Bedminster, NJ

#1 Nov 20, 2012

The "blurb" on website says "The moment I walked in, I knew the experience would be different" -- The New York Times.

Well, it WAS DIFFERENT all right. This should have been a warning sign for me from the start -- How could a newly-opening restaurant in Somerset have a NYT review?!

We went on Saturday night November 17th, which turned out to be the opening night for this pretty new restaurant. We were waited on by a very pleasant, albeit inexperienced staff. That was about the only nice part of our experience.

When we sat down, we were presented with some computer print-out menus and told that full menu was unavailable that night. Somewhat disappointing as some of the most interesting looking menu items from the website weren't there, but there were still enough things to choose from so we ordered.

Some in our party ordered the sweet corn chowder -- which was delicious, albeit too spicy for some people (the waiter offered to take back the too-spicy bowl and have the kitchen remake it -- which we were skeptical about, usually soup is premade -- it eventually came back nearly a half-hour later still spicy, but now with the curious addition of coriander leaves). The hot & sour soup ordered by others was way too salty, and the person who ordered the fried calimari had to send it back to the kitchen because it was brittle and tasteless.

The main courses were worse. The pad thai arrived with half-cooked (brittle) rice noodles in a brown & gloppy sauce that one in our party called "a poorly-done lo mein"...there was not a peanut in sight, nor did the dish in any way resemble the pretty picture on the website. The curries were even worse, soggy tasteless brown soup bowls of stuff. According to the "real" menu, they were supposed be accompanied by either brown or jasmine rice, but the kitchen and servers didn't seem to know this and, after about a ten minute wait while our curries got cold, they told us the brown rice we requested was unavailable and would we have white rice instead? took another five minutes for this to arrive. By that time, the unappetizing curries were inedible -- we had had enough and I asked to speak with the owner.

The manager informed us that the owner had gone out (on opening night!!!) so I talked with the manager instead. I pointed out our table with still full inedible plates and he offered to comp us half the bill -- I said this seemed expensive for 3 edible soups (the other stuff was plainly uneaten at our table) and eventually he comped us 75%, making the bill $34 which I reluctantly paid (along with a tip of $30 to the waitstaff since none of this was their fault.)

At this point the owner returned and I asked about what was going on -- Why hadn't they done a "soft" opening with family and friends? Why was the food so terrible? Where had the NYT review come from? He responded that they had done an opening yesterday.(Hadn't people complained about the food?) He responded that his "famous NYC chef" (upon whom the NYT blurb was based) had quit yesterday and he had $10,000 of perishable food so he had to get a replacement chef and open. He berated me for complaining when I had gotten a 75% discount. When I said that $34 was still mighty expensive for 3 edible soups and that our whole party was now headed out for the theater with stomachs growling, he thrust $35 into my hands and told me to leave.

As we were leaving, a couple came up and asked how was the food? I told the couple that the food was terrible and they should go somewhere else. The owner had come outside behind me and yelled at me then, saying "I gave you back your money; go away and stop chasing away my customers!"

So a warning to the wise -- this is a place to avoid unless and until they get new management.(No wonder the chef quit!)

Hillsborough, NJ

#2 Nov 21, 2012
great food,best food in this area.

North Brunswick, NJ

#3 Nov 21, 2012
To Carol "the complainer"
I was actually there the same night on Saturday for their grand opening. I was DISTURBED by the fact that you proceeded to complain and raise your voice in front of the whole restaurant, as if complaining at your table wasn't enough?? Learn some manners. If you have ever worked in the service industry, you'd be a little more understanding at the fact that this is a new restaurant and it takes a while to work out the hiccups. The food is delicious, the wait staff is very personable and attentive, and the atmosphere is awesome. This place will do great business. Word to the wise, don't RUIN other patron's experience by yelling in front of the whole place. If you've got a problem, take it up with the manager in an area that isn't in front of customers. I bet you feel real proud don't you??

Bound Brook, NJ

#4 Nov 21, 2012
Must go restaurant..
Been there twice since the grand opening, had a great experience both times and at the same time the food was beyond delicious. I would highly recommend this restaurant to everyone. They have a very friendly environment and caring management. To CAROL, in his defense it was there first day open to the public, and he did try his best to apologize by refunding your check. But for anyone to go out there and tell there customers not to come dine in here was still very low and inconsiderate of you. For him to tell you about his chef problem was his honesty and not his weakness in my opinion. But back to my experience The drums of heaven were delicious and had a nice kick to them. The main course's had a large quantity and had a lot of flavor. The desserts (although the first time we went they only had ice cream) the second time we went they had a wonderful mango mousse cake with whipped cream. Overall, Great food, Great service, Great decor and we are definitely going back.

Hillsborough, NJ

#5 Nov 21, 2012
Great food,service and service..... Thank you pan Asia ......

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