The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – take II

I started this last year, but I think it’s time for an update.

I have been accused of only posting negative comments on this blog, and well – quite rightfully so.  As I have mentioned before, I mainly use this blog for three things:

  1. To vent my own frustrations
  2. To hit people who charge good money for bad service and/or products
  3. A (somewhat vain) hope that occasionally a place might improve their service as a result

A consequence of that is that I rarely bother to write about place that I really like, although an occasional one does sneak in here and there.

The Good

In this category I will put places that I genuinely like.  Doesn’t mean they have to have perfect quality or cheap.  It just means that the overall balance between price and quality is acceptable and the place make an effort to give their customers a nice experience in return for hard earned cash.

Ceylon Bar

Ceylon bar have been around for ages and I always kind of liked the place.  Before they redecorated (in May I think it was) the place was quite seedy looking, to a degree where I actually didn’t go there very much and probably for that reason (although I didn’t really think about it).  After the redecoration the place is nice (although what the fuck were they thinking when they designed the bar – it takes up most of the space there).  I like the owners of the place – always got time for a chat with their customers and never show an arrogant attitude towards them.  I like the staff who all seem to hang around for ages too (which is a good sign – it show that they are being treated nicely and that in turn means that they want to do their best! – take notice – THAT is the way to do it).  The kitchen is quite good too.  It’s not fine dining by any standard, but they use good quality ingredients – and consistently so and the prices are quite reasonable (good value!).

Loco

This place appears to be the latest place by the same team that is running Fish & Chips and Havana and so far it is brilliant.  As the other places it is definitely priced in the high end but so far the quality seems to live up to that price level.  The food is brilliant, the staff is very switched on and attentive and all in all it is a nice Mexican restaurant.

Front Page – Sports Bar

Some time back there was a rumor in the street that the staff at Finnegan’s had been caught stealing and as a result they sacked the whole lot of them.  Somehow Finnegan’s never recovered from that blow and for a year or so it was mostly empty.  Now they have closed and a new Pub have opened on the premises – Front Page.

So far, Front Page is doing very very well.  Beers are among the cheapest in the street, for a pub they got a nice vararity of seating arrangements, the staff is quite switched on and nice, the manager is trying really hard and the result shows.  They have got quite a crowd already.  They got more TV screens than any other bar I’ve been to and they can set them individually, so if there’s a sports event you don’t want to miss, this is the place to go.

Twenty-One

Twenty-One at night is really not my kind of place.  However, the fact that I am an old fart and don’t like noisy and crowded places any longer, is not their fault!  I go to Twenty-One quite a lot for lunch and they got the best lunch deal in town.  It’s obvious that the staff are well trained and quite switched on and they don’t change their staff very much, which is always a good sign!!!  Let me just say that if I had been below 30 this would definitely be a place I would go to quite a lot.

The Bad

The Magnificant Fish & Chip Restaurant

Last time I posted something like this, both this one and Little Havana was placed in the Good section, but this time I have decided to move them to the bad.  Let me explain why.

This one, Little Havana, Loco and Racks are all run by the same owners.  They have come up with a concept and it appears to be working.  Common for all is that they are priced in the absolute top end of the scale.  As readers of this blog will know, I do not really have a problem with that.  Good quality cost money and that is OK.  The problem is that with that price level comes a commitment from the owners – a commitment of delivering and this is where the problem lies.  As they have opened more places, their attention for the old ones have dropped and quality have slipped.

Two years back, the staff at Fish & Chip were all excellent.  Now at least some of them seem to not give a hoot about the customers.  There is one in particular that seems to have a preference for just shouting to the customers asking what they want, rather than actually bother to walk down to them and ask.  I have also experienced a few times that the food was somewhat sub standard.

So is it justified for me to move it to the Bad section?  Well, personally I think it is.  I like Fish & Chips so I sincerely hope that the owners will read this and pay attention.  I sincerely hope that next year it will be back in the Good section.  I hope that the owners remember that they are not competing on price as most other places in the street – they compete on quality!  And when you do compete on quality you simply cannot let that quality slip.

