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      20.11.2013 16:48
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      a nice restaurant on The Royal Mile

      During our night away in Edinburgh last weekend, we had planned to go to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. There was a 1.5hour waiting time for a table and everywhere else was really busy too as it was a Saturday evening. We decided to head back up to The Royal Mile and we spotted Garfunkel's. We were looking for tasty grub rather than a romantic meal for two and I remember my good friend Warspeed recommending Garfunkel's so we headed in just before 7pm.

      *~Garfunkel's~*

      130 High Street
      Edinburgh
      EH1 1QS
      www.garfunkels.co.uk

      Open 7 days per week 7am until 11pm

      Garfunkel's is a chain of restaurants which first opened in 1979 in London. Garfunkel's promise freshly prepared food and offer breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks as part of their extensive menu. The Edinburgh restaurant is located on The Royal Mile and whilst there is no onsite carpark, the restaurant is easy to find and buses stop just a short walk from the entrance. The restaurant is closeby lots of Edinburgh attractions and shops. The castle is a five minute walk.

      *~The Restaurant~*

      The exterior of Garfukel's is very simply yet welcoming and during warmer days, they offer outside seating. The restaurant is set across two floors and the entrance and ground floor is wheelchair and pushchair accessible. They cater for families too. The interior of the restaurant reminded me of an American diner and the atmosphere was very relaxed. The décor was pleasant and the restaurant appeared clean. I believe there is a disabled toilet on the ground floor and there is baby changing. Other toilets are on the first floor and whilst I found the ladies toilets to be clean, there was no toilet roll in any of the two toilets. I thankfully carry tissues for these type of emergencies.

      Garfunkel's caters for different sized parties and we were given a table in the far corner of the main seating area. I was a little annoyed at having to travel to the upstairs seating area to fill up my salad bowl I had ordered especially as I was wearing a long skirt and heels. I feared that I would go flying down the stairs and couldn't help but wonder why they didn't have a salad cart both upstairs and downstairs - it isn't very practical at all especially for those in wheelchairs or dining with young children. The kitchen is also upstairs so the staff have to carry it down too. The upstairs seating looked much more comfortable than downstairs.

      *~Service~*

      The restaurant was busy when we arrived but we were greeted and shown to a table quickly. I would say the service at Garfunkel's was friendly enough and efficient but trying to catch the attention of our waitress for extra drinks or the bill proved to be quite difficult. Our food did arrive in reasonable time despite how the restaurant was but there was quite a bit of grumbling from the diners at the next table about the service being quite slow. We were thanked for our visit.

      *~Food On Offer~*

      I found the menu at Garfunkel's to be quite extensive and there is definitely something to suit all tastes and preferences. The menu was clear and easy to read. The full menu can be viewed on the website but here is a snippet :

      *Breakfast is available until 11.30am. Light bites such as porridge or toast can be ordered from £1.95 or you can opt for a choice of hot breakfasts including pancakes, fry ups or omelettes for £5.95. Vegetarian options are available.

      *A special midweek lunch menu is available from 11.30am to 5pm. This menu allows you to have one course for £7.95 and you can add a starter or dessert for just £2.00. Opt for nachos and potato skins to start followed by a selection of pizza, pasta, loaded potatoes, burgers and wrap dishes. Desserts include waffles and crumbles.

      *The main menu is available from 11.30am 7 days per week. Starters include garlic bread and calamari from £4.25. Mains include fish and chips, hot dogs, burgers, steaks, pizza and pasta from £8.95. Vegetarians have the choice of a veggie burger, penne arrabiata, cannelloni, risotto or pizza.

      *Children's menu offers two courses, a trip to the salad bar or corn on the cob and unlimited drinks for £6.95. Lots of child friendly dishes including omelette, lasagne and pasta followed by jelly and ice cream or other sweet treats.

      *Desserts are priced from £4.25 and there is a lovely selection on offer including waffles, sticky toffee pudding and delicious sundaes.

      Garfunkel's also offer a varied selection of alcoholic, hot and cold beverages so you won't go thirsty here.

      *~Our Meal~*

      Okay, so you don't get the choice of any culinary delights at Garfunkel's but you do get a choice of loads of dishes. We were hungry by the time arrived and spent a good five minutes deciding on what to have for our dinner. My fiancé didn't want a starter but I fancied a trip to the salad bar (before I realised that it was upstairs). You can add this on to your meal for £4.00 but the regular price is £8.95 which I think it is a ridiculous price to pay for a salad even if it is in Edinburgh. We ordered some drinks - a beer for my fiancé and a Diet Coke for myself. We ordered more during our meal and I was aware of my drink coming from the pumps where the taste, in my opinion, isn't quite as appealing as directly from a bottle of Diet Coke.

      I was given a reasonably deep bowl for my salad and made the journey upstairs to salad bar. The salad bar area was quiet despite the restaurant being nearly full to capacity so I had plenty of room to move around and ponder over what to put in my bowl. I would say the selection of food in the salad bar was nice enough. There was a selection of cold meat, some pasta salad, coleslaw and things like beetroot, tomato and sweetcorn. The salad bar also offers cold boiled eggs. I enjoyed most of my salad but the eggs tasted a bit questionable so these were left to the side. The potato salad was by far the best item in my bowl. I ate most my salad whilst waiting on my main course to arrive but kept some baby tomatoes aside to put on the side of my plate.

