16 August 2007

Rotten meal...

| RedD0g
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With the millions of dollars being spent refurbishing local clubs in recent times, you wouldn’t expect the incredibly low quality of food, and service we received last night at Wests Rugby club in Jamison.

We were there for a family birthday dinner for one of the kids, 4 of us ordered what looked to be a good value for money roast buffet.
After politely advising one of the girls the roast beef was inedible, as it was undercooked, bleeding and like chewing on an old boot, it was replaced with their “second roast for the night” (which upon thinking, now makes me wonder why the first one was replaced anyway). 20 minutes later we had some “fresh” slices which ended up being passed around the table as they smelt a bit funny (funny being a major understatement), when I flipped the meat and asked one of the girls collecting plates to have a smell she retched and came close to throwing up on the spot.

I took the plate and said I wanted to show the chef, I was then told he was too busy to see me, I’m pretty sure he changed his mind and decided he did want to have a chat once I’d helped myself into the kitchen. I asked him to sniff the meat then he too near spewed on the spot. I told him it was rotten to which he replied “it f*&#ing shouldn’t be” then proceeded to verbally abuse me to the point of which I thought he was trying to accuse me of doing something wrong. I wasn’t going to stand for this so gave him a few words back and asked for a refund. Just to rub salt into the wound I then discovered one of the other guys hadn’t gotten his steak he’d ordered well over an hour before, then some older ladies who obviously overheard what was going on told us they’d had more than one bad experience themselves and that the meals they received where terrible too…

I would HIGHLY recommend no one eats at this club, not only because we where served ROTTING food but also for receiving absolutely NO customer service in return.. Well actually I got something closer to abuse than customer service.

We are still concerned at whether any of us may get sick from it, so far so good…

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Totally agree with reddogs right to complain, and the way he went about it. Mind you, I wouldn’t recommend a US family restaurant as any sort of model. We were there a couple of years ago and whatever was being served out on the buffet had our kids throwing up all night. Back to Wests though, good on them for acknowledging the problems on the site. Pity the chef couldn’t respond in the same way.

Kudos to Wests for getting on to this and not being defensive, but really trying to fix this. Well done.

As for the chef, he sounds like a few I’ve worked with in kitchens. Amazing people (and not in a good way). Contracting, eh? When are people going to realise that contracting is not the way to go if you really care about the result?

red Dog – Glad you claified – hope you get your money back – and have a good meal at a more reputable establishment next time.

Not all chefs are ass hats (I was turning into one – now I am just a mellow aging man)

Please accept my sincerest apoligies for thinking outside the general concensus – you are welcome at my house for a real feed anytime you want 🙂

Props out to Andrew – sucking it up and copping it on the chin for something he was not responsible for.

I (And I am sure everyone else here) would like to know the outcome of your conversation with Andrew…not specifically – just a positive or negative outcome acknowledgement would be good.

VY – I will be in Vegas/Honolulu soon – will be interesting to compare their normal standard to ours… Ill report back….. Hay what ever happened to the monthly stats – did they dissapear with JB ?

I wanted to log a dot on the map from Las Vegas.

pfft shut up Danman.

Ill go hide now.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt10:25 am 17 Aug 07

If it was really as bad as the story goes, the club is getting what it deserves. Good on Andrew, though, for wanting to deal with this.

That said, I have noticed that the service of many (more expensive) establishments seems to have gone even further downhill in recent times. Perhaps a trip to the US to go to some family restuarants there would educate people about what service is all about.

Danman I appreciate the point you are trying to get across but seriously, you think I created an OH&S issue, would you not agree that the food which was served was an OH&S issue in itself…

Also I feel the need to clarify as this has been brought up more than once. I did not infact enter the kitchen as such, and this can be verified by anyone present. If anyone knows the layout of the new bistro the entry to the kitchen is located directly next to the register where you pay, I simply stood in that doorway, I did not at any time enter or step foot into the kitchen, I was fully aware at the time that it would be inappropriate to enter, (although the attitude given to me made it tempting), I was simply trying to get the chefs attention, which worked. I should have made this clear this in the first place (even though I don’t think it should matter), it was more of a threat to enter the kitchen if you know what I mean as I was being ignored.

