Forde's somehow manages to get worse


Food style/ethnicity: Modern Irish


Price: 35 - 45 (Euro)

   **Location**:        <p>Crescent Quay

Wexford, Co Wexford


Food rating: 2 out of 5
Decor rating: 3 out of 5
Service rating: 0 out of 5

I completely slated Forde’s last year after the utterly mediocre overpriced meal we had there. It was on my permanent blacklist until today. My parents stepped once more into the breech and babysat the recovering nutters so that myself and Catherine could go out for a bite.

I had done a search on Georgina Campbell’s site and came up with a shortlist of The Lobster Pot in Carne, Le Colosseo in Rosslare, La Dolce Vida in Wexford, La Riva in Wexford, Mange 2 in Wexford and Forde’s. The Lobster Pot has a reputation for horribly arrogant service and overpriced food (and you can’t book) so that was a no-no. We weren’t in a real Italian mood so that just left Mange 2 and Forde’s. It looked like Mange 2 would be the winner but then I was told about the poaching of the Heaven’s Above chef by Forde’s. The consistent bad stories we had all heard about them last year (by real diners as opposed to professional critics) had been replaced by very positive ones since the new chef’s arrival. So Forde’s it was.

And oh jesus what a mistake that was.

Without a doubt the worst service I have had in a restaurant in five years. From the second we sat down, the clear aim was to get us the hell out of there. And well done to them, they beat our record. Three courses plus coffee in less than an hour and it was all completely mediocre except the coffee.

I don’t know what sort of crack John McKenna, Tom Doorley and Georgina Campbell are smoking but they are so far off the mark on this place, it isn’t funny.

The waiting staff never smiled once. They sat us beside the toilets in an almost empty restaurant. The bread came out with rock hard butter (Cert Training Day 1??). When we ordered the house tempranillo, the waitress said “great choice” and threw her eyes up to heaven as she walked off. The tone of “are you enjoying your meal” was such that you knew full well they did not give a shite either way. When we ordered our dessert, the waitress left so fast we had to shout our coffee order at her.

As for the food, no improvement on last year. Do they really have the old chef from Heaven’s above? The same stupid spud in a spring roll was on the menu - the restaurant equivalent of a chip butty. The same five beef dishes (four types of steak) out of a meat menu of eight. In fact, has the menu changed one iota from last year? The concept of “fish of the day” seems to escape them as all the fish is listed in the permanent menu. I must send them a map to Kilmore Quay.

Anyway, Catherine’s prawn salad on a bed of chinese leaves was missing its bed entirely. My confit of duck leg came with burnt rosti and was swimming in a pool of sauce. My brill was totally overcooked and Catherine’s lamb tasted ok but was very fatty and overcooked. Did they really cook a saddle of lamb in the time we were there or was it zapped? My pannacotta had the texture of butter rather than cream but Catherine’s desert was ok. Coffee was fine.

I’ve just re-read my review from last year to realise that I ordered exactly the same food this year as last! I know that shows me to be utterly predictable but it also says a lot about their static menu. Going by my comments last year, it really does look like the place has amazingly managed to get worse in twelve months.

How the hell are these people getting awards? Seriously, there is something utterly broken in mainstream restaurant reviewing that we can encounter service and food like this TWICE from a place with a 2006 Bridgestone plaque on the wall. To give Forde’s their due, I don’t think I have giggled that much since I was a teenager - a highly enjoyable night out with my wife.

For what I think is the second time ever in a restaurant, I left zero tip.

[tags]Forde’s, Wexford, Bridgestone[/tags]

Conor O'Neill

Tech guy who likes running slowly

Bandon, Cork, Ireland