Went to Al Shami on Saturday evening for a friend's birthday with high hopes for a delicious meal. As predicted, the food was fantastic and lived up to my expectations. We all revelled in the novel presentation of the vegetables (deconstructed salad perhaps?) and gorged ourselves silly on the fantastic selection of mezze. I particularly enjoyed the sujuq (spicy Armenian sausages) and the fresh-tasting tabbouleh. Sadly, the customer service we received was off-putting to say the least. Despite booking a table for seven people for 7.30pm, we were not seated until 8.20pm, disrupting our plans for the rest of the evening. Although it was not the fault of the staff (the party occupying the table had been there since 5pm and were slow to leave), their attitude towards the situation was awful.
We had to stand and wait awkwardly in the restaurant for 50 minutes, getting in the way of waiting staff and fellow diners without being offered a complimentary drink, being told every few minutes that we would be seated shortly only to wait. Once seated, the service was inattentive and sporadic. At the end of the meal, we all expected to have been comped part of the bill because of the delay but were disappointed to be presented with the full amount. It was only after asking for compensation that they reluctantly knocked off the service charge. Such a shame: the attitude of the majority of the staff really put a dampener on what should have been a high-spirited evening.