Monday 11 March 2002 3.11pm
I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion and clearly Miss Hicks did not like anyhting very much about Champor-Champor. But if she wants to do her dirty washing in public, I would at least like to clarify a few points that she raises.
Firstly, I accept that there was an error on her bill, but I certainly did not become 'shirty' with her. In my reply email I apologised and told her that obviously we would refund the error. She then told me that she thought it was all over-priced and that she was not happy with the portions or quality of the food and I offered her a refund up to the full amount of the meal, rather than have her feeling 'ripped off', as she put it.
I don't consider that is being 'shirty'. It is probably being foolish. She asked for a 50% refund on top of the refunded error, which I gave to her the following day without any problem. I don't know which other restaurants would do that. After all, it is not like taking things back to a shop and asking for a refund.
Even after doing this, she wishes to slag the restaurant off in public.
She mentions Camden Market style 'bric-a-brac'. Nothing in the restaurant comes from Camden Market; the pieces were imported from India and Southeast Asia directly; others were made specially for the restaurant.
is not an 'ordinary' restaurant and I guess some people 'see' it and others don't, but I am sure that our regular clientele would be disappointed to be labelled as 'deluded' by one person who seems to have an axe to grind.
Miss Hicks mentions the lack of good restaurants in the area. I think that there are actually quite a lot of good restaurants in the area - and more on the way, no doubt. Time will tell whether or not we get 'pushed out of the picture'.
We are a small restaurant, with what many people say is a very special ambience. It is our intention that people should have a good time in the restaurant; we regard it as a total dining experience - a combination of good food, ambience and service. This is partly why we offer set two or three course dinners (which also includes bread/tofu and canapes before the meal). Most of our guests like to linger in the restaurant and tell us that they enjoy the food, ambience and seem to have a good time. Many vote with their feet and come back with friends.
I would rather not have people like Miss Hicks - who clearly dislike all aspects of the restaurant - dining with us and then making a big fuss about it. That is precisely why I asked her not to come back. I even went so far as to recommend some other restaurants in the area, since she has recently moved here.