      I fancied a steak so opted for the 'Classic Steak and Chips' priced at £12.95. In return, I received a 7oz rump steak, chips and some cress (well I think it was cress anyway but I may be wrong). I cannot stand any pinkness in my steak so ordered it medium to well done. My steak wasn't very big but it wasn't fatty. I did feel that it was slightly too well done on the outside as it was verging on being a bit smoky tasting but the inside was cooked to my liking and smoky taste aside, the steak was perfectly edible and nicely seasoned. There were plenty of fries on my plate and these were delicious. I enjoyed my meal but do think some tomato, onion or mushroom on the side would make it more filling though I do feel this is to encourage you to order extra sides or go to the salad bar if you want anything else on the plate. My fiancé opted for a classic burger with extra cheese (£12.45) and his meal consisted of a beef burger with salad, chips and coleslaw. The portion size was decent enough and whilst he enjoyed his burger and found it to be filling, he said it wasn't the best he had ever had. My fiance regularly opts for a burger when we are dining out so knows his stuff. For the price, we would have expected something a bit more special.

      We decided to share a dessert. Well I say share but in reality, I wanted dessert and the waitress brought an extra spoon in case my fiancé decided he fancied a bit of my dessert. I don't normally share but as it was our anniversary weekend, I decided I would share a little of my dessert. I was spoiled for choice and had wished he would just order something so we could have two different desserts to share but he couldn't be tempted. In the end, I settled for the 'Banoffee Pie' sundae which cost £5.95. I was delighted when I spotted a large glass of sweet heaven heading my way and couldn't wait to tuck in. My sundae was quite large and made up of sliced banana, toffee ice cream, honeycomb and toffee sauce. Oh my, this was absolutely delicious and there was so much too it. The banana was fresh and every layer was packed full of flavoursome sauce and ice cream. The squirty cream on top just finished it off and if I could have got my tongue right in the glass, I could have easily licked the toffee remains out. Very satisfied with my dessert.

      *~Final Thoughts~*

      Garfunkel's doesn't exactly offer fine dining and it isn't the cheapest place to have a meal in Edinburgh but the food was decent enough and we left satisfied and full. The restaurant accepts payment by cash and card. I paid by cash and if my memory serves me right, our bill came to around £47.00. This included two main courses, a trip to the salad bar, a dessert and four drinks - not bad value for money though it would have been much cheaper for a similar meal at a local restaurant but I do understand we were dining in the capital city. There are so many places that I would like to dine at in Edinburgh that I probably won't return to Garfunkel's any time in the near future but I do recommend it for a bite to eat as there is something to suit all on their menu and the location is ideal.

      Thanks for reading :)

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        27.07.2013 15:07
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        Good Food At Reasonable Prices

        On a recent trip to London we needed something to eat and as we'd just got off the train and dumped our luggage in the hotel room and this restaurant was right next door we thought we'd give it a try.

        Let me start by saying that the Garfunkels we visited was in Paddington London, I can't comment on others, they may be different and you may receive better or worse service, I can only say how we were treated here.

        The menu is pretty standard, burgers, pizzas, chicken, pasta, salads, but it is also reasonable priced, £10 for a 12 inch pizza in London didn't seem outragious, which is what I chose. They have a breakfast menu as well as a lunchtime and main menu.

        When we entered the restaurant we were seated very quickly at a table, however there are booths as well and our waiter came round to take our drinks order whilst we chose what we wanted to eat. Once we'd ordered the meal was with us in about 15 minutes which wasn't bad at all. I'd chosen a BBQ chicken pizza whilst my other half had chosen Hunters Chicken and chips. Hunters chicken is a chicken breast topped with bacon, smothered in BBQ sause and topped off with melted cheese. We both really enjoyed our meals, they were plently full and definitely hit the spot.

        We enjoyed the meals so much that we went back a couple of nights later and tried two more of the dishes, I had lemon herd chicken with a jacket potate whilst my other half had a chicken and spaghetti dish. Again the food was delivered hot and in good time.

        The staff weren't overly intrusive, like some can be, they simply came and asked once if everything was ok and then left us alone to enjoy our meal.

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        07.11.2011 19:23
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        Trying to cater for everyone but not very well

        Garfunkels is a very strange beast of a restaurant. The restaurant masquerades as some sort of American Diner. Its speciality is that its does not specialise at all and is has something for everyone on their menu. The only problem is this produces very mediocre and at times over priced food. Its a chain that seems to congregate wherever there are tourists hence numerous branches in London's West End. There are at least three within a stones throw of Oxford Circus tube station.. They are nearly as prevalent as the ubiquitous Aberdeen Steak House, which seems to be on every corner around the Leicester Square and Piccadilly. There's also a few outlying ones on Gloucester Road, the O2, Bath and Edinburgh. Its the type of restaurant I have gone to in a group, as there's something or everyone and to be fair its good for kids. Before last week I would have given it three stars, that was until my last visit when I walked out in disgust and it was all over a humble bowl of nachos.


