Stressful at Cafe de Coral? Read on...

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Stressful at Cafe de Coral? Read on...

Here I am again with my restaurant review...

cafe_de_coral

Photo credit: lapiz-lazuli

This time it's a fast food joint. It's very famous in Hong Kong, so I just didn't want to pass this one up when we were there. It's like the Jollibee of Hong Kong, it even accepts Octopus card as payment. How convenient, ei?

About Cafe de Coral

Video credit: Gastronomical Adventures via Youtube.com

But it is on par with Jollibee? Before I lash out my experience with Cafe de Coral, let me quote something from their official website:

Profile
Café de Coral is Hong Kong’s largest, most successful Chinese fast-food brand. Established in 1968, we currently operate over 150 self-service restaurants across the Territory. With over 45 years of proven experience in the food service and catering industry, we are serving some 300,000 customers daily.

Products
With a selection of over 100 items, our daily menus are regularly rotated to ensure optimum variety. The many innovative products we offer cover everything from Western cuisines to traditional Chinese dishes. New and seasonal products are also offered regularly.

Places
Our restaurants are the much-loved mainstays of mixed-use districts, business hubs, shopping centres, industrial areas and public and private housing estates all over Hong Kong. With an average area of 300 sq. m., each of our restaurants is designed to enhance customers’ dining pleasure with a warm and modern ambience.

People
Our frontline service team is made up of an energetic and dedicated work force of around 6,000 staff. Our customers are of all ages and from walks of life ranging from students and local residents to young executives.

Prospects
We are committed to enhancing our leading position in Hong Kong’s competitive restaurant and catering market by constantly anticipating and responding to customers’ different needs. New product launches and exciting interior design concepts are just two of many ways we regularly deliver on our promise of enriching our customers’ total dining experience. We are also doing everything we can to live up to our responsibilities as a good corporate citizen.

- from Cafe de Coral

Yeah, it's been around for quite a long time, decades before I was born, so Hongkies must really love what they serve here.

Cafe de Coral, Kowloon

cafe_de_coral_hk

Photo credit: lapiz-lazuli

Cafe de Coral isn't hard to spot. You might get lost looking for one, but rest assured because you can just ask around just by flashing its logo to bystanders when you feel you're getting lost getting into one.

cafe_de_coral_menu

Photo credit: lapiz-lazuli

We just strolled away from our hotel to the nearest branch. It was located on a multiple-storey building (upstairs) so we needed a lift for grandma. Fortunately there was one.

Dinner Dining

sweet_and_sour_pork

Cashier. Photo credit: lapiz-lazuli

I was really excited about dining here, to feel how typical locals eat and what they eat regularly. According to the excerpt, they rotate their menu list, so I didn't plan what to pick. "Suprise me!" was the order of the day (or night).

beef_with_uncooked_egg

Claiming of orders. Photo credit: lapiz-lazuli

The ambience of the place was warm but not suffocating. It probably would during lunch, but dinner dining was cozy. Unfortunately, when eating at night, the menu list kept on shortening.

Cafe de Coral Menu

hongkong_fast_food

Photo credit: lapiz-lazuli

Before heading to the cashier, you'd be welcomed by the menu hanged to a wall. Don't worry because it has English titles. Take your pick on what's available, otherwise it would be covered or marked "out of order."

chinese_fast_food

Photo credit: lapiz-lazuli

I took pictures of what we would like to eat, presented it to the cashier on our turn, and paid. However, the dish I wanted was not available anymore after paying eventhough it was still dangling on the wall. Bummer, right? Anyway, I changed my order (quickly), and the cashier gave me the change (price difference on my previous order and the more recent one).

I didn't bother to look at my receipt so when I got back to our seat, sis gave me a little scolding. I think it was more of language barrier, because I requested for 5 dishes, but only 3 pushed through. The cashier knew conversational English; I was confident we understood each other, but still... heh, after getting agitated, sis ordered the remaining.

Video credit: lapiz-lazuli via bitlanders.com

After a few minutes, I claimed our dishes. I got the first one quickly, but went for a second for the other two, with a relative, because, well, who can lift two heavy trays in one go?! Certainly not me.

Beef with Uncooked Egg

cafe_de_coral_hongkong

Photo credit: lapiz-lazuli

After all the fuss, I was ready to gobble down my food. I can say that the portion size was gigantic again. My food really looked yucky, because of the raw scrambled egg topping my beef and rice.

Was it good? Uhm...I dont know how to say it, but it really tasted like beef with uncooked egg on rice, except that they did awesome stuff with the beef. Now I wonder how Hongkies cook and season their beef...

My Cup of Tea

As for the drink that came with it, the tea, I kind of love it. By the way, I didn't manage to finish up my meal, only the beef parts. It tasted weirder and weirder to me.

Sweet and Sour Pork

hainan_chicken

Photo credit: lapiz-lazuli

Sis came back and I was surprised because she was carrying the dish I previously ordered that they supposedly ran out of (as told by the cashier). It was sweet and sour pork, and it was an exquisite one for a fast food dish.

Hainan Chicken

cafe_de_coral_kowloon

Photo credit: lapiz-lazuli

I tasted my grandma's order. I didn't like the anemic-looking, tough-chewing, bland-tasting, stomach-churning Hainan chicken on her plate. She almost finished it though, if not for the portion size.

Complaints?

We took our time finishing our meal, when one customer by another leave the place. It was almost closing time when we left.

But before that, I heard complaints from my mom and my sister. Mom told us that she found their staff rude. She was only asking for service water but she was treated rudely--the server stomped the glass on the counter. My sister was also treated the same manner when asking for her order.

I also had a little complaint: shooing me away when I was taking pictures.

On the other hand, my sister told us it wasn't that way in another Cafe de Coral branch when she visited a long time ago. I think the staff, at that place and time, was grumpy because it was closing time; it doesn't justify their actions, though.

Did I have a good time at this restaurant? Well, be the judge with my choice of words in this blog post. If you want to rant something about restaurants, you can do so her in this Querlo chat box:

 

End note: Pictures, videos and write-up are originally made by lapiz-lazuli, unless stated otherwise. Views and opinions in this blog post are truthful but subjective and are not influenced by sponsorship of any sort.

 



About the author

lapiz-lazuli

I'm an oceansoul who likes reading and learning stuff.

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