Little Havana

Read my comments for Fish & Chips.  It’s the same thing.  The overall impression seems to be slipping and that is simply not OK when the price level is at the top.

Some random examples: They got a brilliant cover for the bar when it is raining.  Only problem is that it is leaking so you still get soaked.  I don’t want to get wet while sipping beer that is priced 70 % above a bar just across the street where I will stay completely dry.  I pointed this out to one of the bartenders, who just laughed and said (and I shit you not): “It has been like that for the past 3 month”.  Well – if it has – then fix the damn thing!

Another example: I was having a drink there with a friend of mine – who is in the habit of tipping quite well (contrary to me who is a stingy prick).  When he settled his bill, the waiter was walking around a bit trying to look casual while slipping the cash into his own pocket.  When we pointed this out a few of the waiters got noticeable hostile – I guess they don’t like to get caught cheating.

Final example: The valet parking guys outside Havana have almost taken over the whole area to a point where it is impossible to drive or walk because they park cars EVERYWHERE.  Now, I _know_ Havana is not directly running these guys, but they wear Havana t-shirts for crying out loud.  I pointed out to the owner that this was becoming a problem – and his answer: “That is not my problem”.  Well, OK fine – might not directly be your problem, but last year your place was in the Good section, now it is here and next year if things continue in this direction it will be in the Ugly.

 

Gypsy

This one is a hard call.  The thing is, I used to go to Gypsy a lot.  I like the manager there, I like the staff, the prices are absolutely reasonable (not to say the cheapest beer in the street – I think it is actually),  The problem is that the place have turned completely Indian over the last year.  Now, let me stress (and this is important dammit) that I am not racist and I don’t mean this in a racist way.  Quite the opposite really.  I would dislike a place in Kuala Lumpur that was 100 % white, 100 % Chinese or 100 % Malay too.  I like places with a mixed crowd.  Go to any of the places in the Good section and you will indeed find whites, malays, indians and chinese happily mixing together.  Gypsy used to be like that and I know I can’t really blame the management for the change that’s happened and I really don’t know why it happened – but fact is – it did – and I don’t like that.

The Ugly

In this section you will find the real horror stories.  It’s not enough to be bad to get here!  A place that is bad (and by bad I mean one thing – the price they charge is not justified by the service or goods they deliver) will go in the Bad section.  In order to be here in the Ugly section they will need to combine bad with a serious attitude problem.  It should be obvious for readers of this blog that I seriously dislike places that piss on their customers and take them for granted.  An arrogant attitude towards customers is what is needed to put a place in this section and they all deserve to be here!

Pinchos

Quite expensive and extremely inconsistent food quality.  The owner actively try to hide bad reviews (for example delete them from their Facebook page) and it’s always quite suspicious with places that does not stand up to scrutiny.  What is even worse, the owner will argue his case rather than to listen to well justified complaints.  If you feel in a gambling mood, by all means give it a shot – you might get lucky or you might get unlucky.

The Social

This one no longer exist.  Last review I placed it somewhere along side of Pinchos as the worst in Changkat, but it has since gone out of business.  One can only hope that bad reviews were part of what took it down.

El Cerdito

Only went in there once.  The tapas was quite poor and about 1/3 of my order never arrived.  When I asked for the bill, all the dishes I ordered were there (including the ones that never arrived to my table) and somehow an extra beer had founds it’s way in there.  When I pointed this out to the manager he did remove the stuff that I did not receive but he was quite rude about it and insisted on double checking everything – as if I had tried to cheat him.  Not worth the trouble!

Also, this place and the place next door seem to think that the sidewalk is their private car park, so in order to pass the place one have to negotiate the cars driving on the street.  Well – fuck you!  I am NOT going to spend money at places where pleasing a few customers are so important that the rest of us have to risk our lives walking past your place.