        My last visit was to the branch of Garfunkels just off Oxford Circus after a hard evening of shopping with a friend. It was a Tuesday, early evening about 730 pm and the restaurant seemed pretty busy. There were two other groups of two or three people waiting but we got seated fairly quickly within a few minutes. Then we were asked to leave our table by a waitress, as it was in the middle of the restaurant and they were expecting delivery. We thought this was strange as surely deliveries did not come at peak periods for custom. The waterless lead us all around the restaurant till she found us a table right next to the window. Don't expect a private conversation at Garfunkels, as the tables are packed in tightly. The phrase tin of sardines springs to mind.

        Think of something non gourmet you want to eat and if you are a carnivore Garfunkels will have it. Burgers, sandwiches, fish and chips, curries, pizza and pasta. Pricers do vary. You can expect to pay from between £3.99 and £6.99 for an individual starter and about £9 for a sharer. Expect to pay £7 or £8 for a sandwich or wrap, and anything from £8 to £17 for a main course. All this for the type of food that you can bet is mass produced and just shoved in the oven or microwave.

        If you are canny there are times when you can get a reasonably priced meal at Garfunkels. The lunch deal is two courses for £8.75) whilst you can get two breakfasts for £10. . They do a pizza and pasta special in the evening which is about £6. The evening we were there the options were pepperoni pizza or arabbiata pasta which neither of us fancied. The kids menu for two courses and a drink is a steal at £5.79 and has a reasonable choice that does includes salad and pastas alongside the more traditional kids' menu fare. I did once dine with a friend who had children and to be fair the staff were very attentive and good with the children. Its a shame our staff were not so good on my last visits.

        The menu is meat heavy with grills and burgers but there is some choice for vegetarians including a roast vegetable wrap, omelettes, roast vegetable cous cous and a goats cheese burger. In the past I have gone for the roasted vegetable wrap that comes with chips. Its not a bad size and it tastes alight but nothing more than that but at £7.99 is one of the cheaper options on the menu. I feel that £10 for vegetable cous cous is pretty dire and I did not expect it to be much cop at all so . I did not even consider it. I was looking at the Spanish omelette but have a friend whose husband is Spanish and I can imagine the Garfunkels version would be inferior. I discounted the macaroni cheese at about £8.99 for the same reason as my mum's is the best in the world and even mine is not bad. In the end I decided to go for the nachos bowl "Supreme". This was under the sharing appetisers so I imagined this might be enough for a main course especially at £8.49. I was expecting a nice big platter of nachos not dissimilar to the large nachos at Wethrspoons. My friend ordered a cheese omelette and chips with a side of bread. We decided just to have water to drink, as it was about £2.50 fopr a fruit juice or J2O and around about £5 for a glass of wine. When ordering our food the waitress did check that I wanted nachos as a main and maybe I should have been warned and chose something different.

        We had a good wait of about 20 minutes or so before our meals came. My friend's came on a decent sized platter whilst I was bemused by mine. I had a shallow soup bowl of nachos with perhaps a handful of tortilla chips drizzled with runny artificial looking cheese sauce and soured cream and spring onions and scattered all over. You would have about four mouthful each if you were sharing this dish. My main bugbear was it was an absolute rip off for £8.49 Subway do a similar thing for about £2. I know Garfunkels have high rents and they are in a prime location but i just felt the size and quality of the portion for the price was just not acceptable. I would have expected a lot more chips and loads of melted cheese for my money. I was not a happy bunny.

        My first step was to ask the waitress to bring her supevisor over. Bad move this as the first one we encountered. When I complained that this was not worth near enough a tenner she replied its not £10 its £8.49"!. I complained I felt it was still a rip off. She called the manager and he offered to replace it with a different one. I was wondering if the second one would be that much bigger so decided to vote with my feet and go elsewhere where I would get value for money. I am not usually so stroppy and have never walked out of a restaurant before but I really did strongly about it. As we left there was quite a queue to get in so Garfunkels won't miss our custom much, as there are too man gullible tourists in London who will eat pay to eat at Garfunkels.

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          15.03.2010 19:29
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          Don't rush to your nearest branch!

          We ate at the Garfunkel's Restaurant on Tottenham Court Road late at night (after the evening show we'd been to). I chose this restaurant because I could remember an excellent meal we ate in New York at their restaurant a few years ago and I particularly remembered that they were really good on the desserts front.

          **Time of visit**
          First of all it was late at night (after 10pm) so the restaurant was quiet with only three or four tables seated. We were shown to a table and asked if it was OK but we asked for a booth, no problem said the waitress leading us past all the normal sized booths and to one for two people. It was fine but we would have preferred the space to spread out!

          **Ordering**
          We were given some menus to look at and quickly chose our meals and a bottle of wine.

          **Our choices**
          I chose the Penne Aribiatta spicy pasta and my husband had Peri Peri chicken. The food arrived quickly and it was hot. I was a bit disappointed with the sauce that my pasta came in as it didn't taste very fresh (looked like it had come out of a packet) and the main feature of my dish was that it had spicy Jalepeno peppers on it and I counted four (slices) in the entire dish.

