Ecosium, Harefield Road

BC review to follow.

Please leave your comments about the restaurant below in the mean time.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Been once. Once. Breakfast took about an hour and half. Once we got it, it was okay.
SJ

bob said...

I've only been once, on a Monday evening shortly before Xmas. There were a couple of tables of happy people, and the atmosphere was really nice. We just drank beer and ate nibbles, so can't comment on the food. The staff, with their lovely (French?) accents, were friendly and pleasant. The decor is quite cool, and makes the place stand out from other such places (although the "rough-hewn" tables are not ideal for placing full pints of beer on; I'm sure they must have lots of breakages and spillages!).

However, around 10 pm, the other parties all left at the same time, and the staff made it quite clear they'd be keen for us to leave too (e.g. stacking chairs on tables, opening the big windows to the icey air...), so we decamped to the Barge for last orders.

Brockley Kat said...

Went there soon after it opened on a Sunday. We were a party of three and the only ones there. The waiter said that they weren't serving hot food because the "chef was on his own and too busy". We left and went to the Toad instead.

Next time I was in there, the food was just terrible, inedible frankly. Have not been back since and haven't seen it hugely busy.

Are you sure it is not a front for some dodgy business seeing as the manager/owner doesn't seem keen about treating customers well...?

BG said...

It is really bad...have been a couple of times, once for coffee and snacks (terrible coffee, told after half an hour that snacks not available) and once, in unfounded hope, for dinner (just as bad) - such a pity, as it had potential...

Anonymous said...

My post will be a bit more positive (not criticing the negatives - all opinions should be put forward otherwise what's the point.) Althoguh every time I've been in here they have got the order wrong some how! Once I ordered Chicken panini and ended up with Goats Cheese - which I can't stand (tho they did change it and were apologetic), that aside I have to say I quite like it. The waitress who served us was English (again no doubt people will take this the wrong way but I think the problems I'd had before was mainly due to a bit of a language barrier) and she was really efficient. The food was resonably priced and good quality and I couldn't fault the atmosphere/decor etc.

Brockley Nick said...

I'm really surprised by some of the negative comments. I've only ever been for lunch but every time the service was good, the guys who run it were friendly and I thought the food was tasty and reasonably priced.

I wouldn't want to sit in the back room, because it's quite gloomy, but if you can get a table near the bar area, I think it's a nice place to have lunch.

Brockley Jon said...

I've been in for coffee twice and both times we found them fine. Even my coffee-addict girlfriend didn't mind the taste of it. Service has always been friendly. Also, we like the wonky tables and the fish tank :)

We did try for a fried breakfast one day and get told that the chef hadn't turned up, probably the same day you did Kat, which we thought was a bit naff as how difficult is it to cook a fry-up!? Unfortunately the hangover needed grease, and the Toadsmouth won that day.

Anyway, I'll say it again like I did the other day, I think Ecosium could really push themselves as an alternative evening drinking venue.

Anonymous said...

have been in a few times now, and maybe it's the relative lack of competition.. but I like it. The burgers are good, the service friendly (but slow) and fish tank is ace for the kids! I was really pleased when it opened and would be dispointed to see it go. Agree that it could improve and hopefully as other competition (sorry I don't the Wetherspoons) crops up it will.

Aunty Kate said...

Yesterday (Friday) a seasonal visit from cousins meant that 5 of us were looking for "proper" lunch in Brockley. A call to the number printed on La Lanterna's seasonal flyer elicited the answer that, yes it was open for lunch, but were were faced with a deserted and dark frontage and a firm "Closed" sign on the door. So we all went round the corner to Ecosium which was empty of custom but full of welcome from the staff.

2 of us had starters of a soup described to us as potato, parsley and cream which was delicious. 2 others had roast beetroot and goat's cheese, which my sister said was very nice. For mains, 2 people had kofte on brochettes with a spicy mint yoghurt relish which was OK. I had grilled lamb chops which same relish which were plain but tasty. My cousin's wife had grilled prawns which she said were delicious. Sadly my cousin's steak was inedibly chewy, for which the proprietor apologised and blamed his new supplier. There was not much choice for dessert: chocolate cake or ice cream, so we gave it a miss and had tea and coffee. My sister got a very nice, large cup of tea. When the bill came the cost of the main with the tough steak had been deducted. We all left pretty satisfied with Ecosium.

