Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bad Dog!

A gripey review on a pub/ cafe in Hartamas......

The Dinner
I will always remember all those priceless moments from that night:
*fade in*
Scene 1:
J walks into the cute English pub/ restaurant and approaches one waiter.....
J: "Excuse me,... is there a table booking here for Patrick or Leonard? I'm meeting friends."
Waiter A: "Harr. WHO? Who is that? What do you want?"
J: "Well,.. I'm here for dinner. I'm meeting friends. They usually book the table."
Waiter A: "Don't have. You don't see them here? *grunt* Maybe upstairs. *points at stairs and walks off*"


Is this what they call "service" in this joint?
(I found out later that the Bulldog does not take any table reservations for reasons unknown but still, it was NOT a good first impression at all.... It didn't stop there though)

Scene 2:
*imagine there are 8 of us seated at the table with only 2 menus to share*
J: "Excuse me, can we have more menus to look at please?"
Waiter B: "Don't have."
Patrick: "Huh? Your whole restaurant only has 2 menus?."
Waiter B: "Upstairs no more."
(Now, after further discussion with Waiter B, he grudgingly went downstairs and kindly fished out 2 more menus for us)

(And BTW, the fun continues!)

Scene 3:
*Waiter B takes orders from 4 people and happily saunters off to the bar area and stands there fiddling around for 10 minutes*
J: "Erm, ...*waves hand at waiter* ... excuse me. Are you still taking orders?"
Waiter B: "*evil eye to J* ... Yeaaa-AH!"

(Ooh... and the highlight of the night was when Leonard only got his Yorkshire Pudding with Roast Beef AFTER everyone finished eating)

*fade out*

Fooyorr - Really teruk.
I'd like to think that the waiters are actually nice people....
However, one thing's for sure: they are nice people who don't give a flying fish about customer service.

Oh man, I have griped a LOT already.... I think I'd better actually review the food.
(Sorry, I got a bit carried away - I just haven't had such rip-roaringly bad service for quite a while now)

*breathes in*

The food at The Bulldog is down to earth, typical English pub fare so you can expect stuff like Pies, Fish and Chips as well as England's national food: The Chicken Tikka Masala.
The Bulldog Exterior (and serviette)

It has 2 levels, the downstairs is more of a bar/ lounge, with just a few small tables for dining patrons, while there upstairs is more of the restaurant area, with pool tables on the side to keep you amused while you wait for your food:
The Pool Table In The Bulldog

We started night with some Deep Fried Cheesy Meatballs (RM11++):
The Dry Meatballs

The beef meatballs, deepfried with a little cheese inside, were generally overcooked, with a distinctly dry texture.

We moved on to the mains, the Bangers and Mash, Steak with Black Pepper Sauce, Pork Chop with Apple Sauce, Shephard's Pie and the Yorkshire Pudding with Roast Beef:

Left to Right, Top to Bottom: The Pork Chop, The Steak, The Yorkshire
Pudding, The Shephard's Pie and The Bangers & Mash

The Bangers and Mash, with a choice of either pork, lamb or beef sausages served with a generous amount of mash potatoes, is one of The Bulldog's specialties.
It was ok, worth a try: the mash was nice but the sausages are similar to those that you can get from gourmet delis.

The Shephard's Pie, minced lamb in a tomato herb sauce, topped with gratinated mash potatoes, was ok. The mince was a little dry but did not have that "lamb-y" taste so I guess it was slightly above average.

The Steak was not bad, I guess - ok flavour and ok texture but nothing extraordinary.
Not much else to comment.
(I am very hard to please when it comes to steaks)

The Yorkshire Pudding was, also only ok.
(Mind you, I have no point of reference - this is the first Yorkshire Pudding I've tasted)
The pastry was tasty but the beef was dry.
(Dousing it in the accompanying brown sauce helped somewhat)

The Pork Chop served with mash potatoes (my order on that night) was a disappointment. The meat was (AGAIN) dry, and relatively tasteless - in fact (as Jo-lyn rightly pointed out) the accompanying apple sauce totally overpowered it.
(So, it was like eating apple flavoured meat)

I apologise, I can't remember the prices for most of the above but generally, the mains we had range from RM27++ to RM40++...

