La Mancha is the ‘posh’ restaurant in the tiny little South Wales town where we live, slightly more higher end than anywhere else, and slightly more expensive, so you do expect the food and service to be a little better, considering. We took my father there for his fathers day treat last week and sadly were a little disappointed with the service and the food, it is now very overpriced considering the quality they are now providing. I had been before about a year ago and my parents have been a number of times before but sadly it is now more ‘average’ than ‘highend’ as it once was when it first opened.
Ok so the title of this post is a little misleading as it is just a ‘She Says’ review as I was there without Jon on this occasion, but I will still give you a nice rounded review! You can find more reviews on the Trip Advisor page as always!
She Says – La Mancha Review
The venue itself is beautiful, it takes up the ground floor of the Blue Bell Hotel in the centre of Neath, and is quite contemporary and modern with its interior decor! Big glass dividers, wooden and nicely upholstered furniture, brick walls and modern lighting. It is lovely and clean and fresh so no complaints there.
There was just the 3 of us but we booked a table just in case, though it was a Monday night and practically empty there when we arrived. We were taken to our table straight away and our drinks order was taken, then we ordered our food – all of which came in great time, so no issue with that side of the service.
Now on to the food, which is where the problems started!
Dad ordered the bread and olives before his food, as he often does in restaurants like this, but usually they come with tooth picks or small forks to eat the greasy olives with (I know this isn’t always the case, but it usually is in posher restaurants). When he asked a waiter for something to eat them with he was told to use his fingers. Now, in a restaurant that charges a decent amount, and tries to be upmarket I really don’t think customers should be told to use their fingers to eat something like greasy olives, when my dad said he would just like a tooth pick or something the waiter said he would go look, but he never returned and Dad gave up and used his fingers!
For my starters I ordered the pate which in itself was a good portion and tasted yummy with a date and walnut chutney. My issue was it came with just two slivers of french loaf, which is just silly in comparison to the 2 triangles of Pate I had, so a little more bread would have been nice, in the end I nabbed the last of my dads from his bread and olive plate. (although I have had this issue in other restaurants, in the past. TAKE NOTE EATERIES: MORE BREAD PLEASE!)
My sister and I both ordered the duck dish, which we asked to be cooked medium. Sadly the chef didn’t quite manage that and what came was far closer to rare than medium, which was fine for me, but it really was still too bloody to be classed as medium, which my sister wasn’t that happy with. Having worked in hospitality myself I know how meat should be cooked, and this needed a fair bit more cooking to be medium.
My last issue was that although the meat tasted nice, as did the mash and veg, you couldnt actually tatse any of the sauce, supposidly orange and red wine, but neither came through at all sadly, it was all very watery, so it eanded up tasting bland rather than flavoursome. When you pay £18 for a main you just expect something a little better quality.
For 1 appetiser plate, 3 starters, 3 mains, 3 hot drinks, 3 cold drinks and a glass of wine the bill was £83, which isn’t exactly cheap. Sadly I feel they have simply become overpriced as their quality just isn’t up to the standard that the price dictates it should be.
To be honest my parents may go to La Mancha again, but I won’t be visiting with Jon any time soon.