ZOMATO RATING: 1 out of 5
‘sup Chili’sPowai, you’re pretty shit.We went to Chili’s once before, just the partner and I, because we miss Mexican somethin’ fierce, and were willing to settle for Tex-Mex. However, that first time, there was too much salt in every dish, and smallness of the portions crossed over from ‘we’re too posh to give you eough to eat’, to ‘we’re mean little fuckers’. So we decided, sensibly, never to return.
Except that a few months down, a group of us local folks were taking an out-of-town friend for dinner, and when he spotted a Tex-Mex joint, he totally had to have it. We hoped Chili’s had received constructive feedback in the meanwhile, and had improved itself.
As it turned out, no, it hadn’t. And the positive reviews that I see now on Zomato makes me think it’s not completely Chili’s fault. People are so delighted to be fleeced by yet another American fast food chain that they don’t apparently care what they actually stuff down their gullet.
Here’s a synopsis of the food from our second visit:
1. The three-item combo platter was downright miserly. I was embarrassed on behalf of the management for serving THREE SMALL PIECES OF EACH ITEM in a combo platter. This, when they charge similar prices to TGIF, which serves a small mound of each in its own three-item combo platter. “Is this all there is to the dish?”, we asked the waiter, who looked at us for a second, and then turned and walked away.
2. It gets better. Cross-checking with the menu, we realised that this shameless rip-off of a dish was actually short one promised bowl of sauce. We called the waiter back, and taking care to be polite and friendly, requested the missing bowl. He nodded and went off. This process had to be repeated thrice before he gave us the bowl of sauce. It might be that Chili’s wasn’t trying to save a precious quarter cup of sauce by stiffing us; they were merely careless. In which case, I’m just as disgusted, because oversight shouldn’t be part of a premium (and premiumly-priced) chain’s delivery.
3. In sight of the lousy combo platter and the enchilidas two of our group had ordered (they were of the generic plastic Boston/New York Tex-Mex kind that all my Californian and Mexican friends scoffed at), we cancelled all our other orders, except the plate of ribs that was apparently already being cooked.
4. The ribs actually were fairly good, though the BBQ sauce was downright shop-bought. When a Tex-Mex place opens shop, one expects better than a sauce one can buy just down the street at the supermarket.
Before leaving, we asked politely for the response forms. The waiter and greeter were a little reluctant, but we remained friendly and firm. If we like the concept of a place but not the execution, then as a food-enthusiast and consumer, I think we should provide feedback to the management. We left a polite, constructive note, and left. Within ten minutes, we got a call.
“Madame, you were not even at Chili’s, how can you leave a negative review?” demanded a voice.
“Is this the manager?” I asked.
“Madame, were you actually at Chili’s today?” the voice insisted.
“Yes, I was”, I said. “And we didn’t have the best experience.”
“Sorry ma’am”, the voice said, “we don’t even have a reservation in your name, how can you be here?”
“Is this the manager? Would you like me to come back and show you the bill Chili’s just generated?” I asked sternly.
The other side disconnected the phone.
So, in conclusion, and to return where we began: ‘sup Chili’s Powai. You’re pretty shit. Goodbye, and I suppose, good luck.