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Aug 4, 2014 08:06 PM

Momofuku restaurants at ShangriLa - why no prices on on line menus?

I am less inclined to visit any of the David Chang restaurants at the Shangri La hotel since I have no idea what to expect in cost. Seems in keeping with his generally profane and f*** you attitude towards his clientele. Why not walk a couple of blocks to Spadina and dig in at Kings Noodles, Rol San, I'm sure there are others on that strip that Chowhounders could recommend that would leave DC's places in the dust for a fraction of the prices he's charging and too shy to publicize!

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  1. I suppose he figures "if you have to ask, you can't afford it" ?

    I don't bother visiting any place that does not post prices.

    1. Laziness, but also because the menus change a lot. Noodle is cheap (<$30 pp), Daisho is expensive (~$100pp), shoto is very expensive ($180 pp +). Shoto and Daisho large format is priced online.

      It's annoying but no big deal.

      7 Replies
      1. re: BigBabyYeezuS

        One of the more annoying quirks of online menus: many restos are reluctant to divulge their prices. Or, if they list menu prices, they don't reveal their wine, beer and alcohol prices. I suppose there's some sort of market psychology behind that, and I'd be intrigued to learn what it might be. Surely, if prices change, it's not all that hard to change the prices on the website. If I'm considering a resto for a first visit, I'll often want to know the price structure. And if I don't find it on the website, I'll probably go elsewhere.

        Note: an example of a solid resto website: Miller Tavern, an acceptable-enough resto near where I live in York Mills. All prices for both food and alcohol are meticulously listed, and promptly changed when necessary. There are many others. Just as there are many, many sloppy websites with prices, and menu offerings, months - even years - out of date. I feel obliged to avoid such joints. If they can't get the little details of their website straight, I start to wonder about their ability to properly run a resto.

        1. re: juno

          Millar Tavern does not list beer, liquor or cocktail prices on their online menus so I would not say that "All prices for both food and alcohol are meticulously listed, and promptly changed when necessary". Also they only list the wine prices of the bottles that they serve by the glass. I know they have a larger wine selection than that at the Bay St location let alone their advertised "over 100 whiskeys" none of which prices are listed online. They do not even mention the prices of their oysters for the oyster bar.

          I agree that food menus should list prices where appropriate I do not think that liquor prices, specials or "market" price items need to be updated. This is not online shopping, to me a restaurant website is to give you a feel for the place type of food location etc. AND yes an idea of the food prices... but I know that if a place has mains over $40 that their drink prices will also be high..

          But really if you go to a restaurant and they charge you $7 for a cocktail vs $6 does it really change your experience that much? These people are in the food business I would rather them spend their time, energy & money on the food than on updating their website.

          1. re: pourboi

            You're right. Beer and liquor prices are no longer listed on the Miller's Tavern's north Toronto website, as they used to be. I must admit It has been awhile since I peeked at the website because, as an every-now-and-then customer, there was no need for me to do so - I almost know the menu, wine, beer and alcohol list by heart. But despite what pourboi suggests, ALL wine prices are listed, including those sold only by the bottle (except for those rare wines on the so-called cellar list). Simply click on Wine List to discover the details.

            The point is: the Miller Tavern has a first-rate informational website. Would that more restos had the same. I too would like a resto to primarily spend its creative energies on its food, but it doesn't take THAT much more energy to keep the website current and detailed. (There's an Italian resto south on Yonge St. from the Miller, that has a menu and wine price list that's more than two years old, and bears only a vague resemblance to today's actual menu in the restaurant. First-time customers are in for a rude shock.)

            As-complete-as-possible disclosure is always appreciated - it can even help bring in new customers.

            1. re: juno

              Yes perfect world everything would be easy and all information would be online but even the biggest corporations with IT departments have a hard time doing it so a lttle mom and pop can be given some slack...

