The hotel which is officially known as the Shipwrights Arms Hotel in Battery Point or more simply as Shippies to the locals has been a favourite of mine for many many years. Throughout that time it has gone through several ownership changes and a major upgrade to the Bistro – personally I preferred the quaint, cosy nature prior to the renovations years ago but have gotten used to them.
You can visit their website for full details and precise location at: Shipwrights Arms, Battery Point
Shippies has always done good food and I have dined there twice with my parents and Jo this year. My Mum is a very fussy and hard to please eater and is normally impressed with Shippies – she particularly likes their seafood chowder and lambs brains dishes.
On both occassions though the service has been very disappointing. I gave them the benefit of the doubt the first time but it was even worse the second time so sadly I will not be returning for some time or until I hear things have changed. The problem was the time for service – the time to take drinks orders was slow, the time to take food orders was slow, the time to actually bring the meals was unbelievably slow and the time to bring deserts was also slow.
Now don’t get me wrong – I like a leisurely meal and have had some very long lunches but the time taken on the last visit was just appalling. We voiced our concerns several times and were told the kitchen was getting slammed (to use their words) – now this means they have either over booked the restaurant or not put on enough staff. Perhaps they were getting slammed for main courses but it should not take 30 to 40 minutes to plate up and bring out a cold cheesecake and lemon tart when the restaurant was now only half full. Also the drink service was not satisfactory.
I personally had peppered steak as my meal and the steak was fantastic – as I have said the food is normally great but the wait was just way too long. It was over an hour and a half (or even more) from when we ordered to when we finally received the meals. Also the serving size was too small – I personally thought they were skimping on servings and the size was disappointing. There were not enough stir fry vegetables and very small amount of potatoes.
Jo had baked fish and thought it had been over cooked and consequently dried out. It also had very little flavour and was lacking in seasoning or a sauce. Her potato and vegetables were also very minimal.
My Mum and Dad both liked their meals but the wait made the whole experience disappointing. There are many alternatives to Shippies and sadly I just don’t think the excessive wait is worth it.
Personally I think Shippies needs to employ more kitchen staff and more waiters on their busy nights or not book as many customers.
I do love the building and location and would go back for a meal when it is much quieter and when they are more likely to cope with the orders.
Have you eaten at Shippies recently? What has your experience been like? Let us know your comments and thoughts.