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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Updated: The Ticket Kitchen and Bar = The Great Fail

I will start off by saying that this is not our typical post.  There are no photos or praise in the passage below.  This is simply an account of failure at a grand level.

I recently dined at a restaurant with some friends and had such a terrible experience that I feel compelled to warn anyone out there considering eating there.  The restaurant is called The Ticket Kitchen and Bar and prior to renovations was known as Players Chophouse.  Anyway, we ventured there on a Sunday evening but this restaurant was deserted.  Keep in mind that it is in the heart of downtown, steps away from BC Place. 

And so it begins.  The hostess arrived and asked us for drinks and gave us the menus.  We informed her that we had two groupons to split between the six of us and asked if there were any menu restrictions.  We were guaranteed that there were none.  Four of us ordered drinks which arrived in a few minutes, the two of us who ordered water waited 10 minutes and had to prompt once more for water.  Then the waitress (not the same person who brought us drinks) arrived and took all of our orders.  About 25 minutes later our food arrived.  Twenty-five minutes in a restaurant that was deserted?? Wow.  From my seat I could see into their prep kitchen and saw about 5 or 6 people just standing around chatting and playing with utensils the entire time we waited.

Anyway, the food was mediocre.  The bread on my burger was burnt on the outside and my fries lacked crunch, freshness, and flavor.  I don’t think they make their fries themselves; they tasted like store bought ones.  The steak was alright but nothing spectacular.

Once we finished eating, our table was cleared and we waited patiently for the bill.  After what must have been half an hour, the bill finally arrived.  Not sure what took so long because the entire time I could see the staff just standing around in the kitchen chatting.  The bill totaled ~140 dollars for the 6 of us (5 steaks and 1 salmon burger); yes quite pricey for bar food.

This is where the experience just blew up.

When we showed our groupons to the waitress, she was upset and taken aback.  She said in an incredulous voice “Are you kidding me!? You know you’re supposed to show me that at the beginning right?  There are restrictions on the menu and you guys ordered stuff that doesn’t qualify.”  We explained that we did declare our groupons and were assured there are no restrictions.  This prompted a short lecture by the waitress. “There is a difference between hostesses and waitresses.  You’re supposed to know this...” And so on and so forth.  Since when is the customer responsible for this?  The onus is on the staff to have proper communication and be accountable for the customers and their requests.  Secondly, you do NOT lecture your customer regardless of what the issue is.  WTF.

Needless to say, the combination of average food, exuberant prices,  rude staff and slow and terrible service all sums up to one thing: a terrible experience.  To add insult to injury, we were made to feel stupid and guilty.  One thing is for sure.  We are never going back.  Ever.  In Taylor Swift’s words: We, are never ever EVER, getting back togetherrrr.

Eater beware...

Update Dec 19/12:  In the past two weeks, I have been in communication with a member of the management team at The Ticket.  Readers and eaters, rest assured that steps are being taken to ensure a positive and pleasant experience at this restaurant.  Props to the management team for being vigilant and taking initiative to prevent such an experience from repeating itself.

The Ticket Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon
Sunday, 25 November 2012

Bubba Gump (Anaheim)

Now that residency applications are finally over, I can finally get back to blogging! Here’s to blog about our food adventures in California in the summer…yes…the summer. :( I thought I’d start with my favourite meal of the trip… BUBBA GUMP!

Forrest Gump is one our favorite movies of all time! Rich and I have watched it countless times. Ever since Rich saw a Bubba Gump restaurant in Hawaii a few years ago, I’ve been bugging him to bring me to one. Bubba Gump is a chain of Forrest Gump movie-theme restaurants that have popped up all over the world. Due to “unfortunate” circumstances, I wasn’t able to try it in Hong Kong or San Francisco. :(

On our second day at Disneyland, we decided to venture out for lunch instead of eating the expensive theme-park food. I was pleasantly surprised when TomTom brought up Bubba Gump as a nearby option. Rich finally gave in and off we went!
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