“No wonder the chef got annoyed – not only where you having a dig at his work – you where interrupting him at work as well.”… Having a dig at, and interrupting his work, again pleeease you’ve got to be kidding, how would you expect anyone not to react in such a situation. I was not in any way having a dig, I was polite and trying to indicate a serious issue HE was the one who started swearing and being irate, I simply reacted (as anyone would). And as for “interrupting his work”, well please tell me what would be more important, the nights kitchen cleanup and prep for the next day which they where doing, or addressing a serious OH&S issue with food storage or the supplier? Whatever happened to constructive criticism..!

You state that as a chef you would be happy to accommodate anything you could, given the chance, well I think that’s pretty much what we all expect from the “hospitality”-(see below) industry, I gave this guy more than a chance, (when you think about it in a way perhaps I was helping them) but he didn’t even give me a chance to explain the problem.

You also doubt my word on the “gag reflex tales”.. Well that’s ok I too would be and to some it may seem a little exaggerated so all I can say is that there where 8 adult and 3 child witnesses, as for the waiting staff you would have to ask them whether they would like to admit the truth.

I didn’t make a loud commotion in front of anyone also, well maybe a little after I coped some verbal abuse. The chef also wanted to make it clear to me that he wasn’t the only chef that worked there, although he was the only one on that night. I still don’t quite know what his point was but am presuming that he was trying to push the blame elsewhere.. From this I then think we should all start referring to him a a “cook” not a chef.

Also please note, as I stated above I am simply recommending noone eats there, I am in no way saying not to enter the place for any other reason, it is quite a nice establishment with friendly staff.


1. the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers.
2. the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.

I worked a few shifts at the Wests in Jamison doing security and have also worked in numerous other clubs over the year.

Jamison far-and-away has the best outside area that I have seen in a club in Canberra. I’m guessing this is due to the space it occupies as older clubs struggled to stick in little nooks and crannies for smokers into spaces that they have already extended into.

As a non-smoker but someone who prefers to drink outside I could easily see myself drinking there if I lived north-side.

Making a loud commotion in front of everyone doesn’t make them think about what they are doing, now they’ll just refer to you as that Crazy B who went psycho that time. low-paid contract Chefs are generally very high-strung and I can see them reacting in that way to some Crazy B who stormed into their kitchen telling them to smell some meat. Of course you are right that he did act inappropriately in a way that reflects badly on the club.

As I mentioned previously I have worked in many different clubs over the years with many different styles of management but one thing has always been the same, anything bad that happens always falls on the blame of the Duty Manager regardless of whos fault it really is.

Your statement along the lines of “Nothing would’ve happened if we had talked to the DM” is absolutely and completely as far away from the truth as possible. A DM knows that if they fail to rectify a situation that the next place to go is to the Club Manager or the Board and that’s definately not something that they want to happen as it will reflect on them. I’m not sure who Andrew Patterson is but I reckon both the DM(undeserved) and the chef(deservedly) will be getting a serving over this.

In conclusion, it sucks that your meat smelt funny but Wests in Jamison actually is a very nice place and I would reccomend it to North Siders. If the food really does suck maybe your complaint will tip the contracters over the edge and it will become more then just a place that looks nice 🙂

And then the Riot-ACT will be able to claim that not only did they make Venue think about getting better security but they made the food at Wests tasty!

Time and a place – not the middle of service – sure teh chef may have dropped the ball but there are channels to address this.

“I took the plate and said I wanted to show the chef, I was then told he was too busy to see me”

I am sure that if an irate customer holding a smelly plate demands to see the chef from a waiter staff, who goes and talks to the chef only to come back and tell the customer, “Too busy”, I would get bloody irate too.

The chef, should have made the effort.

Defamation: RiotACT protects its readers and never has been sued over more important matters than this.

I would also like to mention that there are OH + S issues with presenting yourself in the kitchen while during service times.

Where you wearing slip resistant boots – was your hair concealed behind a hat or hairnet (if it was not shaved) – where you wearing long pants – are you trained in risk analysis inside a commercial kitchen ?

If you could not get your point across using a waitress or duty manager – perhaps you should have rang up the AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and welfare).

Your method makes as much sense as going into a workshop while mechanics are on duty to complain about their work.

