I have frequented Akina Sushi and Asian Fusian Bistro numerous times before composing this review leading invariably, to my final patronize of the establishment.
I have overlooked inconsistent timing between ordering and execution; excessive long waits to entrees preceding appetizers. I have overlooked an inexperienced staff as an occupational hazard in our “small” town. I have until now…
Having worked professionally in fine dining for one of the world’s leading entertainment companies, I learned quite a bit about food service integrity and the establishment’s responsibility to its patron.
One: All dietary restrictions are handled with the utmost respect.
Two: If the food is good, one will overlook subpar service occasionally, but poor food coupled with poor service rarely brings that customer back.
The “service” I am referring to in this instance is not with the wait staff, but solely with the management.
Regardless of food allergies, dietary restrictions or religious beliefs, everyone has the right to dine out and a good establishment can accommodate any simple requests.
Veganism is not intimidating for an Asian restaurant.
I have ordered the Jjambbong (spicy Korean-inspired noodle soup) $multiple times. Manager Doreen, has always assured me that it is a strictly vegetable-based broth that is easily converted to a vegan entrée by omitting the addition of the recommended proteins; chicken and shrimp. However, substituting tofu instead of the chicken and shrimp yielded an additional $2.00 upcharge this visit.
(At the time of this review; fresh white shrimp cost $12 - $15 per pound, boneless chicken breast retailed nationally at $3.18 per pound, and tofu averaged $2.00 per pound).
I also ordered a large a hot sake ($8.00 +) and my carnivore dining companions ordered comparably with the addition of an appetizer.
Upon receiving our entrees, our server reiterated I received the vegan order. I ingested some of the broth, stirred the contents and discovered shrimp in my bowl.
Now, let me say this… Veganism aside. Ethics aside. Integrity aside. Had I had a shellfish allergy, this would have become a very serious issue of concern for all parties.
Regardless, this should have been of great concern for the management (and owner) who never approached our table the multiple times she passed thereafter. Never offered an apology. Never offered her assurance of a substitute meal, even negated my guest’s request to comp the sake for my inconvenience.
Please note: our server had brought this faux pas to her attention.
I can only add that I did not feel like an appreciated, repeat patron (nor did my companions as a result of how this mistake was handled by the management) and we will not be patronizing this establishment again.
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