|VOLUME XIII No. 91||W E D N E S D A Y||May 18, 2011|
RESTAURANTS OF HONGKONG ...
AND THE WORST !
|Name of Restaurant||Bettys Kitschen|
|Address of Restaurant||Shop 2075, Podium Level Two, IFC Mall, No. 8, Finance Street, Central, Hongkong|
|Date of Visit||Monday, May 9, 2011|
|Attentiveness to Customers’ Needs||Excellent||Acceptable||Poor|
|Product Expertise of Serving Staff||Excellent||Acceptable||Poor|
|Speed of Service||Excellent||Acceptable||Poor|
|Cleanliness of Uniform and Serving Staff||Excellent||Acceptable||Poor|
|Storage of Wine||Good||Poor||Unknown|
|Expertise of Sommelier||Excellent||Acceptable||None|
|Total Cost of Meal|
|Moderately Expensive||Very Reasonably Priced|
|Name of Food and Beverage Manager||None|
|Name of Master Chef||
(Staff did not know the correct spelling)
Bettys Kitschen has only been open about one month and, already, many of the serving staff have learnt the gentle art of uttering prevarications to customers rather than indicating their complete ignorance of the items of food, listed on the menu, or the reason that a certain bottle of wine is not in stock.
If the above is not correct, then, most of the serving staff is either completely untrained or completely stupid or a combination of both.
TARGET (泰達財經) visited Bettys Kitschen (yes, that is the correct spelling of the name of this restaurant, as shown on the calling card and the receipts that are issued at the conclusion of a meal) last Monday-week, May 9, 2011, when the restaurant was said to have been only 10 days old, according to the statement of one of the waitresses.
At 7:00 p.m. sharp, this reviewer ordered a bottle of Malbec ‘Quimera’, Achaval Ferrer, a lovely pouring wine from Argentina at a cost of $HK400.
About 5 minutes after the order had been taken by a waiter, a female dropped by, wearing a black, smock-like garment, and said, very sweetly:
‘We are all out of this wine. We had a party and the customers drank it all. Very popular! And there will not be another delivery for at least a month. Sorry. Would you like to choose another kind?
One can but ponder whether or not this little lady was telling the entire truth or, due to the fact that the wine, having been ordered, was only $HK400 per bottle, the restaurant staff had been encouraged ‘to milk’ patrons as hard as they could or, in the alternative, the Hongkong supplier of this Argentine wine only permitted a limited number of bottles to be placed in the restaurant on consignment and, when they were sold, it was cash on the barrel head for replacement bottles.
Bettys Kitschen did have a bottle of Chianti Classico Riserva, Vintage 2006, Villa di Geggiano, an Italian wine, made from Sangiovese grapes, at $HK670 per bottle.
Before the time that this Tuscany wine had arrived, the waiter had placed a bottle of sparkling water on the table and, due to the fact that the bottle and its contents were very cold and the temperature of the restaurant was much warmer than the water in the bottle or the glass bottle, itself, condensation occurred, quickly, make the paper tablecloth wet in the surrounding area of the bottle.
It took 3 attempts to get 3 separate service staff either to have the paper tablecloth changed or, in the alternative, cover the offending soggy mess that was being created by the water, seeping down the water bottle’s neck.
By about this time, TARGET’s reviewing team was becoming more than a little frustrated.
However, taking into account that this was a very young restaurant and the staff must have been a little squeamish in serving customers, TARGET was willing to let the entire opening scene at Bettys Kitschen fade into the ether … for the time being.
Ordering The Food
After carefully studying the menu, since the Chianti, which had been stored at about 12 degrees Celsius, making it much too cold to drink, immediately (another error), TARGET determined that it would be a nice touch to order a plate of Kintoa Ham.
Now, to be perfectly honest, this reviewer had never heard of Kintoa Ham and so the waiter was asked as to the origin of the ham.
‘It is French,’ came the answer. And, then, he added: ‘All of the foods is Frenchy.’
This young man, clearly, was not an ethnic Chinese because the Chinese translation of the ham – which had not, originally, been noted by TARGET– stated that the ham had come from Basque Country, the northern Spanish Province of Navarra.
An ethnic Indian was, then, assigned as TARGET’s waiter for the evening and he, immediately, corrected the first waiter, stating that the ham was of Spanish origin.
It was ordered at a cost of $HK98 per wooden plank, measuring about 18 inches by 8 inches.
And it was excellent and was a very acceptable complement to the wine which, by this time, was improving as it became warmer.
(For what reason would a fairly good bottle of red wine be stored at such a cold level is beyond the imagination of this humble reviewer, but, perhaps, Betty, if there, really, is such a person, knows the answer.)
After finishing off the ham in its entirety, the following dishes were ordered:
Ttorodu Socca Fisherman’s Soup
Foie Gras Terrine with French Bean Salad and Black Truffles
Stuffed Calamari with Chorizo Venere Black Rice and Lobster
Steak and Duck Fat Fries
The only real negative comment about the above dishes was in respect of the soup course, which was too cold to melt the cream at the bottom of the serving dish, so that, when the broth was transferred into the soup plate, it was even colder, making it horrible and, sadly, insipid.
It should have been good and, had attention been paid to detail, it would have been similar to a French, bouillabaisse-style soup; unfortunately, it translated into a worthless mess.
As for the other dishes, compliments should be paid to the person in charge of creating the terrine, having been made in-house, TARGET was told by the British maitre d’hotel (assumed).
As for the steak and duck fat fries, this dish was passable, but not as good as it should have been, with the French fries, having been refried, or something, so that they were lukewarm and soggy.
This was a real pity and was another example of the lack of accountability with regard to the kitchen staff, the serving staff and the Executive Chef, on the assumption that there was such an individual.
Bettys Kitschen is a restaurant that can accommodate about 100 diners and is serviced, on the night of TARGET’s visit, by some 12 staff members.
The ethnic Indian, who was assigned to TARGET’s table, seemed to know a little more than the other (obviously) untrained and ignorant serving staff, most of whom seemed to be interested, only, in smiling at each other and walking up and down the lane in the middle of the restaurant, trying to appear to be busy – while some of the patrons, tried with little luck in catching their attention.
The restaurant was not too noisy so that one could hear the complaints, emanating from nearby patrons who were, from time to time, ‘begging’ for a plate or a spoon or a napkin or another bottle of water.
This is not to suggest that the serving staff did not attempt to be helpful, it was, simply, that they had not an inkling as to what action to take in order to become useful and pleasant toward patrons.
It is noted that this medium did not select any dessert, simply because nothing could have appealed to anybody, wanting to satisfy that sweet tooth, as the saying goes.
For a French-styled restaurant, all that TARGET can say is:
‘Shame on you, Betty !
TARGET makes every attempt to ensure accuracy of all data published,
TARGET cannot be held responsible for any errors and/or omissions.