A Festival Saturday in Edinburgh is often a tricky beast to negotiate, in terms of where to dine. Expectations sometimes need to be set fairly low, as things can often be chaotic, but if you time things well, there is still treasure to be had, which is all the sweeter when you find it.
We were a party of five, this evening, with our fabulous friends Mel and Colin spending their last night in Edinburgh, and the lovely Hannah joining us after a hard day at Fringe Central.
I’d booked online, earlier in the day, but the reservation hadn’t registered with them. They had a table to accommodate us, though, so no harm done.
We were seated next to a table of extremely disgruntled punters, who were in the process of very vociferously complaining about the quality of food they been served. As it turned out, we should have just got up and left at this point, but we were hungry, a little tired, and really how bad could things be?
With another table just leaving, we relocated away from the palaver, and placed orders for tandoori chicken (2), a mixed grill, and a pair of lamb dishes, with requisite accompaniments.
What then ensued was a wait of around an hour, during which we spent an enjoyable time drinking a glass or two of the wine that Hannah had popped round the corner to buy, when it became clear that a place that styles itself a “restaurant and bar” was in fact BYO, only.
During this time, we were brought wet, lipstick-marked glasses, which we dried and scrubbed with our napkins. We were still in good humour at this point, so were happy enough to pitch in. MJ was getting a little hungry, though, and Hannah was starting to flag after a long day.
With our disgruntlement levels reaching a simmer, the waiter came across to announce that they had no chicken left, so couldn’t offer the two tandoori chicken dishes or all the elements of the mixed grill. AFTER WE’D BEEN SITTING FOR AN HOUR.
I politely informed him that we would be leaving, now. I also told him that we wrote about food and had visited to review the restaurant. He offered a rather hollow apology, invited us to stay and finish our wine, and offered to bring poppadoms. We declined the offer.
We prepared to leave, although Mel did nip to the ladies, only to find that there was no working lock on the door.
We’ve been to over 500 places on our quests, and it’s to the credit of Edinburgh restaurant standards that this was the first genuinely horrific place we’ve visited. It was a complete and total failure.
The fact that we didn’t even get to try the food is largely irrelevant, as their inability to produce anything even approaching a functional restaurant experience rendered the quality of their food entirely moot.
This place should close its doors, immediately, and if the owners have any inkling of continuing in the restaurant business, they need to go right back to the drawing board, and come up with a totally fresh plan and approach to address the toxic asset that Lotus currently is.
Blythe’s words are mine. I wish the photos weren’t real. But between the two testaments, I need not say more.
Blythe & MJ score Lotus
(-/5 for food)
1/5 for presentation
1/5 for setting
1/5 for service
giving an overall 3/15
Today’s questers were: Hannah, Mel, MJ, Colin, Blythe
We ordered: tandoori chicken (2), mixed tandoori grill, kathmandu lamb, lamb dhansak, tarka daal, peshwari naan (2), garlic naan
We ate: none of the above
We drank: BYO red and white wine, water