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freds not here: goodness, what happened??

i was there with my boyfriend tonight around 11pm after a movie date. i was here about two years ago and remembered having a pretty goood time there.
tonight, we had a very attentive server who, considered how late it was when we arrived, was so helpful and kind.
but the food, o boy ..the food. it was just plain awful!
we both had the $25 pre fix menu. i had the panfrid soft shell crab on a bed of sesame slaw and a seafood risotto. bf had a duck confit for appetizer and rack of lamb for main. we were truely disappointe with all the dishes..no wonder it was at $25!
my crab was greasy and cold by the time it arrived. bf's duck confit tasted like plastic and it was served on a ...Chinese PANCAKE that you can purchase frozen from china town...WHAT ?! we were both so baffled. this is simply asian fusion gone ARRAY!
my rissoto was fragrant..but it was so oily ( it was oozing out oil and it was COLD !) and the puny lobster and prawn sat like corpse on top of the risotto. it was REALLY BAD. both bf and i agrreed that we have never had such bad food in king st w...

the only amendable points were...
1. we complained (nicely) to the manager, and she was so kind (Devina was her name) and promised to improve the food.
2. we ended up getting the bottle of muscadet for free. and it was a fun bottle of wine.
3. the bread was pretty ok.

i am really sad the food quality of freds not here had sunken so low.

does anyone have a better restaurant suggest around the same area (near paramount) that has similar price range but MUCH better quality of food ?

thank you.

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  1. That sounds horrible! I guess that's what a $25 prix fixe on the tourist-trip King St. strip has descended to.

    I would go to Tutti Matti (Adelaide and Peter), which is a bit pricier, or Peter Pan (Queen and Peter), more or less in the same price range as FNH.

    1. Lol, seems like you got exactly what you should have got!
      The following things should have tipped you off that your meal was going to be oh so scary...

      1) The address of the restaurant
      2) The price of the prix fixe ($25) offering menu ingredients such as duck, lamb, lobster, prawns etc!
      3) The fact that they are serving soft shell crabs which went out of season about 6 months ago (of course they have been frozen since June!)
      4) The fact that anyone in that kitchen actually knows how to cook!
      5) Look around you...who else is dining with you?

      Next time, head over to the bar at Senses or Burrito Boys even for late night grub in that hood.

      3 Replies
      1. re: The Macallan 18

        Burrito Boys has become so over-rated that it can be used as an option equal to a multi-course meal??

        Please somebody, open up a real burrito place with truly flavourful meats!

        Personally at that time of night, I would suggest Queen Mother or yea, Peter Pan. I believe they are both open late.

        PS: FNH/RT was a fantastic and innovative resto, where the value was great, with chefs that could cook and at that exact same address! In fact it was my first exposure to small sharing dishes back in 198- something?

        1. re: deelicious

          I wholeheartedly second Queen Mother. Do note however that they switch to a limited menu after 10. From the options on the late night menu I recommend the Khoa So Gai (Lao curried chicken noodles). During the day, the Bahn Me Hang and the Ping Gai are great. The "french" stuff is good too just not as consistently great. They are often said to have the best pad thai is the city too. I'm not sure if that's true, but it is the best I've had. I just prefer the other things mentioned above more.

          1. re: Atahualpa

            < I recommend the Khoa So Gai (Lao curried chicken noodles). During the day, the Bahn Me Hang and the Ping Gai are great.>

            just have to say DITTO! love that Khoa So Gai

      2. My fave around there is the Korean resto next to the bookshop, at Queen and John. Haven't been there for a while though. Also curious about Cayo Coco, a tapas place right across from the Paramount but never had the chance to try it yet.

        1. Cayo Coco's kind of meh; the food is cheapish and passable. I've only been once, and at about 9.30-ish it seemed to turn into a bit of a nightclub, with a dozen people standing at the bar checking each other out. That was slightly weird.

          1. I dunno about the snide remarks, I too remember that fred's not here used to be pretty good about 2-3 years ago. Sometimes you are in the area and want good food, that's what this board is about, finding good food! That being said, the area is a difficult place to find good food. I find Queen Mother to be a decent choice as well.

            1. Fred's Not Here has been around for a very long time - I remember having some delicious meals there in the 80s and early 90s. But I think Fred is not only AWOL, he doesn't much care any more. We had two very mediocre meals there a couple of years ago and wouldn't bother going back.

              Even Milestones or Il Fornello will provide a much better dinner. You might try Babur for Indian; Kings Garden for Chinese; KitKat for Italian; Urban for a wider ranging menu.

              6 Replies
              1. re: embee

                Good point! KitKat used be excellent too. Haven't been this year to know its current status.

                1. re: deelicious

                  I just realized that I haven't been to any of the places I suggested all that recently and don't know whether they are still good. Ouch :-(

                  1. re: embee

                    Embee you're totally right about FNH. My 2 cents on the others you mentioned:

                    Milestones: good for a chain
                    Il Fornello: surprisingly good pizza & salads, mediocre pasta
                    KitKat: fine, fun, tasty, noisy, crowded
                    Urban: really sucks. Jacked up the prices ridiculously about 18 months ago with no apparent justification. The hamburger is, like, ~25 bucks now for no good reason. Food is not good, I've had a couple of quite unpleasant meals there.

                2. re: embee

                  I just don't understand the accolades for Il Fornello. I went several times shortly after they opened in '86 and was decidedly underwhelmed. Went numerous times in the early '90s and had the same response. Went again ths past Aug for the first time in about 10 years, and it was, meh.

                  1. re: mclaugh

                    No accolades, but usually decent tasting food at a rational price and some consideration for special diets.

                    1. re: mclaugh

                      I went to Il Fornello in the summer, and had a really wonderful orchiette (sp?) pasta in a brandy jus with beef tips, and it was really really good!
                      A few weeks ago I went to Terroni and had their seafood linguine, where the pasta was waaaay over-cooked and it was pretty salty. But their grilled calamari was to die for.

                      I wasn't impressed with Fred's Not Here when I went on Summerlicious, but understandably so... i think it was a $20 menu? I had their soft shell crab, which actually wasn't too bad. More chewy than crunchy, and it had a bite to it. I then had their pork 3 ways, which was tough to eat, and made me feel sick because the whole plate was so greasy, and I didn't even eat that much of it. Then, for dessert I had the creme brulee, which had a brown sugar topping which wasn't even nearly torched. But, the service was good.