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“Form over substance with a side order of racism”
Review of Haven Bistro

Haven Bistro
Ranked #2,411 of 25,458 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: USD 13 - USD 25
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Description: Fine or casual dining
Reviewed 3 November 2017

My husband and I had just been to wine tasting at Stonewines opposite (a great wine shop I cannot recommend too highly) and decided on the spur of the moment to go out to eat locally. This is something we rarely do as we find most of the local restaurants somewhat mediocre, two exceptions being Chez Tonton and Ci Vediamo Li, both in New Barnet. Do go to them if you have the chance.

However, I had had a nice lunch with my friend at The Haven over the summer so we decided to give it a go.

The restaurant, which is very large indeed, was full up. Unfortunately, this made it somewhat difficult to hear what my husband was saying. At first, we had a very efficient, professional waiter who helped us with our choices. All the staff were very busy and did not seem to be solely allocated to an individual table so over the course of the evening, we were served by other members of staff.

My goats’ cheese salad was very nice, as were my husband’s prawns though he thought the plum sauce was somewhat gloopy and certainly not made from fresh.

Our aperif drinks were also very nice but when my Rioja came, it was like slight sour and fruity dishwater. Not good.

My husband found his pasta main too salty but otherwise somewhat flat taste-wise. My ribeye steak was mediocre. The texture was quite succulent but this belied a rather bland taste.

My husband had cheese instead of pudding and the selection and quality were pretty good. My pudding was fine but how much can go wrong with Môvenpick ice-cream?

Thus far, we both thought that this was an example of yet another mediocre Whetstone restaurant but this one is more pricey.

During the latter half of our meal, we were served by a seemingly amenable waiter who had an accent. My husband is notoriously bad at distinguishing accents and asked the waiter if he was Israeli. He told us that he was Turkish but that he understood why my husband had said that because there were so many Israelis in this area and indeed in this country. To my knowledge, this country only has a small Israeli population. I asked him whether he meant Jews or Israeli as Barnet has a disproportionately large percentage of Jewish people. He told me that it was the same thing and the impression he had in the 8 months he has been in England is that the Jews own the country. He encouraged us to agree with his point of view until my husband pointed out that we are two of those Jews. When my husband told the manager what the waiter had said, he told us, “Everyone has their opinion but he shouldn’t have said it.” Either the Manager is an extreme liberal who believes that freedom of speech trumps all, or he was of the same opinion. To be honest, if someone is going to think racist thoughts about a group of people to whom I belong, I would rather know. But ideally I would prefer not to be served by a racist. Full stop. We won’t be going back.

3  Thank Jacqueline580
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julius O, Owner at Haven Bistro, responded to this reviewResponded 8 November 2017

Dear Jacqueline580

I was very concerned to read your recent review of my restaurant. It is never good to receive a negative review from a diner but of greater concern is you comments concerning racism. I can assure you most strongly neither my staff or myself are racists. I have built up a good reputation over many years with customers from all ethnic backgrounds and in particularly with the Jewish community. Up until now there has never been the slightest hint or accusations of racism from any of my customers.

Please contact me so that I can personally address all of your complaints.

Julius.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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47 - 51 of 260 reviews

Reviewed 21 October 2017 via mobile

What a very nice place for drinks and with a good atmosphere. My friends and I Will be back for sure. A good selection of cocktails and a large selection of Gin.

Thank Lisette L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2017

Went to the Haven at the last minute, having to arrange a dinner.
The staff were professor and friendly.
The food particularly the main courses, were delicious. Do try the lamb steaks if they are on the menu, you won't regret it.

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Thank passenger88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2017

Attended a charity lunch and even catering for 70 guests the quality of the food and service was of the highest standard. I am amazed that the restaurant can deliver 70 lamb steaks cooked to perfection, pink as they should be. The meal consisted of 4 courses and every one was delicious. The service could not be faulted and was a tribute the the professionalism of the management and staff.

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Thank Michael P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2017

Just had to say thank you so much for organising the most fabulous birthday party. Everything was just perfect from the way the room was set up with beautiful table decorations table plan and seating and the service provided was first class. The food was wonderful and we had such a terrific evening enjoyed by everyone. The live music provided was excellent and made the party a real event to be remembered. A big thank you to all of your lovely staff who were so helpful and attentive to all of our guests. Everyone commented on such a perfect venue and although I had previously only heard good things about The Haven.it exceeded far and above all of my expectations. I wanted to let you know how happy I am that I chose your venue.and can strongly recommend.

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Thank Cazza60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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