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“Fantastic Venue for a Party”
Review of Haven Bistro

Haven Bistro
Ranked #2,653 of 23,854 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 9 December 2017

Last night was the third Christmas party that we have held at the Haven, and as always, the evening was fantastic. Everything from the pre-event support that Julius and his team gave us to the faultless service and delicious food on the night. We had completely forgotten to book a DJ and Julius pulled out all the stops for us at the last minute, and to our delight he came through with a fantastic guy who entertained our 70+ staff all evening.

We have yet to find a venue that can compete in terms of price, Julius does not charge for the hire of the room, or for things like table decorations, only for food & drink packages which are very competitive. All of the package terms and conditions are on his website so there are no surprises on the night, in terms of hidden extras, he is extremely transparent. If someone can tell us another venue that can host such large groups, that gives this much value for money, with such great food and service, we would be extremely interested to hear about it, as we have searched far and wide without success.

Thank you again to Julius and his amazing team for another fabulous evening, we are already looking forward to seeing you all at our next event in May!

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Karen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6 - 10 of 225 reviews

Reviewed 7 December 2017

We have just recently had our wedding dinner at this restaurant. It looked like a nice venue, but the problem for us is that having agreed terms in full with the owner Julius, he reneged on those terms without reference to us. He clearly cannot be trusted.
Our guests arrived a bit early for reception, (10-15 mins) which we had warned him about both verbally and by email, yet the reception area was not ready and the main room was not sealed off as agreed.
On our arrival, people were everywhere and we had no chance to see the room beforehand as was agreed, we also had to ask him to clear the upper room so it could be used for the reception. Apparently lunches had run late hence the lack of organisation.
We had verbally agreed terms with him, which were that all drinks/ wine were inclusive until the end of the meal. This was very clear between us, interestingly; there was never any written contract, which, in hindsight, is how he operates probably on purpose.
He assured us that we would not need anyone to announce speeches as he would do this for us. I also asked if he would be present during the evening, and he assured us that he would be there.
We also ordered two Hermolis kosher meals for my children, and asked him three times if there was a limit on price but he said they could have whatever they liked without limit. We therefore presumed he was getting a discount and the meals were £103 which was less than his charge per head that we were paying.
The wedding meal was fine, food was good and served hot, but when it was time to announce the speeches, suddenly, Julius was nowhere to be found. He had left without so much as saying goodbye to us, which I feel was extremely rude. His saving grace is that his staff are extremely nice and did their absolute best to make it the evening special.
Some of our children were ordering shots, which we agreed with the manager, and at the end of the evening, we were given the bill, which was when he told us that we had been charged for drinks throughout the meal. On questioning this, he mumbled that he didn’t know anything, so we paid it (being honourable) and said we would speak to Julius about it. We were only given a till receipt which did not have timings on it and a hand written bill on a compliment slip.
When we studied the bill afterwards, not only had we been charged for drinks during the meal, but we had also been overcharged £65, as addition was wrong.
So we emailed Julius, thanking him for the evening, and then nicely stated our points.
His reply was:
1) Yes the addition was wrong but as the Hermolis meals were over because HE charges £15 each handling fee, (for what? Taking off the cling film?)plus other charges for plates/cutlery/delivery, that would contra our overpayment (HE HAD NOT TOLD US ABOUT THESE CHARGES)
2) He only allows 45 minutes for reception (YET on the running order he sent me it showed ONE hour for reception) and so because it ran over, they had to add on food and drinks therefore he could not serve complimentary drinks during the meal so we would have to pay for them! (YET RECEPTION FOOD AND DRINKS STARTED LATER AS THEY WERE NOT READY ANYWAY!)
CLEARLY THIS WAS NOT WHAT WAS AGREED!
At no point in the evening, did he come and tell us this, and you do not change a verbal contract on the night without saying a word!
We emailed him again and waited. After hearing nothing for a week, I called him from my office to discuss it. Well, I can only say that not only did he refuse to let me even speak, but he was shouting so loudly that after he slammed the phone down on me, my colleague asked me if he had lost the plot!
He would not have it that he was wrong about any of it, and he was so rude and arrogant, I have never dealt with anyone like it before.
If he did not want to refund us any money, then maybe he could have offered us a meal on the house, which would have been acceptable to us as this was not about the money. If you make a contract with someone, then you should honour that.
This is just not acceptable behaviour.
So to all my loyal followers, I urge you to look elsewhere since you do not want to be treated like this or to give him any of your money. We have not allowed this to detract from what was a wonderful day but disappointing that this man has no principles.
And so to Julius, who would not even listen to what I had to say, well you can read it here in this review!

