This year, my wife and I held our wedding ceremony at the Koko Lounge Montreal. We were not entirely happy, unfortunately, with the service, and most especially, the food.
After the ceremony, it took more than an hour for canapes to arrive. We saw them around 8pm, not 7, as was promised. What people were given were incredibly small representations of what we were served at the tasting. The lobster roll was laughable; tiny, little thumbnail-sized embarrassments. If I were a chef, I would never sleep, serving that to someone. The tartare was not served in a spoon, as the evening of the tasting, nor was it tartare. It may have been carpaccio. It was ridiculous and, once again, not at all what they showed to us at the tasting. It was not the tartare we tasted, nor were those the chips they were served with that evening. The lamb shrank to a quarter of the size represented at the tasting. All in all, not even a little bit like what we were shown at the tasting. If we had been shown these Koko Lounge Montreal choices in this way at that time, we would have been horrified. As it is, we got to be horrified along with the hosts, my wife’s parents, on the day of our wedding. Of course, I can’t confirm, but I would be extremely surprised if 9 dozen of each made their way around, as most people were not served.
Dinner was at least an hour and more behind schedule. They were severely understaffed. We sat waiting at our tables patiently, where we were not served what we had on the contract. There was no lovely cheese mixture on the tart, no roquette, as per the tasting. Just a sad little mostly burned pastry that fell apart at the touch of a fork, topped with asparagus and a mushroom or two. A different type of mushroom from the tasting. I did not eat it.
We were served a lovely ribeye with a sauce at the tasting. Why did that change, we wondered? Why this unseasoned, overcooked steak? What happened to the sauce? There was none. We were told the vegetables might change, not the entire plate. I’m sure the staff threw away a lot of boiled, unseasoned potatoes that night.
A member of the head table ordered a vegetarian meal. She did not receive it until after the other tables had been served. I had to ask for it twice. While she was understanding, this was incredibly embarrassing for me. We waited for her meal to arrive so that we could all eat together until she insisted that we begin. So we all got to eat our dinner cold at the Koko Lounge Montreal.
After dinner, as we were enjoying the terrasse, some guys showed up in jeans, t-shirts and toques, and began smoking and drinking amongst the other guests on the patio. After the sixth person asked me who they were, as they were making people uncomfortable, I approached them to find that the Koko Lounge Montreal kitchen crew was crashing my wedding. I asked them to leave, and after several ‘screw-you-pal’ minutes, they did. Absolutely unacceptable. What made them think they should do that? Why was the kitchen staff crashing my wedding?
There were a few trays of cheese and fruit set out at 11:30, not long after dinner ended. There were no “Artisan breads and Crackers” on any of the plates. None. I do not believe there were more than five platters of cheese and fruit: three cheese, two fruit. Almost $900 we were charged for that. What a fucking joke.
After midnight, the staff began rearranging the restaurant and taking away tables and chairs. The lights were turned on around 1:30. This was the final straw for me, and I was about to be very angry when my wife asked for them to be turned down again. Now, why would the bride have to ask the venue to stop indicating to our guests that it’s time to go during her wedding celebration?
As our guests were trying to have fun, the staff was going on about their business of setting up for the next day as though no one were there. To turn the lights on as though the venue were closing at that hour was just ridiculous. People were moved so that staff could arrange for the next day. Unacceptable. People started leaving, as they believed that the venue was closing, and that we were being herded out. I fielded many questions from guests the day after wondering why it ended so early. It didn’t. The Koko Lounge Montreal staff just made them think it did.
Our contract stated we had the venue until 3am, and I find the entire thing distasteful. I’m not insensitive to the fact that they also have a schedule, but sort it out after we are done using the venue that was stipulated, as per the contract, ours until 3am.
After the tasting, we were so looking forward to this evening, but the event has, unfortunately, left a sour taste in our mouths. We are very disappointed with the quality of the service, the lack of respect shown for our guests, and the changes to the menu that served to do nothing more than save the Koko Lounge Montreal a lot of money instead of giving us what was promised or, at the very least, represented to us. Were I to do to my clients what they did to us, I would no longer be in business.
This is my experience. If you are considering holding your wedding ceremony or reception at the Koko Lounge Montreal, please think again.