Sunday, 9 May 2010

Restaurant Review: Woo Jung.

As I live in London, and there are so many places to go, so many places to see, so many things to do... I thought it would be fitting to do reviews on places to eat (which I can predict will be extremely critical), alongside everything else. I have a London category in my blog sidebar which although is currently quite sparse, I hope to build on a bit more!

A couple of weeks ago, I met up with a friend and had dinner at Woo Jung, which is located in Tottenham Court Road. The exterior is cute and welcoming so I was happy to try it out.
We went up an extremely narrow staircase to take our seats on the 1st floor and it was all very sweet and oriental looking. We were directed to sit right in the middle, which I hate, so we asked if we could sit on the other table in the corner, but we were refused as it had four seats.
I was quite shocked as I'd never been refused before unless it was reserved, they straight out said 'no' and didn't even seem sorry about it. We thought about leaving but it was such a petty reason so we stayed. We sat in the middle and looked through the menu. I didn't know what most of it was so I asked the waiter to help explain a dish to me, where I didn't know what one of the ingredients were...it had sake and something else. However, the waiter misunderstood my question and thought I was asking what sake was (which I already know) in which he responded that he didn't know! In fact, he didn't know what anything was on the menu! How is one supposed to order without knowing what something is?!! ...and there are no pictures, so I was stuck. My friend decided to just go for what she knew of and I just went for something that sounded imaginable, like the 'chicken broth'. Anyway, my broth wasn't very nice, but my friends' food was nicer so I ended up eating most of hers and she ate most of mine.

As the waiter was clumsily clearing our table, I suddenly had a thought that he was going to spill something on me, and literally a second after, there was sweet chilli sauce all in my lap. I honestly thought the whole thing was a joke and I was purposely being wound up, especially when the waiter was not apologetic at all and didn't give me anything to clean it up!

We quickly asked for the bill which my friend was putting on her card but she said to the waiter that she was not going to pay the mandatory service charge as she thought the service was terrible. I was shocked that the service charge was mandatory, as many restaurants that I go to have optional service charges and this little restaurant suddenly seemed desperate for the extra bit of money. The waiter literally chuckled and shrugged his shoulders while he sorted the card machine for my friend to enter her PIN. I think I chuckled myself as it was all very surreal! I mean, if a customer had said that to me, I would've wanted to know what the problem was so it could be improved on or apologised, right? But no, we got a chuckle and a shrug!

The whole thing seems quite humorous to me now that I am typing it out, but at the time, I was in complete shock. I wouldn't completely cut this restaurant out though, in fact, I have an urge to go again to see if the bad service was a one off or it's always like that! However, as the food was OK, I guess I would still recommend the restaurant, as long as you know Korean dishes by name, don't mind rude waiters, don't mind being sat where you wouldn't like to, and don't mind having food spilt on you.
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