Monday, August 20, 2007

do not go to this restaurant

the following story serves as a lesson on how you can get ripped off by indian people here. i hope by the end of reading this, you'll never ever patronize a restaurant called kerala in zurich.

last week, i went with a friend to a south indian restaurant (kerala) that i had come across online in my search for a place here that serves dosas. we met there on a wednesday evening and found that they only had buffet - no dosa. we were still game for the buffet but i was slightly disappointed that there was no dosa. *disclamer: no where was there an indication of how much the buffet was, and we didn't ask*

we filled up our plates, sat down to eat, and ordered water and naan (neither of which were included with the buffet). the ONE piece of naan that the server brought us cost an extra 4 francs and was very thin. did not remotely seem like actual naan.

after the meal, we asked for our check. the total (drum roll please) was freaking 95 francs!! it was crazy. the price, per person for the buffet was 40 francs (~$33) each, plus the water and naan. an outrageous cost for something that wasn't even that good. and for buffet? ridiculous. but wait, it gets better.

so then, my friend and i both put our credit cards out and the following conversation ensues with the server:

me: could you please split the bill between the two credit cards?
the (indian) server: 50-50?
me: yes, half and half.

the server takes our cards, and comes back with two receipts (one for me and one for my friend). both receipts were for a total of 50 francs!! which comes to an actual total of 100 francs, when the bill was actually for 95. when the server said "50-50" we had both assumed he meant 50% each, not literally 50 francs each.

i should have prefaced this by explaining that in switzerland, there is no need to add a tip to the bill - it's already included in the price. i was told this by several swiss people at work. if the service is really good, then you can add 1 franc, but generally, people don't tip. and especially for a buffet!!! and not only that, a tip should be something that's voluntary. not something that's extorted. so this server extorted a 5 franc tip from us, when instead we should have just been charged 47.50 francs each.

we ended up letting it go, and just signing our receipts and leaving. but it was really ridiculous and i hope none of you ever go to this restaurant if you ever happen to come by the kerala restaurant located off of the radiostudio stop on the #11 tram line.