A Food Blogger in India vents!

Free dining, and this blogger trashes the experience. I loved the read. Almost made me laugh out loud.

Food Bloggers Meet at Barcelos

It was a pleasant afternoon on Saturday when I reached Barcelos at Acropolis Mall to attend a blogger’s meet organized by the management, and that was the day we had been waiting for. Food Bloggers Meet at Barcelos (a newly opened restaurant). Me and my three food blogger buddies were united to attain that event together. The event was declared to be started from 2:00 PM onward and it continued till 4:00 PM.

What We Expected

As being professional food bloggers we used to attain countless events like that and habituated of the event procedure, the welcome gesture of the authority and all. So a warm welcome was quite expected at the beginning. Usually, such food tasting events start with a welcome drink which normally served within five to ten minutes just after the guests arrive. And then the special starter items of that restaurant are used to be served next half an hour. Then we are served with the best dishes of their menu and last but not the least the yummy desserts are dished up. We expected the same or may be better from Barcelos.

What We Got

But it’s very woeful to say that we got disappointed at the very first as the welcome procedure was too much informal. The restaurant authority was not concerned about that. However, that way the event began. It was the time for the welcome drink and again, they disappointed us by serving only three welcome drinks at 2:50 PM. As we were four people together, we demanded another drink, which was served by them after another half an hour, this gross negligence by the steward and staff in general was really embarrassing.

We had a small introductory talk with management and got informed that over 40% dishes in their menu are Veg. So I planned to give some try on their veg items. We also got informed that there will be another bloggers meet where few bloggers from Delhi are coming for reviewing Barcelos, Kolkata.

We ordered two veg burgers and two non-veg burgers accompanied by few veg and non-veg starters. While we were expecting starters on the table, they served us one veg and three non-veg burgers, which again a very gross negligence, as we had ordered two veg burgers. They skipped starters and interrupted the usual genre of presentation. Though we continued anyhow, but service was extremely slow. The replacement burger reached our table after one hour, awful. Veg burger was bit dry and missing the flavour and crunch, I didn’t like it at all.

The next item, Veg Platter, a mixed platter of different kebabs accompanied with stuffed mushrooms, potatoes, paneer and grilled vegetables; was again atrocious and was not palatable even with peri peri sauce. The Veg Espetada that followed was possibly the only food item that had some class. It was a hanging dish skewed with stuffed mushrooms, marinated paneer with onions & peppers with two regular sides. It had really interesting flavours and full credit goes to the chef for successfully playing with spices and herbs; however it was a tad too salty and bitter.

Finally at 4:10 they could not even serve the half of the items which were put for photo-shoot and tasting, we lost our patience as they were taking forever to serve and informed it to the restaurant authority. We were offended by the service and realized that we did nothing but just wasted a whole afternoon in such a poor place. We were extremely unsatisfied and decided to leave the place and did the same.

Verdict

In today’s competition if anyone opt out for a business which is totally customer based then he / she should be concerned about the customer’s convenience first. Especially when you are running a restaurant then it is equally important to maintain effective hospitality besides the food quality. There are so many restaurants in the market which are famous among people as they are aware of using the right Mantra which compiles both the food quality and good hospitality. We wonder that if it’s really possible for Barcelos (which is just a start up) to survive in the market in today’s age of competition by being this much unprofessional.

Overall I had a very unhappy experience. Service and customer satisfaction is surely not on their priority list, which is a must for hospitality industry. This is a matter to worry about!!

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I wonder which part of the burger was supposed to be crispy.

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In India, the veggie burgers resemble aloo tikkis, not the veggie burgers like we have here, so it’s supposed to be a bit crisp on the outside (some are even breaded with bread crumbs) and soft on the inside.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold