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Jun 19, 2008 05:30 PM

Chima Philadelphia

What a disappointment. Decor is lack-luster Vegas buffet, salad bar uninteresting and meats mediocore. Add to that they add an automatic 18% gratuity without any mention. Seems the tip is added when you have a two for one coupon. Yes I know this is done in Europe, Mexico, Latin and South America,but you know that in advance. We thought the bill was on the high side then read the small print. We won't return.

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  1. I haven't heard a ba dreview about Chima yet. You are the first and you seem to be complaining about an 18 percent tip on a dinner for two, that without drink would have run you 46 bucks. Are you serious? How bad could it have been for that price? I think you set your bar too high.

    2 Replies
    1. re: EastCoastWineMan

      Ok here is a second one. We were treated to dinner at Chima so I cam't comment on the tip policy but I would never think of spending $48 per person for this dinner. The salad bar was fine nothing spectactular but better than you would find at many places. The meat was truly mediocre. The "mashed" potatoes had so much cream in them that we thought they were a sauce and had to ask what they were. Also it was almost impossible to get lamb chops or the ribs. We asked about 4 times and then finally gave up. I guess it's a great place for those that want to gorge themselves but I'll take the $45 five course tasting menu (byo) at Matysons anyday.

      1. re: EastCoastWineMan

        We usually tip 20% or more because my husband waited tables in college and appreciates how hard staff works. Of course we would have tipped on the total for two meals but guess not everyone does. The issue was their not telling us that the tip was automatically included.

      2. We dined at Chima on father's day and had a great time and meal. There was no automatic 18% tip added, though we did choose to tip extra since we had the 2 for 1 coupon. The salad bar, IMHO, is better than Fogo's. None have come close to the Brazilian steakhouse I ate at in Rio, but this salad definitely had more and was bigger than what I remember from Fogo's. The atmosphere was nice I thought - definitely more "slick" than the chandeliers at Fogo's - I enjoy both, but there is definitely a different feeling to each. I'm not sure if I was headed to a Brazilian steakhouse again in the future which one I would select over the other, mainly bc I enjoyed them both.

        1. I totally concur with joan1725, the original poster. In addition, the service at the bar leaves something to be desired.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ac_connoisseur

            FWIW, Chima was the only restaurant to receive No Bells from Philadelphia Inquirer reviewer last year.

            If you like a churrascuria, Fogo de Chao or the independently owned Picanha in Northeast Philadelphia are better choices. I enjoy Picanha as it is locally owned, feels like a neighborhood restaurant where locals come in and get salad bar to go, and there is Brazilian soccer on the tv.

            The other trick with the big chain brazilian steakhouses is to go for lunch rather than dinner, as they serve the same food, at reduced prices.

            1. re: cwdonald

              When Laban revisited Chima at year end, he upped his rating to one bell ("hit or miss").