6 reviews of The Passage House Inn
The place must be under new management as the food and staff were faultless. Good value for money, polite staff and a fine selection of real ales.
Friday 27Feb09 was not a good night! After good Exe mussels to start the mains were very disappointing. The fish pie was mush and was barely touched, the mullet fillets were overcooked and dry and the rare rump steak was tough and tasteless. Staff were attentive until we complained and then we were ignored - at least they let us take the pie off the bill. Frankly I wouldn't bother until the sort the kitchen. We should have guessed by the limited custom on a Friday.
Setting is fantastic. Service is very quick and staff were polite. The best part of the fish and chips were the mushy peas. Over generous cooking of the fish and vegetables was unnecessary. Needless to say to make a positive out of a negative, I would go again for drink and the view only.
Four of us came to the Passage House last Thursday for a drink and a meal. We've eaten there several times in the past. We sat down in the restaurant with our drinks to study the menu, and almost immediately piped music started - a tenor opatic aria - unwelcome and distracting. Since we were the only people in the restaurant, I asked at the bar if it could be turned off: this was declined, but it was turned down a bit. We stuck it out for a while, then went outside with our drinks, where it was peaceful. We decided to go further down the road to the next pub where we had a nice meal, no music only the gentle sound of background chatter. Tenor arias aren't background music. Who puts out this stuff? Why have background music anyway? You may be losing customers without knowing it: after all, most people wouldn't bother to write!
This pub is an absolute gem! With a perfect location on the riverside, a wonderful atmosphere indoors, together with food that is the best I have tasted in Devon, this is a must if you are in the area.
On the first visit in June 2004 I enjoyed beautifully cooked fish with well prepared if simple vegetables. On the strength of this we booked for a gathering of the Exeter branch of the family on 12 September and what a disappointment. That the white wine was corked is no fault of the establishment - five of the seven tasted it and declared it corked - the churlish and ill-informed response of the manageress was. "I will give you another bottle but I have tasted it and as far as I an concerned there is nothing wrong with the wine" .The replacement bottle was nonetheless delightful and tasted nothing like its predecessor. This lack of ability to discern good taste from bad was reflected in the quality of the food. The King Prawn starers were adequate , the prawn cocktail was generous but comprised tasteless prawns in overwhelming pink goo. The pate was also bright pink and was generally agreed to be reminiscent of an upmarket dog food... But we continued in hope.. Of seven main courses the mussels alone were deemed to be "ok". The rump steak -'rare' was fridge cold in the middle. The Black Bream was overcooked dry and tasted as though it might have been frost bitten. The Halibut likewise was far from fresh but edible. The lemon sole was overcooked and dry.
But the snapper... chosen by two of the party was the piece de resistance- a slab some inch and the size of a side plate resembled mildewed cardboard in appearance, texture and taste. One mouthful was too much and the rest was left. The vegetables were dull , overcooked and the cauliflower discoloured with age.
The uneaten food was cleared without comment or query other than to ask if we wanted to try the puddings- needless to say nobody took the risk. As the party host I did not wish to further spoil the gathering by voicing my complaints - the earlier response of the management left no doubt that the concerns would fall deaf ears. On the way out a fellow diner from an adjoining table paused at our table to say how she had overheard our comments and that her table too had suffered a similarly disastrous lunch , her complaints had ignored and she although she had eaten there before she would not be returning. This is not a restaurant for the discerning - and clearly does not rely upon returning customers - surely none would return ? The Passage House Inn lost 11 good customers on Sunday.