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mattmac
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8 Points

Joined 4 years ago

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Ate here last week on my birthday because of great reviews, and that my partner is part of the growing Instagram Foodie Faze and refused to leave our Colombo visit without gracing its walls. Cafe was full of locals and expats… we snuck a seat at the communal table and waited for our meals. And waited. And waited. And waited. Watched 7 other customers arrive and order after us, and receive their meals before us, as they were also on the communal table and sitting beside us. Waited so patiently and was apologized to numerous time by the waiters for the looong wait, and that our meal was indeed coming… now I hardly call a quesadilla and chicken melt sandwich a gastronomic revelation of the culinary world requiring detailed skill and being so labor intensive to justify a 45minute wait, but alas, the food ordered after ours - grilled sea bass, salad bowls etc. did indeed look quite tasty and arrived piping hot to the tables, I was happy to sit in the stands anticipate a boundary hitting or clearing the fence from the batsmen in the kitchen….when our meal finally arrived, my first bite into my chicken sandwich went straight through to the keeper, where it sadly stayed. Because of the obvious mix up in the kitchen with orders, I can hypothetically conclude my sandwich had sat around for quite a while and done laps in and out of chef microwaves nuclear hands, repeatedly crucified beyond human consumption. I'm one of those people who will sit with their tail between their legs in defeat and when asked 'hows my food' I'll meekly reply 'fine', but this sandwich was so incredible tough, it was like trying to chew a rubber chicken dog toy. It was a health hazard to your teeth and gums, that I pushed it aside and got up to leave. My partner sensed I was unhappy and quickly offered to swap her quesadilla with me as it was my birthday, but when she tried tackling her first bite of the "freshly prepared sandwich to order", she quietly passed on the second bite. She proceeded to open the sandwich to salvage some of the warm chicken filling inside, but gave up the task of sifting through gristle and cartilage to find her lunch too daunting, and pushed it aside, defeated.

Now what to do. Seeing the cafes policy of paying for your meal before you can decide for yourself whether in fact it is actually worth paying for, I was left in a dilemma. To either: A send it back and let them have another gastronomical crack at a "chicken sandwich" or B go up and ask for a refund; or C live and learn from your mistake and walk out (and write a review.) I took the latter option split the quesadilla with the missus and split.

Five visits to this beautiful country in the past 9 years, never left a meal to go lonely once. Seeing it was social media that sold this meal unwillingly to me, I thought it only fair to sell it back.

I love how far this country and its food scene has progressed in the past years, it's something that keeps me coming back in anticipation every time. I hope that this is not a sign of future things to come. Let the customer decide whether a meal is worth paying for first, as also with the mandatory 10% service charge we now see everywhere. The rest of the culinary world allows this.

You have been warned. Enjoy.

Cafe Kumbuk 4 years ago