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May 8, 2010 02:31 PM

Service vs Food - can one fix the other? [moved from Ontario board]

If you were to eat at a restaurant where the service was absolutely disrespectful and rude, would the quality of the food be able to outweigh the negativity?

For example, I've been to Casa Imperial twice for dim sum - the food is excellent, the quality of the tea leaves superb, BUT the service...sigh, it nearly broke me...

The first time around, a server removes a plate, that still had a significant portion on it, as my chopsticks were hovering above it, about to pick something up.

Second time, we are seated, jackets off, tea is served. The hostess comes up and asks us to get up and give back the table, as she had "promised" the table to someone else. The bunch of us looked at each other, "Are you kidding?" It seems we were seated ahead of someone else who was waiting, and that they wanted the particular table we were sitting, no other table would do. We explain that one of our party went to the washroom, that we'll move when she comes back and would she please, in the meanwhile, get a new table set up, as there were plenty of other tables free. She said no, that the other party was waiting, picked up the purse and jacket that belonged to the party in the washroom and moved us to another table that wasn't even set up. After a bit of complaining, we just left it at that, but it ruined the mood we were all in.

In both cases, however, the situations were redeemed by the quality of the food. Would I return though? I'll be considering really hard.

Anyone else have similar situations elsewhere?

Casa Imperial
4125 Steeles Ave E, Scarborough, ON M1W 3T4, CA

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  1. There's a place down here in Houston that serves some of the best crawfish in town, during the season. The service dipped from indifferent, to bad, finally to belligerent from management after I sent back a crab cake that came back cold from the kitchen, twice. The manager slammed the dish down on the table after the second reheating. I ended up calling the manager an a-hole, tipped the waitress, it wasn't her fault, left and haven't been back in years.

    1. Nope. I can't tolerate bad service. When a server is rude or just wants you to shovel the food in your mouth so you can tip and leave, how can you be comfortable there? I don't need them to stay and talk to me about my day, just be friendly and available.

      There are many restaurants here in Los Angeles where I enjoy the food, sometimes crave it, but don't go to because the service. It's never rude (otherwise I'd never even consider going back) but just disorganized and irritating.

      1. in London's Queensway there is a famous Indian restaurant called Khan's. The food is good but the service is known to be terrible and terrible it is. Rude waiters, so fast they have you in and out in about 30 minutes. It's all about turning the tables and the customer is the least important thing in there. Been twice and would never go again.

        1. Can it fix it?

          Possibly - but probably not. Good service and good food are both elements of whether I enjoy a meal. Doesnt matter if this a Michelin starred place or a back street greasy spoon (although the expectations are obviously different).

          1. Great idea for a post dachopstix! I've read all the replies so far and it seems my fellow hounds are in agreement. It's simple for me. I never go where I am not welcome. Sounds like a good way to get indigestion. Since today is mother's day, the busiest restaurant day of the year, common sense does apply. If I was brave enough to eat out today I would lower my expectations. I did have an odd problem a few months ago at a thai restaurant that is very convenient to where I live. I couldn't finish my shrimp dish and deliberately left plenty of shrimp so I could enjoy it later. I was crazy enough to let the waitress pack my to go container and hours later discovered my shrimp had gone missing. The service had been fine but we were seated next to the kitchen and there was some cursing and fooling around going on. I thought nothing of it at the time but a lot of bad things happen in businesses when there is no manager present. I think it was just a fluke but I haven't wanted to eat there since. I did get take out once. somewhat reluctantly. Happy Mother's Day to all! I'm cooking at home today. :)