There are certain restaurants which live up to the hype, and some which don’t. To be fair, Restaurant Ours hasn’t had much time to get hyped up (it’s fairly new) – but with a celebrity launch party and being the sister restaurant to Michelin star (and very much liked) Restaurant Story, let’s just say I had high expectations for Tom Sellers’ new venture.
It started well. I tried booking a table for a Friday night on a Wednesday, was promptly told they were full (fair enough) and was told I would be put on a waiting list. Then Friday came and Brexit happened (that’s not the good part) and I thought I’d call again to see if there had been any cancellations. And luck had it, there had been a cancellation, and the table was mine at 7:30pm.
I thought I’d take my Dad to treat him. But then walked in and realised pretty quickly this was not really his ‘scene’. There’s no denying the place looks good – it’s taken over the impressive space which used to be the Pan-Asian restaurant Collection – and so everything, from the Japanese style walk way to the olive trees mid-restaurant, to the rest of the décor, is rather beautiful. But then you get the super loud music, which makes it feel like you’re in some sort of ‘lounge bar’ (to be fair, there is a cocktail area upstairs to which the music is more suited), rather than an exclusive restaurant. I didn’t have the guts to ask them to turn it down, I knew what the response would be.
Don’t get me wrong, I think this would be the ideal place for a weekend cocktail. It’s fun and it’s great for people watching. David Schwimmer came and sat next to us (I clarify: not with us), and it seems to be popular with girls who don’t really feel like wearing any clothes at all (much to my father’s amazement). The clientele are a complete mixture of local rahs, Euro trash, semi celebs and high end escort girls. Entertaining, there’s no denying that.
I also couldn’t really fault the food. It was good, but not outstanding. The (purple) vichy carrots were the only real let down. The scallop (£12) and tuna for starters were delicious, but the portions so minute it was gone in seconds. I think they had literally put one scallop on my plate and sliced it as thinly as possible to make it look like an actual portion. My salmon for mains was good, as was my father’s lamb. I was most excited about ‘Our’ chips, with pecorino and fois gras. They were most definitely edible, but, like the rest of the menu, not memorable.
So now you’re probably wondering what’s so wrong with this place? Sadly, the most important thing about a restaurant: the service. I noticed the minute we arrived how many staff they had, and at first I was impressed. Then I quickly noticed how inefficient and incompetent the staff actually were (and their uniforms are exceptionally bad too). When you’re at a good restaurant you usually have one or two people serving your table. Here we had – no joke, I counted – 8 people. They were all perfectly sweet and well-meaning but were also pretty useless. One couldn’t open a bottle of wine, so my father did it. The other didn’t know what a ‘carpaccio’ was. Another didn’t speak any English at all really. There was no communication or coordination between the staff. It was a big mess.
Such a shame. Perhaps if they sorted this the place would be worth the (extremely expensive) bill. But, apart from perhaps a fun cocktail on a Friday night, I won’t be running back here any time soon.
264 Brompton Road