Our Dining Experience in Kuya J's Restaurant

Nov 30, 2016

Today is a special day for my family because it is my mother's birthday. I thought I won't be able to join her and dad in their dinner tonight because I wasn't feeling well since last week. Luckily, I was feeling better this afternoon, good enough to travel to SM Dasma for a dinner.
When we asked Mom where she wanted to eat, she can't seem to decide. We've eaten to most of the restaurants in that mall except for Kuya J's so we decided to eat there. Problem solved.
We checked the menu placed outside. Like we always do, we chose which meals to order first before entering the restaurant just so we can order quickly after being seated. I had my choices and so does my parents. Our minds were set for the meals. We we're excited as it was our first time to eat there. But the excitement did not last long.

My dad went inside first and was given a table. My mom and I followed a few seconds after. When we got seated, we were only handed one menu. Yup, there was a three of us but just one menu. Most of the staff were busy cleaning tables and attending to other guests so we didn't bother asking for an additional menu.
Though we have meals in mind, we scanned through the menu again for possible additional orders. When we have finalized our orders, we called a staff. A male crew approached us quickly, took out what seems to me were used restaurant bills, with orders written on it. It took him a couple of awkward seconds to find a free space. As we state our orders, he told us that two of our orders were not available; that most of the seafood are not available.
My dad was disappointed that his Sizzling Mixed Seafood was not available. I was also disappointed that my Baby Back Ribs, which had a best-seller note on their menu, was not available too. We had to find other meals to replace it. I was no longer in the mood to scan through the menu so I settled with a Pork Barbeque and my dad ordered a Sinuglaw. Our other orders were a Chicken Barbeque, Crispy Shrimps, Crab Rice Platter, and a Creamy Seafood and Corn Soup.

Dad wanted to order a beer but was told they do not serve alcoholic drinks. Mom just wanted water while I was busy doing something that made me forget to order my drink. After a while, I called a crew to hand me the menu again so I can check their drinks. Saw from other tables they had shakes so I wanted to check the flavors. Eventually, I decided to just order a soda, Coke to be precise. It was annoyingly hilarious when the staff said that that too wasn't available. So fine, I'll get an Iced Tea.
We were told that the meals will be served 15-20 minutes from the time we ordered. Though we were not fully mindful of the time, I'm sure that it had passed 20minutes before our meals were served.
All our orders were served together. As the crew places our orders in the mid-part of our table, I can't help feel more disappointment. Why? Read on!

Crispy Shrimps | Php 195

This was called cripsy. Does it look like one? You tell me. It was poorly or over cooked; it was so hard to remove the shells. And after removing the shells, the meat to eat were very small! The size of my thumb was bigger, seriously! For someone who is a shrimp / prawn addict, I would rate this dish a negative 10.

Chicken BBQ | Php 160

This was my mom's order. Just by looking at it, the outside part was burnt. When my mom was cutting through it, the inside part looked raw. Though there were no bloods dripping from the inside, you'd see that it was poorly cooked (again) but just okay to be eaten.

Pork BBQ | Php 150

As for this bbq, I couldn't believe this costed 150 pesos! Though the pork was tender, the serving thin and small. Three (3) pieces for 150 pesos? Oh common! It was overly coated with bbq sauce too! If you put the stick up, you'd literally see the sauce dripping. It was a challenge eating it because of the strong bbq taste. I was somewhat urged to dip it in the glass of water in front me to lessen bbq sauce. No, seriously, it tasted like I ordered a barbeque sauce that happens to have a free pork in it. SMH.

Sinuglaw | Php 230

It was our (my mom and I) first time to hear this. My dad explained that it's like kilawin with grilled pork belly. You see, my dad loves kilawin o kinilaw. He even makes it at home once or twice a month. Because of that, I have a fair idea how it looks like. So when the waiter placed it in front of him, I immediately thought, "Didn't my father ordered a Tanigue fish soaked in vinegar? This looks like a classic macaroni salad with grilled pork belly on the side."

As we were eating, my dad kept searching where the fish went. It was funny and irritating at the same time. It felt like a ball of disappointment were sprinkled on most of the food.

Crab Rice Platter | Php 175

I know that restaurants have different cooking techniques but I do believe, despite the difference in methods, certain meals should likely taste the same. For example is this crab rice. We have tasted different crab rice platters from different restaurants but they still have that similar crab taste to it. Unfortunately, this rice platter did not have that taste... at all! It tasted like a typical yang chow rice from a chinese restaurant! But honestly, it was okay; it wasn't that bad. But it was just disappointing because we ordered a crab rice. C-R-A-B rice and it did not taste anything like it.

Creamy Seafood and Corn Soup | Php 185

Opening the lid of this soup bowl, I did not expect the creamy soup to look like this. It looked like a cold porridge. I was expecting it to be creamy yet fluid; not creamy and sticky. But despite the not-so-appealing visual presentation, thankfully, it tasted just fine. Finally, something worth the penny!
Were we satisfied? No.
We went out of the restaurant with a heavy stomach. We still managed to eat the food we ordered. Though the meals were a disappointment, in terms of serving size and taste, it was still edible. But if we talk about satisfaction as a whole - from customer service to food quality, then frankly, we were not satisfied.
Our bill amounted to Php 1,135. Thinking about it, we could have had a more delightful dinner elsewhere with that amount. Anyway, as my dad always say... "Charge to experience."
If in case this reaches the management of Kuya J, here's a few suggestions I want you to consider:
  • Change your menu. Compared to other restaurants out there, you have a few selection of dishes. If you can't make these few selections available, then you have major menu revision to do.
  • Reprice your menu. Yes, I demand it. If you cannot improve the serving of your dishes, you will have to reduce your prices as it is not reasonable.
  • Hear what your customers are saying and act on it. I checked your Facebook page and saw that a lot of people have aired their feedback and it's almost similar to our experience. Customers are already telling you what's wrong. Do something to solve it.
  • Enough of the marketing, at least for now. With a good looking endorser like Jericho, I'm sure you've done enough for awareness. Now, focus on improving your customer service and food quality (and serving). Because once you fix that, once you begin to satisfy customers, you'd be surprised at how they can promote your business.
  • Include melon in your fruitshakes. Simply because it's my favorite fruit shake.
Have you tried Kuya J?
Feel free to share your experience in the comment box below.

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