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Amaya Winterlicious

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estragon Feb 8, 2009 06:42 PM

I can't say I wasn't warned. A Chowhound regular had told me that Amaya isn't what it was when it opened, and that the service was generally atrocious.

But, undaunted, we headed up there for a Winterlicious meal. The food... OK, but nothing spectacular. Apps: nice chunks of moist tandoori chicken and lamb, ungreasy pakoras, and a disappointingly bland chat salad. Mains: vegetarian trio was good; seafood xacutti... slightly mushy scallops, but nice shrimps and fairly flavourful. Butter chicken... um, butter chicken? I thought this was a "progressive" Indian place that didn't serve the usual cliches. Well, anyway. Our friend enjoyed it - that's all that matters. And the mango lassis were excellent.

Dessert? Spiced chocolate brownie had the consistency of a tootsie roll. Rice pudding? OK, but I've had better at lunch buffets downtown (e.g. Little India).

And that's where things went off the rails. The food had come flying out as if they'd had it waiting for us under the warmer. (OK, I understand, limited menu, everyone is having the same thing, and the kitchen works quickly. But really, guys, this isn't lunch service -- we're not in a rush.) The check was on the table exactly an hour after we sat down. We discovered that our rather average masala chai was $4 for a tiny cup; no refills offered. The waitress came by twice in about 10 minutes to check on our bill. Finally, we took the hint and paid -- split 2/3-1/3 between two credit cards. When we got the Visa chits, something didn't look right to me. Turned out they'd overcharged us $5 on one of the cards. When I pointed this out to the waitress, she took everything away, voided both transactions, and returned with new chits. Fine. But no apology, not even a smile. Meanwhile, the original itemized bill had gone missing, and when I asked for it back, she practically rolled her eyes and turned on her heel. Nice.

Don't think we'll be going back anytime soon.

  1. genie81 Feb 13, 2009 11:28 AM

    Wow sounds like you had a pretty bad experience. I actually liked Amaya. We had the tandoori duo, parsi paté, butter chicken, seafood xacutti, rice pudding, and spiced chocolate brownie. My comments and photos are at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/593583

    Something that I didn't mention: our food came at a really good pace - wasn't rushed or too slow.

    1. f
      furhead Feb 12, 2009 06:28 AM

      I was at Amaya last night and had a really positive experience. We had a reservation at 8, and didn't leave until 10. The bill was on the table for about a half hour before we paid, but we felt free to linger and even were offered refills of our water several times. We found the portions totally ample, but I can't compare to the non-licious sizes since that was my first visit. The host and our waiter were both really friendly and attentive.

      And no sign of a female waitress with attitude nor were there issues with our bill. I guess we got lucky!

      In any case, my friends and I look forward to returning there for a non-licious meal :)

      1. e
        estragon Feb 9, 2009 04:15 AM

        Oops. I think I need to clarify. We were overcharged $5 on the total bill, not on one Visa vs. the other. I'm not cheap -- had this been handled with grace (and had we not felt rushed from the moment we put down our forks), that $5 would have ended up in the tip. But given the attitude, not a chance.

        1 Reply
        1. re: estragon
          t
          tygrr_lily Feb 9, 2009 07:28 AM

          i had a very similar experience as you at amaya for winterliicous. i wrote a review too but think it's on page 2 or 3 now. we enjoyed the food overall, but thought the portions were a bit small.

          i wonder if we had the same waitress dealing w/ our bill. the amount on ours was correct, but she gave us the wrong amount of change and was very rude. no apology for the wrong amount, no apology for making us wait ages, and we got the whole "eye roll" too. unfortunate, because it somewhat ruined our experience

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