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Showing posts with label chef. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chef. Show all posts

Monday, December 3, 2007

Tong-Lok (Voortrekker Road, Parow)

Address: Parow, Don Centre, Voortrekker Road

Tel: 021-9304791

I have long since been skeptical of the Tong-Lok franchise, however we decided to treat our taste buds on what they had to offer. Tong-Lok is considered a household name as far as take-away sushi goes. The Goodwood venue was not the best, nor was it the cleanest that I have seen, even considering that it is really a take-away restaurant. A very dirty and poorly maintained back-end kitchen could be seen through the serving windows. The venue was tacky and is in serious need of cleaning and maintenance to the decor. Personally the red on yellow theme doesn't really do it for me.

I always find it a bit weird when a predominantly Chinese restaurant serves sushi on their menu. Politics and authenticity aside, we ordered prawn and salmon california rolls, together with salmon and tuna nigiri. Much to our disappointment, we were told that they were low on sushi rice, and we would have to wait 30 minutes in order for them to prepare more rice. Yes folks, like you, my initial thoughts were, how would they prepare sushi rice, which normally takes 1.5 hours in 30 minutes?...Our response was for them to do the best that they can do with what they had available. I wish that they would have taken us up on our offer. I was further disappointed to see that the rice was stored in an empty ice-cream bowl in the fridge. It made me wonder how old or how long this rice had been stored.

Regardless, we ignored that fact that a lethargic-looking sushi chef prepared our order. He at least was well dressed in the appropriate attire, keeping to tradition, and his fairly skilled and experienced hand was well noted. And at least he washed his hands and used clean utensils and kitchenware. At this point, we were still fairly optimistic as what would be produced.

In terms of pricing, Tong-Lok is value for money. In other words, if you looking for average sushi at a good price, then their menu would always be found on your refrigerator door or close to the telephone. However, this is not a place where you will find premium quality, artistic perfection and cultural authenticity.

Our order arrived in 25 minutes. A bit late in my opinion. However we paid our respects to the chef (always good etiquette I believe, regardless of any issues).
When we arrived home to savor on the raw delights, we were found ourselves wanting. No, I don't mean wanting more, but rather a wanting of disappointment. The sushi rice was undercooked and cold. The salmon and tuna were "sweating" and quite limp. A sign that it had been standing out for too long. The only item that met a reasonable standard was the prawn california roll.
The portions of pickled ginger, avocado, prawn, salmon and tuna were small in proportion to the sushi rice it was served with, giving us a distinct impression that the franchise was skimming in order to increase profits. The soy sauce supplied was very, very salty. I personally prefer the light sauce.

Overall, I was left very disappointed in what this well known local restaurant had to offer in terms of sushi. They definitely do provide you with a value for money sushi meal, but at a great cost to quality. Therefore do not expect any customer satisfaction from this establishment. I would not recommend the Goodwood Tong-Lok to any of our sushi-lovers out there.

Lastly, the Goodwood franchise can learn a lot from its "big brother", Tong-Lok in Long Street with whom I am somewhat impressed with. Look out for my review on the Tong-Lok Long Street restaurant - Grant


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