December 7, 2010

Excruciatingly slow service

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I paid two visits to one of Hong Kong's classic restaurants in a matter of days, a move which surprised some of my friends.  I had been to Jimmy's Kitchen twice in all the time I've been in this town, and never felt compelled to go back.  I joined a couple of friends on Sunday who were in the mood for some beef.

I decided to balance out my meal by starting with a green salad, although the smell of French onion soup from my neighbors - with that delicious melted Gruyère on top - was killing me the whole time.

I picked the pig's knuckle baked with honey and cloves as it's been a long time since I last had some.  Knowing that it takes 30 minutes, I told the waiter not to have my friends wait for me.  He either didn't hear it or ignored my remark.  When my friends got a little too hungry, we chased the kitchen and asked them to serve the steaks first.  Chased again, with no feedback.  Finally the food arrived, and somehow my knuckle arrived before a couple of the steaks...  We were fuming by this point.

Honestly, the knuckle was pretty yummy.  Interesting that it was baked with cloves, adding a little extra fragrance.  The skin was nice and crispy, while the cured meat inside was nice and reasonably moist.  The only issue I had was with the sauerkraut, which I found a little bit mild.

I had originally planned on having a special dessert, but none of us wanted to stick around this place, so we adjourned to an alternate venue.

Fast-forward a couple of days and I met up with Froggie and Ninja for lunch today.  There was an itch I had to scratch, and it didn't take long for me to tell my friends to meet me at Jimmy's Kitchen.

I had heard about the famous beef stroganoff so I decided to order it, and chose not to have something to start with.  Once again, there was a long stretch while we waited for our food.  I realized that it had probably always been this way, and that the regulars had already gotten used to it.

The stroganoff wasn't what I expected.  The color was pretty light, which was a result of them mixing in a good amount of sour cream.  It also tasted of tomato, to the point I wondered if tomato paste - or worse, ketchup - had been used to make the sauce.  It didn't seem very authentic to me, as the versions I'm used to don't have tomato paste.  And I prefer to add my own sour cream to taste, anyway...  Not very happy.

Finally, it was time to have my baked Alaska!  My memory of this dessert here goes back around 10 years, and I wondered what it would be like to taste this again.  The waiter laid it on the table, lit the alcohol, poured it on top, and we sat around watching the meringue burn.  A fun thing to do, actually.  We dug in and the meringue was really yummy.  Of course, it was actually a little too big for the 3 of us at the end of the meal.

Well, I've scratched that itch, and in the process decided that the service was just too painfully slow for me.  It'll probably be another 10 years before I find my way back here again...

1 comment:

Mary said...

i hate slow service, but i also hate really fast service where the food arrives about 3 minutes after you have ordered it. I think about 15 - 20 minutes is the optimum time to wait - time to have a drink and build the appetite.


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