There are times when doing things ‘the Time Out way’ (ie dining anonymously) is bloody frustrating and you yearn to yell for the manager and implore them for the sake of their outlet and your lunch/ dinner experience to, for want of a better phrase, pull their finger out. Such a time was my recent trip to Ichiban Boshi in Pavilion KL.
The food was so bad it’s actually depressing to recall. I am still not entirely convinced that my salmon sashimi was what it was alleged to be. If someone were to tell me that in fact what I consumed was wax replica food from a show kitchen I would not be overly surprised, such was its total lack of taste, freshness or salmon-ness.
The sushi train, cunningly organised so that during a 35-minute luncheon a grand total of one RM2 plate appeared in a sea of servings priced at RM4 and RM6, delivered more bland offerings that had clearly been on the train too long. An excellent advertisement against public transport if ever there was one.
Next was the toughest, stringiest chicken you’ll find without subjecting a fowl to marathon training. Never a huge thigh fan I tried it gamely until the pile of inedible meat (much of it removed from my mouth after extensive chewing got us no closer to digestion) became greater than that which had reached my stomach. Beyond that the miso soup, tofu and katsu curry were fine, although I wouldn’t so much say the side order of vegetables were over-cooked as that they reached a state of over-cooked-ness several days ago and had since remained simmering in the pan reaching a level of beyond-done unseen since Old Ma Bellotti’s Sunday lunches circa 1986.
However, even in this sea of sucky sushi, sashimi and so on, what really rankled was the service. Never before have so many waiting staff been so accomplished at avoiding eye contact. Hardly the most demanding diners, we just wanted trivial items such as a drink – no diet coke or sparkling water available – or receptacles to pour our soy sauce in, which arrived via an underarm flick through the air by a passing waitress, before sliding clumsily with a clink into our glasses and plates. There was no shortage of staff, standing as sentries at equidistant points around the restaurant, yet from the level of attention they paid we would have been better off with Ray Charles, Andrea Bocelli and Stevie Wonder on duty.
So bad was this experience it actually reflects badly on the whole of the city as – extraordinarily – the restaurant was full of lunching KL-ites. Matt Bellotti
|Venue name:||Ichiban Boshi||Contact:|
Level 1, Pavilion 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang