Showing posts with label bad food service. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bad food service. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

ความ(ไม่)อร่อยของส้มตำนัว (สยาม สแควร์) Somtum Nua

คนกรุงเทพฯคงจะไม่มีใครไม่เคยได้ยินเรื่องความฮอตฮิตของร้านส้มตำนัว นับร่วมสิบปีที่ร้านจะแน่นเสมอ ใครอยู่แถวสยามสแคว์เป็นต้องแวะไปลิ้มลอง ร้านนี้เมื่อ8ปีก่อน Cute Pigได้มาชิมปีกไก่ทอดที่กรอบมากเลยติดใจ แต่เมื่อกลับไปต่างประเทษเลยไม่มีโอกาศกลับไปอีกจนวันนี้

บรรยากาศร้านยังคงเหมือนเดิม ยังคึกคักแม้คนจะไม่แน่นเท่าเมื่อก่อน พวกเราสั่งกับข้าวมาแชร์กัน6อย่าง แน่นอนว่ามีไก่ทอดชุดใหญ่จัดไว้ด้วย

แต่เมื่อไก่ทอดมาถึง พอเห็นไซส์ที่เล็กเท่านิ้วก้อยก็ประหลาดใจว่าสั่งชุดใหญ่แล้ว แต่เนื้อหนังไปไหนหมด?? -*- โอเค...เล็กก็เล็ก แต่พอกัดไปแล้วเย็นชืดเหมือนตากลมมาเป็นปีนี่หนูรับไม่ได้จริงๆค่ะ ทำไมมันคุณภาพไม่เหมือนเมื่อก่อนเลย

สั่งลาบเนื้อแต่ได้ลาบหมูที่เหนียวหนึบๆ พอเช็คกับคนเสริฟว่าจดออเดอร์ผิดรึเปล่า ก็เปล่าค่ะ จดเนื้อ..แต่ยกหมูมาให้แทน น้องคงจะชอบมากกว่า อืม..ผิดไปแล้วช่างมัน แต่พี่เปลี่ยนออเดอร์ในใบเสร็จให้เป็นหมูด้วยละกัน อย่าคิดตังค์เพิ่ม เท่านั้นแหละ พนักงาน3-4คนประชุมกันแบบงงๆบวกเคืองๆ เหมือนเราส่งภาษาอินเดียใส่แล้วมาเรื่องมากแถวนี้?!

  
 
อาหารที่เหลือก็มีลาบเห็ดฟาง คอหมูย่าง ยำหนมจีน(อย่างเดียวที่ยังทานได้)คุณแม่เคยท้องเสียไปกับส้มตำเลยแอบนอยด์และเลี่ยงไม่สั่ง แต่บังเอิ๊ญมีคนอยากสัมผัสรสชาติอีสานแท้ เลยจัดซุปหน่อไม้มา ยังไม่ทันจะตกเย็นงานเข้าไปซะ วิ่งหาห้องน้ำแทบไม่ทัน!

บอกได้อย่างเดียวค่ะว่า เข็ดแล้ว...เช็คด้วย! T-T

Cute Pigคงไม่มีอะไรพูดถึงการบริการลูกค้า ซึ่งไม่มีความคาดหวังสูงส่งอะไรอยู่ก่อนแล้ว แต่ผิดหวังที่การควบคุมมาตรฐานของอาหารลดลงไปจากเมื่อก่อนมากเมื่อเทียบกับราคาที่ตั้งไว้

ในขณะที่พวกเราคงไม่กลับไปใช้บริการอีก แต่อยากทราบประสบการณ์และความคิดเห็นผู้ใช้บริการท่านอื่นว่าคล้ายกับเราหรือเปล่า? หรือว่าเป็นเพราะเราไปผิดวัน??

Food: 1/5
Service: 1/5
Ambience: 2/5
Price: $$
Value: 1/5




Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hoang Long West Ed; better appearance, worse in everything else...



I wasn't going to take notes/pictures/or do any review, but this experience was so bad I had to write it down.

It's been several months since I came back to West Edmonton Mall and I could not recognize Hoang Long after its major face lift.  Now twice the size, this vietnamese restaurant now looks a lot more modern and inviting.  I decided to go for old times sake despite warnings that the food here is horrible.  Since I had been here before, I sort of knew what to expect and it couldn't be that bad.  Just when I thought that.....

We are also used to the get-in-and-get-out serving style, so there wouldn't be any surprises.  Or would there??  I don't know where the owner finds the people to work for her, but they are definitely not aiding her to a positive business reputation.  It was mainly due to this particular long hair waitress with a permanent disdained look on her face.  She looked like she was upset that there were customers there.  I ordered vermicelli and an order of spring rolls and I've never gotten more attitude from a server just from taking order.  She didn't even let me finish talking before giving me pure tone of annoyance.  I can usually handle "Asian service", but we didn't have any service and she was just downright being nasty.  When we got up to pay, she was also making a scene arguing with someone about a mix up with an order.  I just could not wait to get the hell outa there.  Why would management pay someone to drive customers away? I don't get it.

It wasn't only the service that had gotten worse.  While the prices went up, it seemed the quality of the food was also sacrificed. The food also didn't come out at a consistent time.  The spring rolls were thickly wrapped and not all the way cooked in the middle with next to no filling inside.  I mean it when I say they were absolutely disgusting.

Was the trade off worth it? Has the owner once asked a customer what they thought of their dining experience? Why bother expanding if you are bringing more people in to make them leave pissed off and unsatisfied? I, for one, would likely not set foot there again and head to La Pagode instead.

Hoang Long (WestEd Mall) on Urbanspoon

Saturday, May 14, 2011

An open letter to 100 Nights and Opus hotel

I would like to express to you the recent dining experience we encounterd at 100 Nights earlier today.  It was our first time visiting the restaurant after purchasing a deal on Groupon.com.  When restaurants have deals in Groupon, I can only assume they are trying to promote their business, attracting new patrons to try out for an experience and spread the positive word.  Our experience at 100 Nights started off quite pleasantly.  We thoroughly enjoyed the appetizers and were quite impressed with the portions.  The ambience was unique and the service was friendly.  I actually thought about returning and even recommend others to come try.  However,  as I came across a dish that I was less than thrilled with, when asked by the manager if I enjoyed it, I gave him an honest response.  While the server had previously attempted to make changes to the dish and I declined, his response was simply “Ok”, and walked away.  I didn’t mind his response that much as the rest of of meal was splendid.  We asked for our bill and were ready to be on our way.  The server was aware that we were using Groupon for the meal and I believe many patrons in the restaurant also came for lunch using Groupon.  Afterwards, we were informed that the Groupon shown in a pdf version on our mobile was invalid, even though vouchers are in the exact same format as what they would be have they been printed out.  In fact, the manager, Jeremy, had walked to the table and informed me himself to “read the fine print” and said, “so you are going to have to do something about it.”  I have been using Groupon long enough to know that most restaurants just need the serial no. to take down which is why I found it confusing as we never had a problem using this method at other places before and Jeremy just quickly walked off while I was still asking questions.  I found his tone and attitude to be extremely rude and condescending.  After we called him over to explain to us again more clearly,  he demanded us to read the fine print in our vouchers to either  be printed or downloaded on a mobile app and once again, walked away before we were done with the questions.  He was not friendly, the least helpful and made us feel like second class citizens for using Groupon and not knowing how to use it properly.  
In the end, we wasted almost half and hour sitting in the restaurant trying to figure it out, feeling less than intelligent and humiliated by that time.   Our positive experience which we had earlier now completely evaporated and replaced with frustration.  Finally, we presented the “correct format” they were looking for which contains the same barcode, number, and all the other information that we had initially presented them in the first place.  As I walked out, Jeremy made the effort to turn his back and ignored my presence as I left the restaurant.  Throughout the whole ordeal, I never once raised my voice or was being difficult to him or any member of the staff, so it is incomprehensible why we were treated in such fashion.  My sister and I felt that he came off rather arrogant and did not appreciate his attitude in his approach towards us.  I have worked in the customer service industry myself, and I know that the manager is supposed to have the most contact with the customers.  Jeremy’s attitude was absolutely insulting.  He clearly did not want our business, or cared if we ever returned again.  As a result, instead of recommending 100 Nights for the delicious meal and friendly service we received prior, we are completely turned off by the so called “customer service” we received from Jeremy, and left with nothing else but a sour taste we would like to forget.  
I would like to inform you of my experience in hopes that the hotel and restaurant will work to improve the quality of the customer service particularly in the management team.  As I know that the rest of the staff work very hard to retain a positive reputation, I hope you will prevent people like Jeremy from further sabotaging your hard earned reputation.  
Sincerely,



100 Nights on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Reasons why I'll never set foot back in Empire Seafood Restaurant

I've been to enough Chinese restaurants to expect a certain level of service.  Normally, there is more focus on the speed and turnovers, which I am completely fine with as long as I am getting my order.  Since king crab season has just started, several friends and I set out to fill our bellies with the ginormous crustacean.  Unfortunately, my dining experience at Empire Seafood Restaurant on Alexandra road in Richmond was one of the worst I had in years.