          My husband's chicken came on the bone and he said it was quite nice but not exactly what he was expecting and he didn't want the skin on his chicken. He's not a great one for reading the detail on a menu though so it was a case of buyer beware I think. I tend to scrutinise the description as I'm a bit of a fussy eater and like to know exacly what's on my plate.

          **Salad bar**
          There was a salad buffet bar but they were cleaning it while we were there and it was late so we could not have picked that. I would have thought that being next door to a theatre they would be more geared up for late night eaters especially on a weekend but then I suppose most people eat before the show and not after.

          **Desserts**
          We opted for a dessert and I had Profiteroles with ice cream - 5 profiteroles and two large scoops of ice cream topped with whipped cream - yum! My husband had the waffle with ice cream and helped me to finish my ice cream too, (he's always good for finishing things off) and by this time we had polished off the whole bottle of wine.

          **The bill***
          The meal came to £52 in total which for two courses and a bottle of wine is OK I think in London. We left a tip too, we always do even when service is bad because we're daft but this time we were happy with the service.

          **Verdict**
          I can't fault the service, the food was OK and the price was quite reasonable for such a central London restaurant. We probably left it a bit late to eat as it was almost midnight by the time we were walking back to the hotel.

          Whilst I wouldn't rush back to this restaurant - I think there are better options out there - it was good enough and if we ever do go back, next time I would probably choose something different off the menu.

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          02.12.2009 17:18
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          Will go back again

          I recently went to Edinburgh and did a couple of tourist things. I always find that I always seem to go abroad and never really visit other cities in my home country. So Edinburgh was the choice for both of us which is a 4 hour drive from home.

          We did all the tourist things that we could cram into our days in Edinburgh and on Thursday we were trying to keep everything we did in the same area within Edinburgh so once we had been to the dungeons we went up to the Royal Mile and decided to get some lunch as it was getting late.

          James (husband) decided that we should go to Garfunkel's as he had been to one in London a few times when away for meetings and I had never been.

          Our Visit

          From the outside it looked like a small restaurant and it wasn't too busy. I looked at the menu on the outside and could see several things I would order so we went in and were greeted by a very polite member of staff who showed us to our seats. Because they were quiet we were asked where we'd like to sit so we sat beside the window.

          The waitress came back and took our drinks orders. She also handed us two menus; one lunch menu which the offer was one course for £6.95 or two courses for £7.95.

          On the lunch menu there is a limited choice and that's why they also give you there full menu which you can also order from. The full menu was a lot more expensive than the lunch one and again there were several dishes I could order from the lunch menu so we decided to order from that.

          After a couple of minutes the waitress came back and took our order. Again she was really polite with a permanent smile on her face and was also nice and chatty which came across as she was actually interested in her customers and not just making small talk.

          While we waited for our meal I went to the toilet which is actually located down two flights of stairs. As I reached the bottom I noticed there was another room down here which was laid out with dining tables as well so the restaurant was actually a lot bigger than I first thought.

          The meal

          For starters I had chicken wings in a BBQ sauce. They arrived in a bowl which also came with a wet wipe on the side plate. Very clever thinking as everyone knows you can't eat chicken wings without using your hands. There was also a side salad and a creamy dip.

          There were about 10 chicken wings which was more than enough for me and I actually gave some to James to help me eat them. There was sauce covering all the chicken wings but also a lot of sauce at the bottom of the bowl if you really wanted them smothered in sauce.

          The chicken wings were cooked perfectly and tasted absolutely delicious I could've easily had these with chips as a main course.

          James had garlic ciabatta bread. He was given two ciabatta's cut in half with garlic on them. I had a try of this and they tasted lovely. They were full of garlic flavour so I would warn not to stand too close to people afterwards or eat loads of smints. They were nicely toasted and not too over done which again was perfect and I was left very impressed.

          By this point I didn't know how much of my main course I was going to be able to eat as I was already feeling quite full but after a couple of minutes our main courses were taken out.

          Mains

          I decided to keep my option simple and had opted for the cheeseburger and chunky chips. This was served with a side of burger relish which I then added to the burger myself. The chips were as it states very chunky and tasted great but the burger was the best I have ever tasted and I made sure that I finished the whole burger because it was so good. The chips were slightly dry and although I usually like chunky chips these were too chunky for me and I actually left most of them.

          James chose quarter chicken which was served with BBQ sauce, chunky chips and mixed vegetables. He said that the chicken was lovely but there wasn't enough BBQ sauce to go with it so finished the rest with my burger relish. The vegetables did look slightly over cooked and soggy and James actually left these. He also thought the chips were too dry to eat. So even though his meal wasn't fantastic he said the taste of the chicken well and truly made up for the rest of the meal.

          Staff

          As I've commented throughout my review that the staff were great and very friendly. They were also very attentive and didn't actually want for anything. I would also like to comment that they weren't overly friendly either, they knew not to come up to often and even though they were chatty seemed to understand that they shouldn't stand and chat to customers for too long either.

          The staff overall I would say were the best staff I've met in a long time in a restaurant and you really felt like you were welcomed into the restaurant.

          Price

          As we went for the lunch menu it cost us a total of £19 including drinks which of course is great value for money in a restaurant for two courses.

