Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Just another bad menu selection?

Kitchenslut returned to Havana Music Cafe in Lake St at the weekend. My previous comment on this was negative while all around on that night seemed enraptured. Sorry, but my initial concern with the food was only confirmed.

It's not that the food is bad but rather just very ordinary and poor value! KS went along with his visiting niece who tends to be adventurous and likes spicey food but as a maturing Gen Y palate perhaps not too hot. The food we were served was just hot but without any real flavour.

Both dishes came with a mound of ordinary boiled rice and flat bread, as though more carbohydrate was needed? The actual meal aside this was ..... ummm ..... let's say conservative? My Haitian Fish stew was a brownish flavourless hot concoction of no distinction. OK that was a bit too much hyperbole but it wasn't worth a quality restaurant experience. A far cry from my exceptional Mr Jerk Carribean experience in London a few years back!

Let's face a few facts on Havana Bar. It's a great concept and is doing well it seems. It draws a prominent local crowd of identities who I can only presume are there for the excellent music ambience and not the food, at least in my humble opinion?


nomooremike said...

That's handy then, you won't be there, more room for those of us who appreciate the place.

KitchenSlut said...

But I do appreciate the place nomooremike. It's just that they haven't yet served me any good food! Oh, and unless you know the owner the service can be more than iffy also!

nomooremike said...

I find food critics to be a cowardly lot. I bet you said nothing about the food to the owner. You'd have sat down, eaten your food, paid the bill, thanked the waiter/waitress, left a tip, and then left.

Did you introduce yourself? Did you complain about the food? Did you leave suggestions?

The owner, Brett, would have been grateful for the feedback, he wants more than anything to make the place work. I've mentioned you to him, when he first opened, he looked forward to your comments, unfortunately he has to find your blog to read them.

People like you could help the restaurants in Cairns, if only you were brave enough to whinge to the owners, instead of on here.

KitchenSlut said...

"KS was later engaged in discussion at the bar by the waitress on the 'oomphness' of the prawn curry. At least they are thinking!"

This is from my previous post nomooremike with direct feedback. Why should I introduce myself? Would that make a difference to my experience?

No I didn't leave a tip which was the only place in town while my family was here that I didn't.

It's a great place much needed in Cairns. However, the food I have had there personally has just been disappointing!

nomooremike said...

Surely the role of a food critic is to inspire improvement by constructive criticism?

How can one achieve this by anonymity?

None of the world's top critics are/were anonymous, Ronay, Shindler, Simon, etc..

I know it can be difficult to speak up sometimes, for fear of an argument of the sort I was subjected to at Montezumas when it first opened, when I told them it was the worst Mexican food I have ever tasted, bland and boring.

But it got others there speaking up too, and my opinion of the food was shared by some of those other diners. Now, according to some, the standard has improved.

Was that in part down to me? Who knows, I wouldn't eat there again, and they probably wouldn't serve me anyway.

If Havana served me food I didn't like I'd tell them, because I'd want it improved for my next visit.

Brett ran the Calypso Backpackers in Digger Street, and had a very prominent suggestion box, maybe restaurants should do the same.

Arthur said...

I'm with you KS. But unlike you once was enough. And I don't make a habit of complaining unless there is something seriously wrong - the last time was food that wasn't cooked, at Sarayi Palm Cove's Rising Sun, sister to Nu Nu. I had a meal at Sea Temple recently and it was very stodgy in parts. I also got taken to Tamarind a month ago and it was much the same. And the service in all three places was pretty average, to say the least

I'm can't be bothered complaining any more because it achieves nothing. The losers and no-hopers who by and large run Cairns' hotels and restaurants are deaf, dumb and blind.

KitchenSlut said...

I think you have hit a nail on the head there Arfur! I absolutely agree with what you have said on compaints! Kitchenslut is not a professional critic and doesn't pretend to be!

When I am out with friends or family the last thing I want is to turn the event into some kind of Masterchef event! I want to enjoy myself and not be diverted by food criticism? Isn't that what most people want?

With regards complaints anonimity from the anonymous nomooremike .... ummm ..... hello!

Chuckie said...

During a recent outing, a group of 3 of us (1 of whom was vego) ordered 2 platters of tasters to share. I think the most telling part was when I informed my friends they owed $36 (between them) - which covered exactly half the amount owing - which they happily paid thinking they had covered the entire bill!!
So KS, as a Havana fan, I sadly concur the food is not what it could be. However, I think your remark about the service being "iffy unless you know the owner", is quite unfair. I can only assume this is reference to fact some guests are greeted by name, which I regard as being good business practice and quite different to the selective treatment you suggest.

KitchenSlut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

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