Patrick Napier said...

It's very kid friendly with space for buggies and for the kids to run around. The huge fish tank gives them something to look at too.

Personally I could do without the TVs being on all the time. But the staff are friendly and the food is good with a North African theme. I like this place and hope it succeeds.

Anonymous said...

Been to that one twice.. the first time the cooking and service were so bad that I was forced to complain. I got my money back, but would have preferred good food and service. Still, a nice chap and ambience, and it was this that caused me to return. I shouldn't have bothered...
This place really needs to get a more professional teamn, or it needs to up its act.
That said, I do want to see it succeed, as its success is Brockleys.
The restaurants still suck.

Anonymous said...

That's my experience too. Been twice and both times have been a disaster in terms of service being way, way too long. i won't be going again. The table designs are terrible too, not only an accident waiting to happen but just plain naff. I can't see it surviving till this time next year unless it seriously ups it's game - plus it's always empty when I go past.

Bobblekin said...

Well, my experience is pretty much the same as everyone elses - not great but not all bad, but would really like to see it improve and become a success.

Brockley Nick is it worth letting the owners know about this site so that they can read all this feedback?

Anonymous said...

I've been only once and quite frankly I'm surprised they are still in Business.Apalling food and very slow service.There are some other good local alternatives and I'm not coming back.

Amanda Wickham said...

Ecosium is ok, but it could be great. I am very glad it exists and is still in business. It is an asset to the area, but it does need to sharpen up its service. I have been there a couple of times. I don't want to slag off people trying to earn living. So I sincerely hope that they will look at this as valuable customer feedback and look at ways to improve accordingly.

Plus points - The Decor is fab-it is open & airy. (Though the pavement outside is revolting, cracked pavings, gum, leaves and allsorts, leaves. That is something the council should be sorting out, Sarah Pfeffer?.).
general ambience, pleasant staff.
Negatives-Food- a bit hit and miss, the tables are wonky, and it does take a while to receive food.

I wish I could send Gordon Ramsey in, for this place and a couple of others in Brockley, but I'm sure with the feedback we're providing things will get better.

Richard said...

Went to Ecosium a few times over the summer - great for a few drinks on the tables outside, under the sun.

The chef/manager(?) has seemed pleasant and the restaurant always appears very clean.

Have never tried the food, but it is definitely on my Brockley to do list.

Maybe local promotion is their
downfall as it was only by reading on here that I eventually realised that the nice bar I was going to on the road opposite Toad's Mouth Too was the very same place people referred to as Ecosium!

Headhunter said...

Been here a couple of times, 1st time for food - there were 4 of us and 2nd time just a couple of glasses of wine (3 people). Have to say that service was very slow, although staff were friendly. We waited for ages for the food and they managed to mess up the drinks orders but when it all came it was fine and tasty, also pretty cheap.

Decor is quite pleasant and like the way they open up the front and have seats outside in the summer.

Has a weird if not objectionable feel to it, one time we went the flat screen TVs were showing some minor football game at quite high volume, yet the place has more of a chill out feel rather than sports bar - not sure what market they are aiming at - local chav or professional looking to relax?!

When I was there to eat, the pleasant waitress who served us barely spoke English (which may account for the mixed up order).

In the same vein, went to Just Thai Thai a few days ago. The woman who served us was perfectly pleasant but barely spoke English and proceeded to cock up our order. Food took about an hour to arrive but she apologised and threw in some free prawn crackers. Word of warning about Just Thai Thai, if you are offered prawn crackers when you arrive refuse them. Waitress asked us if we wanted them before we'd even seen a menu, I said yes, they came up on the bill at £3 which was a bit steep for about 10 crackers and an egg cup of Bombay mix I thought!

Just Thai Thai seems far more popular for take aways - whilst we were there, there was a steady stream of people in and out for take aways and only 1 other table sat in to eat. I get the feeling they prioritised the take away customers hence our late food.

James UK said...

Was very excited about Ecosium when it first opened - first night was an undercooked chicken burger and a blackened port escalope. Have been back several times - and limit it to Paninis or Pizza - both of which are good.

It is a shame that the owners have taken the trouble to establish a decent looking venue - but forget about a decent chef. It seems to me they would have great custom if they could get that right - and convince us all to give it a go again

Anonymous said...

