I never thought I would have to post this…ever. Today, I wrote a letter to Porto Restaurant. It went like this:
Subject: Very Disappointed Loyal Customer
Dear Porto, Chef Eric, and To Whom Ever Else It May Concern,
I’d like to first thank you for your kind attention and for spending some time reading this e-mail. I’ll make this as short and as concise as I can.
I’m a regular customer and a huge fan of your food and restaurant, that is, until today. I was always happy when I dine at your restaurant that I even blogged about it: https://cartolinagourmet.com/2014/04/15/bandung-porto/
I’ve never been to Porto for breakfast so this morning, I went with a friend. Upon entering, even though it was unexpectedly crowded with many young children and their parents, I was still happy to be there because of what I imagined would be excellent food that’s waiting for me. Unlike my friend, I didn’t want anything too filling. I remembered about 2 months ago, my sister ordered Potato Cheddar Soup and we were both extremely impressed with it. I was never a soup enthusiast but your Potato Cheddar Soup then converted me. So today, I decided to order that same soup.
However, I cannot tell you how immensely disappointed I was when the soup came. First thought that came to mind was: this must be a mistake (my friend immediately laughed looking at the soup I was served with). I did not expect to be served with what seemed to be 3-4 spoonfuls of soup and paying Rp 29000 for it. I annoyed your waiter/manager and waitress that day. I asked one of your waitresses if there was a mistake in the portion. She replied “the portion has always been like that”. Has she only started working for Porto since 2 months ago? (Be careful of customers that know more than you think they do. Lying does not do any good). I was very unsatisfied with the response she made. So I asked a waiter (maybe he was a manager because he looked the part) and he at first gave me the same reply as the waitress: the portion has always been like that. And immediately I told him “No it has never been like that, because I’ve ordered it before and it was definitely not like that.” He said he would help me check with the chef and see what he could do. I was more happy with that so I waited patiently. After a while, he came back to me and said “the portion was changed a month ago” to which I immediately replied “but the price stays the same…?” I became a fussy customer and explained that I have never been served with such a measly portion of soup anywhere I’ve been to. My sister was served a decent and regular amount of soup, and that was probably about more than double the portion I was served today (I remember we commented on how huge the potato was). No matter how good the soup could have been, I could not make myself pay Rp 29000 for that amount. It was way too gourmet-sized for me. So I requested for another soup and have the pathetic looking Potato Cheddar Soup in front of me be taken away. Attached is a picture I took today. Look at the potato and compare it to the size of the spoon. Are you really serving that?
I just could not stop wondering to myself “how could they reduce the amount so drastically and the price stays the same?”. If Porto still exists in 10 years and the inflation rate has somehow rocketed 100%, maybe I wouldn’t make so much noise then. But it has only been 2 months since that particular life-changing Potato Cheddar Soup and I simply could not keep quiet when Porto served me that miserable soup. So I apologise for that.
I commend your service and the waiter/manager that helped me this morning, for being patient and understanding. Thank you for the free soup, but I hope that something is done about it. I don’t see a point in continuously disappointing customers and compensating them with a free soup all the time. I’d rather be back to Porto without having to worry about the portion of food you are serving. I believe Chef Eric and the rest of the team share the same passion for food as I do. I may not be a chef nor do I have a restaurant, but when I cook for my family and they give the thumbs up, my happiness is double the happiness they feel while eating the food I have cooked for them.
I said in my blog “we feel that every dish has been made with extra care and so much thought has been put into producing it.” Obviously this time, that did not happen at all. So, I hope you take some action and take that back. Otherwise, you have yourself one less loyal customer.
I deliberately placed the soup spoon beside it for comparison in size. I didn’t even drink a single drop out of it (I used the spoon to take a spoonful and see how much would be left if I drank that amount of soup. Conclusion: maybe about 3 more spoonfuls and poof! No more). It was too ridiculous to be ignored. However, I really do hope that I would get to post a positive update soon.