23 December, 2008

Redbelt Blacklists Chili's

Chilli's is one remarkable restaurant. A historic restaurant. It first opened up in Bahrain in the dawn of the Seef Mall era. lines of people waiting to sample its delicious food and did not mind waiting for hours. It was the hip place to be and any body who was somebody was seen at Chilli's .
Not anymore.

Chilli's "celebrate" now the opening of their 10th branch. I mourn a once prestigious brand.
Ever since the Jawad group acquired Chilli's from its previous owners and the quality of food and restaurant experience declined really hard. Jawad does operate some good restaurant. I am a fan of the Great Kabab Factory for example. But they really screwed the Chilli's brand.
I would usually say that this is my humble opinion. But it's not. This is fact. And I have photographic proof. I'll get to that in a second, but first of all let me discuss what I don't like:

lower food standards
Everyone is talking about this. Have you looked at your dish recently? There are no broccolis anymore. There is Cauliflower instead. Why? It is CHEAPER! Yes, they are cheap.
Zucchinis are no more to. Instead, you have carrots. Again they are cheaper. My friend Nawaf innocently called a waiter to alert him to this situation:
Nawaf: "Excuse me. There is no Broccoli in my plate."
Waiter: "Yes sir. We are serving Cauliflowers instead."
N: "Cauliflower? did you run out of Broccoli?"
W: "No sir. We have updated our steamed vegetables. We don't serve Broccoli anymore This is it now"
N: "B..But the pictures in the menu is different!?"
W: "Yeah...... well.... we don't have Broccoli anymore. This is our NEW steamed vegetables."

Not only do they not serve it. Broccoli became a black market item at Chilies! At another visit"
Nawaf: "Excuse me. There is no Broccoli in my plate." (Please read the conversation above again then follow up with this)
N: "I don't care. I WANT BROCCOLI. I want my food the way it was meant to be!"
Waiter: "But we don't have any!"
N: "OK. Take my dish back. I don't want it."
W (thinking hard then looking left and right): ".... ... OK, OK..... let me see what I can do. I'll try to secure some for you."

At this point my jaw just hit the floor. THE WAITER WAS GONNA HOOK US UP WITH BROCCOLI! I felt like I was buying drugs! It was there in secret and all hush hush! WTF?

Customer Service? Why?
Chilli's always greeted patrons with a smile. The waiter / waitress helped us rather quickly and get down to their knees to take orders so they would be at our seated eye level. No more.
Now you wait, wait, wait, call, call, stop, call again then SHOUT so the waitress comes and hands out menus to you and leaves. When they take orders they no longer kneel down anymore.
This might be insignificant to some, but it shows that the value of the franchise simply eroded.
In my last visit to Chilli's @ Dana mall, no one came to take our orders. The restaurant seemed obviously understaffed. We begged for menus, just the menus. The supervisor threw the menus at us in a hurry and said that they were busy, with a nice frown on his bald face. Wow. Thank you for making me feel welcome. Guess which finger I'm holding up?

The Smell
Being greedy, Chilli's management are trying to adopt the Costa Coffee approach: be in as many places as possible. This caused rather unsuitable locations. Like the Chillies @ The Centre. It is so small that patrons clothes reek of cooking odours because the kitchen is too close to the seating area. Also the sound of pans clonking, orders shouted and food sizzling is exactly what I need to relax.

The destruction of a Concept
Chilli's was a "Casual Dining" experience. With the number of restaurants there is now and the lower standards, "Casual Dining" just changed into "Overpriced Fast food". It is. It's just is.

Lower Hygiene and Cleanliness
It is not strange to see things on the floor, spilled drinks on the tables and tables that are just not cleared. I took pictures in my last visit to Dana Mall branch. Just look:


Look at the table: Empty bottles, half drunk glasses, a bag full of garbage on a food counter, bananas thrown on the table after Hastingly preparing something. It was messy.
Look here:

Garbage greeting you at the entrance.


And in between the tables inside as well.
The staff were simply walking past / walking over the trash.

Chilli's Bahrain was asking for it for a long time now. TheRedbelt.com is blacklisting Chilli's Bahrain on the following charges:
  • Bad Service
  • Low Hygiene
  • Bad Quality
At least these three problems must be solved before their name can be lifted from my list.

This blog post will be sent to officials at Jawad Group and also submitted to Chillis .com via their feedback form.
Kindly leave your opinion on the poll to the right and on the comments to this post. I look forward to hear what you all think.

The penelty for rapists

This poll was the lowest participated poll. Only Two entrants? I expected more specially concidering how touchy the subject is. Anyway, the results were:

How should rapists be punished?

Fined and made to sign a a pledge
0 (0%)
Should serve some jail time
0 (0%)
Shuld serve a LONG jail time
0 (0%)
Should be executed
2 (100%)

Votes so far: 2
Poll closed

Please take another look at my post about the rape of a mentally challenged Bahraini boy. It deserves more attention than it got. Thank you.

05 December, 2008

Charity Stamps [Poll]

Love them!
0 (0%)
It must be optional and transperant
3 (75%)
Hate them.
1 (25%)
I really don't care.
0 (0%)

Votes so far: 4
Poll closed

Raping Kids is FUN!

You may have heard or read about the recent rape crime in Riffa where 4 adult men kidnapped a 15 year old boy (ar), raped him and then let him go after threating him to keep quite. Thank god he didn't and he is mighty brave for that.
However, many writers in the local media, and some bloggers too, have turned this into a citizenship issue, claiming that some of the rapists were not "original" Bahrainis and that the government's naturalizing efforts are bringing this on us.
While this theory may hold some water, the bulk of the people are forgetting the actual problem: A CHILD WAS RAPED!
The only reason this incident got so much exposure was because of the involvment of the naturlised men. People who were against the practice used this all too well, and so they should. But, do you have any idea how many incidents actually go on but never reach the surface?
I'm not even talking about unreported incidents, I'm talking about incidents with reports to the police and everything. Let me give you one example here:

This is a real story that I got first hand from a Bahraini family. A divorced mother is raising two boys, one adult and the other is mentally challanged, let us refer to him by "H".
H was raped by 2 adult men in their mid thirties three years ago. The rapists were Bahrainis and live in the same neighbourhood.
H was in a very sorry state. But he was able to describe to his family what happened and he was able to identify the men. The mother and the brother go to the police.
Very very long story short: The men were seized, were given a fine of BD 100 each, signed a pledge to never do that again then off they went back home.
Justice was served.
Oh, I forgot. The police threatened to throw H's brother in jail. Why? They thought he was a "witness" and said he shouldn't have stood by idally watching his brother get raped. He tried his best to tell them that he was NOT there and he merely "transelated" his brother's words to the police. No, he had to pay a BD 50 bail to keep him out of jail.
To recap; this is the view point of the mother: My mentally challanged son gets raped, the rapists live in the neighbourhood and are back where they are. My son is scarred for life. My other son gets threatened with Jail time for actually going to the police for help.

Dear readers, this story is real, happened three years ago. All parties are pure Bahrainis. It never saw any media coverage at all. This blog post is all it got.

Just last week, the police called the brother, saying that the BD 50 bail money shouldn't have been taken and they want to give it back. But in order for them to do so, they asked him to write a letter saying that the first police report was not correct. This sounds fishy to me but I guess the police are under heat because of the Riffa Boy story.

I for one think that a fine and a pledge is way too soft for such a brutal crime. I demand that proper Sharia law be enforced. Rapists should be executed. Society has no place for them. We need new laws and we need them to be firm and strict. I'll say it again:

If anyone who reads this can bring justice to the victim, please get in touch with me. Leave a comment.