Our spirits were high as we sat down and chitchat before ordering some food.  The restaurant was fairly busy with constant turnovers and most tables ordering the Alaskan king crab.  We decided to order 4 dishes: the crab, fried rice, stir-fry vegetables, and chicken.  Time passed and we were getting hungrier.  As we looked around we noticed that many tables that came and ordered after us were already getting their first dish.  As my friend joked that we must've felt hungrier now because everyone else around us were eating but us.  But as more time passed, and we were still the only table that had not gotten one single dish, it wasn't funny anymore.

"Where is our food?"
T politely asked the server that to check up on our order since it was taking longer than normal.  The server reassured us that the kitchen was busy and that it was coming.  More time passed and we still did not get any dishes.  We asked again, and again, they reassured us that it was coming in 20 minutes.  After almost an hour, and still no single dish as we watched other tables that came after us feasting and finishing their meals already.  The longer we waited, our frustrations grew.  No one was checking on our order anymore and we wondered if they forgot about it.  Finally, we decided we would like to speak to the manager so he could tell us what was going on with our order.  One server literally walked into the kitchen and ignored us completely.  So, I got off my chair and went around the restaurant looking for the manager to come see us.  Another employee looked at me perplexed, "Which manager would you like to speak to? The GM? The assistant?" I told her I didn't care, I needed to speak to A manager right away.

Meet the GM
Finally, the general manager, Benjamin, arrived at our table.  We explained to him that we had been waiting for almost an hour with no food arriving when everyone else has gotten theirs.  A simple concern which could've been resolved with an apology, and checking up on our food.  Instead, Benjamin was on the defence stating that that is how long the king crab takes to cook.  While we were asking him why other tables already got theirs and we had not even received a side dish, he simply said that is the way it is.  I was even more infuriated by his unapologetic and indifferent response more than our food arriving late.  Benjamin was quite indifferent and showed us that he really could care less if we were to stay or leave.  After that first conversation, I was ready to get up and leave, but the rest of my party decided they had waited long enough and too hungry to go elsewhere.  Benjamin could not careless whether we stayed or left and it truly really reflects how much the restaurant  does not value its customers. When asked if he was going to do anything about it he said, "Nothing here is free, if you leave now then you don't have to pay." At this point, I'm still not sure why we were still sitting there.  Alas, he promised to take off 2 side dishes off the bill.  Unfortunately, I was already full from the wrath we had all been fed and didn't have anymore appetite to enjoy the king crab dishes that eventually arrived.

After the conversation with Benjamin, the table next to us actually came up and shared their complaint (which Benjamin was also unresponsive to) with us.  Apparently the crab that arrived was much smaller than what they initially saw when the server brought it to them live and should be less than the price that they were paying for.  This is a common issue with several Chinese seafood restaurants serving Alaskan king crab.  Like us, they were unhappy with how their complaint was also dismissed and said that they would not return again.

"Where's the tip?"
Obviously we did not leave any tip, and will not be returning to this restaurant ever again.  As we were leaving, a waiter came up to us and said "Where's the tip? Didn't you tip?".  I remember that gratuity is earned based on the quality of service and dining experience, not mandatory.  Based on our whole dining experience, I could not believe someone from this restaurant had the audacity to come up to us and demanded gratuity.  

Last but not least, when I was in the parking lot, I spotted a giant rat roaming around.  I can only hope the rodents did not find their way in the restaurant.  There is just too many things wrong with this place.  So if you are thinking about going there, please proceed with caution.

Empire Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Biggest disappointment of 2011 (thus far): Le Cafe Siam

I don't usually write negative posts about a restaurant unless it was absolutely appalling.  And regrettably, after a long awaited visit to Le Cafe Siam, my experience was nothing short of the biggest let down I've encountered at fine dining restaurants.  Situated in Sathorn area of Bangkok, the location of the restaurant is somewhat hidden from the main road and could be tricky to find if you are not familiar with the area.  Our night was off to a rough start after driving in circles trying to locate the restaurant and running late for our reservation.  After half hour, we finally reached the restaurant and walked in with a positive attitude.  We were warmly greeted by the staff as we were seated at the table.  As mentioned in my previous post, after watching the video clip and reading several positive reviews about the restaurant, I was thrilled and looked forward to tasting head chef and owner, Paul Anthony Quarchioni's creations.  The prices are definitely on the high spectrum, which to me, should reflect the quality and presentation suitable of fine dining.

