Debenhams Cafe – Ocean Terminal

Oh my lord, I have never eaten in a place that is as bad as this. It’s a pitiful place to eat, overpriced, messy, poor service, and a distinct lack of food. Interestingly this is the place that overlooks the Royal Yacht Britannia, so tourists walk through the cage to the windows and take a shot of the ship, so Debenhams could have made something of it, selling the view and cross-selling the food…but who would want to?

We popped in because we’d just done some shopping and fancied a little snack. When we went up everything looked good enough, nice Panini’s with some filling coming out the sides, and appetising looking sandwiches, when we looked at the hot food counter however, it looked far less appetising. Food looked greasy and some burnt or dried out, and various foodstuffs had been spilt across the work surfaces and left uncleaned.

We decided on a couple of toasted chicken and bacon panini’s. As we handed them across we were given a number on a tall stand and a mumbled “here you go” from the young gentleman behind the counter. We assumed that this was to identify us and we had to go take a table, only because the person in front of us had done exactly the same thing.

I decided not to have a drink. Soft drinks were in four different flavours and one huge-mega-bucket size only. However we did order a tea. So let’s recap for a moment, two panini’s and a cup of tea…£8.55. I could hardly believe it. Perhaps the panini’s were going to be really good.

The young lady working the till stopped scratching her arm long enough to take our money and we headed off for a seat. Before we sat down though we had to clear the table of the last persons cups and plates. Looking around you could see another six or seven tables empty of people, but filled with their dishes and leftovers.

So we waited, and displayed our number. A few moments later another young man arrived with two plates with hot food. “Did you order chips and a panini?” he asked. Strange, I thought that’s what the number was for. I told him we were waiting for two panini’s and he was off. A few moments later he returned with two panini’s and put them in front of us, luckily we had ordered the same panini so there was no need to ask who had ordered which.

I was already suspicious of the quality so I opened up mine to have a look. Before I describe what is inside, I’ll point out that mine was roasted vegetables, and the other was cheese and…well…something. I took them up and returned them.

The young lady from the till took my plates back abandoning the till and the queue of people waiting to purchase food. At the same time another customer asked her if she could get someone to serve in the childs section, she said sure as she turned away from them to deal with my food. By this point I was shaking my head at the unbelievable service. The serving area was filled with about five members of staff and none of them seemed to have a clue.

Amazingly our panini’s arrived instantly, and nicely toasted. I asked if these were ours these time, I didn’t want to come back quite frankly, and then returned to the table. Whoever was lucky enough to receive the panini’s we had returned will be delighted to know how well we investigated them before passing them back!

Knowing what to expect now I opened mine for a look. There were two slivers of chicken, one either side of the panini, and when I say sliver I mean a tiny shaved piece, smaller than a tiny flip up mobile phone and much thinner. I reckon that if you took a chicken breast and shaved pieces off of this size you might get about ten to fifteen pieces from one breast.

Along with that was smeared a paste of what tasted to be mainly mayonnaise and some finely shredded bacon. These were so finely shredded that they were the size of peppercorns you use in your grinder, and the paste was spread so thinly you could hardly believe.

Eating it was equally disgusting, tasting of nothing more than warmed mayonnaise, it filled a hole, and five minutes later your stomach was churning.

We can categorically say we will never eat there again. We both agreed that we would have enjoyed a MacDonalds more than this and received better service. Imagine what tourists think coming to this country, arriving to look at the Royal Yacht and want to sit down somewhere to eat? No wonder we are so amazed at the level of service and amount of food we receive when abroad when you compare it to somewhere like this.

7 comments on “Debenhams Cafe – Ocean Terminal”

  1. pablo Reply

    that sounds unbelievable!! How difficult is it to have a clear ordering system and trained staff??

    and going on the food quality i wonder on the expertise of the chef(s).

    Low paid staff serving low quality food at crazy prices. I’m guessing, but wait a few months or more and watch the “under new management” sign appear and a few things change.