As a way of helping to promote the place, I booked Ecosium for the first 2 B Max meetings last year. I saw him write it in the diary but when I turned up, he'd no idea we had booked or who we were.
This was after spending quite a while explaining about the festival and that it would be a good venue for events which would advertise the newly opened restaurant. Only one event was held there after I suggested it to the event organisers. Possibly the owners were not interested or were clueless. I was extremely surprised that a newly opened venue would not jump at the chance to take part in a local shop, sorry, festival frequented by local people.

It feels as if they did not do enough (or any) market research on Brockley before they opened, and as an ex chef and restaurant manager, to get food that wrong and that frequently, sounds like another case of someone with no previous experience who fancies opening a restaurant cos it seems easy.
Moira

Anonymous said...

Have been twice and the first time it was slow but the food was nice enough so we put up with it.

The second time 4 of us went for dinner and it was embarrassing. The waitress hadnt a clue. She didnt know what was in the Risotto, whether we could have potato instead of chips, what the side sauce contained etc etc... She kept walking in and out of the kicthen to find out. It mustve taken us 10 minutes to get the order in - surely a basic fundamental of running a restaurant must be "Train your staff"! Considering we were the only ones in the place its not as if she hadnt enough time to find out from the chef before customers arrived instead of twiddling her thumbs.

Then they told us they had ran out of chicken and then ran out of potatoes so only one of us could have potatoes and the other must have chips. We had our choice from the menu severely restricted from the outset as a result. I mean hello - there is a Costcutters next door if you run out of something as basic as a packet of spuds go and buy some!

All in all it a really nice looking venue but lacks the management. Its being run into the ground at the moment and until it goes under and gets taken over by new management who run it properly its always going to be mediocre.

One Brockley said...

I am on low income and sometimes I like a drink and a croissant 'chavs' need to eat too. I guess I should keep myself to the Doorstep bakery, or the Barge where my presence won't cause any objectionable feelings to any 'professionals looking to relax'

Anonymous said...

Sorry 'One Brockley' but what have chavs or your income status got to do with the service and food at Ecosium?

Tom said...

It is off-topic but The Doorstep Bakery rocks!

Headhunter said...

I think One Brockley was referring to my comment about chavs v "professionals looking to relax". Probably worded that a bit wrongly, wasn't trying to insinuate any snobbishness, what I was trying to say is that any outlet, especially a bar or restaurant needs to know its market and Ecosium appears to be trying to court people out for a coffee and a quick bite to eat. It appears to be modelling itself on the trendy continental pavement cafe rather than the quintessential SE London boozer. To have some footy match blaring from yer flat screens doesn't tally and in the end the place is not going to attract either crowd. Love it or hate it and class divide apart, The Barge knows who it's seeking to attract (as do all Wetherspoons outlets) and does it very effectively. I fully understand that "chavs need to eat".

Amanda said...

I am going to pay another visit to this place soon. I love that they have their menu online.


Chez ecosium menu


Though it's torture as I'm pretty hungry at the moment.

"* Half a Roast Baby Chicken stuffed with Pesto, Rosemary and Garlic." zomg!

Anonymous said...

Thai Thai..... Keep AWAY!!!!

brockley mutha said...

@anon 14.34 - could you perhaps expand on that a little.

Maradoll said...

I went there on Friday evening and was disappointed. We were one of three tables in the place and the service was so slow it was not to be believed. Slow service can be excused by amazing food, but the problem was that the entrees were mediocre.

My father-in-law ordered the 'safe' chicken supreme which was a small portion over-styled on a large plate. What had been described as a baked potato on the menu was actually a small serving of roast potato. Semantics, I know, but it just wasn't what he was expecting.

The beef and wild mushroom burger wasn't very meaty and served on a cold bun. The waitress didn't ask how I would like it cooked when I ordered and it showed up on the well done side. On the menu it sounded like the wild mushrooms would be on top of the burger, but I think they were blended into the meat. I never found out as the waitress disappeared as soon as the food was delivered.

From the time of asking for the bill to receiving it (bearing in mind there were only three other tables in the place) it took 20 minutes.

I'm afraid to say that I probably won't be back.

Anonymous said...

Ecosium - please do us a favour and vacate the premises so that someone who actually knows what they are doing can take over. Harsh perhaps, but really, why bother staying open if you can't be bothered cooking edible food or employing nice friendly staff.

