Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Eis (Albert Park) 10/2010

Expectation is the thief of joy. A woeful hamburger at to greasy Joe's is quite acceptable but a lousy dinner at a supposedly fine restaurant is really disappointing. Eis has been on my agenda for some time, recommended as something of a hidden gem in the heart of the Albert Park restaurant area at 188 Bridport St. So expectations were high but the gem turned out to be somewhat flawed. It is a very pleasant venue with seating for about 34 patrons. It has a neat, clean feel about it. Tables are set with paper covered linen table cloths and napkins. Wire backed seats are a bit too flexible and have pillows for comfort.
We started with three entrees. Deep fried Gyoza were presented with a small slightly wilted salad and a spicy dipping sauce.
They were small and over fried with very little filling. A half an eggplant stuffed with onion looked great. unfortunately It was excessively sweet. Chicken katsu crumbed, fried and presented with a red sauce which was a little overpowering for the chicken, came with a very ordinary, and most un Japanese, mashed potato! One of the distinguishing features of Japanese restaurants is in the presentation of dishes , both the crockery and the way vegetables are sliced or cut. Eis falls down badly here. For all that it was quite nice and I'd have it again. These entrees were all OK but for us the mains failed. A chicken and rice noodle curry turned out to be a hot curry soup
which surprised us as we have never had a hot Japanese curry before and Sandra could not eat it. I ordered a salmon with crumbed pesto dressing which was on a bed of mashed potatoes and a little spinach and pumpkin.
There was nothing remotely Japanese about this dish. I could have had it with teriaki sauce but felt this would be to strong for the delicate fish. It was a very plain dish and I should have ordered something else. Why a Japanese restaurant would serve this sort of thing at all, and particularly with mashed potato, puzzles me. The other issue that arises from this experience is the way in which a restaurant should handle a customers dissatisfaction. If a dish is not cooked as requested or has an obvious fault it is normally replaced without question. When the dish is simply not to the customers liking, or even inedible because of an ingredient that the customer did not expect and cannot stomach what should the restaurant do? Is it reasonable to have a different approach for customers who are known to the staff as compared to those who come for the first time? Should they apologize for serving food just as they always do simply because someone finds it awful? Does good will, and good marketing suggest that something should be offered gratis - a dessert or beverage or even a replacement dish? I know what I would do if I was the proprietor. We were not very happy by now and didn't even consider a dessert. Eis is extremely Anglicized and does not rate as fine dining in my book.
Score: 12.5/20


Anonymous said...

Sorry but I totally disagree. I just LOVE this restaurant and find the food divine. I'm not sure how long ago you reviewed it but I've been there a no. of times in 2010 and each time its been really nice food. I like the rare braised beef in a citrus sauce. And the ginger creme brulee is to die for.
- Rebecca J. Scott

Elliot said...

No problem. We were there early in October 2010 I'm glad you like it. If you go to Ocha you will faint with pleasure the food there is very Jaspanese and modern.