          The normal menu seemed to be a lot more expensive but with the meal I had I would be willing to pay more for an evening meal in here.

          The restaurant

          First thoughts were that the restaurant was quite small until I found the secret dining area downstairs whilst at the toilet.

          The restaurant was full of Christmas decorations but it wasn't too much. The restaurant upstairs seemed bright and airy and I didn't feel like it was too packed in with tables and chairs. My opinion might have been different it the restaurant was busy but at the time we were there we had no one sitting around us at all.

          Overall Opinion

          I really enjoyed my visit to this restaurant and I'm glad we went here instead of our usual trip when in a city to KFC or Burger King. The whole experience was a lot better than I expected and for this I will be returning to this restaurant next time I visit Edinburgh.

          The staff really were fantastic and I really appreciate when staff are so great to their customers because it doesn't happen all the time, and I have previously had a great meal in a restaurant which was then let down by staff so to get an all round great experience was a big deal for me.

          Extra Info

          For the latest menu or to find where Garfunkel's are located go to their website and you'll find all the info you need;

          http://www.garfunkels.co.uk/

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            28.11.2009 23:37
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            A good meal out but nothing spectacular

            A friend and I were meeting up in Central London last weekend for lunch and as usual with all the restaurants around we couldn't decide where to go. Going for a wander we came across Garfunkels, just off Oxford Street. Neither of us had eaten there before but having a quick look at the menu on display outside the door, there seemed to be plenty of choice, so we decided to head in.

            As it was lunchtime the branch was very busy and we had to wait around 10 minutes before being seated. While we were waiting one of the waitresses handed us a menu to have a look at so we could make our selection and order as soon as we were seated. I thought this was a good idea both to make the wait seem less, but also not to waste time when we did sit down. I do find it frustrating when we have to spend ages for our order to be taken when we sit down, especially if we already know what we want.

            Once seated we ordered straight away. The menu contains a range of pasta, meat, pizza and fish dishes, all influenced from around the world. For example there is Salmon cooked in thai spices and chicken tikka masala on the menu. There are also a range of wraps, burgers, jacket potatoes and salads available - something for everyone! I went for a veggie goats cheese burger while my friend went for a hamburger. Both were served in a sesame seed bun with chunky chips on the side and a tomato relish. Whilst we were waiting our drinks were brought out and we had to wait around 15 minutes for our order - not long considering how busy they were. There was a nice atmosphere in the restaurant with the hustle and bustle of many people dining and some music playing in the background but this wasn't too loud to distract us from our conversation.

            When our meal arrived both my friend and I looked at our plates and laughed saying that they were a little stingy with the chips - there were only about 10 chips on the plate. 'Must be the credit crunch' I said. My burger was a mixture of potatoes, peppers and goats cheese coated in batter, fried and then placed in the bap. I thought the burger tasted ok. I liked the tanginess of the goats cheese and the sweetness of the peppers but thought that it was a little dry as there was a minimal amount of mayonnaise in the bap. I asked for a bottle of ketchup to put some tomato sauce in the bap which was brought out promptly. The chips were really nice - I just wished there was more of them! I thought for the price that I'd paid (£8.95) the portion was a little small.

            The staff were very attentive and came to ask us a couple of times if things were ok. I thought this was really good considering how packed it was. Overall I enjoyed my experience but I'm not sure that it'd be high on my list of restaurants to go back to.

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              10.09.2009 11:59

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              Never again

              Our family ate at Garfunkels in Bath during a day trip at the end of August 2009. Whilst initial impressions are good - it's a grand old building with impressive period features, however as we walked to our table I started to wonder why on a busy saturday lunchtime the place was 3/4 empty! As with previous reviews we ordered quite simple food for three adults and two children with no starters. Around 1/2 hour later our food arrived - the presentation was poor - very little on any plate looked appealing, then the taste - the chicken was dry and overcooked, the chunky fries were bordeline cremated and my sons "Cowbow Pie" was poor even for a kids meal - sausage and beans in a bowl with mash spead over the top - again with absolutely no effort made to make it look remotely appetising. We never saw our waiter again during our meal in fact it was a full 20 minutes after we had finished eating that he appeared to remove the main course plates. We left shortly after deciding not to risk deserts! I would avoid this place!

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              12.08.2008 02:47

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              I have to say the service was just about as bad as you can possibly get it. It started off well enough, we were soon found a table and we settled down with the Sunday papers. Then we waited, and waited. Eventually a poor waiter for whom we later felt sorry for took our order. It was a simple enough order, we did not want starters and my wife and I had Omelettes whilst the boys had Ribs and Lasgane slightly complicated by a side order of garlic bread. A round of drinks was ordered.
              Then we waited, and waited. After 10 minutes the drinks duly arrived. And then we waited, and waited. After 40 minutes the poor waiter returned to inform us that the chef (meaning microwave operative and salad tosser) (delete salad and replace with complete) had lost our order and so could we order again. We did and expecting that some priority would be given to our order we settled down to wait. Our expectation that we would now get our food in reasonable time was misplaced, a further 20 minutes elapsed before the food arrived.

