Tuesday, January 3, 2012

hairy food at Badde Manors

I’ve eaten at Badde Manors several times and was never disappointed. I boasted the place to my girlfriends who have never been there before as it has a wide range of vegetarian dishes, was relatively cheap and the food was delicious. The atmosphere is casual, diverse and welcoming. However, this time was different. I left disappointed and embarrassed for recommending the place.

One of my friends and I ordered the tofu burger and falafel burger. These were simple, large and satisfying. My tofu burger may have had too much sweet chilli sauce on it, but this wasn’t a big problem as I could just scrape it off with a butter knife. The tofu was just your average (probably Western) supermarket deep-fried tofu. Nevertheless, I appreciated the thought of having a vegetarian-friendly burger.

However, my friend had an unfortunate run of experiences. She ordered a Morrocan tagine. When it came out, we were all jealous at its wholesome and home-made appearance. However, it didn’t take long for my friend to stumble upon a small curly blonde hair (luckily not a pubic hair) in her food. She called over the waitress and complained about it. The waitress seemed embarrassed and hesitated to decide how to solve the problem. In a daze, she offered to replace the meal.

The second tagine came out in 10 minutes. By this time, I had already finished my meal (maybe bad manners on my half). As my friend carefully picked away at the dish, she found another blonde hair – this time it was around 10 cm long. This was disgusting and barely forgivable. I took a blurred picture of it as my friend hurriedly called another waitress. After explaining the situation, the second waitress gave a half-blank stare to my friend. Utter awkwardness. There was no casual apology, but an offer to refund the meal. Overall, my friend probably ate half a full sized meal. She was too disgusted to order anything else from this place which is understandable.
The same friend’s tap water also had black debris floating through it and the waitresses constantly forgot to give her cutlery to eat with… She might have been better off to not eat the tagines anyway.

A few years ago, my friend told me that Badde Manors was infamous for the shocking customer service. The restaurant had to improve this because they were losing customers. However, it seems that the bad manners have made a come back. What a pity – I loved the food in that place. Maybe better luck next time.

I’ve worked in restaurants for many years and have been on the other side – the young clueless waitress who has to deal with customer complaints. I’ve heard horror stories of bandaids being found in dishes. However, in the face of a complaint, I would always be extremely extremely apologetic and deal with it immediately, usually through a refund or direct apology from the chef.

The best customer service I received in response to a food complaint was at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. I was eating a risotto and bit into the chipped-off corner of a plastic take away container. I complained and the waitress was genuinely apologetic. She spoke to her manager and offered to refund the meal and give me a free slice of cake (cake always wins my heart).

1 comment:

  1. thanks for taking the time to write this up anthea. I dont even think I got to half a full meal. I was eating really slow the second time round being really wary of finding something else. And I was literally sipping the juice and some peas till I found something again. I probably shouldn't have asked for the same thing again but it was suh a shame because it looked really good.

    I understand that wait staff are on the frontline of things and often get the blame but as you said a sincere concerned apology from the chef would be nice. Refunding would be a given to me.


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