The last time I went to d’Arrys, I was impressed. This time, I was disappointed. I’d signed up online as a “friend of d’Arrys” which entitled me to (and up to three guests) to two courses, and a glass of wine, for £9.95 – pretty reasonable prices.
I took a friend there for dinner, and we decided to use the deal. I opted to start with the “paprika potato skins” (pictured) with guacamole, sour cream, and salsa, followed by the pork and apple sausages. My friend opted for the soup of the day (pea and mint) followed by a thai-style salmon fishcake. We both opted for a glass of red wine.
I was a little surprised by my starter – not the half-dozen or so crispy skins I expected, but rather a mound of sliced potatoes. It was pretty tasty, though I couldn’t discern any paprika. The bigger surprise with the starters was the soup – quite good, I’m told – which came with a slice of lightly toasted bread and what can only be appropriately described as a slab of butter – it must have weighed nearly an ounce! On then to the main courses. The fishcake looked good, and was probably the winning choice. The sausages, simply put, were dreadful. Flavourless generic pork, with occasional chunks of equally flavourless apple. A thin gravy with a token few pieces of onion. And the real killer? The mashed potato: it tasted instant. Disaster. The wine, at least was passable, which is more than could be said of the service. I think, perhaps, “inattentive” would be a generous description…
I left disappointed and confused. Surely, the point of the “friends of d’Arrys” scheme is to entice people to come back and sample from the full menu at a future date? If that is the case, then the food should be a showcase of what is normally on offer – I’ll admit, yes, that at the much lower price smaller portions or not-quite-top-of-the-range food should be expected, but if this was indicative of what d’Arrys normal offers (in which case it must have gone downhill since I last visited) then it would do little to encourage me (or, I suspect anyone else) to come back in the future.
Poor show, d’Arrys. With friends like this – who needs enemies?