We dined at the Ham & Cheese with friends and family, after hearing good reviews about the food. Although I was warned it depends which chef is in charge, I hadn't worried. The building was warm, looked clean & tidy, and they were not very...busy (6pm Thursday evening), the bar staff were friendly and served us drinks prior to showing us to the table.
The menu was traditional pub food with a few specials, we ordered 6 starters (garlic mushrooms x3, pate, honey shimp, garlic & chilli prawns) and 6 mains cheeseburger x2 (one regular with blue cheese, one 'naked' with added cheese, bacon & mushrooms), Cajun chicken burger, gammon, steak & ale pie, lasagne).
The servers seemed inexperienced and lacked basic knowledge of both the food, simple manners, and also how to serve. Once we had ordered one server literally dumped a additional handful of cutlery at the table with 'here's your extra stuff' and walked off. This 'stuff' consisted of a steak knife (presumably for the gammon), 3 other knives and a spoon. We were puzzled so when starters arrived we asked what was for which dish; it turned out the spoon was for the garlic mushrooms so they brought another 2.
They forgot the pate starter (they brought prawns x 2) and although the bread rolls with the other starters were nicely oven-warmed, the one that came late with the pate had obviously been microwaved. It was too hot to touch at one end, but was cold in the middle. The garlic mushrooms and seafood starters were good, but nothing was great.
The meals were really disappointing. The Cajun chicken burger was the biggest disappointment of all the meals. It was not a burger or chicken breast but strips of overcooked crispy-coated chicken (we think they just used some spicy chicken goujons from the starter menu). It was dry and very basic; a bread bun, and the goujons. Mayo didn't really help.
The other burgers were not great either and there were no fried onions on either one (so one was just a beef patty and the blue cheese that was added as an extra). We asked for the onions & some sauce but the server was visibly not happy that we had queried it. The steak & ale pie and lasagne were large but not particularly flavoursome. All the salads on the side (lettuce, a slice of cucumber and a slice of tomato with a few strands of red onion) were limp and the chips were burnt, dark brown, and rather greasy ... just really not what you would have expected based on their reputation.
Overall, the service was really, really poor. The young guy that took our order was very friendly (although he didn't have a clue about the menu), the woman behind the bar and main waitress were also fine (we just didn't see her more than once or twice). The others were clueless and several girls were just rude. One literally rolled her eyes and walked away when my hubby asked a simple (and polite) question ... he was livid at her insolence and was ready to say something or leave but we calmed him down. She didn't return ... which was probably just as well.
We had to ask for cutlery, condiments and drinks, remind them a few times about missing dishes and we cleared our own plates.
There was no consistency, one person took our order, another brought cutlery, several people brought the starters and then several different people brought mains ... no one checked if the meals were ok until we had almost finished and when we said 'no not really', it was clear that they didn't care or couldn't do anything anyway. I was so embarrassed I'd suggested the place as an option.
In short they need to train their staff properly, be more coordinated and attentive to customer service and quality control what is coming from the kitchen ... I would hate to think how they manage on a busy evening and they were certainly getting busier as we left.
I can't recommend this as a good place to eat. The food was mediocre at best and the service was just not up to a basic standard.
It's sad because I love the fact it's not a chain, it has a reasonable amount of parking, is easily accessible from the A64 between Malton & Scarborough, and it has a decent sized dining area for groups with space for prams and folks who are less mobile.
We paid approx £160 for the 6 of us including a drink each.More