Another Sunday just passed; that means my family and I were out and about again, looking for the next family favorite when it comes to weekend dinners. For this week, we dined somewhere near our place.
Cajun Red Rock has been along the Retiro / N.S. Amoranto street for quite some time. If I remember correctly, we’ve eaten there before, but they still had a different name. I don’t recall my dining experience back then, so this visit was a good way of refreshing my memory.
The meal started out pretty decent enough. We were all amazed with how big a serving of Tower o’ Sesame Rings was. The presentation was beautiful, in my opinion. There were three sauces that came along with the onion rings: sesame cream, honey mustard and Jack Daniel’s barbecue sauce. This one tasted good for the first few bites, but we quickly got tired of it. My brother commented that the breading was too thick and when the rings became cold, the breading proved to be difficult to eat. We didn’t get to finish everything and decided to bring the leftovers home.
For Dad’s main dish, he ordered the New York Fish & Chips with the sauces on the side. It’s deep fried cream dory fillet, topped with Parmesan cheese, and served with honey mustard sauce and another with vinegar as its base. The main dishes had two side dishes of your choice included; Dad chose fries and mixed vegetables. Just a couple of minutes into eating the main dishes and we knew that Dad didn’t like his food. The sauces were all sweet (and since Dad is diabetic, it’s a big no-no for him) and the fish was bland despite having Parmesan cheese on it.
Mom is the type of person who likes eating BBQ ribs a lot, so she was set on ordering a serving for herself during this meal. Her main dish was the Cajun Bourbon Ribs, served with (diced) hashbrown potatoes and sweet potato mojos. She said the ribs were okay, but that the sauce was a bit too sweet. My brother and I were also able to take a small bite, and we both agreed that Cajun’s ribs weren’t tender. An epic fail, I believe.
Mom was also the only one who ordered a drink. She chose the Green Iced Tea, which she found to be too sweet for her liking. My mom has a VERY sweet tooth, so if she started saying that something was “too sweet”, then there must something wrong with the item.
For my main dish, I decided to go with their Mustard Peppered Grilled Chicken, served with saffron rice and mixed vegetables (I gave Mom the saffron rice since she wanted to have it with her ribs). The mixed vegetables were okay; they were buttery enough and the vegetables I got still had a bit of crunch to it. The chicken, though, was a bit of a let-down. The chicken was cooked pretty well, but I couldn’t taste any distinct flavor in the sauce. The mustard was probably just used to give the sauce a bit of yellowish tint and I couldn’t taste the pepper. I really think eating at World Chicken is way better than eating this from Cajun.
My older brother chose the Chicken Marsala, with a serving of corn country style rice and country potatoes. He had the same verdict with his chicken: cooked well, but the sauce didn’t really taste like anything special (it was just sweet). The rice wasn’t mind-blowing either, but the cheese sauce on the potatoes was something that garnered a few decent points.
I think it’s pretty obvious that my family didn’t find this place to be a winner (and I think I now know why I don’t recall much about this place). What made the entire experience more unsatisfactory was this branch’s wait staff. Their servers (and kitchen staff) had a habit of walking around the dining area and talking with each other very loudly; it’s like they don’t have any customers!
One of them, a big male server, was the worst. He would be at the other end of the restaurant and then holler at his colleagues so that the others can bring forks, knives, or whatever was being requested by the customers – and this did not happen just once. What was more disappointing was how their branch manager tolerated all of this by joking around with his staff, obviously ignoring the fact that they were already destroying the image of the restaurant. My entire family was upset by this.
I’m hoping that Cajun’s other branches serve better food and have better staff. However, I don’t think I’ll be interested in trying to check if their other branches are indeed better than the one along Retiro.
** Cajun has branches at the following locations: Robinson’s Galleria, SM Megamall and along Retiro in Quezon City.