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank michie_bennett
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 9 December 2017

It amazes me to what lengths people go to to try destroy your business and reputation you worked for so hard for 17 years. Those accusations are totally unfounded when you giving someone an almost 7 hour wedding reception/dinner/party for £65 per person including reception, three course meal with wine, soft drinks, including vat and service charge, with the room looking amazing,

The overcharge by one person came because you confirmed 83 guests but only 82 turned up, as per our terms final numbers confirmed 3 days prior will be charged.

Our business terms and function charges - what you get, are clearly displayed on our website, we always rather give more than not enough.

Guests started arriving at 4.15 pm - 45 minutes before the agreed time, of course we were not ready in the bar and mezzanine room, we had a small party there prior and guests where due to vacate at 4pm. I agree that we should have kept the main room shut but Guests where taken in to the main room by the photographer wanting to take family photos, a normal procedure.

We started charging during the meal as guests where insisting to be served with expensive brands of spirits and shots, we cannot be expected to offer those for free, however the total bar bill came to £627.50 - £7.65 per person I think that was great value.

The kosher meals cost, on China with proper cutlery, delivered by HERMOLIS was £178.65 paid by myself, so not sure were you get your figure from?

We have catered for hundreds of functions over the years with getting nothing but praise, we got a box full of thank you letters to prove it.

I normally stay until the meal is served leaving the rest of the evening to my two managers and staff, I find it intrusive saying goodbye to clients in the middle of a function specially at a wedding it’s not necessarily when everything flows perfectly, you don’t want to take away the importance of the event itself.

The band made the initial announcements and I expected them to do so for the rest of the evening, that’s what they always do, apparently it didn’t happen, the best man should have dealt with that.

Being accused of losing the plot, I don’t think so, I am very passionate about my business and my clients, sometimes it’s sheer frustration when we pull out all stops to give that little extra which makes us so special for any type of function.

Julius

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2017 via mobile

Another great Friday night with unbelievably talented live singing performances. What a fabulous local bistro bar. Fantastic service throughout, although busy, we were looked after throughout the entire night. Thank you as always Haven, for ending the working week with so much fun and joy!!!!

Thank Alisha R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2017 via mobile

9 of us went to the Haven for my father in laws birthday. All in all the food was fine but my overpriced small Dover sole (£29.95) arrived over cooked and like rubber. What happened to white flaky fish. Is there a novice chef cooking there? I sent it back and after their inspection was told it wasn’t down to the cooking, but the poor quality of the fish. Apparently they were not good fish. Do you not think for nearly £30, the fish should have been tip top and not being served to customers. My first time at the Haven and whilst everyone else seemed fairly satisfied, I was hugely disappointed and I am a massive foodie. At least my spinach and broccoli were edible. Whilst we were not obviously charged for the fish, a further gesture of goodwill wouldn’t have gone amiss. I felt they didn’t really care that much as they were busy. Sorry Haven but I won’t be rushing back.

1  Thank Ann L
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 21 November 2017

I am very sorry about your experience you had last Sunday in my restaurant.
I can assure you we only buy the best quality of everything. We sell many Dover soles every week and never had a problem. I spoke to my fish supplier this morning and he pointed out that it is possible to get a very fresh Dover sole which will end up being like the one you had, it was perfectly well cooked but you will only notice that it is rubbery when you start eating, this is do with the fish and not the cooking or quality.

Please let me invite you back to my restaurant as my guest so we can reassure you that we do care.

Julius

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 November 2017

Another lovely family lunch at The Haven last Sunday. The restaurant was crowded with a wedding booked for that evening but Julius still found space for our table of twelve at short notice. Excellent fresh food simply but very correctly cooked and marvellous hospitality. The staff are attentive and courteous, but never overbearing. Our son’s wedding was beautifully catered by Julius at The Haven and we are looking forward to our grandson’s barmitzvah dinner there early next year.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank StuandElaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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