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The Railway, Streatham

Hi Annette1979

I'm so very sorry that you didn't enjoy your visit to The Railway.

Regarding the bar staff, of course we do not condone charging different prices and insist that a receipt is given to every customer. We do not charge £2.00 for a soda water, in fact we charge £1.00 and unlike most pubs these days that is not from a soft drinks gun. We use individual Schweppes bottles for all our mineral mixers. As for the bar staff being miserable, I'm sorry. We are always trying to ensure that customer service is good and it is something that we are particularly focused on improving.

Regarding your food, we source the best produce possible at this price, from some of London's best suppliers. This ensures that we make everything from scratch using fresh ingredients of the highest quality. On the day when you came to The Railway, we were using Scotch fore-rib, cooked on the bone which ensures the best flavour in our view and the most tender cut, although it isn't always the easiest meat to present. In truth, we ourselves found the meat to be fattier than normal on this occasion. We let our butcher know on the Monday that we weren't happy about this. It is by no means a cheap cut of beef. Additionally, we use Label Rouge free-range and corn-fed chickens, premium Welsh lamb and Duke of Berkshire pork. We have in fact now gone back to using Scotch Rib-Eye for the beef option to make presentation easier and to minimise the amount of fat on the meat given to customers.

25 Mar 2011 15:28

The Railway, Streatham

Let me start by apologizing; we don’t set out to upset people and it is always genuinely disconcerting to hear of anyone who has been disappointed visiting The Railway. We are a dedicated team who try very hard to ensure that standards are high by constantly looking at ways to improve our product; no more so than our Sunday Roast, which we believe is the best for both quality and value, in the area. However, although we genuinely welcome all feedback, I don’t feel that you have provided a fair picture of your visit.

The 4 of you plus 2 children were part of a larger party of 16 booked in for 1.30pm although the bulk of your party arrived at 2pm and later. This was not a problem because we had sectioned off an area specifically for you. As a group you decided that you didn’t want to order as a group together at the table but wanted to order separately at the bar and pay immediately. This inevitably meant that as orders were being put through separately the whole table was eating at different times. It also meant that some of your table were taking food that belonged to other parts of the table. We did our best to deal with this situation but despite our best attempts it did create problems.

I would like to take your points in turn.

1. All the starters for each order, for that table, were brought out correctly and at the right time. Starters that had been ordered by some of your table earlier on were then claimed by people who had just put their order in for an identical dish.
2. The mains were actually for another of your colleagues but they should not have been left in this way; the confusion on our part was that we had thought that this was what you had wanted.
3. Hair should never be found in food of course; this hair was blond and all our staff including the kitchen staff have dark hair. We made no defence to this at the time but mention it now because you have brought it up.
4. Our chicken is not processed. We buy free range and corn fed birds. The menu clearly says that the child’s portion of roast chicken comes with chips and beans. We were told after the dish had been brought to your table that you wanted vegetables and not chips / beans.
5. We were not told that you were waiting for a starter which had been eaten by one of your colleagues until much later.
6. The fried squid is the same size for every customer. We charge £3.50 for this and £9.95 for the main course but if you have two courses the cost is reduced to £12.50. Children eat for free during the period 12pm to 4pm so there would have been no charge for the children portions. With regard to cutlery, cutlery would have been put on the table for everyone at the start of the meal because we had originally believed that the table would order as a large party. Cutlery was being moved around the table by different people but our staff did our best to replace it. I am not sure why you would not have had cutlery.
7. Your main was brought out shortly after your starter was sent because we had been told so late about the fact that you were missing a starter.
8. The child’s roast that was sent back was being prepared again. This was not 50 minutes after ordering. This was approximately 25 minutes after ordering which is fairly standard.
9. Your roast lamb is actually a slow roast shoulder of lamb; lamb shoulder is very fatty but when you cook it slowly, the fat melts. This helps to provide flavour. The meat is always trimmed before serving and so you would not have received ¾ white sloppy fat on a bed of vegetables. These vegetables are carefully prepared in honey and thyme while roasting. £10 is very good value. Other local pubs charge £12.50 or more and our product is Welsh and of excellent quality.
10. The barman was me and I was simply explaining what I have explained here. Mint sauce is put on every lamb dish that is served.
11. I was not aware of any member of the party leaving within the timeline that you suggest. I also recall that a member of your party asked for the free wine that we normally give to tables of 4 who order 3 courses. We refused this on the basis that your party had chosen to order and pay separately for their food. You will recall, however, that as a goodwill gesture I gave the whole party a cocktail shot. Everyone stayed at least an hour and a half after this.

The food offering at the Railway on a Sunday is certainly not school dinner standard, if by this you mean of a low standard. We source all ingredients ourselves directly from Smithfields, Billingsgate and New Covent Garden Markets. This ensures that we make everything from scratch using fresh ingredients of the highest quality. Service was certainly erratic at your table because of the manner in which you chose to order and I feel it only fair to ourselves that the context of your visit is made very clear. We take all criticism very seriously as The Railway is supporting several families.

8 Mar 2011 09:46

The Railway, Streatham

Dear oldmanyoung, I'm very surprised to hear that your ale tasted sour. We clean and maintain our lines regularly and only offer the best ales that we can source, an unusually broad selection given that we are able to access the excellent micro brews produced by members of SIBA (The Society of Independent Brewers). This is in contrast to some other local operators, for instance Youngs, who only offer beers from their own stable. Whilst on the subject of Youngs, I note that on the same night you posted this comment about the Railway, you also found the time to post one about the Pied Bull, a Youngs Pub up the road from us. It seems that there you found ales, food, clientele and staff that were more to your liking. You even provided directions, and details about the smoking shelter. Goodness!
I thought it only fair to share it with everyone. By the way, our current ales are Meantime Pale Ale brewed in Greenwich, and Sambrook’s Wandle Ale brewed in Battersea. Mmmmmm…..The Railway. x

The Pied Bull, Streatham
Havent been in for a long while as I was a bit sceptical about the place to be honest!

The outside isnt the best (being right next to the A23) but its kept tidy and had some boards telling you about the offers and sports going on there.

What a lovely place! Its so much tidier and cleaner and there was alsorts of people in - young couples, a whole family with kids and grandad alike and the 'Regulars Bar' was packed.

5 cask ales on - Youngs Bitter, Special, London Gold, COurage best and Banana Bread Beer, and my pint had to be a Youngs - absolutely superb. I shall certainly be back if this place keeps the beer to that quality and good to see a Youngs Pub with so many guest ales.

There was food going out (to the big family) and although not huge, the menu had 'Pub Classics' with Fish & Chips, Burgers, Sausage & Mash, Pies etc. and plenty of offers on throughout the week.

The bar staff were very friendly and attentive, even when it was fairly busy at one stage - its a huge bar - and certainly made me feel welcome.

The smoking shelter out the back kept the rain off - its a huge wooden thing with heaters and lots of tables.

Overall a great experience for a pub iv not been in for a long while - certainly on the up! Well recommended.
19 Feb 2011 20:13

22 Feb 2011 18:56

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