              Now any restaurant can have an off day. However if they do its what happens when they do that will decide whether you will return. How do they try to make up for what has been a poor show in terms of service. What happened at Garfunkels? A round of free drinks while we waited interminably? Nope. A reduction off the bill perhaps? Nope. Profuse apologies? Well yes but that's just manners that's not business.
              All this is a pity we have been here before and found it reasonably priced. The service last time was pretty good but the restaurant business is competitive. If you do not make it up to scratch there are many other places to try.

              Garfunkels on this occasion suffered from NOBODY ACTUALLY CARES syndrome which afflicts many chain establishments. Weak management, poorly paid staff without motivation spoil a place like this. Serve the food quickly with a cheery smile and people will return. Is it that difficult?
              It was obviously beyond the wit of Garfunkels Cambridge.

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              21.08.2007 16:20
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              Won't be first choice for me again.

              Last Friday my boyfriend and I decided to go out for dinner. We decided to go to Garfunkel’s, in Leicester Square, because we walk past it everyday after work (whilst starving) yet had never eaten in there. The restaurant is situated down Dean Street, which is one of the roads that leads into Leicester Square. It can be seen from the centre of Leicester Square, and is very easily accessible from Leicester Square tube station. It is also in walking distance from Charing Cross National Rail station, and about 5 minutes walk from Trafalgar Square.

              WAITING TIMES

              As we had decided to visit this branch in central London on a Friday evening, we decided to book in advance. So, my boyfriend rang up the restaurant that morning and reserved a table. When we got to the restaurant we entered and queued for a couple of minutes before everyone else. You got seated when you got to the front of the queue, a system that didn’t seem representative of us booking a table earlier in the day. When we got to the front of the queue my boyfriend told the waitress that we had booked a table.
              “You’ve booked a table?”
              “Yes”
              “Really?”
              “Er, yeah”
              “You’ve booked a table? For tonight?”
              “Yeah, for 2”
              “Well I’ve got a spare table for 2 anyway”
              Apparently they don’t normally take bookings on a Friday night, fair enough, but there’s no need to look at us like we made it up! Anyway, it was only about 5 minutes between when we entered the restaurant and when we sat down, so that wasn’t too bad. However, this short wait wasn’t something that we encountered for the rest of our meal. Although we didn’t have to wait long between sitting and getting our order, and ordering and getting our starters, we had to wait a long time between our starter and our main, and a similar time between having our plates cleared away and our bill being brought to us.

              Our wait overall was uncomfortably long at some points, particularly when it came between our starter and our main. I deduct one star because of this.

              SERVICE

              As I mentioned before, the first staff member we encountered was a waitress who didn’t believe that we had booked a table. Not the best first impression, and unfortunately this below-par service carried on throughout our meal. As I mentioned above we spent the majority of our meal waiting for one thing or another, as this really puts a sense of unease over the whole experience. The staff weren’t overly friendly, and didn’t apologise for the long wait. This bad service was something that I feel other diners also felt; at the table next to us there was a group of 6 who had ordered a sharers platter as their starter. They received their main courses first, and had to ask for their platters. Also, the young girl with them had ordered a burger and asked for it to be without mayonnaise – unsurprisingly it had mayo with it.

              Although we visited on a Friday night, I don’t think that the place was busy enough to warrant the bad service. As the evening wore on the restaurant got less busy rather than more, yet our service seemed to get worse. There were plenty of empty tables around us in the area we were sitting in, yet hardly any attention was focused on us. Unacceptable – one star deducted.

              FOOD

              My boyfriend and I decided to share a starter, so we ordered 6 potato skins. These were delicious; 2 were barbecue sauce flavour, 2 had bacon in and 2 had chives in. The sauce was a lovely sour cream and the skins were the perfect size for us for sharing (my boyfriend had 4 and I had 2!) For our mains my boyfriend had a ‘giant burger’ which had both beef and chicken, also bacon and cheese (piggy) whilst I had salmon and broccoli fish cakes. Both these main courses came with a choice of chips or jacket potato – we both chose chips. My fish cakes were very tasty. The outsides were crispy and the insides were smooth and creamy. The crisps also were very nice; they looked like they had been cut fresh from potatoes (although they probably weren’t!) and were cooked for just the right amount of time. My boyfriend’s burger was apparently very good, although so massive that he couldn’t finish it.

              The food here was tasty and cooked to a good standard.1 star each from me and my boyfriend.

              PRICE

              The pricing at Garfunkel’s isn’t out of the ordinary at all; it is exactly what I thought it would be. Our large starter (it was stated for 2 people) was about £7 and my main meal was just under £10, with my boyfriend’s being just under £15. Obviously our drinks were a bit costly but they usually are, my glass of rosé was about £5. Our total bill came to about £40 in the end which is average I think for a restaurant of this type. We didn’t leave a massive tip either so we saved a bit there!

              Overall I wouldn’t say I had a bad time at Garfunkel’s, but I would hesitate to go there again. The price is average, the food is alright, but the service is definitely below par, and hampered our experience. I’m not going to say that I will never go back to Garfunkel;s, or indeed try another version of the chain, but it definitely won’t be my first port of call.

