This is an open letter to Kamalig Restaurant in Iloilo.
When one of my heads asked me to bring her to a restaurant that embodies the spirit of being an Ilonggo, the first thing came into my mind, was Kamalig, in Atria District, in Mandurriao. Based from real life experience and anecdotes from my friends, Kamalig is one of the best.
I believed them.
We ordered the finest authentic Ilonggo dishes. We want to taste it all. We want to experience the history of Iloilo imprinted on the food. My boss, since it was her first time in the city of Love wanted also to experience the magical taste of Batchoy. Unfortunately, Kamalig does not serve that specific dish. I was expecting that they will recommend a solution.
They did not go the extra mile. It is unbecoming of an Ilonggo.
My essence is always to make it happen. The Ilonggo spirit of hospitality and the passion to make it possible, urged me to buy a bowl of Batchoy from a nearby restaurant and I personally brought it inside Kamalig.
The staff did not stopped me, what they did was, while we shared funny stories of positivism, while we praise the elegance of the place, while our eye balls were rolling because of the mouth-watering flavors of the food; someone approached my boss, and the staff delivered the line that struck me dead.
She said that she will be charging corkage because of the Batchoy.
In my mind can’t you wait?
Everything becomes black and bland. I did not touch their food. I lose my appetite.
“How come the corkage? You are not serving Batchoy naman.” I said.
“It’s our policy.”, she said in an argumentative stance.
“Ok, how much is the corkage, I will settle it later, can’t you see, we are eating?”
“100 pesos.” she said.
It takes 100 pesos to demolish the memorable experience of costumers in a City known to provide authentic Love and Care. It is common sense, and basic costumer service competency, that all financials, should be covered after the person consumed the food.
Yes, what the staff did was authentic, an authentic act that will prevent us from eating in Kamalig again.
It is so authentic, that I personally, cannot contain myself but to tell stories about my bad experience, and because of this authenticity, I am writing this to you, to show you, that sometimes, failure to communicate, in the establishment part, should not ever constitute to our food demise.
Where is the hospitality? Where is the respect? Where is the humanity?
I am not angry, I am only disappointed that you weren’t able to delay your gratification to collect for the “penalty”; despite we are in the middle of our food fantasy. It is inhumane, not to say, bad for your business.
Restaurants succeed not because they serve good food but because they care, while they serve.
My blog is our corkage to you. The difference is that, this will not costs you 100 pesos.
Contact Mutya @ firstname.lastname@example.org