 
We started with an amuse bouche of salmon tartar drizzled with lime or kaffir lime oil.  It was very fragrant, and not overly salty, but lacked the hint of citrus tang.

 
Seared scallops with mushroom risotto. Scallops were well cooked, while the risotto was creamy and chewy.  After a few bites, it began to taste a bit too starchy.

 
John Dory with lobster bisque.  The fish had a very soft, buttery texture, while the lobster bisque was seasoned with way too much salt.

 
Can I get a cleaver to go with the duck confit??
I looked forward to try out the "imported" duck confit, which turned out to be a total abomination.  The renounced duck confit was absolutely overcooked to the point that it was tough, super dry, and impenetrable.  I had to ask twice for a proper knife to use to cut through the impermeable block of brick sitting on my plate.  The first time he returned with the same knife, a salad knife.  Maybe he thought this blade would be sharper. Bless his soul.  But I had asked for a steak knife! My fingers were getting sore from holding the knife at the blade just to cut through its thick skin!  This is unacceptable and I couldn't take it anymore.  I don't need to eat too many duck confit to know that the meat should have been simmered long enough that it would be tender enough to be able to cut through easily. 

I actually preferred the sides of green beans and scalloped potatoes over the duck confit itself.

Are you kidding me??
While the servers were extremely polite and knowledgeable of the menu, they never asked us how we were doing with the food.  I saw head chef having a smoke outside the restaurant and popping in and out of the dining area, but he never once came around to ask how his customers were doing either (unlike in the video! I guess that was all for show).  This was another point that infuriated me about this restaurant. Both the server and the chef were quite unapologetic and unresponsive to my complaint, as if I just didn't know how to appreciate French cuisine and that my opinion did not matter. The servers looked absolutely clueless as I stared into their blank faces as though they were saying "What? You DON'T love our food? Deal with it."  For the price that we pay, and as customers, we DO expect our concerns to be heard.  Instead, we were left completely unattended and neglected with a pile of salty, overcooked food.  


(Not So) Inspiration Set 

Baked eggplants with goat cheese balsamic reduction. This dish had a bitter aftertaste and it definitely isn't for everybody.  I personally didn't mind it, but could do without the bitterness.  

The mushroom soup was only satisfactory.  The taste didn't stand out and was comparable to any random mushroom soup you can find everywhere.  

 
Grilled sea bass with meuniere sauce.  Though the seasoning was tasty, the overall dish was way too oily.  As sea bass already has a lot of fat, adding too much buttery oil to it definitely took away from the taste and the texture.  

The last to arrive was crepe suzette.  It was quite light, and refreshing.  I apologize but this was best picture out of the bunch.

The verdict? Hells to the NO!
There are many other humble French restaurants that make genuinely rustic and delicious French fare without coming across as being this pretentious. Our party was not only disappointed in the quality of food, but the entire experience had set us back. Aside from the colonial decor and slightly infused version of traditional French cuisine, the quality of the food we received fell quite a far distance from what the restaurant claims for itself.  Food presentation was as basic and lacked elegance.  There was no evidence of effort put into each dish.   After peeling away the exterior layers of a beautiful setting and an expensive list sophisticated dishes, we were left with simple bistro fare barely garnished and tagged as "fine dining".  It was as though you thought you were going to see Elvis but turned out it was just an impersonator performing instead.

Unmemorable, and not worth the price.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ozone Thai restaurant

When we met up with a friend one night in San Francisco, I asked him to recommend where to go for late night eat.  I also specifically said that I do not want to go to a Thai restaurant, and that I would eat anything but Thai food.  Sure enough, we ended up at a Thai restaurant, Ozone, which was located upstairs.  It was dark, and empty with a random patron blaring out horrible singing in their karaoke lounge.  We pretty much had to endure the singing for the entire night, but that wasn't the main problem.  Our server was wearing a fur-brimmed outdoor jacket, and a pair of short-short jeans.  Throughout the night, the server and the bartender joined in the singing and drinking with their friends than paying us any more attention.

