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“Solo travelers should try someplace else......”

Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack
Ranked #416 of 24,261 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$28 - US$56
Cuisines: Seafood, Scottish, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Fitzrovia
Description: Fresh, sustainable, British day-boat seafood, served on small plates. A concise exciting wine list all available by glass & bottle. Ska and reggae soundtrack. Buzzy vibrant seafood joint with chefs serving customers directly over the bar in the compact open kitchen. Expect a showcase of the best seafood from British shores, a daily changing menu and plenty of cooking theatre!
Reviewed 14 March 2018

Hello solo diners and travelers!

If you look at my reviews, you'll see I'm pretty fair about excellent, good, bad and poor experiences. I've had wonderful dining experiences at Bonnie Gull (previous review) and have entertained clients, staff and even sent friends visiting London here for meals. I have not dined at BG on my own until tonight. As you might also see from my other reviews, if a restaurant treats a solo diner (me) poorly I'm unforgiving. It reveals your true commitment to good service if you choose to ignore a solo traveler even if he or she has the potential to be a better customer by being lower maintenance, a higher spender and a friendlier person. Well, tonight Bonnie Gull failed all around on the solo traveler front. It wasn't busy and there were two staff people working the floor. I wanted to be quick / efficient with my order as I knew they would close soon. This didn't mean I didn't want additional things or a check in. I was quick as I wanted to respect their time. Nonetheless, their service was non existent after my food was dropped on the table and by the time they got around to seeing if my meal was OK, I was done eating, tired of being ignored and resentful that two people couldn't manage the six people that were in the restaurant. It was clear when I was leaving I wasn't happy and there was no attempt to determine why.

Once chance is all you get when I'm on my own. Dining out alone can be a delight but it can also be a challenge when you are far from home. Thus, restaurants that treat the solo diner well get high marks and those that don't get a "Do Not Return" sticker and a 1 star rating on Trip Advisor. Plus, if you can't do right with one person, how can you possibly provide good service for 2, 4 or more people. I won't be back.

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2  Thank travellingtrent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James S, Operations Manager at Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack, responded to this reviewResponded 15 March 2018

Hi Trent,

Sorry to hear about the experience you had when you dined with us earlier this week, especially after the great review you left us in January - I wouldn’t want your solo trip to leave you with a negative view of Bonnie Gull. If you have a moment, I’d appriciate if you could email me on feedback@bonniegull.com, It would be great to get further details on your experience so that we can address the whole team and learn from your feedback.

Kind Regards,

James

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (630)
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6 - 10 of 630 reviews

Reviewed 13 March 2018

My girlfriend and I picked this restaurant due to its good reviews. Unfortunately, our experience was quite different, in fact, it was rather disappointing.

First, the setting is sort of cosy, but for our taste there were too many tables cramped into a very little room of perhaps 40m2. It seems as if management tried to maximize their profits to the detriment of customers' dining experience (which needs to be completed within 2hrs anyhow).

Wine: We had a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc that was priced ok for London. It was chilled well and we enjoyed it.

Food:
- We started with one dozen oysters. Thumbs up here. They were good, but also pricey.
- Our starters were (1) sardines and (2) fried squid. Both dishes were absolutely tasteless. My girlfriend tried only one of the squids and commented immediately on the old oil. I finished the portion, which turned out to be a big mistake.
- Our mains were (1) grilled cod and (2) battered haddock, and we ordered green and fries as side dishes. Neither the cod nor the haddock were anything special, considering that our total bill was GBP 131.00, plus the Service Charge of GBP 16.38, for a total damage of GBP 147.38.

Right after I had paid the bill, my stomach was rumbling and I barely made it downstairs to the toilet, before all my food came out again. The same happened to my girlfriend 30min later. It was no fish poisoning, but rather the oil that definitely was old or used too many times. This rarely happened to me before, but as we eat out about 3-4 times a week, we are quite experienced food experts and sensitive to receiving quality food. We have no doubt that we received fresh fish, but it was not prepared properly and therefore I would never ever recommend this restaurant. Our entire evening was ruined, because the chef could not use fresh oil for each dish.

Finally, I usually would have complaint immediately, but the place was packed, and it seemed that the waitress could not get us out of the door fast enough and probably would not have cared less about a bunch of foreigners that are unlikely to return ever again.

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Thank Loeneberga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James S, Operations Manager at Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack, responded to this reviewResponded 15 March 2018

Good Afternoon,

Sorry to hear about the experience you had when you dined with us, I’d very much appriciate if you could email me some more details regarding your experience on feedback@bonniegull.com, so that we can look into it further and learn from your feedback.

Kind Regards,

James

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2018

Had a very tasty meal with my good lady and another couple. The fish was fresh and nicely cooked, and not too badly priced. Getting the attention of the servers was a bit of a problem. It would be nice if there wasn't a need to have 2 sittings per table, but we didn't feel particularly rushed. Definitely on our goto list.

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Thank Ian_9999_2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2018

Great seafood and welcoming staff made our lunch a special experience. The choice of fish and seafood is good, and the prices are, for this area of London, very reasonable. It is a cosy dining room and the staff are attentive without being obtrusive. We have not been in the evening, but I can imagine this would be a good place for a nice night out, without making you feel intimidated by a "fine dining" experience.

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Thank TheScottsontour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2018 via mobile

This was a chance finding as near my hotel. Was dining on my own and felt very comfortable doing so. The food was delicious. I had clams to start and then the sole, both were delicious. The waiters were very attentive and I would definitely return. It’s nice to dine in a restaurant in London that feels its catering to individuals rather than the masses.

Thank SuzieQE2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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