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Ka Chi Korean Restaurant- Shocking, unbelievably rude service!

Let me preface story this with a few points:

1) I like the food at Ka Chi. I've eaten at many of the Korean eateries around Christie and I think that it stands up pretty well.

2) I don't particularly care about service. Growing up, when my family ate out, we ate mostly at the sort of reasonably priced Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants where the maxim “bad atmosphere, good food” often holds true. My mom grew up in Singapore raised us to enjoy tasty, unpretentious food.

3) I don't make a habit of complaining on the internet (and I don't post on these forums very often.) I find it heartbreaking when a restaurant gets an overly terrible review that lingers on the internet like slow poison. Take this post as a sign of how angry I am.

So, myself and a very good long-time friend were enjoying a meal at the Ka Chi. I don't think that we were eating particularly slowly but we were chatting and enjoying each other's company. I still had soup in my bowl, when one of the waiters came up to us and suggested we should leave because the restaurant was full and he wanted to seat new diners. We both found this incredibly rude but we cut short our conversation and started to leave.

My friend paid the bill but did not leave a tip. I don't recall ever not leaving a tip but I would have done the same in this case. The man running the place was so upset about this that, as we were leaving, he YELLED at us (somewhat redundantly) “Get out of here! Get out of here! Don't ever come back!”, and so forth until we were out the door.

Let me just me be clear that neither us was rude to anybody. The bill was paid and we had every right not to tip-- many people, I think, would have done the same. In other words, we did nothing that deserved being yelled at in front of a crowded restaurant as if we had done something illegal. It was the sort of experience that ruins an evening.

Anyway, the next time you go out for Korean food around Christie, you might consider patronizing one of the many other restaurants that aren't run by psychos.

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  1. Pity! You should have recorded the whole incidence and post it on Youtube!

    1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA I'm sorry, I"m sure it wasn't funny but same thing happened to my friend at another restaurant before and I'm always amused at the audacity of some people.

      Ah I can kinda understand about the waiter situation though, cause if there was a lot of people waiting they'll probably really pissed off so I'll probably get some people to leave quicker, I don't know how he talked to you though.

      But wow that man. I'm used to cheap Asian places and I'm a bit shocked. I'll stick to the one near Chinatown...

      1. I'm in a minority here, perhaps only me, but I've always felt Ka-Chi is overrated, I've never understood its loyal following. I've eaten at both locations several times, after the first it was against my better judgement, but having faith in CH, I've returned several times to see if I was missing something, I wasn't.
        My issues aren't with service; it's neither good nor bad , just kids with part-time jobs. The problem for me is the food. It's nothing special at all, the banchan are served in sample size quantity and whenever I've ordered a meat dish, the paucity of the meat is appalling. The last time I went to the one in Kensington, I ordered a beef bibimbap and there was no meat to be seen. I almost sent it back thinking the server had misunderstood me and had sent a vegetarian version by mistake. It wasn't until, after much excavation, I found the gram of beef that I realized I was "wrong".

        3 Replies
        1. re: ziggystardust

          I'm with you! I think Ka Chi is way overrated.
          Strangely, much of the staff at the Koreatown location is Chinese, and in my limited experience the place seems to be way more popular with Chinese diners than Korean ones (I speak Chinese and some Korean). When I began to stare at staff speaking Chinese, one quickly switched to Korean. But basically my sense has been that Ka-Chi serves Korean food for a Chinese clientele.
          When I've been, the food was OK (except for the worst kimchee I've eaten in my life), the food spicy but not flavorful (unlike the soondubu place 2-3 doors West of Ka-Chi), and so loaded with MSG I nearly passed out.
          No more Ka-Chi for me!

          1. re: plumsauce

            Whether it's Chinese, Japanese or Korean owned, I don't know what race has to do with this. I just went to Zen for Japanese Sushi and ~80% of the clientele were Chinese, including 2 of the 3 sushi chefs behind the bar and they serve one of the best sushi in the city regardless of the race of the clientele or staff.

            1. re: syoung

              Yeah, who cares what ethnic background the ownership or cooks or clientele come from. Totally irrelevant and not sure why it would be mentioned like this.

              Also, I'm extremely sensitive to MSG, and I've never had any sort of reaction at Ka-Chi.

        2. Was it the younger guy with very good english? Everytime I've been there he's been the server and can't imagine that could happen. To be honest it sounds like we are hearing only one side of the story. I am definitely not a so called "ka chi loyalist".

          Could it be possible your friend had some choice words with the guy when paying the bill?

          1 Reply
          1. re: szw

            Honestly, no. My friend is not a "choice words" kind of person. The guy asked him why he didn't leave a tip, he said something like "we were hardly done eating" and then buddy hit the roof.
            It probably wasn't the person you are thinking of. It was an older gentleman.
            Anyway, It seems to me that if your restaurant is full, you should count your blessings rather than pushing people out the door. It's not like we were really taking our time. I don't recall there being a lot of people waiting.

            ziggystardust - where do you go for Korean?

          2. Ka Chi is very mediocre to me too. Though I like going to Ajuker for their fried chicken and hot chicken. It really depends on your dish, I guess!

            -----
            Ka Chi
            612 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G1K7, CA

            Afc Ajuker Canada
            680 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G1L2, CA

            1 Reply
            1. re: jlunar

              Agreed Ka Chi actually made my wife nearly pass out due to the MSG. She's korean too. I had hives all over my body. I know MSG is sort of unavoidable at Korean and Chinese places but neither of us have experienced it quite like at Ka Chi.