Serves me right. I should never have ventured into the bleak wastelands of Shoreditch on a Saturday night. 10 years ago you could have called it exciting round here, now it’s all lads-on-tour, shouting, breaking glass. Come back hipsters, all is forgiven. Plus there’s STILL no cash machines that don’t charge £1.75 for the privilege of access to your own money.
Anyway, a good friend’s birthday necessitated a vist here and we’d booked in at Cây Tre to meet some friends for a meal and a chat before the party. I’d heard lots of good reports, some not-so-good, certainly enough to warrant checking it out.
Unfortunately I can’t tell you about the food as Cây Tre had no record of the reservation I made over the phone. We arrived, our friends arrived, they kept us hanging round awkwardly for 5 minutes whist they talked amongst themselves then told us no, we can’t have a table. A half-apology was mumbled and we left. I got the impression they didn’t believe me when I said I phoned up the day before. Well, Cây Tre, here’s a record of the phone call:
I can handle below-par food. I can handle aloof service. I can even handle strip lighting, blood-stained menus and toilets out of Trainspotting. I can’t handle planning an evening in a busy part of town around a meal with friends and not being able to guarantee that the restaurant will actually honour the reservation you’ve made.
So, if you definitely want a nice meal with friends on a Saturday night in Shoreditch then don’t bother with Cây Tre. The one thing you have to get right as a restaurant is to honour someone’s booking, and they didn’t. Not only that, they didn’t give a fig about making it right. As a punter it’s embarrassing, annoying and just downright inconvenient.
Anyway, we went next door to Busaba instead where we had a decent meal with professional and courteous service. Shame on you Cây Tre.
301 Old St
020 7729 8662 (though they won’t actually write your reservation down in the book)