Nice eating places (and nice to means one thing and one thing alone: good value for money) is hard to come by in Kuala Lumpur. There are lots and lots of overpriced show off places, and there are lots of places serving cheap rubbish. Places that do descent food at the right price – these are very few and far between. Because of that, I do tend to be a bit unadventurous these days. Today however I decided to give “The Social” in Changkat Bukit Bintang a shot for lunch.
I’ve been walking passed this place a hundred times, but for some reason I never ventured inside before. Instincts? Perhaps, and if it is, I should learn to follow my instincts.
The menu was the usual mix of burgers and pasta, but one thing from the menu did look reasonably interesting:
A platter to share sounded OK for lunch, considering we were two. I mean, after all the Social is boosting itself like this one the same menu:
So it would at least appear if they are trying.
The platter, however, was quite disappointing. Let me sum up what was on it:
* 2 skewers, one with one piece of lamb and one piece of sausage, the other with two pieces of lamb.
* 2 tiny meat balls – lamb I would assume.
* 1 (I kid you not) Pita bread divided into four pieces.
* 2 small bowls with the humus and moutabbel – containing about a tablespoon-full each
* A bit of salad that wasn’t particularly fresh and didn’t have any dressing whatsoever
And that’s it. The “chorizo sausage” was one piece on one of the skewers. Even if this had been excellent it would have been quite stingy for RM 36 and most certainly not enough to share. Since the only chicken was the one piece on one skewer and my partner doesn’t like lamb, I ended up eating most myself and I was still quite hungry after.
What is far worse though was that it really wasn’t very good. The meat was not tender and had a really odd taste to it (and no – I love lamb and know how it’s supposed to taste!), and when I say not tender I really had to work hard to chew through it (one of the pieces appeared quite raw although it was still gray in color). The salad was probably fresh a few days before served but most certainly not when it was served. The cost of four pieces of lamb and two table spoonfulls of what is essentially eggplant and chickpeas and one pita bread is what – RM 3-4 and they charge RM 36. I think I have a right to expect the meat to be of good quality at least and well prepared.
When the waiter cleared the table I did inform her that it wasn’t very good (not that she bothered to ask) and she told me she would tell the chef. A bit later I asked her how the chef reacted and she told me: “he was laughing”. Now this really piss me off. Did she really imagine that I told them because I wanted to entertain the staff? If anything I told her to give her (and the chef) a change to make up for it somehow. I told her that I really wasn’t joking at all and that I found it quite offensive that the chef was only laughing. She THEN informed me that the chef wasn’t really there – it was just some assistant. I suggested her that she called her boss and let him know that the chef ASSISTANT found it amusing that one of the customers had rubbish food, and well I can only assume that she did in fact tell her boss, because when the bill came it looked like this:
WTF! 10 % discount? Who the hell do they think they are (and more to the point, who the hell do they think I am). They have the nerve so charge RM 36++ for four tiny pieces of meat that was off and a bit of salad that was off, prepared by the chefs assistant (and I can guarantee you that wasn’t the one who won the awards they were bragging about) and they give me 10 % discount as if that would make it any better. This is really truly offensive!
In short this place is unfortunately quite typical of Kuala Lumpur. They spend all the money on making it look fancy, but they have absolutely no pride in their kitchen and absolutely no respect for their customers. What is even worse, how can they let unqualified staff in charge of their kitchen? If I go down with a food poisoning (I’ll add that in a few hours) I will sue them.
Needless to say, the Social is one place I will not visit again and if you dear reader got any taste what so ever, neither will you (or at least ask to meet the chef before you order!).
Update Mar. 3, 2011
I posted a link to this blog entry on The Social’s Facebook page, and not only did they delete that, they also removed me from the page. That doesn’t really come as a surprise though. It’s fairly symptomatic for this kind kind of places. Restaurants that sell overpriced food at questionable quality are always extremely sensitive about poor reviews. I guess that is the only way they can maintain an “air” of exclusivity about them. Anyway – they can’t control Google, so this review will remain here and it will remain in Google search results.
Update Apr. 21, 2012
Another one bites the dust. While it often amazes me how long places with poor service or poor products can survive, eventually they do go down, and “Social” is no different. Back in February it closed down and they absolutely deserve it.