What a disaster!
I had what was probably the worst roast dinner I’ve ever had at the Axe & Compass in Hemingford Abbots today.
We decided to give this restaurant a try after a few recommendations for a meal in St Ives for father’s day. The restaurant was stunning inside and out. The Tudors style cottage really managed to wow us with its thatched roof and historic interior. There is good parking at the back and a lovely beer garden too. I can see this as a great place to have a few drinks in the summer.
I was particularly charmed by the lovely fire place we were sat next too for the duration of the meal. This is very much a tourists wet dream.
When we entered the restaurant however is exactly where it all started to go wrong. We had booked a table for 3 people but was accidentally given a table for 2, which meant that the experienced was quite crammed.
The staff were apologetic and I appreciate these things happen, so I was willing to overlook this.
We decided to order three roast dinners from their menu. One being lamb and the other two being roast beef. The food came out in good time, though we found out later that this was for a very bad reason. The roast beef was very rare. In fact, my fathers was pretty much entirely pink. He couldn’t even finish it.
Worse yet, about 40-50% of it was gristle and fat which you can see on the photos below.
The cabbage was undercooked and my sister’s Yorkshire pudding was over cooked. The gravy was watery and my lamb, though quite nice, was a measly portion which still left me hungry after the meal.
I could have had 3 times as much lamb than I did today and still felt like it was an average portion. My meal was about 40% potato and the Yorkshire pudding took up a big portion the plate which gave the meal an illusion of size but was mostly carbs.
The vegetables were nice in themselves but the parsnip was only a small stick and there was only two small bits of carrot. In fact, if you were to eat a piece of each food together with a bite of you fork (which is exactly how I eat) then you are left with two large potatoes left over with nothing left to go with it.
This particularly baffles me as vegetables cost next to nothing.
During our meal no waitress came up to check on us and ask us if our meal was satisfactory. Even when our plates were collected nobody asked if it was a good meal. This is basic customer service which they were getting dead wrong.
I wonder whether they dare not ask because they’ve had lots of other complaints today too?
We made a complaint and the manager was quick to come out. In their defence they gave us 2 meals free though it was certainly not enough for me to want to come back and try again.
I cannot recommend this restaurant.
For the sake of balance I have heard many good reviews of this place from the Cambridge Foodies community, so perhaps I was having an off day?