Anyway, if nothing else, the servings were generous so I was too full to try any dessert.
(There was an amusingly named dish called the Spotted Dick, though - haha, how do these English ppl come up with these hilarious names?)

So it's: Unpretentious dining,in an English Pub setting, quite generous serving sizes BUT didn't taste that great and bad, BAD service.

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

The Bulldog Pub and Cafe @ Hartamas
Taste: 5
Ambience : 6
Service : 3 (FAIL!)
Price** : RM70/++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - Per person, 3 course dinner without drinks
Telephone No.: 03-6201 4484
Opening Hours: 11am - late


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  1. hmmmm, as long as the service is bad, i'm boycotting the place.

    normally if i'm faced with that situation, i'd complain to the person in charge.

  2. write a complaint to management!

  3. j, your post light up my morning! (da scenes) ekekkekekeke... hmmm bad food? won't drop by...:p

  4. Never been & won't bother going. Thanks for letting us know. ;)

  5. Yeah, heard abt this place and the only highlight is they serve pork. My friend said don't bother trying as she thought the food was mediocre only.

    J, if u love steaks go try Prime at Le Meridien. Very nice! If u want a budget meal, try their set lunches (rm55++ to RM80++) and they are giving 15% discount for food items if u pay by Visa.

  6. to laksa:
    I usually would too but that night, I just didn't know where to start!

    to wuching:
    I don't know whether I have the strength to write an essay to them...
    Maybe I should just print out the review on my blog and mail it to them.

    to meiyen:
    Glad to see that my post has some positive effects!

    to jemima:
    Well, the live band (in the bar downstairs) that night seemed ok....
    That's about it.

    to boo_licious:
    Mmmm... sounds very tempting.
    Will put it on my list and try it soon!
    (Thanks for the info!)

    to fidel gastro:
    So, is it a Chicken + Egg situation?
    If we become a tip paying society, does that necessarily mean that we will get better service from waiters?
    Hmmmm,.. dunno man.

  7. i would've so left the place because of the bad service. if tips were a norm here, waiter A and B would be sooo screwed

  8. to Merv:
    It's easier when it is a small group, but with >8 ppl (and the extremely bad service only affecting about 50% of us), it was hard to mobilise everyone.

    In fact, shockingly, some of my friends actually found the place OK..!
    (There were the lucky few who didn't get any lip from the waiter and miraculously got their food in time)

    When will these restaurants learn that the key to success is CONSISTENCY and quality??

  9. English food tastes like that. Its perfectly normal for roast beef to be as dry as dust and/or steaks to be as tough and tasty as a slab of cardboard. At least the place was authentic!

  10. to floozie:
    Is bad service another key to authenticity too?

    Maybe I should relook at my review and add points.

  11. I enjoyed the band very much. MY experience was good...but just a bit too crowded on Fri night.

  12. to anonymous:
    Lucky you!
    I thought the band and bar area was quite ok too (from the little time that I spent there)... It does seem to be quite popular!
    (It just doesn't quite measure up as a restaurant, I guess....)

  13. Bulldog ROCKS!!! The Bull dog bacon nachos is the BEST I have ever tasted. Well.. the waiters could be better... but once you get to know them and are regulars... you are treated well... its a nice place to hang out and the live bands are awesome!.. its like a Cheers Bar... once you're a regular.. everyone is FAMILY!!

  14. to Eve:
    Try out Sid's in TTDI, then compare! :)

    They have less variety on the menu at Sid's but the taste is nice, the drinks are cheaper than most places and the waiters are nice to everyone.

    I guess the only downside is that Sid's does not have a live band (as far as I know).

  15. Sid's? Nice Place except for one particular Indian manager. I think its Michael or something. Heard some friends said that the owner's brother made some racist comments bout chinese one day. Guess its nice on the outside but dont know what is actually in the inside .Hate racist foreigners.

  16. to anonymous:
    Well,... I've never had anything bad done or said to me there.
    (And I'm Chinese)

    Still, if you and your friends feel like they have wronged/ insulted you in some way then better not to go there, I guess. :)


Appreciate your thoughts, opinions and feedback. :)