I ordered fried catfish and papaya salad, something uncommon to find outside of Thailand.  First bite, it tasted okay, but the catfish was crispy.  But the more I ate it, the catfish was pretty hard to chew.  The papaya salad was not spicy and was way too sweet.  Actually, sweetness was all I could taste.


The second dish, Tod Mun, or the fried curried fish cakes, was what I asked Thailand Cafe to make for me.  I was turned down since it would take an hour to prep.  I was delighted to see it on the menu and ordered it.  Again, I was disappointed.  The fish cakes lacked the aromatic flavour from red curry and kaffir lime leaves.  They tasted more like chinese fish balls you eat at hot pot.  


The last dish was some kind of fried chicken wings in chili sauce and fried basil.  Again, it was just sweet and I didn't care for it.  At this point, I was secretly raging that another meal in San Francisco has been wasted.  As we walked out, the staff were still singing with their buddies. I noticed the walls were mounted with photos of Thai celebrities that visited the restaurant.  I know that much that they probably didn't come for the food.

$$

Ozone Thai on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Food Tour: Mis Trucos Review

Mis Trucos:::Great food, but don't expect good service

It was my first time at Mis Trucos is a modern Mediterranean tapas bar located on Davie Street, Vancouver. When we got there around 5.30 pm, we were the first table there.  The ambience is very low key and casual.  It actually reminds me of someone's apartment.  The contemporary menu is intricate yet simply presented on black posters mounted on the walls.  The service is also very casual, laid back, and pub-like.  From what I hear, it's actually a hip spot to hangout at night on weekends.  


Even though we were the first to arrive, it still would take the server (who reminds me of Sweet Dee on It's Sunny in Philadelphia) another 15 minutes to come back and check on our order.  I ended up having to to go up to the bar counter and call for her attention while she was in the kitchen giggling and laughing with the chef.


I almost felt the decor of the restaurant didn't suit the sophisticated selection on the menu that you would find at other high end dining restaurants, places you dress up to go to.


Since this was the first stop of our food tour, we decide to order the 6 courses chef's inspiration for $35 / person and the crispy bread wrapped wild prawn with aioli. 

The first course
The first course that was served was a braised ox tongue with brioche and creme fraiche.  At first, I was slightly disappointed and sceptical with the size of the dish being so small.  However after I tried it, all was forgiven. Despite the small size, this dish just blew me away.  Thin tender slices of beef tongue were basked in the tanginess of citrus and balanced out with brioche and creme freche, contrasted by the crisp of the crostini.  It was unreal. I would order this again and again.

Appetizer
The crispy bread wrapped wild prawn in aioli ($2.50 each) is a simple comforting dish.  The bread was flattened thin and wrapped around succulent prawns before being fried to crisp.  I thoroughly enjoyed dipping the wrap in the creamy tangy aioli which complements the prawn.  Though some may find the aioli to be too acidic, I was quite happy with the flavour.

Second Course
The second course was the 3 way preparation of heirloom tomato salad.  Drizzled with olive oil and crumbled bocconcini and crostini, the salad offered a refreshing taste.  While in my opinion  and showcasing the freshness of the ingredients. The 3 way preparation, I'm guessing are one way being served fresh or lightly marinated, the second way as jelly, and the third way as roast tomatoes.

Tomato jelly
The tomato jelly is made up of fresh tomato juice mixed with gelatin. It was something new that I haven't tried before but it was still a bit bland with bocconcini in my opinion.  Perhaps infused basil or mint would add more complexity to the flavour.
Carbonated roasted tomato?!
Small roasted tomatoes had a very interesting twist with a burst of flavour.  While it was very acidic, there was also a fizziness in the juice as I bit into it.  I wish there were more of these in there.
Third course
The third course was a seared scallop over butternut squash puree topped with tobiko.  I must say that the scallop was cooked perfectly; tender, juicy, and easily pulled apart.  The smokiness of the scallop was enhanced by the saltiness of the tobiko, and balanced out by the subtle yet sweet butternut squash.
Forth course
The chanterelle mushroom risotto was very hearty and rustic.  The truffle oil complemented and  enhanced the earthiness of the mushrooms.  While the risotto was cooked just right and not soggy, I found it to be just a tad too salty.
Fifth course
The final entree course was the bison flank steak served with port cherry reduction and shallot puree.  The overall flavour of the dish is sweet and aromatic.  Though the steak was medium rare and quite tender, I prefer the first course over this one.

