In a bid to be healthy, my training buddy and I decided to grab a light meal after our workout rather than hitting up a pizza or burger joint around Covent Garden. Notes seemed liked the perfect choice – a cosy wine/coffee bar serving up charcuterie platters and salads.
We walked in and were greeted by the two staff behind the counter…well sort of greeted as they were busy sipping wine and nibbling on bread and didn’t realise we walked in at first. Not a problem – hell if I worked surrounded by wine I’d be hard pressed not to have a glass to hand. We were seated quickly and the menu was explained so all was good.
After a couple of minutes, we were ready to order and that’s when things started to get a bit iffy. Despite waving at the staff a couple of times, we had absolutely no luck in attracting anyone’s attention. Now that’s fair if the place is busy but when there are only 6 people tops in the place, it shouldn’t be that hard. When I finally decided to go up to order (which I would usually think is a bit rude in a place that has waiters), I found the guy was sipping wine while texting away on his phone and didn’t even realise I was standing in front of him. Strike one.
I ordered a smoked duck salad for myself and a goat cheese salad for my friend and asked for bread as well. The salads showed up about 10 minutes later (really…how long does it take to make a salad?) and were miniscule. For £7, I expect a salad that at least looks like a main course, not one that would be challenged to claim a place as a side. The flavour of the smoked duck was alright – a light gamey taste with little smokiness – but what killed it was the thick layer of fat on each piece that added nothing to the flavour and everything to the oiliness. The goat cheese salad was literally just leaves with a few cubes of goats cheese – poor effort. Strike two.
Oh yeah, and when I asked again for the bread, we were instead served two glasses of red wine. Now I understand bread and red sound similar and with my accent maybe he was confused. But if you are in a wine bar and for some reason decided to order wine by saying “can we get a couple orders of red”, I’d at least expect to be asked what type of red wine I wanted. We ended up passing on the bread as we had mostly finished our salads and wanted to head out to meet some friends. Strike three.
As you may have guessed by now, I’m not impressed with Notes and for the price feel that I got ripped off. Terrible value for money, the staff (while very smiley and nice) were not up to spec in terms of customer service, and overall the food was average at best. While I like the look of the place, I think it’s something I’ll glance at in passing and then continue on to Wildwood, Benugo, or any one of the tasty places in the area.