I don't know where to begin... If you've been reading this blog for a while, you will see that I rarely rip into a restaurant (Kawawa and Po King are the exceptions). I try my best to be fair and forgiving. However, as I write this post, I am literally still baffled at the ineptitude of the staff and management at Crawfish King in Richmond. Let me set up the scenario. We had just finished our Monday night softball game and headed to Crawfish King for some eats. They were pretty busy for a Monday, so we had to sit at 2 separate tables of 4. Our table of myself, Hot Chocolate, Boss Woman and Milhouse put in our order at 8:23pm. At around 8:30pm, the table beside us left. Hence Bear, Judes, Chill and Bubbly were able to pull the table over to join us. They had not ordered yet and put in theirs around 8:40pm. At 9:00pm, they got their food to our amazement. They were comfortably eating as we wondered what happened to our order. We asked a staff member to follow up our order shortly after that and then again 10 minutes later. Again at 9:20 and again at 9:30. Each time it was acknowledged but nothing happened. You would think that someone would've wondered why we hadn't gotten our food in nearly 1.5 hours! Finally, I lost it and let the manager know at 9:45 that we had been waiting for almost an hour and half for our food. He checked and apparently no one had put in our order. The server who took our order asked us if we were "sure" that he took it. Uh. WTF? The restaurant is not freakin' big. Does he have short-term memory loss? Not only that, all of us witnessed him taking our order. Was he implying we were lying??? He didn't look convinced. Oh and not a single "sorry" during this time. Okay, some might think that the addition of another 4 people at our table messed them up. Well, I'm not sure how that could happen when we put in our order FIRST, a full 17 minutes before the others did. Furthermore, we had not moved at all from our table. It was there all along. With a computerized system, the order would have been attached to our table number. So that cannot be used as an excuse.
Also, when we did place the order, he didn't even know what fried okra was, let alone actually putting in our order. So just a bit before 10:00pm, the manager re-takes our order and informs us that they did not have any okra. Oh and apparently, they did not have any bubble tea either despite having a whole menu page dedicated to it. But honestly, bubble tea, prata roti and noodles at a Southern boil? So let me talk about some of the food at the other table first. Bubbly had the Fried Catfish and Fries which wasn't really her favourite. To be fair, catfish is a bit muddy and that was in no way a reflection of the restaurant. It was rather thin though and combined with the cornmeal batter, it was crunchy (maybe too crunchy). The fries were pretty generic being like the Cavendish variety found at Costco. Bear had some of the Roti Prata and it was super greasy. When did Whales Tails from the PNE set up shop in their kitchen? Spread some jam on these suckers and voila - fry bread. Chill had the whole Dungeness Crab and it was alright. He did like the abundance of garlic in his garlic butter sauce. Kinda greasy though. And pricey considering restaurants in the area would charge less per pound (not a direct comparison, but a legitimate concern).
As for our food, the manager convinced us to stay even though we wanted to leave (after all, we'd been there over 1.5 hours). He promised to make it worthwhile when it came to the bill. So we got our order nearly 2 hours after we arrived at the restaurant. It was 2lbs. each of the Crawfish and Shrimp. We added an order of sausage for $4.00. We got "The Big Easy" medium flavour which included all the sauce options. Okay, am I missing something here? This is a SOUTHERN BOIL right? Then why was the whole thing drowning in grease??? Yes, there should be grease, but not that much. The flavours were pretty strong, so that was not bad I suppose. Too bad the shrimp and crawfish were slightly overcooked. Furthermore, the order of sausage consisted of 4.5 slices (I say .5 because 2 of them were end pieces). When has 4 slices constituted a sausage? Imagine buying a hot dog with half of the sausage missing... And with 2 lbs. of crawfish, it comes with a bonus corn, make that half a corn... So if they cut it into 2 pieces, would that make it 2 corn? The order of Cajun Fries didn't look any different from the one that Bubbly got in her dish. Starch-covered fries... I have a bag in my freezer. Now for the most disgusting item of the meal - the Hot Wings. That "sauce" at the bottom of the basket was actually 75% pure oil. It was neither hot nor tasty. If I wanted a basket full of oil, I could easily steal some from the back of a KFC. The wings were woefully soggy and bland. How does one mess up hot wings??? At the end, the same server that messed up our order asked us how we would like to split the bill. We asked what was the manager going to do for us first. He went back and asked and came back with the same question. Again, we asked what was going on with the bill. He kept asking if we wanted it split or not. Fine, we chose split and when the bill arrived, we were given a whopping 15% off for our troubles. The manager didn't even come out to talk to us. Look. It's not about the money. I can afford the dinner (gosh, I've paid for most of my meals for almost 4 years!) and if I wanted a free meal, I could go get one. It is all about the principle of it all. They don't give a flying rat's ass about the customer.
So there you have it. Mediocre food, poor value and worst of all - crap service. Completely confused and totally unprofessional. We gave them a total of 7 chances (checking on our order and asking what they were going to do with the bill) to make amends for the over 2 hour ordeal. They did not. When has it become acceptable to outright lie to a customer saying you will check on an order when it doesn't exist? When has it ever been right to even suggest that a customer is wrong and even go as far as denying you took their order? How about: "Hey, that table doesn't have food and it's been 1.5 hours, maybe something is wrong!"? And how hard is it to say "sorry"??? Or how about a manager convincing you to stay and promising to make it up by only offering a measly 15% off for your troubles? And on top of that, avoid the customers completely when it came time to settle the bill? Oh and more importantly, the food was greasy and "meh". This place doesn't stand a chance.
- You really think there was any good in this?
- Worst service I've ever seen (and I've been to a lot of restaurants)
- Food is mediocre-to-poor and it's not a good value
- Everything was covered in grease (including the non-boil items)
- Management does not train its staff properly nor do they care about their customers