Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Nacho's Mexican Cantina/Mexicali Rose

We had dinner last Saturday night at Nacho's Mexican Cantina or Mexicali Rose in Lower Plenty. We think that it's in the process of changing names and/or management, cause the signage outside said one thing, but the menus said something completely different.

That of course was no excuse:

To whom it may concern,

Do you know how there are times when you drive past a restaurant all the time and you say to your driving companion, "We really should try that restaurant out"?

That's how we were with your Lower Plenty restaurant.

So finally, last Saturday night, we thought we'd give your establishment a go with a few friends.

Melbourne is, of course, the eating out capital of Australia. However, Mexican food is one area that Melbourne's restaurants can clean up their act.

But based on our experience on Saturday night, it's not going to be your Lower Plenty restaurant that does it.

We arrived at the restaurant at 7pm. It was busy, I'll give it that. We ordered drinks.

They took a little while to arrive. And in the meantime, we ordered food.

Our entree was dips for the whole table - two serves. It took 45 minutes for these to arrive, and when they did, only one was forthcoming.

We asked the waitress where the other one was, only to be greeted by, "They've run out of the dips."

Fortunately, another one was able to be scraped together with a cheese dip and something else, arriving at our table no less than ten minutes later.

So we sat and chatted while we waited for our mains to arrive. At about the hour and a half mark from when we placed our order, we started getting antsy, as you do. We looked around but there was no waiting staff in sight. And when they did appear, it was to serve people who appeared well after us.

We took turns to go up to the front counter to ask where our mains were, but to be honest, your waiting staff should have come and informed us that there was a delay, and the reasons for the delay.

Slowly, our table got more and more frustrated with the lack of service.

Seriously, this is the one time when I wish that there were mice in the kitchen, because you needed Speedy Gonzalez to shake things up. I had to be physically restrained from running into the kitchen and yelling, "¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!"

By this time, we were going up at ten minute intervals. One of our party was greeted with, "Yes we already have your complaint. Could you please wait."

Talk about pouring tequila onto a burning fire. How would you feel if someone said this to you?

Finally, when our mains came out, some of us were in danger of falling asleep. This was now 9pm and there was barely anyone left in the restaurant.


I didn't hear a complaint about the food, except that my Chili Colorado was as tough as leather.

Our whole evening was a disgraceful exhibition of shameful amateurism. It will be a long time before we return, if we ever do. You need to wake up to yourselves.

Yours sincerely,


And that was very satisfying.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Qantas? JetStar? Who the f@$%... Part 2

This is Part 2.

Part 1 is here.

Took them a while, but Qantas eventually replied to my complaint:

Dear Dikkii

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your first hand experience of our codeshare flights to Bangkok and back to Melbourne, operated by Jetstar.

Qantas is committed to acting on what our customers tell us and although I can't answer you in detail, I can assure you that I have logged your feedback in our database. We run a continuous improvement program, which uses this feedback to help resolve problems and improve our product and service. Your feedback will be an invaluable input to that improvement process.

Although I can not respond to you with any further information, please be assured that I have provided your feedback to the management of the area responsible, so that they too can learn from your experience.

We value your support as a Frequent Flyer member and I hope you will give us the opportunity to show you Qantas at its best by flying with us again soon.

Yours sincerely

Brigitte Anttilla
Customer Care Executive
Qantas Airways Ltd

Fairly standard stuff - I wouldn't be surprised if Brigitte just cut and pasted from a form letter. I'm not really interested in pursuing this unless I hear from a lot of people who've had the same thing happen to them

In which case it could be a job for the trashy current affairs shows. I've always wanted to meet Anna Coren.

But I will go on record to say that I have no confidence in Qantas' code-sharing arrangements. Nor anyone else's for that matter, especially where a budget airline is used in place of a full-service one.

Disclosure: This blogger owns shares in Qantas.