We frequently dined at the Garden's Gate Restaurant over the past ten years but this was our first visit to it under the new management. The exterior looked much the same but the gardens did need a bit more care. The interior of the restaurant...was largely unchanged in layout, however the settings were somewhat sparse. Gone were the set tables, tablecloths, napkins and flowers, replaced by cutlery wrapped in cheap paper napkins. It looked and felt more like a low grade diner than the former fine dining ambiance of the past.
Once we were seated we asked to see the liquor menu only to be told that they do not serve liquor, wine or beer. The waitperson explained that they had applied for a liquor license in 2020, but had not heard back from the government since applying. What?? They applied in 2020, but had not followed up with the licensing body. Very strange indeed.
We asked for water and it arrived at the table in tall bottles, that formerly had screw caps on them, sort of like mini ketchup bottles. Odd to say the least and not very classy at all. They then brought a small tray of bread for four people, but there were no bread plates to be had. Just how were we to butter our bread and where were we to keep it in between bites. The bread was very unremarkable and a bit on the stale side. So far we were not very impressed.
The four of us then ordered our dinner of whitefish, which used to be in the former restaurant a culinary delight. Our meal arrived in a bit and the fish was mediocre at best. Mine was noticeably thinner than the other three servings and it was over-cooked. The fish was served with a large portion of white rice and some vegetables but the fish was draped over the rice, imparting a fish flavour to the rice. Not my idea of how rice should be served. The vegetables were cooked reasonably well. There was no salt or pepper on the table and I had to get them from a nearby shelf.
We finished our meal and then ordered tea. My wife and I ordered black tea and that was served in a pot. One of our friends ordered an herbal tea which was served with a tea bag in the cup, but no saucer and so no place to put the teabag. It had to be dumped on the table when the tea had brewed, as there was no place else to put it.
The owners need to take a course in restaurant management, as what they are offering as a dining experience and at the prices they are asking is well below accepted quality standards and very far below the level of what the former Garden's Gate owners offered to the dining public. It is very unfortunate as there are so few restaurants on the island that offer a good dining experience. All in all it was a very disappointing dining experience for our group and we all decided that we would not return again.More