A few days past Independence Day, we decided to eat a late family lunch at KKK (Kainan sa Kalye Kanluran) at SM North. Being a huge meatarian, the 50% off promo on the Inihaw na Bacon Liempo poster immediately caught the husband’s eye. This was a deal he won’t dare pass up.
|Funky Filipiniana figurines sporting the menu.|
|Yumm vegetable kropeck|
|Bestselling Inhiaw na Liempo Bacon|
|Krispy Kangkong Salad|
|Leche Flan Made from Gatas ng Kalabaw|
I flipped the bowl over to my plate, and there it was. A.FREAKING.GERMAN.COCKROACH. I was still hoping it was just some food bug so I scattered the rice around my plate a little, and it wasn’t. The segmented hairy legs, the brown wings, those two distinct dark eyes cannot belong to anything else but a cockroach. And my then 14-month old daughter and I was supposed to share that cup.
|Definitely a cockroach, wouldn’t you say?|
Calmly, I motioned for the server cum manager trainee and pointed at the nasty. Embarrassed, she immediately took away my plate and the cup of rice and said, “Ma’am, pasensiya na. Papalitan ko na lang po.”
I was skeptical as she handed us a new cup of steaming rice. “Pero hindi ba iisang rice cooker lang ang pinagkuhanan nito, Miss?” I asked.
“Hindi po,” she said, looking quite unsure. Rice are placed in separate cups in a steamer. The roach must have fallen from somewhere straight into the bowl, not when the whole batch was cooked. Just how that missed the cook/ server’s eyes is completely beyond me. It was right there, perched gloriously near the lid of the cup.
|Muching on kropeck. A bit relieved she didn’t accidentally munch on a roach.|
We did not give them hell. We’ve never been the customers-from-hell bunch. He was pissed, but Jigs did not say anything the entire time. I even felt sorry for the trainee, with her meek and soft-spoken demeanor. Might have been her first day, and already she had a cockroach incident.
But beyond the disgust and pity coexisting altogether, there was dismay and sadness. This was not like the strand of hair I found in my Pasta Alfredo in Pizza Hut, or a fly on my grilled bangus in a now-defunct Bulacan resto. This is war-surviving, garbage-eating six-legged pest. Our first cockroach encounter at a restaurant, and one that I have had high hopes for (and liked a lot, actually).
In fairness to the lady, she was prompt to always refill our glasses, and every time she did, she would apologize. Also, she politely offer to take the leche flan off the bill (which kind of tasted peculiar, grassy and earthen, although the macapuno topping was a delight, so I’m glad that at least that was eliminated from the check). But that roach just ruined our appetite.
Do I want them out of business? No. I want them to mind their business, especially that this is not the first pest-related review on KKK (I read a separate review on a similar case in different branch). I want them to stay for a very long time, because I NEED to sample that Sinigang na Lechon, and their Rob Manila and MOA branches are just too damn far from us. And because roaches aside, in that tiny amount of time, I felt very much at home in there. That well-appointed restaurant made me proud of my cultural heritage. I”m sure any Pinoy would be. Not to mention, the prices are reasonable too (We paid about P315 for all that excluding the leche flan).
In fact, there is, up to this point, a certain ambivalence over posting this particular entry. I am afraid potential customers will withdraw their dine-out plans and they will be missing on the wonderful service and equally wonderful food. I was hoping to bring this up to the management first, and I tried for days searching for the owners’ e-mails or even a Facebook fan page but can’t seem to find one. That other pest review on the Web became the tipping point.
It is the responsibility of restaurateurs to ensure the safety of customers by always, always paying great attention to and investing on scrupulous hygiene, employee training, and a reliable pest control service. When you make those a priority, it would trickle down to your employees and make everyone, customers included, happy in the transaction.
Have you had a similar experience? How did you manage it?