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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Restaurant Review: Blu Ginger, Civic

For my farewell dinner, friends organised a group dinner at Blu Ginger. I had heard many good things about this restaurant and was excited to try it.

The restaurant is always busy for good reason. The food (which is Indian cuisine) was absolutely delicious. We especially loved the lamb and pumpkin curry (my favourite), the goat curry and the chicken korma (really really good as far as kormas go!). There is plenty of choice on the menu, including a number of options that you don't see in just any Indian restaurant.

The food came out quickly and the servings were good for the price. In terms of atmosphere, it was packed on the Saturday night we were there (and very noisy) and they had squished us together on a too-small table, but it was bearable. It was warm and cosy at least, with nice decor.

I would go so far as to say that it is one of the best Indian restaurants I have eaten at in terms of the taste and quality of the food. Here is a photo of the deliciousness:

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about the service which was disorganised and rude. We were a group of 16, but had split into smaller groups to share meals. I suggested to the waiter that he put the meals of the group of 6 people with whom I was sharing separately to the rest of the table, so that they'd know where to deliver the mains and sides. He said "no we don't do that here".

That's fine, but as expected when the orders were brought out it was chaos- sides had been combined into single bowls and were delivered randomly to different parts of the table, not to those who ordered them. At least one meal wasn't delivered at all. One person asked for another serving of rice and was brought a huge bowl which they probably charged at 4 servings. Another person asked for another serving of rice and it never arrived.

When we got the bill, we queried it because of the meal that hadn't been delivered. In addition, rice was $3 per serving and we had been charged for 18 servings (totaling $54, not an insignificant amount to spend on rice), which was not possible because we only had 16 people and not everyone had a serving (in our group of 6, we ordered 2 servings of rice between us and 4 servings of naan).

The response from our waiter to my polite query was incredibly rude. Apparently the meal that hadn't arrived had definitely been delivered "somewhere" (they just couldn't tell us where), and so they wouldn't remove it. We had also "definitely" ordered that many servings of rice. I couldn't be bothered arguing so we were just going to pay the full amount. The waiter then came to the table and said angrily "If you are really still disputing that the meal arrived, I will remove it, but it definitely was delivered".

To put this into perspective, the meal that we wanted removed from the bill cost $16. The 16 of us had ordered a main each, at least one side each (or 2.5 sides each if we accepted their rice bill, which we did because it would have been too much effort to dispute further), lassis, softdrinks, wine and beers. The total bill came to well over $400. The waiter caused 16 people to leave with a bad taste in their mouths and a tainted opinion of the restaurant due his rude attitude over a $16 meal. Very dumb by anyone's standards.

Food = 9/10 - Excellent!
Service = 2/10 - Terrible! Mostly thanks to one waiter, who should be fired.
What a pity about this discrepancy...


  1. I haven't eaten here yet but I have heard great things about the food. I actually have not had a good experience dining with a large group of people anywhere in Canberra so far. The service staff just get incredibly grumpy and frustrated :s

    1. I totally agree re group dining in Canberra. I think service in Canberra tends to be a lot worse in general than in other cities (but thankfully there are exceptions)


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