dry and had no flavour. Really? I had the Vodka-Soda Batter Fish & Chips. Don’t order this hot mess. The fish and panko breading had absolutely no flavour whatsoever. I was quite surprised by this, especially with the description of it. I have to ask, Vodka-soda battered, Panko breaded fish? Pick one or the other, but don’t do both. It is redundant.

So, back to the decor. When we arrived at our table, there were guests at the table next to us, behind us and across from us. During our meal, all three tables left, completing their meals. The restaurant wasn’t busy by any stretch of the word. All three tables were still dirty when we left. Enough said about that disaster.

The manager ended up visiting our table as she had heard of my wife’s displeasure with her salad. She gave us an Appetizer coupon good at any Jack Astor’s but I am unsure as to why she needed to do this in the first place. The restaurant wasn’t busy and that meant the kitchen wasn’t busy. There is no excuse for food looking and tasting like that..especially from a chain. I also have to comment on this. Being a Chef myself, I know how important it is to have communication between the FOH and BOH. How is it that our server didn’t know that you were out of Tuna before I ordered the Poke? The manager’s answer wasn’t that impressive to me.

Dear Manager, I hope you take this review very seriously and fix what needs to be fixed. You never know who is coming into your restaurant and you never know who won’t say something at the moment, but will end up reviewing you. As I wrote on our table before we left, “Chef Powless & Family. Have a good evening.” Btw, the Appetizer coupon wasn’t good anywhere else but at your store, and since we don’t live in London (we live over 1 1/2 hrs away), we won’t be visiting anytime soon. Thanks for the thought, though.

1/5 stars

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