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Friday, May 19, 2023

Pablo - A Hong Kong Mexican Restaurant

Pablo, a Mexican restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui building.  On Google maps there is no star rating, is it because it’s too new?  Or because Google is showing 4* and higher options and this is no 4 star establishment.

The décor is nice, the service deplorable. 

I came with my creative team and we decided to order from the set menu.  The first dish was either salad, pumpkin soup or something I didn’t recognize, and since I didn’t want soup or salad I went with the surprise.  It had raw fish over a spicy mix of something purporting to be salsa and bits of avocado.  I wasn’t in the mood for raw fish, or I’d have gone with a sushi restaurant which might be more trustworthy since in the their business of keeping raw fish fresh.  The waiter didn’t even ask what was wrong, he simply scooped up our first course without comment.  

After the first course was cleared, the waiter came back to clarify that I'd asked for grilled chicken with my bowl.  He obviously hadn't put my order in yet, or correctly, because he came out a moment later with the my two colleague's meals, something my boss always says is terrible etiquette for a restaurant to bring meals out separately.

The second course for me was green rice, black beans, avocado, and grilled chicken.  I thought it was pretty good and made up for the bizarre first course.  Unfortunately, my colleague was disappointed in his three tiny tacos and left hungry.

No chips were served.  Complementary chips and salsa are so part of the Mexican restaurant culture that this stood out as a very odd thing.  In Texas, both are even served with breakfast!

I ran out of water mid-meal, it was low when the second course was served but no one bothered to refill.  I desperately tried to signal our waiter, he looked right at me and ran away!  Even my co-worker was puzzled, why did that guy run off.  Much later we see him come out with a birthday item for the table near us, he’s so caught up in the celebration that he couldn’t be bothered with our needs.  I waved at him every time he bobbed into view and he finally sent a co-worker to see what we needed who promptly refilled our waters.

Dessert was served, one churro.  Just one!  Earlier my colleague had suggested we split dessert, so I casually broke it in half and ate 4 inches of churro.  What an epic failure of a restaurant.

Just in case I was too harsh, I went back the next day, by myself, and got the soup, same bowl but with pork and one churro.  I couldn’t eat the soup, it was weird.  This time a different waiter expressed concern.  The bowl was disappointing because it wasn’t grilled pork, it was fried pork fat!  Ewwww.  So I ate the beans, rice and avocado, then had my one churro. 


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