- Location: Tiger Tiger, 29 The Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4SP (nearest tube station is Piccadilly Circus)
- Date of Visit: Friday 11th January 2013
- Time of Table: 7.00pm
- Deal Bought From: Living Social
- Deal Price: £25 for Two
- Dinner Companion: Twin sister, Jess
Getting More for your Money?
This dinner deal includes:
- Main Course
- Glass of Champagne
- For Two people
What we ate…
- Starter: Caesar Salad with Croutons and Parmesan
- Main: Steak Frite with Peppercorn Sauce
- Starter: Capricorn Goats Cheese with Roquette and Cranberry
- Main: Marinated Chargrilled Chicken Breast with Pesto Mash
What we drank…
- Glass of Heidsieck and Co Monopole Blue Top Champagne each
- Coconut Kiss Cocktail (not included)
- Ivan the Tropical Cocktail (not included)
What did we think?
Friday night had arrived, and with it the expectant buzz and pregnant early evening that heralds the arrival of the weekend, and the time to let loose. Standing beneath Piccadilly’s famed flashing advertising boards in London’s Haymarket, the atmosphere was already fizzing amongst the crowds, as throngs of people made their way to the various restaurants, clubs and bars.
Tonight, we were headed for well -known Tiger Tiger, a venue that I had heard plenty about with regards to their popular bar and club area, yet not really in relation to food. I was excited to finally be visiting this electric hot spot and when we entered the glass doors of the separate restaurant entrance, I instantly loved the slick city glamour of the environment. The atmosphere had a distinct air of class in the capital, with luxurious looking wood panelling accented with low level lighting, and splashes of lipstick red lilies on every table. The seating area seemed long and narrow, although we were sat right near the window and entrance, so we didn’t get the chance to explore further down the restaurant. We were seated at one of those slightly squashed tables for two, where there was a long mushroom coloured sofa against the wall, a number of dark wood tables placed in front, finished with another row of individual upholstered chairs. Despite the closeness of the tables, it still provided a very intimate yet private scene, with a candle gently flickering next to the minimalist black vase, a drinks menu propped tantalisingly open on the rose wine page.
With excellent first impressions of the décor and atmosphere, and our favourite songs blasting their way from the bar section (the perfect loudness so that we could enjoy the music yet still have a conversation without being overpowered), I was eagerly looking forward to getting my hands on the menu. Earlier in the day I had browsed what they had to offer on their website, pleased with the variety and choice of their full menu. However the menu we were offered was very different. Whilst sipping a deliciously sweet and succinctly flavoured champagne, we realised that our voucher entitled us to probably the narrowest menu we have experienced so far. A choice of four starters and four mains was provided for us to peruse and to be honest, I was gutted by the options – especially after reading the full menu earlier that day.
Not liking mushrooms or goats cheese that left me with soup or Caesar salad for starters, and after finding out that the soup was tomato, I chose the salad. It was nicely presented; with thin curls of smoked chicken hidden under square cut chunks of baby gem lettuce, smothered in the traditional white dressing. The croutons and shavings of parmesan added extra textures to the mix. It was nice, but I can’t say it was spectacular. There seemed to be more greenery then any of the other salad components, and so it would have been better to have a bit more chicken thrown in. I enjoyed it though, and it was an ideal size to start the meal. Jess loves her goats cheese, so instantly went for that, although that too provided some problems, when she had to pick a sliver of plastic off the top of her chunk of cheese, sat amidst some rocket on top of seedy looking cranberry sauce.
We waited a while for our main courses to arrive and when they did, I couldn’t help it but my heart sank. I had chosen the Steak Frites, a classic combo, with my favourite steak sauce peppercorn. Maybe it was just because I had such high expectations, or because I’ve eaten steak out a lot for these various London meals out, but it really looked like something I could have done at home – which totally defies the point of spending money on eating out. The steak was sirloin I suspect, long and very thin, the flavour coming entirely from the peppercorn sauce provided in a small silver sauce dish. The steak was plonked on top of the chips that seemed haphazardly scattered across the plate. The chips were like French fries – long and narrow and nothing very special. To be honest, it was very standard and I was disappointed by its lack of wow factor in either presentation or flavour. It was edible and still provided a decent meal, but I was by no means blown away by it at all. I would not choose it again.
