We’ve eaten in First Coast a few times and always enjoyed the food so we decided to take some visitors from Lancaster there for dinner. We booked well in advance (as you have to) and changed our time to suit the restaurant (we came a little later than we preferred).
We arrived and got off to a bad start. We were shown to a back room and seated by a door to the washing up room, with constant traffic of waiters with dirty dishes. We asked for an alternative table but, without any apology, were told they were fully booked and moving was impossible. So, reluctantly, we accepted the table.
When we ordered, we were presented with a specials menu with few specials as everything was scored off. We therefore ordered from the main menu and Anne asked for a maple glazed ham hough as her main course. But it was finished. At 8.15 on a Saturday evening. And its one of only 5 mains on the menu. Pretty poor kitchen planning.
Had we been on our own, we would have left at this stage but, with friends, we persevered. But the interminable traffic to the dishwasher, with waiters leaving the door opem became intolerable and, spotting an empty table, we asked to move. From then on, things started to improve. We moved to a much better table in the main room and, to be fair, the staff were apologetic.
The food in First Coast is interesting and good value. I started with ox-cheek roly poly (ox cheek in a suet pastry) followed by coley with parmesan and creme fraiche. The chilli chicken and the (single) ham haugh were also pronounced good. My pudding was rather bland – marzipan cream and as a marzipan lover, I expect something with a real marzipan hit. Instead, it was marzipan for those who don’t like marzipan – barely discernable. The affogato (ice cream, liqueur, espresso) was excellent though. With a bottle of French Sauvignon Blank and a glass of Sicilian Red, we were £92 for four which I though was good value.
But the evening was marred by the dreadful table and the hassle of moving. We had apologies but no gesture of reducing the bill – which they should have done. The overall impression was that the diners’ experience didn’t really matter that much. So – the food is recommended but, if you go, make sure you avoid the back room.