    THat centre has some quailty food if you look for it,

  2. Lee Reply

    One step up from the BHS cafe on Rose Street then. When I saw them poor boiling water over the baked beans to stop them drying out I vowed never to go in there.

    Actually, is that place still open since the smoking ban? It was a smoker’s paradise.

  3. Anonymous Reply

    dont u understand that if a cafe is so busy and understaffed [expletive removed – Richard] like that happens. u must be one of those [expletive removed – Richard] cutomers that come into places just to moan, whats the matter? u not [juvenile, gutteral comment removed – Richard] so u take it out on other people. i can safely say that debenhams is still up and running, makeing loads of money and will be 4 a long time, thank god [angry, abusive, violent and physically threatening comment removed – Richard]. thank god u wont eat there again because we dont like [expletive removed – Richard] like u eating thier anyway, thats why u got a crap service because ur an idiot. and its [expletive removed – Richard] like u and ur wife that shame britain with ur stuck up pittiful attitudes. u can take ur complaint and shuv it up your [expletive removed – Richard]. ps….debenhams doesnt make the panini’s, they just toast them. [expletive removed – Richard]

  4. Richard Brunton Reply

    Oh I have say I love that comment, first it’s obvious it comes from a member of staff with the comment:

    “…thank god u wont eat there again because we dont like…”

    Removing all the threatening comments to myself and my wife, which is a great advert for Debenhams itself, possible staff physically threatening violence and death upon unhappy customers, and ignoring all the uneducated text chat, let me just address something.

    I don’t go to places to complain, I go to places to purchase an advertised service. When I pay for that service and receive one that doesn’t match up tpo the one described before I purchased, then I’ll complain.

    Likewise I tell companies when they offer a service that has been really good and has exceeded my expectations. I just told a company called Cable Mountain that they had provided excellent customer service, and that was after they’d made a mistake.

    I understand perfectly that if a cafe is understaffed and very busy that the company behind them might not want to invest the money to ensure they aren’t understaffed and provide a good level of service.

  5. Anonymous Reply

    hi richard

    i am a supervisor in a debenhams restaraunt in Ireland .

    I was a staff member in debenhams before i got promoted to supervisor so i can relate to this situation.

    i see from your experience that it wasnt a very pleasant one! unfortunatley as a comment above pointed out that as in the restaurant theat i work in , is also understaffed at times which makes our job very difficult! now this problem is down to Head Office in England not the staff.

    also i know myself that people can be very rude and look down on minimum wage workers(not saying that you were!) as it happens very often in the restaurant that i work in, which makes this particular job more stressful and the staff lack the enthusiasm to provide a better customer service!

    i hope that you understand that i can relate somewhat to the staff in the restaurant that you visited…and that our job is a very tough and stressful one,

    I hope that if you visit Ireland sometime in the future that you will check out one of our restaurants so you may have a change of heart as debenhams are constantly improving the customer service and quality of food, through staff training and so on.


    Debenhams Foodservice Supervisor (18)

  6. Anonymous Reply

    I have to say I have eaten here many times and find the staff very friendly and the food is what you’d expect at the price, I do have to say that your delivery is very patronising and I can also understand the reaction you get from people.

    To others reading this, I would not be put of visiting it and missing what is an excellent view

  7. georgina whitecross Reply

    I was taken by my son to OceanTerminal Debenhams restaurant today around 1pm. we ordered macaroni cheese and chips with 2 teas and two biscuits.

    I was bitterly disappointed with the food. the macaroni had no taste of cheese at all but did have a strong taste of mustard. It was disgusting.

    I complained at the time to a male member of staff and they were not very helpful at all. They were not rude but had the attitude that said its not my problem I don`t make the food.

    I paid over £17 for this horrid meal. Disgraceful.

    We have eaten quite a few times in this restaurant and always had good service and food but if this is the standard now we won`t be going back.

    Mrs G Whitecross.

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