Randall and Aubin 2
Randall and Aubin has been one of those restaurants with a amazing shop front that entices you with fresh, vibrant seafood as you walk by. I finally had the opportunity to visit after salivating over the place for many years.
On entering, the place was packed, everyone busy tucking into oysters, huge seafood platters and a lively, fun environment. The restaurant almost felt like a club, with loud dance music and even a huge disco ball in the middle of the room. The rowdy ambiance definitely didn’t reflect the extortionate prices on offer.
With a high price, comes a high level of expectation on quality of food and quality of service. Neither was delivered on my visit there. For starters, we had the crab salad, (£11) flavour of the crab was light and sweet as you would expect from seafood specialists however, that was let down by the rest of the salad punctuated with large chunks of raw onions which killed the subtle flavours of the crab.
The staff there looked like they were too busy flirting with each other and openly dancing during service rather then check on their diners.
We chose the grilled lobster (£25) and sea bass (£18) for the main course but before we could experience either, we had to wait ages for the staff to clear our starters. The staff there looked like they were too busy flirting with each other and openly dancing during service rather then check on their diners. It doesn’t reflect well on the restaurant when I had to remind them to clear our plates.
When the main course did arrive, we were greeted with nice looking plates of food, the vibrancy of the shop front was not lost on the plate. That’s as far as the compliments go. I was really surprised both the grilled lobster and the sea bass came through overcooked. The lobster in particular could have fallen off my fork, bounced off the table and landed up in my mouth.
This place is a case of style over substance. I went in with high expectations matched by the prices. The ambiance, food quality and service would be perfect in a local diner, but unfortunately for me not at a top end seafood restaurant.