Final course: the dessert
I love the concept of the dessert presentation.  Vanilla custard is topped with peach puree and served in an empty eggshell on a bed of sugar.  Nothing fancy, yet warm and reminiscent of the countryside bed and breakfast. The custard was not too sweet and enjoyable with accompanying toasts.  It was creamy and contrasted with the sweet and sour flavour of peach puree.


As you could probably tell by now, my palette had a blast at Mistrucos.  Overall, the restaurant has an interesting concept, creative presentation and the food is great tasting.  What I disliked about it was constantly fighting for the server's attention while the place was empty as a dessert.  The wait time between each course is over 20 minutes, I guess due to presentation preparation.  Therefore, if you are planning on ordering the tasting menu, be ready to dedicate 1.5 hour to 2 hours solely to dining there.  

Last but not least, despite their lack of service and attention, the servers there "expect" their 15% tips.  To be specific, another server at the restaurant did not give us change and looked confused when we were waiting for it.  In another separate incident, after a patron has tipped 13% instead of 15% for a $15 bill, he was given a dirty glare with his debit card slammed on the counter.  While there is nothing wrong with being rewarded for good service, tips are up to the discretion of the patrons upon their reflection of the quality of service they received and dining experience.  If those aspects are not up to the customer's satisfaction, I don't see why they should be forced upon the gratuity.  In that case, it should have been indicated and automatically included on the bill.  When I think about tipping at Mistrucos, I think about the great jobs that the chefs have done, and completely ignore the less than mediocre service comparable to a pho place.

Reviews on other food tour spots in next post.

Mis Trucos on Urbanspoon


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Zakkushi Disappointment

I featured Zakkushi in one of the best izakayas to go to in Vancouver last year and have returned a few times since.  This last trip I made, unfortunately brewed a small storm inside my heart.  We walked in and the place looked a bit different.  Fancier menu, brighter lighting, not as smoky, not as crowded, loud, or ghetto.  Hmmm it's not quite the Zakkushi I remember, but that's ok.. I'm mostly here for the food even though I miss the ghettoness just a little bit.  We ordered the usual skewers, daikon salad, and of course, the delicious kimchi mentai yaki udon smothered with cod roe.  At first, the waiter informed us there was no more udon and if we wanted soba instead.  He, later, revealed that they don't make the dish anymore.  Shocked and appalled, I demanded answers.  I was there 4 weeks ago and they were still serving it!  From what I know, the dish is one of the MOST RAVED ABOUT on the Vancouver food blog sites.  And from what my friend told me, they were there last week, and they STILL got it!  The waiter had no answers for us.  He said the owners simply removed it from the menu.  I told him the owners made a huge mistake.  He shook his head in despair and simply told me to blog about it. So that was blow number one.  FYI this is what the dish looked like:
Kimchi Mentai Yaki Udon
I believe this tuna rice dish is also now non-existent.  What a shame, it also was really good.
Negi toro don
I came home and checked their website and it says their "Grand Menu Starts Now".
I appreciate it when restaurants try to up their scale by being innovative and changing things up.  However, I don't appreciate the sheer negligence over the quality, which at times, comes after the menu/owner/chef changing.  Such as the case at Wo Fung chicken wings (now 3 times smaller), Cattle Cafe Richmond (watery soup base), and Pied a Terre on Cambie (salty steak frites and dismissal of Napoleon), and now Zakkushi charcoal minuscules.
New menu! 

Back to the restaurant. After we delighted ourselves with the $9.99 Sapporo pitcher, we ordered the usual Kushi Set which comes with 5 skewers.  Each time, the skewers seem to be shinking smaller and smaller.  Did the change the chef? Did we come on a bad day? What has happened?
Before - Kushi set on July 31, 2010
After - Kushi set August 25, 2010

Tsukune December 12, 2009

Tsukune Aug 25, 2010

I looked over at the Japanese folks next table and, to my astonishment, their skewers were twice the size of ours.  Due to legal reasons, I decided not to post their pictures with skewers.  Of course these are not the biggest blunders for a restaurant and it is still as busy as ever.  But to me, the wow factors for Zakkushi are gone.  I have absolutely no reason left to go back there (unless for the $9.99 Sapporo pitchers).

