Where is the Mang Inasal I once loved?

Mang Inasal started from Iloilo and I was blessed to experience its love, passion for excellence and unique style in serving signature Filipino food favorites. I am an eye and tongue witness on how they won the hearts of the masses which caused their rapid expansion to 450 stores nationwide.

Tito, (who is now in heaven) always chooses Mang Inasal as the venue for our celebration. His reason–the store is inclusive and has the heart and the hands of a genuine Filipino.

I believed in him.

Actually, the Mang Inasal chicken in Iloilo was the best Inasal I ever tasted my whole life.

However, sad to say that the Mang Inasal that I knew and I loved back when I was in college is very far from what I am encountering today.

The classic soup is already part of history.

I already tested at least three Mang Inasal branches in Manila and all of them failed to serve the signature soup. For them, it is only soup but for me, it represents the warmth of the funny and inspiring conversations with Tito, which I am longing for.

In order to have a drop of chicken oil, you need to steal from the nearby table yourself.

For you to have the sauce, you need to ask five times from the attendants.

For you to have the tissue, you need to stand up and get it from the counter.

Water is already self-service. I tell you, when it started in Iloilo, giving water to patrons was part of the protocol.

Where is the excellent customer service?

This is heart-rending, as someone who eats in Mang Inasal to reminisce the happy memories with my Tito.

Mang Inasal is a place where I can be happy and smile when my heart and head are heavy.

Mang Inasal positioned as a place where I can talk to Tito, where I can see him again, eating the chicken and the halo-halo while grinning.

Tears fell from my eyes as I repeatedly witnessed in many occasions how Mang Inasal deviates from its real purpose. The vision of its creator, whom I looked up to, is starting to shatter.

All I know is that, Mang Inasal ang Tito died a year ago.

Lastly, to the management of Mang Inasal, if you have love and compassion remaining for your customers, kindly uplift your standards once again. Please review the qualifications of your managers and crew. Please deliver the promised excellent experience, and most importantly, please respect the history of Mang Inasal.

-Mutya

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#Mutya: I will never eat again in Kamalig Restaurant, Iloilo.

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.

-Mutya

Contact Mutya @ ikuwentokaymutya@gmail.com