It is not often that my friends and I go out for what we perceived as a lavish, well-known and 'posh' venue to dine; so when we do, we expect to feel somewhat special. I live in Dubai and I am always back and forth to the UK as my family live there. On this occasion I decided to try Sheesh, as I had heard a lot about it. Originally we booked a table for 4 people, around 2 weeks before we were meant to dine there. A few days later, another friend confirmed and wanted to join us so I called Sheesh back to change the booking. The staff said there is no way they can change the booking as the restaurant is always fully booked and that there would be no space, but was told I could put down a deposit of £20 per head if I wanted to reserve a table for 5. That made no sense to me as I thought they were fully booked?! After demanding to speak to a manager and calling back several times, they agreed to give us a table of 5 without having to pay a deposit.
All dressed up on the day, we headed excitingly to sheesh. The venue entrance was around the back and was hidden away nicely; the Tudor-style house decorated with large animal statues, vintage cars and pretty lights. As soon as we opened the door we came to a heavy-set, bald bouncer who immediately ushered us to the side and asked "do you have a reservation?" We replied 'yes', and then were told to wait for the 'lady with the clipboard'. While we were waiting, I noticed that MOST of the downstairs dining area was completely empty!
The 'lady with the clipboard' then arrived and before she said anything, looked straight down at a friends shoes and then up at the bouncer saying "what do you think? I can't see." (The inside of the restaurant was very dimly lit). The bouncer then said "no". The lady then informed us that the shoes my friend was wearing were not appropriate enough and so we could not go upstairs to the main bar, instead we were to wait in the lobby area for our table to be ready. We tried to order a drink from the lobby area bar, however were told no at first (until we complained).
While waiting, we were told to take our coats off! My friend and I were wearing faux fur black coats, but I am still unsure as to why I HAD to take off my coat and hand it to one of the staff members. (It wasn't like I was wearing a hoodie!). Once showed to our table we were greeted by a friendly waiter. We decided to go for an array of starters, followed by two large mixed grills and a couple of sides. The waiter then told us that we HAD to order a minimum of one main dish EACH! I had seen the mixed grills before from walking around the restaurant and they were huge, but we were told we couldn't order to share! I have never heard of such an absurd policy in any restaurant before. Keeping our cool, we ordered one main dish each, and not to our surprise, we had to pack two mixed grills to take home as we could not finish all of the food.
After the meal, we paid the bill and on our way out, decided to take a picture in front of a large bear statue in the lobby, however this was frowned upon by the staff and we were told to 'be careful' in case the bear toppled over! Overall, with drinks, we paid around £500 for the total bill, only to be made to feel that we were 'below' all of the staff and were an inconvenience by being there. I have never had an experience like it, and I have been to top restaurants around London and Dubai, where we have always received top class service. I don't know who the staff think they are, but I am certain I would never step foot inside the place again, unless of course, I make a debut on The Only Way is Essex... only then would I be treated like a 'somebody'.
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