Zakkushi Charcoal Grill (Denman) on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cattle Cafe: no longer yummy

I used to enjoy going to Cattle Cafe on Alexandra Road in Richmond. It was well known for it's ginormous noodle soup which you have to option to select everything from soup base, type of noodles, toppings, drinks and sides.  I was more than excited to re-visit the cafe to indulge in a big bowl of laksa that seemed to pack with flavours and seemingly bottomless.

A lot of the restaurants, as they get more and more busy, I guess they often overlook or replace the quality of their food to cut costs.  Or perhaps it was just the inconsistency of the kitchen.  Either way, what used to be my favourite places in Richmond has become an abomination with this one last time visit.
Laksa noodle soup, still seemingly as big and looking just as delicious.  But after tasting the soup, I wondered how many times they watered the pot down and reused the same broth over and over.  Where were the flavours this time! I was pretty much drinking slightly flavoured water with oil drizzled on top.
To add an extra punch, that estranged strand of hair we found didn't improve the situation much.  Remember,  it's an asian place.  Sending a plate back will only result in a look of disdain and you will still get the same plate back (with the hair removed with someone's bare hand).

We also ordered their recommended pork chop with demi-glaced onion sauce.  It looked fantastic in the picture!  Since it's popular, sure we would try it!

 This is what came out. 


At first glance, no, it doesn't look like anything in the picture.  And I was expecting a demi-glace sauce to be more brownish and gravy like, not creamy and rose like.  Kkkk, it's an asian place, maybe it's fusion right? Their own interpretation. If it tasted good, then all would be forgiven.  We still had to bounce back from that last bowl of laksa.  Although, this one didn't look promising either.  And as we took a bite, our thought was unanimous "people "like" eating this?".....Really?  I mean we were in Richmond where hundreds of asian restaurants compete on price and quality to stay on top.  You're telling me that this dish that looked and tasted like it was made by a 10 year old girl is your best selling dish?

Needless to say, I am never going back again.  Could it be one bad day? Maybe. The inconsistency, though, and that pork chop though, I just couldn't bring myself to forgiveness.  So this is my goodbye. The quest for next best laksa ensues.

Cattle Cafe (Richmond) on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 5, 2010

Caffe Nougat woe - the disappearing candy



Probably just a glitch in the packaging process, but it made me doubt how precise the manufacturing process by Golden Bonbon a little bit. This one candy disappeared from the package entirely, another one not featured was half gone in an opened package. Hmmm... did someone eat it?? or worse... did something else eat it?!?! I hope it was just a machinery glitch.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

How to deal with bad food service

There is a direct correlation between my hunger level at my patience level when I'm waiting for my food at the restaurant. The longer I'm hungry, the faster my patience runs out. If the kitchen is busy and the food comes out slow, I do somewhat understand and wait. However, when there is a factor of bad service from the server involved is out of sheer ignorance and rudeness, it is something I can't stand. I still have one grudge against the restaurant called Lazia, located in North side of Edmonton. In the past, I had always liked the place for good food and good service. However, this one experience had totally changed my mind and it was the last time I ever set foot in that place. We waited almost 2 hours for our food to arrived. Our patience pretty much ran out when we found out that they had forgotten our orders. The manager did come and talk to us, but blamed it on the busy kitchen instead. During the wait, I had asked a random server for a new bread that isn't burnt since our server was nowhere to be found. Once that server told our waitress what I said, our server stopped serving us and kept sending someone else instead. Then, when the food finally arrived, it was extremely awful and overcooked. When we asked for the bill, our waitress who saw us waved her over, still sent someone else instead. I was extremely pissed at the service and at the food. At the time, I was angry beyond words and wanted to leave that I didn't bother speaking to the manager regarding the experience. After I calmed down, I wish I did. So those of you who have been in my shoes, here's a list of how to handle bad food service experience.

Step 1
Keep in mind that you, the customer, are always right. Note that anyone who thinks you are wrong should read the prior sentence.

Step 2
Send back food that is either undercooked, overcooked, too cold or not fresh. Remember that a problem with your food may not be your waiter's fault; be polite, and give your waiter the opportunity to fix the problem.

Step 3
Send back wine that does not meet with your requirements. Return any wine that you did not order.

Step 4
Complain to the manager or owner, during or after the meal, if the waiter gave consistently shoddy service.

Step 5
Take your money elsewhere if the restaurant doesn't adhere to your demands.

Step 6
As a last resort, write a letter to the local newspaper that reviews the restaurant.

(Source: ehow.com)