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“Another great choice in Whetstone”

Al Fresco - Whetstone
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Ranked #10,187 of 23,949 Restaurants in London
Price range: US$11 - US$48
Cuisines: European, Italian
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Reviewed 1 June 2021 via mobile

In a road full of restaurants and plenty of choice, this was my first time at this establishment. And it lives up to a good reputation despite some dubious recent reviews. Very spacious Italian restaurant with plenty of alfresco tables (hence the name I think?) it’s great when the weather is good and you want a guaranteed table outside. Very much typical Italian food you would expect to find anywhere, everything we ordered was served relatively quickly, tasted great and the service was attentive, with smiles and efficient if not totally memorably. Clean, well priced, good proton sizes, good wine selection, the place could be used for lunch, dinner and special occasions. Is it the best restaurant in this street? I still have about 20 to go to! But I will be back one day as I thought this was good value for money. Our party of 5 enjoyed it and we won’t need anything else to eat today!

Date of visit: May 2021
1  Thank AnselmColom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
William, General Manager at Al Fresco - Whetstone, responded to this reviewResponded 2 June 2021

Thank you ever so much for sharing your positive experience with us. Our team really appreciate to having their efforts acknowledged.
Unfortunately we have become a victim of multiple fake reviews recently. We suggest these have been posted by a local competitor and this makes your real feedback even the more valuable.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 9 of 80 reviews

Reviewed 30 May 2021

I Used to visit this restaurant regularly before Covid and visited again today for the first time in a year. I Wasn’t impressed unfortunately.
Firstly the service wasn't consistent and we also waited about an hour for our main meal. I could hear other tables complaining about waiting an hour and a half.

What really put me off though was the main meal.
My daughter and I ordered the Tagliatelle lobster with “fresh crab meat” in tomatoe sauce. This meal was £31 each.
If a meal is worth the money I am happy to pay any price..

On arrival our lobsters hardly had any meat In them (the size of my index finger and there was no sign of any crab meat. Just Tagliatelle??
I told the waiter this and he tells me that there is an error on the menu & how It shouldn’t say crab meat as it only comes with lobster? 2 tiny lobsters costing me £62...

No sorry.....or reduction in price... nothing...
Having got the bill it stated a discretionary service charge, so I decided not to pay it as I wasn’t happy, the waiter comes to take my bill and puts in the full amount including £10 service without even asking me?

Due to not wanting to make a scene I just paid it and left “but” left unhappy.
Alfresco- unfortunately your service has slumped. Not sure if this is due to Change of management as I didn’t see any of the olds faces... disappointed as your food has always been good in the past.

Date of visit: May 2021
Thank Elisxn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
William, General Manager at Al Fresco - Whetstone, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2021

Dear Elis,

TripAdvisor's automated reporting system has concluded that this review was posted in line with their submission guidelines. However, we are dubious to your authenticity.

Firstly; your TripAdvisor has only 1 contribution on its account, this one.

Secondly; similar to the other frauduluent reviews which we have successfully challenged, a constant theme is a "change of management". Management have not changed since over five years ago.

Thirdly; we have had no customers in recent weeks complaining of waiting an hour and half. At times the kitchen has been slower than usual due to the pent up demand restaurants are currently experiencing, but nothing like what you have suggested.

Lastly, we have received no recent complaints of our Tagliatelle all'Astice dish. In contrast, we have received only positive feedback of the value for money it offers.
We have purposefully removed the half lobster dish from our menu, as this means each tagliatelle all'Astice certainly contains one whole lobster. There is no error on the menu, the dish does contain crab meat.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2021

Very disappointing. After months of waiting to ‘dine in’, we were put outside in the back, freezing and waited well over an hour for food. Apparently the booking was made outside, it wasn’t, but even so, don’t forget about your customers. No apologies. A promise of a move inside which never happened.
The waiting staff kept getting locked out.
Shambles.
What a shame.

Date of visit: May 2021
1  Thank Michelle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
William, General Manager at Al Fresco - Whetstone, responded to this reviewResponded 25 May 2021

Dear Michelle,

We are sorry we were unable to accommodate you inside.
Our website clearly has two options for booking; "Inside" and "Outside". When placing your reservation you must have clicked "Outside" by mistake. Only two reservations this evening had made this request.

However you are correct, the door to the terrace locks from the outside. We do not usually use the outdoor space so early in the year and the z-folding doors were intended to be open fully during the summer. This year is different for obvious reasons. In any case, we do not understand how a waiter becoming locked out affected your dining experience with us.

Upon further investigation your table waited 35 minutes for the food, which we find acceptable when ordering our slow cooked oven-baked lamb shank.

We hope to see you again in the future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2021

The staff were wonderful and incredibly accommodating. Despite the horrible bank holiday weather we were able to remain sheltered from the rain and kept warm with heaters. The pizza's were some of the best we've had and we will definitely be returning soon!

Date of visit: May 2021
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank aodhbhab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2021 via mobile

We have visited Al Fresco before lockdown, and have ordered deliveries several times during lockdown. Always reliable.
Last night was my daughter’s birthday dinner. The restaurant was well organised for outdoor dining with all precautions observed.
We sat in the rear garden which we did not know existed.
Service was polite and efficient.
The food was excellent and the portions were so generous we actually asked for “doggy bags”.
My partner has to have gluten free and they had no problem delivering the goods.
Can’t wait to return, but next time will take into account portion size.
Best Italian in the area.

Date of visit: May 2021
Thank MauriceF53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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