              To me if the restaurant has their "base menu" online with prices that is all I need...

              so my list would be:

              1) list name
              2) list address
              3) list hours and days open
              4) list phone number / email address / twitter / facebook
              5) list if they take reservations or not
              6) base (standard) food menu w/ prices
              7) list payment options (only if they do NOT take mjor cedit cards)

              1. re: pourboi

                Slack... Hmmm... I don't care how the information is presented. I just want to get it easily. A simple text file even! Dead easy.

        2. re: BigBabyYeezuS

          Isn't Asian noodle soup supposed to be <$3 pp? Not <$30? What is it after all, pork bone broth (cheapest of all meat and bones) with some cheap seasoning, some pieces of meat, some veg, and noodles, which are made from flour and water. The ingredients are the same whether you're in a swanky Chef's place in a swish hotel on University Avenue or you are in King's Noodles on Spadina, much loved by off duty chefs. The quality of the ingredients may be much better at the Shangri La restaurants, but for this type of meal, basically fast street food, it seems ludicrous to be paying more than a few bucks.
          What next? $40 Dosas?

          1. re: KitchenVoodoo

            This is a strange argument. All food at restaurants costs more than what it would cost to buy the ingredients and make it at home -- it's the experience of going out as well as the expertise of the chef that you go for. If you don't like Noodle Bar…which you clearly don't…don't go there?

        3. Restaurant website musts:

          1) list name
          2) list address
          3) list hours and days open
          4) list phone number
          5) list reservation requirements (if any)
          6) food menu
          7) drink menu
          8) prices
          9) list payment options (especially if it's cash only)
          10) keep updated

          Two nice-to-haves:

          1) mobile friendly
          2) list daily specials

          It's frustrating that so many restaurants can't simply do the above. I am also less likely to visit any place that I can't get that info from their website.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lister

            I hope every resto everywhere reads this lister... It's annoying when I have out of town friends asking for restaurant recommendations and the restos don't have a menu or pricing online. What is reasonable in price to me might be expensive to someone else and likewise I'd like them to see what's on the menu so they can tell for themselves if it appeals to them or not.

          2. >>> Restaurant website musts:

            A restaurant website should also indicate wheelchair accessibility.

            9 Replies
            1. re: canmark

              Your comment made me think about how often I see a person with a wheelchair in a restaurant. I doubt I see two people with wheelchairs each year. But yes that should be posted on the site.

              1. re: foodyDudey

                Nice to have would be whether the washrooms involve climbing stairs - for those who have creaky hips or knees :)

                And isn't website content something that's usually outsourced to a site design/hosting company? I figured the restaurant could just e-mail changes to the host so they don't actually have to spend time tweaking the site content themselves.

                  1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                    There are many ways to make websites, some can be set up so that someone without much experience can change prices and text easily, so there is not much reason that a menu can not be updated weekly or monthly.

                    1. re: foodyDudey

                      Not as easy as you think (I do it for a living) problem is that there are so many items and so many similar prices it is easy to mistype.. And as items change or things like wine get sold out are the vintage changes... just a pain in the butt

                      1. re: pourboi

                        "Pain in the butt". Is that really a good excuse?

                        1. re: justsayn

                          Pain in the butt translates to time spent which translates to cost that is going to have to be added to the cost of the meal.

                          1. re: bytepusher

                            I hear ya but restaurant owners need to know. Buy a website that allows for easy menu updates. It doesn't cost more and it should be an obvious requirement. The owner, the manager, the chef, the staff...someone can update the online menu. Not all wines coming and going need to be listed, nor do the dailies.

                            Anyway, it's the details and customer care that count so sometimes a pain in the butt needs to be endured. Plus it makes for excellent SEO.

                  2. re: foodyDudey

                    Maybe you don't see people in wheelchairs because so many places have non-accessible basement washrooms?
                    I got some inkling of what it would be like to get around this town in a chair (or simply unable to do a lot of stairs) during my stroller pushing days. Not easy at all.

                1. They'll happily send you a menu with prices if you call and ask. They change their menu daily, so I assume it's because of how often the menu changes.