Jess’s chicken had a nice texture and was herby in flavour, accentuated by the pesto mash which was creamy to taste. The other two options we could have had were either a cheeseburger or fajitas – both of which are the norm on any menu, and not really adventurous or luxurious enough to want to be eating out in a swanky area of London (unless of course it’s reputation precedes it). Normally if you choose a simpler menu dish, the quality is outstanding, and the dish peppered with surprising extras either in flavour or presentation that provide a pleasing punch. In this case however, this was not true. Basic food, presented badly and dull in flavour.
The portion sizes were decent and filled the plate, yet after we had finished, we were still hungry for more. We had only just been there an hour, and we had already been served both of our courses that were included in the offer that we bought.
The saving grace of Tiger Tiger would be the cocktails – and we love a good cocktail. They did a good mix, with some rather unusual ones that I haven’t even heard of before. I usually steer towards anything vaguely raspberry flavoured, as I love a hit of summer berries, but tonight I decided to try something new with Ivan the Tropical – a wonderfully fresh vodka concoction with a hit of lychee and passion fruit for an oriental zing factor. Whilst I went for refreshing, Jess decided on creamy, with a baileys based cocktail Coconut Kiss. With coconut and vodka also added and presented in the epitome of glamour of a martini glass, it oozed a silky texture and a smooth finish.
We were offered to look at the dessert menu, but since we had been less than impressed so far, we decided to cut our losses, pay for our drinks and get dessert elsewhere.
Want to see where we went next? Across the road from Tiger Tiger we found a divine heaven for all of those nursing a sweet tooth…
Making a second reservation? This is a tricky one really. The full price menu that they showed online, looked divine, and I would have loved to have been able to choose from that selection. However, even after doing so many of these discounted voucher meals, I have always been made to feel fully valued and as if my custom truly mattered to staff. Being a voucher customer in Tiger Tiger was a very opposite experience, purely by the food that was offered to us compared to what was actually on the normal menu, the number of options that was available to us, and even the service wasn’t as professional as it could have been (one of the waiters even snatched the salt from our table, without even asking us if we had finished with it). Maybe I would return as a full paying person, and treat myself to an expensive main course and a cocktail, but if the quality of the food was the same as this experience, then I would feel very let down. At the end of the day we paid an additional £16 for our drinks and service charge, as that was all that we got outside of our offer remits.
I would definitely return to visit the bar section of the Tiger Tiger though, as it looked fabulous, with excellent dance music from old time classics to modern beats. I just can’t believe how let down I felt with the menu selection. The great offer price lured us into the London hot spot, but they obviously didn’t want to try and entice you for longer with tempting side dishes, or a dessert menu already on the table. I felt second rate, and I felt the food was also second rate.
The Dinner Dates Opinion:
“To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what I think about Tiger Tiger. The welcome was warm and the staff were nice. The décor was very stylish and it is situated in a good part of London. I think that the problem here was the menu. The menu online looked very nice indeed and I was looking forward to making my choices. I understand that sometimes the voucher menu is more limited than the normal menu but this was ridiculous, there was an option of four starters and four mains, some of which were not even on the main menu they had been cheapened so much. The salad I had to start was a cheaper version of the salad on the main menu and my cheese still had plastic on. My main meal was nice but nothing special, just grilled chicken and mash. We were not even given the option of ordering sides. Considering we have still paid for a meal I was not impressed with the choice or the execution. The champagne was of a good quality and the cocktails we tried were very nice so I can’t fault the alcohol. I would like to try the bar area as this area looked better. But meal wise, I think a better option would be to go without a voucher and just order a main meal. We were offered dessert but there wasn’t anything in particular that I was struck by so we gave it a miss.”