This year instead of bothering with making a big deal of Christmas, getting presents, etc, C and I decided to just go out and have a nice meal. A couple of weeks ago my recruiter held a lunch at the Atrium in Burswood and it was excellent, so I thought we could go to the same place for dinner.
Unfortunately it sucked.
Basic info: We booked a table for two and were told that the total would be $54 (and some change, $54.90 or something) per person (The Atrium is a buffet type place), which was fine. I originally asked to book for 7pm, but was told that 6:45pm would be better, which was also fine.
When there we found out that soft drinks were not included in the buffet price tag, which wasn’t mentioned when we were booking (we were just told it would come to $54 per person for the night). Ok, fine, whatever.
When we got there we were taken to a table for 4 next to a huge family dinner event. As in a meter away. There were plenty of empty tables around, including at least one smaller, much cosier and private looking table for two nearby. I asked if we could be moved to that table as we booked for two, not four, and the man went to ask a lady at the reception area. I saw her shake her head no. He then came back to me and said that they were unfortunately fully booked out. We didn’t kick up a fuss and just accepted it. C later mentioned to me that he didn’t see how that would matter…the table we were at now would be empty for someone else to take anyway.
We were at the Atrium for about one hour. The majority of the empty tables I saw when we came in, including the two person table, remained empty throughout our stay.
This was by far the most frustrating part of the night for me. We’re paying in the area of $60 each to have a nice Christmas dinner, booking a table for two in advance, and get stuck in some loud corner at a huge table where you can’t have a proper conversation when there are plenty of perfect spots empty nearby. Oh but wait, I forgot - you’re fully booked out. By ghosts.
I liked most of the food, but wasn’t able to really enjoy our Christmas dinner properly. C, on the other hand, said the food tasted cheap (he had a steak that he said sounded like the cheap stuff you can get from the supermarket) and that it was really fatty and greasy, designed to fill you up as quickly as possible. For this kind of price, he said (and he was right), we could’ve gone to a really nice upscale restaurant and had an exquisitely prepared proper meal in a place with a more intimate atmosphere (and probably a view. The Atrium doesn’t have windows) at a proper table.
When we went to pay the lady asked us how the dinner went and I couldn’t bring myself to lie, but couldn’t really be blunt about it either. We said “Ehh…it was ok…” She smiled and nodded as if we said it was excellent.
In conclusion, The Atrium might be good for a quick (expensive) buffet lunch, but if you go there for dinner you’re pretty much just paying a premium for a lunchroom atmosphere with lunchroom food and mediocre service.