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Raw Chicken

Last night, my fiance and I went to a highly popular hip Fusion Asian restaurant and were served raw chicken. The dish was an appetizer of Chicken Lollipops. We each had one, then I bit into another and it was completely raw. Not just slightly pink, but raw, it took only a second in my mouth to decide that it wasn't cooked at all. We tried to move pass and order a salad and another app, but I couldn't get over it. I picked open the last pop and noticed it was also completely raw. We let the waiter now, and he obviously apologized, but I still couldn't trust the kitchen for the rest of the night, and stepped outside while my FI dealt with the bill. The manager came over, completely appologized and comped the bill, we then left. What are your thoughts on it and would you go back to try the restaurant again?


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  1. Were they supposed to be raw? I know some people who eat raw chicken (but I guess not in North America), but ... did the description of the dish in the menu say they're supposed to be raw???? Or did the waiter ask how you'd like your chicken to be prepared?

    1. Well, since the manager not only apologized, but comped the bill, I'm assuming the kitchen made a horrible mistake.

      Did you eat the first lollipop? I hope it wasn't raw, but only the rest of them were.

      If it were me, I would not return. In fact, I would write a letter to the restaurant owner.

      1. can you describe the taste of it? not that i am going to try it myself. :)

        1. I'm pretty sure that in Japan raw (or near raw) chicken is an authentic dish. Since you were in an Asian Fusion restaurant, you should do some research on the subject before condemning them. Who is the chef? I'm not sure I would trust raw chicken in the most competent hands, let alone a Westerner trying to imitate Japanese cuisine. The fact that the manager apologized is incongruous. It could signal a huge mistake on the part of the kitchen (which deserves a phone call to the health board), or a lack of communication between front of house and back (also worrisome), or simple courtesy compensating for the east-west divide (ie: the mistake was yours). As they say, when in Rome...

          2 Replies
          1. re: ognir

            Thanks for all of the replys, no the chicken was not supposed to be raw. It was a pure case of a Sat nite too busy and trying to keep up. The first bite was over-cooked which I told my fiance and the second was raw chicken, Oil to Hot, and cooks (not chefs) trying to get food out as quickly as possible, I think by the time we were served we had been seated for 7 minutes.

            1. re: megsluvsfood

              Wow, that's remarkably insulting to say that "chefs" wouldn't serve raw chicken while "cooks" are menial troglodytes that would do "such horrible things" to food. Firstly, there is only one "chef" in the kitchen and if it's a busy night he or she is sure not going to be looking at your lollipops under a microscope and secondly a chef is only as good as the crew of cooks behind him, and good cooks can be found anywhere from any background, with or without a culinary degree.

              Hey, the cook screwed up big, and from that one incident I cannot label that cook a good or bad one.

          2. If they were supposed to be raw - which I don't believe for a second - they should make that clear on the menu. Or they can keep comping the bills of unsuspecting diners, and keep getting bad word of mouth. I've heard of raw chicken being served before, but it is just not common or expected, and is gross enough to most diners that an explanation should be made beforehand. I mean if restaurants point out that they cook their salmon "medium rare" (which has happened to me a lot) then I think pointing out "the food that you've always been told will kill you if undercooked will be served raw" is not out of the question!

            But to answer your original question, I say go back if you feel like, stay away if it would gross you out. I wouldn't go back out of guilt, or stay away because others tell you to. Do what works for you. (I'd probably stay away just because there are a bunch of great restaurants out there not trying to kill me!)

            1. Kitchen lost focus on your dish, you did the right thing by leaving politely, manager saw your politeness and raised it ultra-politeness.

              Gotta go back and give it a try after a week or so to de-compress. On the way in stop by and thank the manager for his consideration the previous time. He will make sure you have a pefrect meal. If he can;t make that happen on the second try, cross the restaurant off the list.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jfood

                This approach has just the right "feel" to it.

                1. re: yayadave

                  I agree. This sounds just right. I don't think there's a reason to omit them due to one dish on one night, especially when they were obviously horrified by it (and would therefore ore likely to be on their toes in the future).

              2. What's the name of this resto? I'm steering towards big-time kitchen f-up.

                1. I believe that serving raw chicken in CA restaurants is a violation of the health code. The only place I've ever seen it is at an "underground" raw food market in LA that was constantly moving to avoid being shut down by the authorities (it was raw chicken ceviche, and no, I didn't try it.)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Morton the Mousse

                    I think I'd rather eat raw chicken than breasts cooked to the USDA recommended 180 degrees.