Methinks you chaps have really mis-judged the area and what it wants.

Been there twice - both awful - ain't ever goin' back.

Anonymous said...

I agree. It is a pity because the restaurant design and its style are fine. I had high hopes that this place would be a nice place to spend time in the evenings. There were rumours that it would be something exotic and interesting like a Persian restaurant.

Those hopes were dashed, so dissapointing.

JPM said...

I made my mind up about Ecosium in its opening weeks. All of the things complained about in this thread existed then - and so nothing's changed.
The owner of the building passed it on to his brother, and I think he now needs to seriously take him to one side, give him and the 'chef' a good duffing up, serve them in a soufle, bin it, then pass it on - to a professional firm. The business that is and not the soufle.
I have held back on this post and tried not to be controversial.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

In good economist tradition, we should judge an establishment based on value for money (they judge value for money in countries using a big mac index).

I propose we use... coffee!

So far: Moonbrows: 3/10, Ecosium 5/10. Broca to be confirmed in the next few days!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brockley Nick said...

.

Anonymous said...

why was my post deleted (11th April)

Do my views not count?

Brockley Nick said...

We don't allow unsubstantiated claims. Reviews are for personal opinion about food, service, ambience and facilities.

Anonymous said...

@Anon - since you're anonymous, it can hardly be personal, can it!
Love, anon

Anonymous said...

Jacqui said....

I have been lots of times. This is my favourite, bar and restaurant in Brockley. I discovered it with a friend over 18months ago and we quickly became regular customers. I have also booked the venue for three parties which were all a great success. The food has always been good, often great, (especially the seafood - fresh and varied). Very rarely have I found the service to be slow and staff always friendly.
Rough hewn tables can be difficult, pity all the stabilising pvc coasters were stolen, like the olive trees which helped the outside space to feel more attractive. I hope this business goes from strength to strength. It is good news for Brockley that we have such a good range of bars, cafes and restaurants to choose from.

Bea said...

I went in last weekend following a lengthy break from going there and I felt compelled to write here since the service has improved immensely. For a change it was efficient and quick.

I always liked the atmosphere and finally the service seems to have started to match it.

I usually have a pizza which is tasty with an authentic base. However, I rarely try anything else on the menu so can't comments on the rest of the food served.

Anonymous said...

I have been there a couple of times both for lunch and dinner and the food has been fine. The only change I would make is to chuck the chairs and get some plain and simple comfortable ones. They are painful to sit in !

Lucie Hinton said...

Well for a bit of gossip and drama: the management has changed again... and a radical change of style. The two friendly cousins who owned it split up and then the remaining cousin also left, the place has now been bought and is being managed by someone called Al. The menu is very different and tries to be more varied and the place has been renamed Aquarium. Our food was good, the place was very quiet though when we went and the fish in the aquarium are beautiful, especially the very big one....

Anonymous said...

Who frankly are we all kidding?

I have BUCKETS of goodwill for the place as I'd LOVE to see somewhere good there and would go probably 3 times a week and most mornings if it existed but:

1. the menu - completely wrong, tries to be far too clever, doesn't know what type of food it serves. the food itself, highly mediocre for the money.

2. the set up - well it's awful but that costs a lot to fix so I'll stop complaining

3. the staff - slow, lackadaisical, don't care attitude, everything is too much trouble. you basically have to beg not order your food. cf for exmaple, Pizza Express where they just get on with it.

4. stock - ran out of croissants by early morning last Tuesday. failed to offer to run across the road and get one. I just groaned.

5. the customers - few and far between but dear owner, THERE IS A MASSIVE MARKET here if you'd pull up your socks.

There's no need to do gimmicks like free bottles of wine. Just improve your basic product offering and people will come.
PLEASE!

osh said...

That's your experience, not mine. I think this place is good. If you don't like it fine but you don't have to rant

Anonymous said...

Osh, I am frustrated as I would LOVE it to be better. As I say I'd go all the time if it were but it is currently a massive disappointment. I still go a sI wnatt o support it but about 1/10 of the times I would if it were any good.

Oh and please don't mistake my setting out clearly the issues I(and others) have with the place for a "rant". You'll find you diminish your own argument.

Anonymous said...

Also, Osh, it isn't a cheap option and for the money you have to spend there, you can find much better elsewhere.

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