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Published: August 17th 2012
I have visited Kipling Cafe earlier... the ambience was nice, the food was good, but one could not but notice that the staff had a sort-of high-handed attitude. I brushed it aside, as I could see that many of the tables were occupied by Americans and Europeans and the staff obviously had eyes and service only for them!
A couple of days back, we had guests at home and remembering Kipling, I decided to order home-delivery. We waited embarrassingly for much more than an hour for the food to arrive and when it did, it was cold pizza! The delivery boy and subsequently the manager-on-duty Hari coolly said that the restaurant had been too busy with other orders. When I mentioned that they could have called as I had guests waiting, they seemed to be in a hurry to get their bill settled. And in a matter-of-fact manner, very callously they said they could replace the pizza! And bring back another one in another hour?
They could very well be joking if not for the tense situation.
It was almost 11pm, all other restaurants were closed, I could not return back their order and place a fresh order in another restaurant! I served re-heated food to my guests. I was so upset I told the manager on the phone that I would clear the bill whenever he had the time to come over and try to understand how much he had upset a customer. I wanted to meet this guy and give him a earful about handling customers, being in the service industry and then clear his bill.
Being a food critic, and with several reviews of restaurants to my credit, I got the owners' contact info through friends, and sent her a text that we wanted to talk to her about our experience at her restaurant. And then I did get a call, not from anyone in Kipling, but from the inspector at the local police station. This cop said that Kipling had issued a complaint against me for eating at their restaurant and refusing to pay the bill. Though we were furious, explained the situation clearly to him and he was surprised that this was the issue.
This is where my story ends for now. I wonder if any of you out there have had a similar experience with Kipling. I also wonder if this has become the way of life in Kipling today... getting the local authorities to harass their other customers!
So what was supposed to be a wonderful review of a nicely tucked-away restaurant on East Coast Road, Chennai, serving decent but expensive food, has turned into an ugly review of a shady joint on ECR serving God-knows-what along with food to its customers.
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