“ café/restaurant. John Lewis, Second Floor, St James Centre EDINBURGH Tel: 0131 556 9121 „
Amazingly pathetic service. The guy shouted from the other end of the restaurant that my food was coming. The paneer tikka was burnt. When the waiter asked me if the food was good, I made the worst possible face and said "Ok". In the end, they did not even bother to give me a receipt. When I called the manager, he said some great words, "Let me tell you where you were wrong", "Normally we keep the receipt. If the customer needs it, he should ask and then we will give", "You are being a difficult customer"I told him, no wonder your staff are like that. Hopeless. Dont bother going there. Indian Cavalry Club is far better and is just round the corner.
I am going to tell you about my experience eating in an Indian restaurant called 'Omar Khayyam'. In my recent ops, I had mentioned that we went to visit Edinburgh. And stayed at Hilton Grosvenor which very near to the Haymarket Station. As the hotel is usually expensive for room service for food, we had decided to go to the restaurant to have our dinner. We saw this restaurant named ‘Omar Khayyam’, which is situated on the same road as Hilton. I can't remember the road name but I think it was Grosvenor Street. Anyway, we were all starving for a decent food. So we entered the restaurant. A warm welcome by the waiter. Made us wait in the waiting area whilst they set up the table. Please bear in mind that this restaurant is all smoking, which means no choice of non-smoking table. We weren't bothered as we were starving. The waiter came back to get us in 10 minutes and sat us near the door. Everything was very clean. Nice maharaja style chairs. The tables were set with more than 1 sort of cutlery. We ordered the food, started off with popaddums and drinks. The menu was pretty big. You could get nearly all sort of Indian food and all sorts of alcohol and soft drinks. So far so good. Then came to ordering the main course. This is where the catch is. As none of us has very big appetite, we decided to order a few main course dishes. But no, the waiter insisted that we have to order the x amount of main courses. What I mean to say is that if its five people and that include a kid, you still have to order 5 main courses. What a waste of money and food. We did order the food in the end. There was a wide choice of Indian food. And I must admit that every main course we ordered was so tasty. We just couldn't complain. When it came to paying our bill, it was a bit higher figure. But I suppose that depends on what you order. So if you folks ever g
o there to eat, please be aware of this catch. I just thought I would let you know.
By no stretch of the imagination is St James Centre the most impressive piece of architecture in Edinburgh. Situated on the north eastern extremity of Princes Street, at the top of the continuation of Leith Walk, it replaced the majority of St James Square and a complex of shops on two levels in the late 1960’s. St James Square itself was a magnificent Georgian Square which had the distinction of a Mr. Robert Burns (poet of the Scots) having lived in an 'apartment' there. A small corner of the original St James Square still remains, the terrace of 4 properties converted into flats that backed onto the Edinburgh Bus Station, with a path between it and the St James Centre offering access between the bus station and Princes Street.. The bus station is now demolished and the new Harvey Nicks is rising in its place ... The Jewel in the Crown of St James Centre is currently the John Lewis store, but this will soon be challenged by the completion of this new Harvey Nichols store that is currently under construction. Thus St James Centre, in spite of its concrete ugliness should retain its position as the Premier shopping facility of Edinburgh City Centre. Along with the shops of St James Centre is a Thistle Hotel, a multistory car park and 'New St. Andrews’ House (Scottish Office lair). Such a complex requires a strong catering facility and it has got it, with a first floor 'food court' and, in addition, the facilities of John Lewis and the Thistle Hotel (with The Boston Bean Company franchise, and the more formal 'Craigs Restaurant'). If you want views whilst you eat then the John Lewis 2nd floor restaurant (or more accurately, as John Lewis describes it "The Place to Eat") is for you. Fine views to the North, over towards Leith and the Firth of Forth, with the New Town rooftops to the North-West and the intriguing Calton Hill (with its interesting collection buildings and
edifices) to the East. The tables occupy the majority of 3 sides of the room, so that you have to be quite unlucky not to have a seat with a view. OK, it is not a restaurant as such, but in reality (dare we call it) a cafeteria, with green plastic trays, and is very bright and airy, the decor being in a 'bilious green' (as I term it) and cream. There is still an excellent range of food ranging from scones to hot dishes (including a good vegetarian section) and the coffee is good quality. You have to decide what sort of dishes you want and then you have at least 4 different places to queue depending on this detail. Thus if some of your party wanted a full hot meal and others only a salad roll, you might have to engage two or more people to handle trays at different serving points. Service is normally quick and friendly and the young girls 'n' guys do an excellent job of keeping tables clear. However, one point of detail. During busy periods, please don't think that you can send one of your 'party' to reserve a table whilst you and the others choose your food. This is not the way things are done. Prominently displayed notices 'instruct' you to CHOOSE your food first and then FIND a table. If you ignore this 'sensible' entreaty whilst the restaurant is busy, then the member of your party who has 'commandeered a table' is likely to face the combined wrath of a brace of Morningside Ladies in full tooth and fang, who will (literally) blow the poor unfortunate 'advance guard' from the table, knowing that THEY are 'in the right'. In the case of any protests or raised voices, they do receive the full backing of 'the Management' and such exchanges provides good entertainment for the other diners. (For those who are not familiar with the varied strata of Edinburgh society, "Morningside ladies" are formidable old
bats (of various ages) who push their children un-mercifully through private school and live in the Morningside area of Edinburgh, usually in over-priced terraced houses. They have a distinctive (put-on) accent and are VERY PUSHY in attitude and manner. They have experienced the sharpe edge of MY tongue on a number of occasions (but that is another story ..). However, getting a table is rarely a problem. Diners are mostly local and go there to Eat, and then get back to their work or shopping. After all, it is mainly the ladies who lunch, and the 'Place to Eat' is on the floor above 'ladies' fashions' (!). So, no time to waste (and "Ai maight waunt to go to Jenners later ..."). So, what can you get ? Well, literally any category from just a cup of coffee or tea (for about £1), a Cappuccino (£1.80), soup & roll (£2.50), Scone & Butter (£1.80) Salad rolls (£2 -£4), moussaka/hot vegetarian dishes/roast beef & vegetables/etc. (£5- £8) Indeed just about anything that you want which does not include fish & chips or burgers. This means that the odour problems are minimised. Wine is available, and the quality is good even if some find the lack of some staples limiting their choice. If you are shopping in Edinburgh, then it may not be the best place to eat, but you can do worse at lunchtime ......