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                18.06.2007 08:23

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                not abad place, food okay prices a little high unfriendly waiting staff

                On my first trip to England, I visited the Garfunkels in Gatwick airport. I just got off an eight hour flight and was tired. It being early morning, I decided to find a place to eat in the airport, which wasn't too hard to find. I was greeted and seated promptly and politely, but the waitress who took my order was rather surly. I tried being polite, but my gesture was ignored and she asked what I wanted. I ordered what I believe was called the great English breakfast, though I could be wrong, it was something like that. It was brought out quicker than I expected, and can be best described as "okay". Cost was 8 pound and change with drink. Not to bad of a place, despite being a little hot in the restaurant, but the waitresses need to be friendlier.

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                18.12.2006 18:00

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                Try Macdonalds!

                I used to take my son to garfunkels when shopping in Oxford Street. That was 15 years ago and he used to love it. So on a recent visit to Oxford Street the wife and I decided to eat there for old times sake. It was the pits!
                The burgers were burnt and only just warm as were the fries. It wasn't worth £20.00 I will never go again! It used to be good food

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                04.06.2003 00:30
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                • "misleading menu"

                I have been to two Garfunkels ? and each time I?ve regretted it! Last Time:- Manchester Airport waiting for a connection. Time to kill and hungry. The place was food hall and cleanliness, décor and general surround ok. The staff seated to me to a table, took my order and were perfectly polite and pretty efficient?no complaints there. Though I will say they did look tired and their ?uniforms? hardly flattering. I ordered ?Cajun Chicken? with Backed potato and a side salad as an ?extra?. Menu cost £8.75 plus £2.25 for the salad. This is described as ?a tender breast of chicken, smothered in Cajun spices and char-grilled? What it is:- ?formed? chicken meat into a steak shape covered in burnt tasting goo. Identical to those frozen Captain Birdseye Chicken steaks. 2.99 for 4 from Tesco?s To put it bluntly I think their menus is a barefaced lie Even worse was the Side-Salad ? a small pile of chopped lettuce and a quarter tomato. Complete rip off! The baked spud was good though. How does restaurant have the audacity to sell such rubbish is beyond me. And at such a price! Include a beer and total price was £13.55 I refused to pay for the salad and the staff agreed that it was a rip off. So no complaints about the people.

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                  27.10.2002 15:44
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                  • "The strange stain on the wall behind Alan"

                  Dear me, I've had a ground breaking experience, a revelation, a gift from God. You see last week I went to Garfunkels in Bath and...it was GOOD!! Much maligned on Dooyoo, I had been to Garfunkels in London which seem to be on every corner, looks like a dingy Italian, all red check and brown wood, and staffed by miserable Norwegian students! But we are talking Bath here, and the council are a bit fussy about what they'll allow in their city and fast food restaurants are definitely out. At the mo they are trying to get rid of the McDonalds in the town centre and the Pizza Hut and KFC are only tolerated because they are in side streets. But Garfunkels in Bath is in the old Empire Hotel, an imposing grandiose building on the rive front. As you walk in its a tad jaw-dropping, enormous vaulted ceilings, gilt mirrors and pot palms everywhere which sets off the perfectly clean, varnished floors and tables. There are two different rooms, one for smokers and non-smokers which makes everyone happy, but the huge fans in the smokers room means it stays relatively fresh. It was quite quiet so we got served straight away by a lovely, cheery girl, who got out drinks but also left us to peruse the menu in peace. The menu is fairly large with something for everyone, a good range of starters including 2 different soups, loaded potato skins, nachos and the ubiquitous prawn cocktails, all for an extremely reasonable £2.95. After a bit of deliberation we both the creamy mushroom soup, it came very promptly in under ten minutes. And I have to say I was very impressed, too often mushroom soup is a bit of greasy liquid with a few forlorn looking sliced mushrooms in it, this was hot, thick and creamy (The soup!!), very tasty, with big chunks of mushrooms, it was accompanied by a warm baguette and butter. Absolutely delicious and well worth the money. By then we had already decided on the main course and it was easy, there was a fair old
                  amount to choose from, steak and chicken, but with different toppings for each, usual for steak but a lot less so for chicken, from mushrooms to sauces to cheese. A mix and match of many proportions There were loads of burgers, toppings like pineapple, mushrooms, blue cheese, egg, etc. Apparently in this Garfunkels they are extremely good, unlike another popular restaurant in Bristol well known for its appalling burgers (not McDonalds or Burger King by the way). There's the ever popular fajhitis that for once I passed over, you can always tell the quality of a place by its fajhitis! Also quite a bit of fish and a fair selection of Veggie food, but being a complete carnivore I didn't really look. Many of the dished come with a salad, a selection of vegetables, chips, jacket potatoes, boiled potatoes, etc. Or something that is sadly missing from most menus. Something Alan searches for in vain every time we eat out, but his heart was lifted, his mouth waters, he sighed happily at 2 little written word 'Mashed Potato's', its amazing how that gives him a rise. Main meals range from £5.95 to £15 depending on what you have. There's also a selection of side orders, garlic bread, onion rings, that kind of stuff, there is also the salad bar which looked huge, but was rather green and salady so was well avoided. So what did Alan choose? Spot on! The mashed potatoes, he would have been quite happy just to have a plate of that stuff, but he would have looked silly so he also went for chicken breast smothered in a B-B-Q sauce, bacon and cheese, with peas. It came piping hot in about 10 minutes, crispy on the top with loads of melted cheese. And I had 3 pork 5 inchers, oh you dirty minded lot. Pork sausages and very nice they were too!! With plenty of thick rich onion sauce, petit pois and....mashed potato!! First impression? Damn fine, I have to say, the mash is actually made with real potatoes, not the packet stuff, wel
                  l seasoned as well by the taste. The food was well cooked and hot, my food has got to be very hot when it arrives, other wise it goes straight back again! And there's the desserts, my favourite bit, there quite a selection, nothing out of the ordinary but nice anyway, chocolate cake, frozen yoghurt, ice cream apple pie, blackberry and apple crumble, available with custard, ice cream or cream. And they are OK, nothing special. But no skimpy portions here, a big piece of warm chocolate cake with cream and crumble with custard. OK, food over, what was the service like? Great, very attentive without being annoying, the food and drink came promptly, and my ashtray was emptied frequently, with clean cutlery every time, and she was very nice and polite. Unfortunately she did forget the decaff coffees we ordered at the same time as the desserts. But that's OK, I'm sure she would have got them if we had reminded her. So all in all, a 3 course meal with soft drinks, cost us £31 which I don't think is too bad at all. In fact I'd give Garfunkels a 9 ½ out of 10 (just being picky about the coffee.) It also has good disabled access with good accessible toilets, excellently equipped baby changing rooms, high chairs and kids menus. Forget all you prejudices, for get what you've eaten before, forget the scathing reviews on these pages, go and get funked up in Bath. It'll make you feel sooooo good!