No wonder the chef got annoyed – not only where you having a dig at his work – you were interrupting him at work as well.

Wait staff are used to connect the kitchen with the diners – you took that away.

I highly doubt the gag reflex tales you tell – but in any case there are ways to address issues – and from what you have outlined above – you have gone about everything the wrong way – sure you got a result – but you managed quite a smear campaign while you were at it.

Maybe the smear campaign was well deserved – but did you exhaust all avenues before dragging the clubs name through the dirt ?

I dont think so.

As a chef – if anyone had any issues with my food or services – I would be happy to accommodate anything I could IN THE FIRST INSTANCE – given the chance.

If my name was smeared without a chance to properly redeem myself (which is exactly what you have done to Wests club – not the contractor) I would be pulling out the defamation of business card.

Tread lightly – I am not saying that what you claim happened did not actually happen – I am saying that you should first exhaust all avenues 1st to quietly resolve the matter at hand – if you are not happy with the results of that line of inquiry then for sure – take it further.

I have to say – in my 10 years of being a chef (Stopped about 5 ago) I did receive a few complaints – but given the chance – and a person that I could reason with – I made sure that the outcome was always favorable to the customer.

Regardless of what I thought/knew of any situation I wa presented – the customer was always right – kissing arse get bums back on seats.

Slightly OT, but Radio National today had a story on skilled worker shortages in rural areas. A plain-old vanilla chef in somewhere like Caloundra can expect $100k (!!) and a good managerial chef double that (!! again). I wonder whether Canberra is like that; if so I’m definitely in the wrong game. I blame the gummint.

Good on ya Andrew. I am a member and the meals are a huge draw atraction. They are not hat cheap might I add.

I do hope that you and the board members eat the meals unexpectadly at times.

See – bitching on the internet can get results!

Andrew Patterson4:03 pm 16 Aug 07

RedDog, On behalf of Wests Rugby Club at Jamison, I would like to apologise for your experience at the club last night. If you contact me on 62512255, I would like to assist in rectifying this unfortunate incident, so that you may visit the club again in the confidence that we are dedicated to the needs of ALL members. In addition, i am addressing this issue with the contract caterer. A considerable sum of money has been spent on the dining areas of the club to ensure that all members have a pleasurable experience at the club. It is regrettable that this did not occurr last night. I would appreciate it if you contacted me.

the catering at westies is done on contract. Enough complaints will ensure they get the arse.

Note to self; Never eat at Wests. So, I don’t usually eat rotten food, but so many commenters are defending the club. Do you all normally eat rotten food?

I agree with all comments, although: 1. I would expect EDIBLE, good or not, no matter where it is purchased from. 2. I realise the refurbs are mainly due to banning of smoking in clubs but and that the bistro or cafe is not a “key bussiness function but in pure fact clubs are supposedly there for the community, money from the pokies is supposed to go back to the community, pokies profits are also supposed to subsidize the meal you purchase. 3. Walking into the kitchen may be a “no-no” as far as the hospitality industry is concerned but serving rotting garbage as food is a much bigger “no-no” (who cares is it’s a no-no anway, seriously). 4. Speaking to the duty manager will most likely achieve nothing, besides the chef should be the one listening to the complaint, if feedback is not given to the kitchen on such issues how will services improve, they will most likely degrade unless they are told.

you should ask to speak to the duty manager instead of the chef next time anyway

Well, if the chef won’t come out to hear complaints (which most good chefs will) then, why not go into the kitchen.

Whether or not you should expect “good” food from a club is irelevant- you certainly shouldn’t expect rotten food, and I hope a call has been made to the appropriate officials.

Mmmm, think about it. Cheap meal. Cheap Meat. Cheap Chef. Translates to a chef who makes the same roast and three veg day after day who obviously is only working in the club because he/she isn’t good enough for a more pricey establishment. So I’d assume they wouldn’t care a whole lot about what they were cooking. Also, they are never front-of-house people- walking into the kitchen is a hospitality no-no.

Snahons_scv6_berlina12:52 pm 16 Aug 07

no idea fnaah…. the refurbs are really for the sole purpose of enticing people in to spend on the pokies.. everything else they do is there purely as a support act and should not be considered a “key” business function – hence why you get crap food and crap service.

Why is it that people still expect good meals at clubs?

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