A tiny Coventry eatery that seats just 12 people twice a week has been rated in the top 10 per cent of restaurants – worldwide.
Gourmet Food Kitchen in FarGo Village has been awarded a coveted Travellers’ Choice award by TripAdvisor.
This places them among the elite restaurants across the world, on account of its almost impeccable ratings given by customers on the globally popular website.
Tony Davies, and wife Debra, run twice weekly gourmet food nights at the establishment which has helped them achieve a rating of five out of five, making it Coventry’s number one rated restaurant and cafe on TripAdvisor.
“It was a shock really, to be honest,” said Tony. “I got an email saying I’d been awarded it and to keep an eye out for a digital thing to put on our website because we are in a unique club, we’re in the top 10 per cent of the restaurants in the world. I thought wow that’s quite good! Even if it is just TripAdvisor!”
The email congratulated GFK on being a Travellers’ Choice winner, stating: “Each year, we comb through reviews, ratings, and saves from Travellers everywhere, and use that info to award the very best. You’re part of an exclusive group, and we want to help you celebrate (and promote) this major accomplishment. You’re in the top 10 per cent of restaurants worldwide.”
While GFK has a strong reputation for its daytime trade, it was Tony’s brainchild of his gourmet food nights that have taken off and saw its reputation sky rocket. Even the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t blown him too far off course.
“Through lockdown I was just doing deliveries, pork pies, sausage rolls, that kind of thing,” said Tony. “We opened up as a takeaway service, then I launched the gourmet nights on July 11. They’re near enough booked out every Friday and Saturday through to the end of October.
“I’m sitting them all outside now but individual tables, for a two, a four, up to a table of six. I still only do 12 covers and I still come outside and do all the banter and chat through all the dishes, I can’t do them inside at the moment. I’ve done it up nicely, but it is what is at the moment. People seem to like it outside so it’s all good.”
He added: “Since re-opening we do have repeat customers but I’ve had a hell of a lot of new customers since it re-opened. They’re re-booking again already, they’ve been once and want to come back.
“It’s still quiet in the day, but the gourmet nights is what is making me the money. I would like to do more of them and cut down on the day stuff but I am not allowed so I will keep going as I am at the moment.”
Tony had previously expressed an interest to expand the footprint of the restaurant to meet the surge in demand but has since decided against that plan.
He said: “I’m staying as it is, because that’s a part of the whole experience. If I get bigger and do more covers, then I am just a restaurant. It’s all about the experience, me coming out, having a bit of a laugh with you, maybe have a glass of wine with you, that’s what it is all about. I can talk through the dishes and if I get bigger, I can’t do that. That’s why they’re so popular, you don’t get that anywhere else.
“It’s also why I don’t employ people, employees don’t care as much as you do. Because it’s just me and the wife, you get that personal touch. I wouldn’t send anything out that is rubbish.
“I’ve got to go out and speak to people at the end of the day. I would be heartbroken if someone said my food was bland. That’s why I keep it to me and that is why I didn’t expand. I like the personal touch. And I am keeping the price at £45.”