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                    19.02.2002 02:28
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                    • "rude staff"

                    Everyone from our work was treated to go and see a show in London by our boss for Christmas. We ate at Garfunkels in the Strand before going to see My Fair Lady (which was brilliant). As there was a large number of people going we had copies of the menus and decided to fax our order through from work. This was mistake number one. The restaurant in which we wanted to eat sent the order somewhere else! Why we don't know. We came to the day before and we rang to confirm that they had reserved our table and got our order right. Well this again was wrong and after some wasted time and having to speak to the manager we eventually had our details confirmed. We arrived and they had seated us all on sepearate tables. The staff we had on that day had somewhat limited english and could not make out what we were saying and visa versa, and some of us were ignored. They were also pretty rude and was obvious they did not want to be working at the particular time we were there. Drinks orders went OK and everyone got what they wanted. The Coke tasted as though it had been watered down and my friend who had hoped for a nice milky hot chocolate was greeted with one made with water -yuk! The food came out eventually as it took almost an hour, no excuses for the number of people as they already had our orders! Yes there was a wide choice of dishes ranging from pasta, pizza, chicken and steaks. Mine and one or two of the others arrived cold and the portions were hardly big enough to feed a child. For the food, it was a tad pricey a I expected a good size portion of bbq chicken for my £9. It was more like a sparrow and a couple of chips! My friend had unlimited visits to the salad bar for around £7 and it was one of the most limited choices of salad I have ever seen. She only had one visit so again this was poor value as she could of had a one visit on for around a fiver. They didn't have a patch on Pizza
                    Hut salad bar which I think is excellent! This wa my first and last visit to Garfunkles, as I will not be visiting again. I would only reccommend eating here if you aren't very hungry and have money to throw away.

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                      23.07.2001 02:08
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                      • "Tiny portions"

                      Picture this: two hungry girls, prowling Victoria station on a late Sunday afternoon in search of nourishment. We happen to come upon a harmless-enough looking place under the name of Garfunkels and decide to eat there. The prices seemed a little high compared to some the nearby places but well, we thought, we're both starving so obviously the prices reflect both the quality and quantity of food. I honestly don't think we could have been more wrong. We ordered a calzone pizza (around six pounds ninety) and a cheeseburger (around five pounds fourty) and eagerly awaited our food. Imagine our disappointment when we were presented with plates that in any other eaterie would have been described as child-sized portions. The cheeseburger had nothing else on it apart from a thinly sliced scrap of cheese and as for the pizza, we were beginning to wonder if there was any filling in it at all. When we mentioned this lack of food to the waitress, we were looked at as if we were excessively greedy. This was the first time I had been to one of their restaurants and I can't say I'll ever be going again. The food, what there was of it was bland and tasteless, and although the range of dishes on offer was ok (pizzas, hot and cold sandwiches, burgers and traditional main meals like chicken and steak and a decent range of puddings), I don't think it was any better than a normal cafe and much more overpriced. There was little on offer specifically for children, although the plates were of a reasonable size for them and I definitely wouldn't recommend it for a family, as you'll end up paying a small fortune, only to be hungry later. For example, our meal cost just under fifteen pounds and we were hungry again about an hour later. I found the staff at this particular branch to be very unhelpful and surly. It's no coincidence that the restaurant next door was very full and Garfunkels was fairly desserted. They seemed to have litt
                      le training and resented working on a Sunday. All in all, not a great experience and very opverpriced.

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