If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
– Sorry, won’t be doing any of that today.
Someone pass me the pitchfork and kindly gauge my eyes out to stop me from reaching into my purse and getting my debit card.
I wanted to like this restaurant, I really did, everything from the name to the location in the trendy part of town – Dalston.
Apart from the strong cocktails (and strong is what you need to get through a 2 hour meal here), the Dead Dolls Club is overpriced and a poorly executed concept of a hipster den.
The Presentation? 6/10
Cocktails – Lord of the Manor with cigarette , The Diplomat (all £9)
The Price? 3/10
The menu was misleading. The food didn’t taste like the price it reflected at all and neither was it enough to be deemed a main. If all I was faced with was a flat-breasted pigeon, I would have ordered two. I applaud the creativity of the menu but the name of A Foragers Grazing Menu did nothing for me, please call it something more informative like a Sharing Menu so diners know exactly what to expect and how much to order.
From Top: Wood Pigeon Breast, Venison Bourguignon, Salmon Ceviche, Selection of Cheeses
After ordering the desserts, my guests were still hungry and some later went home to eat cereal while others went to Street Feast opposite the road to continue the night. Rather than being full from the food, we were more filled up with the cocktails and Lord only knows drinking alcohol on an empty stomach has its own complications. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was at this point as the whole birthday meal was centred around this restaurant.
The Taste? 3/10
The Venison Bourguignon was a salty liquid and wooden meat, nothing like the traditional french stew.
My medium Wood Pigeon was tough and I got bored with chewing after a while.
*Our wild game may contain small bones and shot* – Sorry if I missed the punchline on this one, if only I could think clearly through the hunger and alcohol on an empty stomach.
The service? 3/10
The second I walked through the door I was already feeling the heat, not from the kitchen, but rather from the waitress and things were set to worsen as the night progressed:
1. It turned into a race to see who could get their customers to order the fastest, and this happened several times after we asked politely to be given more time to decipher what the hell the menu meant.
2. We were given a more expensive version of the red wine we specifically ordered, as we placed our trust in the waitress’s hand, this went unnoticed until the bill came at the very end and wanting to avoid a scene – we paid. Either this mistake was intentional or the waitress had no idea what she was doing.
3. The menu stated – The Dead Dolls Club encourages you to ask your waitress what food on your plates is foraged.
So when we inquired about my Wood Pigeon and where it was from, we got a blunt answer: It’s farmed.
There’s fatter ones in Trafalgar Square you know.
The icing on the cake was when the inclusion of a 12% service charge was added to the final bill and I had to stop myself from having multiple aneurysms as I tried to come to terms with the lack of justice in the world.
Since we all paid our shares in the name of a jolly night for my birthday, I am pretty bothered by the flimsy food and service and regret not doing something at the time to protect the welfare of my guests. Sorry to be a little negative, but I don’t like to be lulled into compromising my hard-earned money for something that was not worth it AT ALL.