Thursday, 6 March 2014

Shakil's - The End Of A Love Affair

Since this is about a restaurant, why did I originally post this review on my personal blog? Alex asked me to put this one on here so as to not come across like every place we frequent is amazeballs.  

Since Shakil's opened I have been a great fan of the interesting dishes on offer, the quirky table wear, the corny entertainment nights and the delivery service.  I haven't been able to fault the place up until recently.  I compare it to the great establishments up North in Rusholme.  Rusholme has not been a suburb but a collective name for literally hundreds of curry houses spanning over a mile for decades.  As you can imagine, the competition is so great that the food has to be outstanding.  Shakils is up there with the best.  

What is the problem? You may ask.  I think it stems from them losing their head waiter to Mehfil (which in my opinion is a very poor establishment) and getting more competition locally.  I still can't fault their specials.  The Jolphoy Chicken is mouth-watering as are many dishes off that particular menu.  Their more traditional dishes aren't as good.  I have found this as a result of going vegetarian although the spinach and paneer balti goes down well.

My two last visits have been disappointing at best.  Rushed service, errors with orders, tricking us into having complementary shots whilst we wait to pay due to the machines not working then being charged and dishes just not coming out up to scratch.  

It is all very well creating a great reputation for yourself but it makes it all the more obvious and disappointing when standards slip.

Not content with giving us a poor experience in the restaurant, it seems that the takeaway service is starting to fail too.  Alex and I try to have one takeaway a fortnight when money is tight and so Shakil's comes top of the list more often than not.  It started off good but these are our experiences of late:

  • Ordering at 6:30pm, food arrives at 8:15pm with an apology and food that is stone cold.  It was their error, they admitted it yet no compensation was offered
  • Ordering two curries and 2 nans, checking the amount that is to go off the card to find we have an extra curry and some rice which they refused to collect and refund.  We didn't want three currys.
  • Nan Bread missing.  No apology or offer to rectify the situation
  • Sauces missing for the popadom section of our meal.  Again they didn't care.  
  • The online site is crap.  For example it is impossible to use their online discount since there are no options to switch paneer for meat.
Wake up call for Shakils.  Bicester is changing.  It is evolving and you need to keep up or go under, we have so much choice these days and loyalty only goes so far!

 Best save up and hit Cabbages and Condoms ... 

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