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Champor Champor delight

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Thursday 20 April 2006 11.14am
Indeed. I've only been to Champor Champor once, quite recently, but it was fabulous. I really liked the decor, made it feel very individual and different to your standard restaurant offer, and we had the tasting menu which had so much variety and was really nicely done. It was pretty pricey but the wine was quite cheap and we had to roll home afterwards we ate so much so a good deal alround. I probably wouldn't go that often but I'd really recommend it for a special meal or something a bit different.

It does amaze me that critics can write something so vitriolic and often lacking in fact and get away with it, but I guess that's what readers want - and from my experience of having insider knoweldge of things that are covered in the press every article is wrong in some detail!
Thursday 20 April 2006 11.20am
I was taken to Champor Champor by my partner on our first date and was very impressed with his choice - I loved the place and the food.

The service was also excellent. We have been back again since ( a couple of times we tried, but it was fully booked - our fault for turning up on the offchance) and last time I had the stuffed quail that Mr Coren is so scathing about and it was delicious (and I don't normally like liver) and my partner had the catfish which was also very good.

Having worked in many restaurants in my student days including one with 2 Michelin stars, having been a member of the Slow Food movement during the 8 years I lived in Italy, and currently having a job that allows me to eat on occasion in some of the best restaurants in London I feel I'm quite well qualified to know the quality of what I'm putting in my mouth.
Jac
Thursday 20 April 2006 2.28pm
Whilst I have not been to Champor-Champor since its extention I too do not recognise the restaurant in the review. I once took along one of my most discerning foodie friends who knows a lot about wines and he couldn't help but enquire about the various wines on the list and he found them to be very knowledgeable of the wines they were serving. he also liked the food very much. The staff have also been very friendly on the visits we have made.

I feel I must go back and see if there really is a completely new restaurant in its place.
Thursday 20 April 2006 3.42pm
I have always loved C-C. Interesting food, great place inside, good drinks, etc. It's a special occasion place, and the prices are in line with that. Service was always good, the 4 or 5 times we've been there. The optional-but-we've-written-it-on-your-bill approach to a service charge does annoy me, but they're quite clear and up front about it and it's their choice.

(I don't buy the argument that you'd do something like that in order to save VAT though. I'm sure it probably does save VAT, but I can't believe that's the main reason for doing it. Obviously I can't substantiate this, but I wouldn't think it was commercially sensible because of the risk of generating annoyed customers. But I don't run a succesful restaurant so what do I know?)

Had a bad experience trying to book there for Valentines' Day, though, and haven't been back since. Made a booking a while in advance (a month perhaps?), and this was confirmed, but then a couple of weeks before the 14th I had the most unhelpful man ring me to try and get me to confirm that I wouldn't mind having the special V-Day meal. (Not the usual posh-sounding man who's on the answerphone msg.) After trying to railroad me into agreeing to something I hadn't seen, he agreed after lengthy discussion to actually tell me what the difference was between that and their seasonal menu, which he managed to gracelessly do in every respect apart from telling me that the price was different. Being just a teeny bit this side of born-yesterday, I asked him whether there might be an adjustment in the price versus the usual menu, and got a grudging acceptance that yes, indeed that was the case. By this time, he was obviously so tired with the effort of discussing something with a potential diner that I took him up on his offer to email me a menu so I could take a day to think and maybe consult Mrs I. After much sighing (on his part) and double-checking of email addresses, I never got the menu and called to cancel the meal a day or two later. The overwhelming sense that the man on the phone just couldn't be bothered persuaded me to take our custom elsewhere.

Shame, because I've always loved C-C

...if you press it, they will come.
Thursday 20 April 2006 4.02pm
Giles Coren??

Needs another good slap if you ask me

But what do I know........... Apart from having been to school with the tw*t
fh
Thursday 20 April 2006 7.13pm
i've always wanted to try champor champor out because i simply love south east asian food and have pretty much eaten at every other restaurant serving it in London. However i do find the 15% very very off putting and presumptious. yes most restaurants in London do add on a discretionary 12.5% but I think that champor champor adding on another 2.5, shall i say - indigestible. "Discretionary" in any case is a dubious word - putting the 15% on puts pressure on people to pay up. I suggest CC change their tradition and give customers a real chance to be pleased enough to "want" to tip.
Thursday 20 April 2006 8.35pm
I read the Giles Coren review earlier - have to agree with Zcars and others that it's a rubbish review, it's poor journalistically and poor on a culinary note.

Thank you to Champor Champor for responding to my earlier Post.
Friday 21 April 2006 3.31am
Champor-Champor wrote:
Osamede... The 15% service charge is discretionary. The reason we do this is partly to avoid having to pay VAT on the service element. We do have a particularly high staff/customer ratio.
If you don't want to pay part of the service charge it is not compulsory - just let us know. This is actually common practice at most restaurants, which add a discretionary 12.5% service charge

"Common practice" or not, i think its a BAD practice to write your own tip. I'm not sure its any more legitiate just because "everyone does it".

Personally that turned me off from going back. Just my two cents....
gii
Friday 21 April 2006 1.33pm
zcars

have you slapped him before - did he enjoy it -sorry my fantasy running away with me.
Friday 21 April 2006 5.07pm
A fantasy about slapping Giles Coren...
Each to his own.
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