                  2. Not meaning to be rude or anything, I think you way overreacted, myself. Not only would I go back if I liked the place, I wouldn't have left in the first place - just asked for another dish or probably, knowing myself, that same one cooked properly. I'm much more horrified when meat comes out well-done, or dry and stringy, depending on its origin.;)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: MikeG

                      Overdone meat, while unpleasant, is not a health issue. Raw chicken at any restaurant in the U.S. is an abomination and a violation of every state's health code. Give this place a big thumbs down!

                      1. re: MikeG

                        I must politely disagree with your point of view... having gone through the training from the public health, the spectre of cross-contamination from raw poultry is the second biggest thing covered (the first being holding temperatures). In most places, with sufficiently bad timing on the part of the visiting officlas, that could have resulted in the revocation of the public health permit... raw poultry is serious stuff.

                        I think the OP behaved admirably, and I admire her restraint.

                        I'd have to think seriously before going back to that place before several months had passed. Yes, kitchen accidents happen, and no, restaurant kitchens are not the bastions of cleanliness that the Public Health wish they were (far, far, FAR from it)... but there's a long way from double-dipping spoons and hairs in food to serving raw poultry.

                      2. They obviously screwed up. Whoever was putting the dishes together grabbed chicken lollies they thought had been cooked already. I don't think any restaurant in the US is allowed to serve raw chicken

                        1. I've had cold crab cakes and raw scallops, but in both cases, it was as a result of insufficient cooking . . . not forgetting to cook them altogether!


                          2 Replies
                          1. re: TexasToast

                            I had raw scallops from the fishmonger at a farmer's market in london. One of my favorite meals ever.

                            1. re: amkirkland

                              And that's fine if you wanted to eat them raw. There's nothing worse than a frozen-in-the-middle crab cake, or scallops that are perfectly seared, yet freezing cold in the center.


                          2. I probably would not let it stopping me from going back. But, the second chance will be the last time if something goes wrong.

                            1. just be aware that at this time, there is prob no avian flu in domestic poultry in this country -- but I would not eat raw poultry. Just not a good idea

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Sloppy eater

                                Agreed. Salmonella is more the issue.

                              2. I'm hardly suggesting she should have eaten the raw chicken, but I'm just flabbergasted at the number of people that would leave altogether because of it.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: MikeG

                                  I can understand leaving the restaurant. I think I would just be really, really put off eating anything more out of that kitchen that night. I might go back to the restaurant, but it wouldn't be where I wanted to eat that night.
                                  I'd call it completely losing my appetite but that's not likely ;) More like my appetite moved next door.

                                  1. re: julesrules

                                    I had a "frozen" meal at a Chinese restaurant once. It had apparently been pre-plated and microwaved (obviously for not long enough) prior to being brought to the table. Once I discovered that it was freezing cold, I told them I wouldn't be staying, but the owner demanded payment for it. I got up and left. I KNEW after all the words that were exchanged, it was pointless to stay, and I didn't want microwave food. Whould you have stayed MikeG?


                                2. I've had a chicken dish at a prominent Italian joint in Boston that was still nearly frozen. It was creamed and warm-ish on the outside, but when we cut into it we were greeted with solid frozen chicken. We were not comped, and we left in a huff.

                                  Like others, I admire your restraint.

                                  1. Maybe try the place sometime for lunch.Though if it were me,I might not go back.Why,because you wonder about the other food.

                                    1. This is a very bad and dangerous error. I don't think any place would get away with something this bad for very long. This leads me to think that this is not a regular occurrence. There are a lot of possible circumstances and reasons that this happened. They did not wimp and whine about their problems. The management very quickly assumed responsibility and apologized in a very concrete way.

                                      I think jfood hit the right tone. After the shock wears off and before they forget you, go back. What that post said.

                                      You stand a good chance of making some good friends by this. In an old thread some folks were ashamed to go back to a favorite local Korean restaurant because they had caused an embarrassment. When they finally were persuaded to return, they were warmly welcomed.

                                      1. Reading about this makes me think it might be a good idea to carry a travel size bottle of Listerine or other high-alcohol mouthwash for the rare occasion on which this might happen. A lot more palatable than washing your mouth out with whatever disinfectant happens to be in the restroom...