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I spent quite a bit of time in Gatwick airport a few weeks ago and decided to dine at Garfunkel's for dinner. I chose here as I had dined at another Garfunkel's previously and also because I had a voucher entitling me to a 15% discount which I had printed from the Gatwick website. This review discusses my experience of this restaurant.
This particular restaurant is located in the North Terminal of Gatwick Airport. It is after security so you need to be flying out of the airport to dine here. The restaurant is upstairs and can be accessed by stairs or lift. It is full disabled friendly and the tables near the windows offer views out of the airfield. There are no toilets within the restaurant but there are airport toilets nearby. The restaurant is family friendly with high chairs and kids colouring sets available. The restaurant has a busy, quite loud atmosphere.
This restaurant is open plan in design and they can accommodate different sized parties in the booths or moveable tables. The restaurant, in my opinion, has an American diner feel. The restaurant is open from 0430hrs until 2030hrs daily (this is on the Gatwick official website but other websites state slightly different times). Garfunkel's in the airport offers a breakfast menu, main menu and a children's menu with a varied selection of multi-cultural dishes to appeal to all. A dessert menu is also available. Alcohol, hot and soft drinks can be purchased here.
Breakfast is available 1100hrs and there is a good selection of hot dishes available and also lighter bites including croissants. The main menu is available all day - lots of starters that you would expect garlic bread. The main menu is extensive including lasagne, various burgers, steaks, pizza, pasta and salads. There are plenty of vegetarian dishes available. Desserts include delicious sundaes, pancakes and crumbles. Children have their own menu for £6.25 including a drink and dessert. The menu is varied with 8 different main options and 2 desserts. There is a menu available by visiting www.eatdrinkandfly.com.
There was someone at the entrance of this restaurant to encourage people to dine here and I was quickly seated within a booth which was more suited to a few diners rather than just one person. I was as far away from the windows as I could have been and right next to an area where lots of travellers walked past which I wasn't keen on but the restaurant was too busy for me to be cheeky and asked to be moved. The restaurant is busy with staff and most of them appeared to speak reasonable English. My drink and food order was taken promptly and I was surprised at how quickly, but not to the point of me questioning how well my food was cooked, my meal arrived. I did request a glass bottle of Diet Coke but was served draught Diet Coke - I was too tired to argue to be fair.
A further issue with the service was paying the bill. I took my voucher out of my bag and I am sure the waitress who had been serving me had clocked that I had a voucher and she avoided my table for around 30 minutes. I tried to signal her over on a number of occasions and she would look over and then disappear in a different direction. Everyone around me was served, given the bill and were on their way. I wasn't pleased and did not leave a tip. When she finally came over, she took my voucher but didn't appear happy and also didn't thank me for my visit. Had I been rushing to catch a plane, I would have been even more annoyed. I paid by cash but card payments are accepted though I do believe they are quite fussy on which type of cards they accept.
I was peckish when I arrived at Garfunkel's and was pleased that my meal was delivered to my table in a timely fashion. I decided not to order a starter and struggled to choose from the wide selection of delicious sounding dishes on the main menu. After 5 minutes, I had made my choice and opted for the BBQ Chicken Melt priced at £14.25. I ordered a side of coleslaw priced at £1.95.
My meal was fairly well presented and there was a decent sized portion on the plate. I received two plump and well cooked chicken breasts, bacon, BBQ sauce and cheddar cheese. This dish also includes chips and a little pot of BBQ sauce on the side. I enjoyed my main meal as it was piping hot and the chicken was cooked thoroughly as was the bacon. I feel there was a little too much cheese topping and it was quite rich cheddar so did overpower a little. I added extra BBQ sauce to take the edge of the cheese a little and this seemed to work well. The sauce was delicious - tangy and full of flavour. The chips were particularly tasty as they were fluffy on the inside and I really enjoyed them. Whilst I would have preferred a spoonful of coleslaw to have been provided in with the meal, I was happy to order some. The coleslaw was clearly fresh and had a lovely tangy flavour to it. The bowl, however, was huge and I couldn't eat it all as well as my main meal. It wouldn't have been so bad had I been dining with another person as we could have shared. Overall, I found my meal to be tasty and substantial.
I couldn't resist a dessert and was spoiled for choice by what Garfunkel's had to offer. I finally decided to have the New York Style Baked Cheesecake priced at £5.45. I received a good sized wedge of thick filled cheesecake with a few drizzles of red berry compote. It looked delicious and was enjoyable to eat. The thin base was a little soggy from the berry compote but I was more interested in the cheesecake filling which was plentiful. The top of the cheesecake was perfectly baked and had a slight firmness to it which I prefer when it comes to cheesecake. I would say this is a little different to the cheesecake served in most restaurants as the filling was more like a thick, creamy mousse than a typical cheesecake filling. It was, however, very delicious and had a melt in the mouth consistency and a sweet, vanilla flavouring. The compote was absolutely delicious and the slight sharpness of the berries complimented the creamy cheesecake well in my opinion. This dessert definitely hit the spot and was worth the calories in my opinion!
If flying from Gatwick Airport, I would recommend the food at Garfunkel's as it is tasty. I wasn't keen on the service when it came to paying the bill and found it to be offputting but I did notice that other waitresses appeared to be more efficient. My bill included a main meal, dessert, drink and a side of coleslaw and came to £24.50. I received a 15% discount off the food only so paid a total of around £21.25 - not too bad for tasty airport food. I left full and satisfied with my meal.